Dangerous Shoe

December 18, 2008

Another observation from the UK’s Patrick Cockburn on last weekend’s shoe-throwing-at-Decider George incident and how these press conferences, media glad-handing photo ops can be highly misleading.
Even with all the Iraqi public support for the shoe bomber.

  • I used to comfort myself with the thought that these official visits did little harm even if they did no good.
    Iraqis were all too aware of the grim reality of their lives to be taken in by official posturing.
    After five years of war, American voters have seen too many claims of success in Iraq deflated by news of fresh slaughter to be deceived into thinking that the war was being won.
    In retrospect I think I was over-optimistic: The foreign leaders who visited the Green Zone or other US or British military camps came away with the dangerous idea that they knew something about Iraq.
    They would depart not realising that the most important political fact was that the majority of Iraqis detested the US-led occupation whatever they thought of Saddam Hussein.
    Even the foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari, widely seen as pro-American called the occupation, “the mother of all mistakes.”
    This explains the popular enthusiasm for Mr Zaidi on display in Baghdad yesterday.

Read Cockburn’s piece here.

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