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15 Dec, 2008 17:21

Throwing Bush a size 10 'goodbye kiss'

President George W. Bush has received some interesting, if not altogether positive, feedback at a news conference in Iraq. Bush was giving his views on the progress of the war in the country when an Iraqi journalist threw both his shoes at him.

Bush, who was making a surprise visit to Iraq, was at the joint news conference with President Nouri al-Maliki to mark the signing of the US-Iraq security pact.

The outgoing president had just finished saying that the war was not over but was “on its way to being won” when the journalist stood up and threw his shoe. Bush managed to duck out of the way, and when the second shoe came he ducked again.

Muthathar al Zaidi, an Iraqi journalist, was wrestled to the ground but not before expressing his opinion verbally as well.

“This is a goodbye kiss, you dog,” said Zaidi, throwing his shoes at the American president.

“This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”

In Iraqi culture, throwing a shoe is a sign of contempt. Iraqis beat the toppled statue of Saddam with their shoes in 2003. Calling somebody “a dog” is also the strongest offence.

Bush, however, has made light of the incident.

“All I can report is a size 10,” he joked. “The guy wanted to get on TV and he did. I don't know what his beef is.”

Several wealthy Iraqis have already announced their readiness to buy the historic footwear.

Former technical director of the Iraqi football team Adnan Hamad offered to buy them for no less than US $100, 000.

“Having done this, the journalist Muthathar al Zaidi expressed the attitude of all Iraqi people to George Bush, who destroyed Iraq and insulted its people,” said Hamad.

Bush burned: effigy destroyed in Iraqi protest