Bush shoe-thrower creates 100 new jobs

Bushist Perle on Bush, cartoonFrom British daily The Guardian:

Stampede for ‘Bush shoe’ creates 100 new jobs

* Robert Tait in Istanbul

* Monday 22 December 2008

Their deployment as a makeshift missile robbed President George Bush of his dignity and landed their owner in jail. But the world’s most notorious pair of shoes have yielded an unexpected bonanza for a Turkish shoemaker.

Ramazan Baydan, owner of the Istanbul-based Baydan Shoe Company, has been swamped with orders from across the world, after insisting that his company produced the black leather shoes which the Iraqi journalist Muntazar al-Zaidi threw at Bush during a press conference in Baghdad last Sunday.

Baydan has recruited an extra 100 staff to meet orders for 300,000 pairs of Model 271 – more than four times the shoe’s normal annual sale – following an outpouring of support for Zaidi’s act, which was intended as a protest, but led to his arrest by Iraqi security forces.

Orders have come mainly from the US and Britain, and from neighbouring Muslim countries, he said.

Around 120,000 pairs have been ordered from Iraq, while a US company has placed a request for 18,000. A British firm is understood to have offered to serve as European distributor for the shoes, which have been on the market since 1999 and sell at around £28 in Turkey. A sharp rise in orders has been recorded in Syria, Egypt and Iran, where the main shoemaker’s federation has offered to provide Zaidi and his family with a lifetime’s supply of shoes.

To meet the mood of the marketplace, Baydan is planning to rename the model “the Bush Shoe” or “Bye-Bye Bush”.

“We’ve been selling these shoes for years but, thanks to Bush, orders are flying in like crazy. We’ve even hired an agency to look at television advertising,” he said.

Zaidi has been in custody since the shoe-throwing incident, amid claims that he has been badly beaten.

Also from The Guardian:

The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George Bush was tortured into writing a letter of apology, his brother claimed today.

Green Party urges Britain to offer asylum to the Baghdad shoe-thrower: here.

5 thoughts on “Bush shoe-thrower creates 100 new jobs

  1. Iraqi Journalist Who Threw Shoes Tortured in Jail
    “After the torture and the cold-water shower, I told them to bring me a blank sheet of paper and I would sign it, and they could write whatever they wanted. I am ready to say I am a terrorist or whatever you want.”

    SOFA: Occupation by Any Other Name
    In other words, they will still be engaged in combat, just called something else.

    Democratic NY Governor Whitewashes the Surge
    “They, particularly in the last 18 months, turned this whole conflict around.” He added: “And I don’t think I understood that as well as I have in the past few days.”

    Occupation Breeds Sectarianism
    For decades, Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens mingled freely, intermarried and ran businesses together. Today, the communities rarely mix.

    Bitterness at Blackwater Murders
    “They killed my wife. They were seeing her and hearing her with my son saying ‘help me, help me’ and they killed her.”


  2. Al-Zaidi Tortured and Still Disappeared. . .
    His whereabouts remained unknown four days after he became a hero to those who blame the US president for the tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths that followed the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

    . . .But Remains Defiant
    “I will not apologise for what I did — not now, not ever.”


  3. Oil-Rich Amara Left High and Dry
    “We are hearing about thousands of barrels being produced a day, but we’ve never seen any of its benefits. We don’t know where the oil money is going.”

    Failed Logic of Supporting the Troops
    If the invasion of Iraq, the mission, and the occupation as stated policy are all wrong, then support for the armed forces carrying out the mission must also be wrong.

    Blowback: Occupation’s Bombs May Explode at Home
    “The soldiers killed the young and the old. They do not discriminate between men and women, so why should we?”


  4. ”A goodbye kiss you dog !!!”

