Friday, December 19, 2008



Thursday, December 18 2008

This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog,” shouted 28-year-old Mr Muntadar al-Zaidi, a reporter for Cairo-based al-Baghdadiya TV who was angry with the war.
President Bush escaped injury, but the journalist was wrestled to the ground, and suffered a broken arm and rib.

Offers to buy his shoes for up to 10 million dollars (Sh770 million) are now floating around the Arab world, where Mr al-Zaidi has become something of a legend.

On Thursday, it emerged that an Egyptian offered his 20-year-old daughter to Zaidi as a bride and cobblers from Turkey to Lebanon claimed the shoes he hurled were made in their factories.

David vs Goliath

The David vs Goliath act was dismissed by a Bush spokeswoman as inconsequential, but Zaidi apologised to Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki for embarrassment.

For many years, world leaders have been accosted by angry citizens and protesters. Some, like the men who shot President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. and Indian nationalist leader Mohandas Gandhi, were dangerous criminals intent on killing.

But others, like Mr al-Zaidi, just wanted a high-profile opportunity to spread their political messages.

Their actions did not harm the leaders, but they shocked the public and were usually followed by vigorous debate about larger social, political and economic issues.

In 1962, for example, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was pelted with rotten eggs during a visit to London. The eggs were thrown by white extremists who waved placards that read: “Hang Kenyatta!”.

But when he became Prime Minister and later President, he reached out to remaining white farmers and asked them to stay.

Again in the 1960s, tensions were rising between Mzee Kenyatta’s party, Kanu and the Kenya People’s Union led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

Following the opening of a Russian-funded Hospital in Kisumu in 1969, spectators threw stones at his departing convoy.

Police responded by firing into the crowd, killing people and wounding others. KPU was banned and its leaders, including Jaramogi, detained.

In Sydney, Australia, 23-year-old anthropology student David Kang fired two blank shots from a starter pistol at Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, during a public awards ceremony on January 26, 1994.

In court, Mr Kang claimed he was suffering from depression and was trying to highlight the plight of poor Cambodians. He was found guilty of threatening unlawful violence and was sentenced to 500 hours of community service.

He has now become a lawyer, and in 2005 he told reporters that “what happened was an extremely traumatic experience and I have certainly moved on in my life and now I have become a barrister here in Sydney.”

And a 29-year-old farm worker named Craig Evans threw an egg at the Labour Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott during his visit to north Wales on May 16, 2001.