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The Shoe thrower- I Am No Hero. I Just Acted As An Iraqi Who Witnessed
The Pain And Bloodshed Of Too Many Innocents -
By Muntazer al-Zaidi (19/9/09)
|Saturday, 19 September 2009 09:03|
The Guardian, UK
and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol
and the symbolic act. But, simply, I answer: what compelled me to act is the injustice
that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it
under its boot.
and Iraq is now filled with more than five million orphans, a million widows and hundreds
of thousands of maimed. Many millions are homeless inside and outside the country.
Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shia would pray with the
Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ.
This despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than a decade.
invasion divided brother from brother, neighbour from neighbour. It turned our homes into
humiliated; and to see my Baghdad burned, my people killed. Thousands of tragic pictures
remained in my head, pushing me towards the path of confrontation. The scandal of Abu Ghraib.
The massacre of Falluja, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every
inch of our wounded land. I travelled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the
pain of the victims, and heard with my own ears the screams of the orphans and the bereaved.
And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.
away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the blood that stained my clothes,
I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.
occupation or because of it, every scream of a bereaved mother, every moan of an orphan,
the sorrow of a rape victim, the teardrop of an orphan.
I threw had entered? How many times it had trodden over the blood of innocent victims?
Maybe that shoe was the appropriate response when all values were violated.
rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people.
My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure.
And casting out its sons into a diaspora.
caused the establishment, I apologise. All that I meant to do was express with a living
conscience the feelings of a citizen who sees his homeland desecrated every day.
The professionalism mourned by some under the auspices of the occupation should not
have a voice louder than the voice of patriotism. And if patriotism needs to speak out, then
professionalism should be allied with it.
defend my country.
in prison for throwing his shoe at former US president George Bush at a press conference.
This edited statement was translated by McClatchy Newspapers correspondent
Sahar Issa www.mcclatchydc.com