What’s In A Shoe?

As you know by now, at a press conference in Baghdad, a young Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at President George Bush. Such an act is considered a grave insult in the Arab world.

Similarly, here is what Iraqis did to statues and portraits of Saddam Hussein after his fall:

I can completely understand why an Iraqi would perform such an act. After all, Iraqis has suffered greatly since the U.S. invasion of 2003. Of course, they suffered greatly under the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein as well (a figure for whom I feel no sorry whatsoever, I must add); but at least they had electricity and running water, and the whole country wasn’t left in ruins, looted by American corporations whose employees raped, pillaged, and murdered with impunity.

I ask you: how would you feel if Canada invaded the United States to topple a dictator, but did so under false pretenses, destroyed much of the nation’s infrastructure, and then refused to leave even after creating a shaky, ill-conceived regime? How would you, as an American, feel about the Canadian Prime Minister who managed to make your life worse than it was under the dictator? Would you flip him the bird, spit at his feet, or worse?

Most likely you would.

This incident is a lesson to Americans. We must start to put ourselves in the shoes of other (no pun intended) and to understand how we are seen by the world, whether such a view is fair or not.

Remember what the Wizard reminded the Tin Man at the end of “The Wizard of Oz”:

“..that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.”

The United States today is reviled around the world thanks to George W. Bush. He ranks as the worst president in the history of our great nation. His imperial ambitions, driven by the heartless so-called “Neo-Cons” of the Project for a New American Century, have set this nation on the path to oblivion.

Rather than keep us safe, he — like the architects of the “strategic hamlet” program during the Vietnam War — “saved” the nation by burning it down. He tore up our civil liberties and ignored the Constitution that he swore to protect. The presidential oath of office, which he took twice, reads as follows:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

My contempt for him, and his administration, is so great I cannot contain it. I have a bitter bile in my throat. Never in my life did I imagine a president this horrendous. As elated as I was at the election of President-Elect Obama, I have cause to wonder if any one man can can undo the damage done to the nation and our reputation by President Bush.

George W. Bush is a despicable person, surrounded by men of ill intent. If I ever met him, I’d throw my shoes at him, too. It is the very least he deserves.

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