    Uploaded on December 15, 2008 by andréboxbox

    Flickr video film

    Bush sole-mate sparks shoe fetish


    Myrtle Ryan December 21 2008 at 10:28AM

    When an irate Iraqi TV journalist flung his shoes at George Bush last Sunday during a press conference, he unwittingly “shoed-in” a fetish with footwear and some whackooffers.
    While shoe-flinger Muntadhar al-Zaidi is still in custody, pending an investigation by a judge, he has become the hero of the Arab world where throwing a shoe at someone is considered the ultimate insult.
    Among the stories which have taken a toe-hold, is one that an Egyptian man has offered his 20-year-old daughter in marriage to Al-Zaidi.
    The woman in question is said to be delighted at the prospect.
    “This is something that would honour me. I would like to live in Iraq, especially if I were attached to this hero,” said Amal Saad Gumaa.
    At this stage, it’s unclear whether Al-Zaidi is given to putting his own foot down strongly in the family household in which case the would-be bride might not be quite so eager.
    Meanwhile, you too could (figuratively) remove your own shoes and fling them at the hapless Bush in an Internet game, entitled appropriately, “Sock and Awe” (a reference to the United State’s Shock and Awe tactics during the air assault on Baghdad in 2003).
    The game gives players 30 seconds to try to hit Bush with a shoe (ranging from a boot, to a sandal, to beach footwear) as many times as possible.
    There are several versions of the game, with titles such as “The Flying Babush” and “Bush’s Boot Camp”.
    One of them draws on the iconic film, The Matrix, as we see Bush ducking and dodging in a long black coat. In another his face turns purple when a direct hit is scored.
    In one he sports a Santa Claus hat, while Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (complete with a reindeer headdress) peers over the lectern next to him in a mock-up of the now-infamous joint news briefing which led to the incident.
    One can also watch video clips of the incident, while a Facebook Feedback group lets people place their comments on Al-Zaidi’s actions and his verbal comment, “This is your farewell kiss, you dog” which accompanied his tossed shoes.
    [ . . . ]
    The Daily Telegraph reports that Al-Zaidi’s family harbours deep anger against Bush, blaming him for the tens of thousands of Iraqis who died after the US-led invasion unleashed a wave of sectarian and insurgent violence.

    This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Argus on December 21, 2008


  5. Jan 16, 5:19 PM EST

    Iraqi guards said to throw party for shoe-thrower

    Associated Press Writer

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    BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi journalist jailed since throwing his shoes at President George W. Bush got a visit from his brother Friday and a birthday party from his guards as he turned 30.

    Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who has gained cult status for his bizarre protest, is in good shape but has been denied access to his lawyer, relatives said after his brother Maitham visited him for two hours in his detention cell in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone.

    Al-Zeidi has been in custody since the Dec. 14 outburst at Bush’s joint news conference with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Thousands demonstrated for al-Zeidi’s release and hailed his gesture.

    But concern was raised about his welfare after allegations that he had been severely beaten and tortured in detention.

    The case’s investigating judge has said the journalist was struck about the face and eyes, apparently by security agents who wrestled him to the floor after he hurled his shoes, forcing Bush to duck for cover.

    Maitham al-Zeidi was not available to comment on the visit, but another brother, Dhargham, told The Associated Press that he was told the wounds had healed.

    “Muntadhar was in a good shape … and his morale was high. Yesterday was his birthday and some patriotic officers there organized a party for him and brought birthday cake,” Dhargham al-Zeidi said.

    The case became a focus for Iraqis and others in the Muslim world who resent the U.S. invasion and occupation. But it also embarrassed al-Maliki, who was standing next to Bush at the time. Neither leader was injured.

    Al-Zeidi had been due to face a trial in December on a charge of assaulting a foreign leader, which his defense team said carried a maximum sentence of 15 years. But an appellate court is considering a motion to reduce the charges to simply insulting Bush.

    Defense lawyer Dhia al-Saadi said it was a matter of freedom of expression.

    “Al-Zeidi’s act was symbolic and in no way was it a murder attempt,” he said, adding that he had been allowed to meet his client only once.

    “I submitted many petitions to the judge of the case and I expect to meet Muntadhar next week,” he said.

    Al-Zeidi’s act of defiance transformed the obscure reporter from an employee of a minor TV station into a national hero to many Iraqis fed up with the nearly six-year U.S. presence here.

    But his brother said information about the international wave of support had been kept from the journalist.

    “Some officers told him that half of the Iraqis were against him. But he was very happy when he heard that all the Iraqis support him. He even cried when he heard that there were demonstrations on his behalf even in the United States,” Dhargham al-Zeidi said.

    The brother who met with Muntadhar al-Zeidi was taken by bus to the detention center, and two army officers supervised the meeting.

    The journalist is currently being held alone in a comfortable room with a bed and a TV set, his brother said. “He is being visited frequently by doctors. The food is very good,” the brother added.

    Al-Zeidi stood by his attack on Bush. He stressed that he meant no offense to the Iraqi prime minister but didn’t want to miss his chance to send Bush a message, the brother said.

    “He said he could not wait until al-Maliki left the room to throw his shoes because then Bush would also leave and that historic opportunity would be lost,” he said.

    Muntadhar al-Zeidi actually feared he would be killed by guards after throwing his shoes and read his last prayers before going to the news conference, his brother said.

    “So for him it does not matter for how long he would be imprisoned,” his brother said, “because the important thing is that he restored the honor of the Iraqi people.”

    Associated Press writer Sameer N. Yacoub contributed to this report.


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