By Saul Bloodworth
By coincidence, the Tom Cruise movie Valkyrie started the same week than the Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi threw his shoes, trying to hit George W. Bush. A plot to kill Hitler is not exactly the same thing than showing contempt for the Commander in Chief. After the plot to kill Hitler failed, about 5000 people were executed. Al-Zaidi is still alive. But he is in jail, he was reportedly tortured and nobody knows what will happen to him. His only defense is the Arab Street, at this point.
The chattering classes can't get enough of it. The video is on every channel. Readers of HuffPo are calling on Americans to send their old shoes to the White House. You can replay the shoe insult, or utter an opinion about it where ever you feel like it.
So, here is the point: For eight years, not one single American has mustered enough courage to throw a shoe, or an egg, or a tomato at Bush. So, I'm not saying I would have dared if I had the chance. Probably not. I'm not pretending I'm a hero.
However, isn't this week an opportunity to shut up for a while, stop chattering, and give it some thought if you would have dared to rise your hand against a real dictator? Or, at least, against someone who does, after all, allow Americans due process (just not foreigners)? Just a little bit more modesty right now would be nice. There will be more than enough time next year to show off easy Anti-Fascism.
And while I'm at it, the Unites States is still occupying Iraq. So, if Al-Zaidi gets killed in jail, that will be an American responsibility. The Obama magic will not gloss over it.
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