The news from Iraq on Wednesday shows that the Iraqi government’s hold on power is fragile, and that it faces shadowy coup plotters from within and a continued guerrilla insurgency from without. Parliament is so divided that it had to go home after vehement wrangling in which the shoe-throwing journalist, Muntazar al-Zaidi, figured prominently. Al-Zaidi continued to be lionized by many Iraqis, including in Fallujah, where a student rally in his defense drew the fire of the US military. The British prime minister, Gordon Brown, showed up unexpectedly in Baghdad, to announce that British troops would be out of the country by June. Turkey bombed positions of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq for a second straight day.
Court Sentences 22 to Jail for Nile Delta Riots,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“New Resolution on Mideast Peace Passes at the UN,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Israeli Troops Kill Islamic Jihad Member,” IBA TV, Israel
“Russia to ‘Donate’ 10 MiG-29 Jet Fighters to Lebanon,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Power Struggle Between Somalia’s President and Prime Minister,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Syrians and Jordanians Praise Shoe Hurler,” Syria TV, Syria
“Iraqis Still Abused in Prisons,” Baghdad TV, Iraq
“The Revival of Saudi Cinema,” Nile TV, Egypt
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.
By Mohammed al Dulaimy
This article is adapted from the Inside Iraq blog, written by the Iraqi staffers of McClatchy in Baghdad.
BAGHDAD — The square in front of the July 14 Bridge in Baghdad is closed by troops several times a day. The bridge leads into the American-controlled Green Zone. On the square, not far from the Green Zone, lie the offices of the president and the head of the biggest parliamentary bloc. Official convoys come and go all day long.
In the many times that I have been at that square, no one has ever objected to soldiers closing off the road while some official’s convoy passes by. We all turn off our cars and sit there and wait.
Wednesday, however, was different. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
The horns of tens of cars were loud. Angry drivers yelled at soldiers. Not even when the soldiers brandished their rifles at the cars would the drivers stop. There were shots in the air, but the vehicles continued on. The military saw, for the first time I think, mass anger for blocking roads.
“Iraqis Distribute Candy and Calls Shoe Hurler: Hero,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Baghdadiya TV: Our Journalist was Practicing his Freedom of Expression,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Ahmadinejad Rejects French President’s Snub,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Nasrallah Urges Arabs to Break the Siege on Gaza,” Press TV, Iran
“Protesters Demand Access to Shalit,” IBA TV, Israel
“58 Killed in Traffic Accident in Egypt,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“What Can Carter Do in Lebanon?” New TV, Lebanon
“Iranian Demonstrate in Solidarity With Palestinians in Gaza,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.
Detained journalist’s employer calls for his ‘immediate release’
AMMAN: Saddam Hussein’s former d his shoes at US President George W Bush during his farewell visit to Baghdad.lawyer said on Monday he was forming a team to defend the Iraqi journalist who hurle
“So far around 200 Iraqi and other lawyers, including Americans, have expressed willingness to defend the journalist for free,” the Amman-based Khalil al-Dulaimi told AFP. “I took the decision on Sunday night to defend the man after the incident. I am currently contacting Arab bar associations to form a defence committee.” Television journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi jumped up as Bush was holding a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday, shouted “It is the farewell kiss, you dog” and threw two shoes at the US leader.
Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist
Global Research, December 15, 2008
Call for his release and tribute to Iraqis who have suffered under US occupation
WHAT: Peace activists to gather with shoes in solidarity to Iraqi journalist
WHEN: 11 a.m., Weds. Dec. 17
WHERE: In front of White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In solidarity with an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George W. Bush at a Baghdad press conference Sunday, peace activists will gather outside the White House with bags of shoes representing Iraqis and U.S. soldiers who have died since the Bush Administration’s illegal invasion of Iraq.
They aim to show support for Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi, who hurled his shoes at President Bush while he spoke at the conference on his “surprise” visit to discuss the war. Al-Zaidi is currently being held by Iraqi police and questioned on his actions. The peace activists are calling on the Iraqi government to release al-Zaidi without charges and have set up a fund to support him and his family.”
“It’s outrageous that al-Zaidi could get two years in prison for insulting George Bush, when Bush is directly responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqis and 4,200 U.S. troops, and 5 million displaced Iraqis,” says Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK. “The one who should be in jail is George Bush, and he should be charged with war crimes.”
The gesture of throwing shoes is considered a major insult in Arabic culture.
“al-Zaidi’s act of civil disobedience expresses the disgust that so many Iraqis and Americans feel towards a man who has caused so much pain and suffering,” says Anas Shallal of Iraqi Voices for Peace. “It is indeed a fitting tribute to the end of the Bush reign of terror.”
U.S. veterans who served in Iraq will also participate in the shoe action at the White House.
“Having one shoe thrown at George Bush pales in comparison to the suffering that veterans and Iraqis go through everyday,” says Geoffrey Milliard of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “Perhaps if Bush can see some more of these shoes before he leaves office, he will feel some of our pain.”
For more information, please call Medea Benjamin at 415-235-6517.
CODEPINK, founded in 2002, is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into health care, education and other life-affirming activities. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence. For more info, visit http://www.codepinkalert.org