Monday, December 15, 2008

A Size 10 Farewell to Bush

I'm going to make a prediction that no one will be trowing shoes at Barack Obama when his term is over in four to eight years. Today is the day when Obama is officially elected by the electoral college to be the 44th president of United States.
In all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the 538 electors performed a constitutional process to legally elect Democrat Barack Obama the 44th president.
One positive sign for Iraq is that six Blackwater mercenaries have been charged with manslaughter for killing civilians in a bloody incident in Baghdad on September 16, 1007. Federal prosecutors call the incident an "unprovoked and illegal attack."

Since Bush is not fazed by the shoe attack, why not release the Iraqi reporter who threw the shoe--Muntadar al-Zeidi? It was described as an "audience interruption" by the White House, but reportedly, it could cost him two years in jail. The Iraq Prime Minister, Nouri Maliki, reportedly, wants a sentence of 7-8 years. There was a rally held in Sadr city to demand his release today, so it is clear that some Iraqis do not consider al-Zeidi a criminal.

Who can blame the guy for staging a direct action demonstration of sorts? Reportedly, he was severely beaten after the incident. There may be extenuating circumstance because he was recently kidnapped and tortured for three days by U. S. forces. The 28-year old has been covering the invasion since the beginning and has lost close relatives. As he threw the shoes he said this in Arabic:
"This is a gift from the Iraqis, this is the farewell kiss, you dog.
This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."
Muntadar al-Zeidi has secured his legacy as a hero to Iraqis, Muslims and admirers around the world. Even Bush has opined that his actions are demonstrative of a free Iraqi -- "So what the guy threw a shoe at me... that's what people do in a free society." Who can disagree, freedom to express dissent and freedom of speech are hallmarks of a democracy.

Barack Obama has outlined a sixteen month timeline for ending the war in Iraq. It is a timeline that many in the media have expressed doubt about.
"But the media pouncing repeatedly on any sign of ambiguity in Obama's plans seems to reflect wishful thinking on their part more than it does any particular insight into his strategy."
Now that Iraqis have symbolically given Bush a slap in the face with this shoe incident and the U.S. and global economy has nosedived, there is more incentive then ever for the U.S. to leave Iraq; the sooner the better. Unfortunately, Obama's and the Bush plan is to station more troops in Afghanistan. This escalation of the Afghan occupation is very troubling because these so-called wars were not necessary, there should have been a cooperative international police action to capture the people who perpetuated the 9/11 attacks.

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