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US President George W Bush gets ‘Farewell Boot’ in Iraq

US President George W Bush (In picture) faces the wrath of an Iraqi journalist who hurls his shoes at him during his final visit to Iraq

On his ‘farewell’ visit to Iraq as US President, George W Bush had an unusual ‘encounter’ when an
Iraqi scribe threw two shoes at him, but the agile American leader downplayed the incident, saying “it’s a sign of a free society.”

The journalist, Muntadar al-Zeidi, threw two shoes at Bush — one after another — during a joint news conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad on Sunday (December 14, 2008) and shouted “it is the farewell kiss, you dog”.

“All I can report is a size 10,” the president joked. Bush, who ducked both throws, said he has seen a lot of weird things during his eight-year-long Presidency and that he would term the latest incident as “one of the weirdest”.

“And it was amusing. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of weird things during my presidency and this may rank up there as one of the weirdest. So this happens and it’s a sign of a free society,” Bush said. “But I’m not insulted. I don’t hold it against the government. I don’t think the Iraqi press corps as a whole is terrible. And so, the guy wanted to get on TV and he did. I don’t know what his beef is. But whatever it is I’m sure somebody will hear it,” the US President told ABC channel.

After the incident, Iraqi government said that the scribe, who works with Al-Baghdadia channel which broadcasts from Cairo, has been held for questioning by the Prime Minister’s guards and is being tested for alcohol and drugs. Meanwhile, the television channel demanded the immediate release of its journalist and called the scribe as a “proud Arab and an open-minded man.”

Bush shoe attacker ‘detested America’

The Iraqi journalist who caused a furore when he hurled his shoes at visiting US President George W Bush “detested America” and had been plotting such an attack for months, colleagues said on on Monday (Dec 15, 2008).

Muntazer al-Zaidi, 28, was being hailed as a hero by some after his action against the US President who ordered the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and anti-US demonstrations were being staged in Baghdad and the holy shiite city of Najaf.

“This was a spontaneous action by an Iraqi citizen who was showing his dismay at seeing the President of the country which is occupying our nation,” said Liwaa Sumeissim from the anti-American Sadr movement.

The Iraqi government however branded Zaidi’s actions as “shameful” and demanded an apology from his employer Al-Baghdadia television, which in turn was calling for his immediate release from custody.

One of his colleagues in the Baghdad office of Al-Baghdadia said Zaidi had been planning to throw shoes at Bush if ever he got the chance. “When he said he was going to do it, we didn’t doubt him,” he said.

“Muntazer detested America. He detested the US soldiers, he detested Bush,” said another co-worker who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

An Iraqi lawyer said Zaidi risked a minimum of two years in prison if he is prosecuted for insulting a visiting head of state, but could face a 15-year term if he is charged with attempted murder.

In Cairo, Muzhir al-Khafaji, programming director for Al-Baghdadia television, described Zaidi as a “proud Arab and an open-minded man.” “We fear for his safety,” he told, adding that Zaidi had been arrested twice before by the Americans.

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, USA, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vaiko arrested for pro-LTTE remarks

This is the second time that Vaiko has been arrested for supporting the banned group LTTE.
This is the second time that Vaiko has been arrested for supporting the banned group LTTE.
MDMK chief Vaiko was on Thursday arrested for making ‘highly inflammatory speeches in support of the LTTE’, police said.Vaiko had at a public meeting in Chennai on Tuesday said a separate Tamil Eelam under the leadership of LTTE chief Prabhakaran would come into existence soon in Sri Lanka.

“LTTE and Sri Lankan Tamils could not be separated. Though we are against any violence, we should differentiate between violence and right”, he said.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had assured me no military aid would be supplied to Sri Lanka, had gone back on his word,” he alleged.

Vaiko said, “if the need arises, I will be the first man to take up arms in support of Sri Lankan Tamils. I will gather youths all over the country for this purpose”.The MDMK presidium chairman, M Kannappan, had told the meeting that time would come to demand for a separate Tamil Nadu. In that meeting, a two-hour film on Sri Lankan army’s alleged atrocities against Tamils was screened.

In a statement on Wednesday, AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa had demanded that all LTTE supporters be booked.

Tamil Nadu government’s decision to arrest Vaiko was to make it clear that ruling DMK’s support was only for the suffering Sri Lankan Tamils and not for LTTE.

Vaiko, now an ally of Jayalalithaa, was detained under POTA by her Government in 2004 on his arrival from the United States after he had made a pro-LTTE speech at a public meeting in Tirumangalam in Madurai.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi had condemned Vaiko’s arrest at that time.

This is the second time that Vaiko has been arrested for supporting the banned group, the earlier occasion being during the previous AIADMK government when he was held under POTA.

Vaiko was arrested under the Unlawful Prevention Activities Act, police said.

He was remanded to 14 days judicial custody.

Vaiko said soon after his arrest that his party was for India’s sovereignty. At the same time, it could not allow the Centre to provide arms and ammunition and logistics support to Sri Lankan government ‘to perpetuate war against Tamils’.

October 24, 2008 Posted by | General, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment