Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Injustice" compelled him to act

It's interesting how some people act when they see injustice. Muntadhar al Zaidi saw the injustice that befell Iraq, and so he threw his shoes at American President George W. Bush, as if Dubya was the only person in the world responsible for the injustice in Iraq. That's how many people, especially Arabs, prefer to see the Iraq war: it was all Bush's fault. If only Bush had left poor little Saddam to stay in power in Baghdad, everything would be fine in Iraq. Certainly the Sunni Arabs would be happy, and there would have been no bombings of markets in Shia neighborhoods.

In 2006 the Angry Arab was inundated with comments from people who truly believed that the bombs being detonated at police stations and at public places in Iraq were planted by the US military, as if the US wanted to incite sectarian violence in Iraq, as if the sectarian violence somehow helped the US agenda.

Muntadhar al Zaidi writes: "Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. But the invasion divided brother from brother, neighbour from neighbour. It turned our homes into funeral tents."

No mention of the 3arab jarab, many of them Saddamists, who directly mass murdered Iraqis and forcefully divided "brother from brother" all over Iraq. It is as if there was no injustice in Iraq before 2003, as if Iraqis were all united. Why did Muntadhar al Zaidi not act when he saw the injustice of Saddam's regime? Or did he not see the injustice of Saddam's regime?

Muntadhar al Zaidi wrote about the "scandal of Abu Ghraib" as if there was no torture or murder at Abu Ghraib before 2003, as if torture and murder of innocent Iraqis happened only after the US invasion, as if Iraqis were united for 24 years under the dictatorship of Saddam.

Perhaps Muntadhar al Zaidi was too young to remember the oppression, torture, and murder of Iraqis in the 1980s. Maybe he doesn't know that Saddam's Republican Guards and other security apparatuses slaughtered Iraqi Shia by the tens of thousands in 1991, or maybe that bit of oppression and violence can be blamed on Bush Sr. Maybe he was too young and impressionable to realize that by 2000, Iraqis had already fled Iraq by the millions, not because the US invaded Iraq, but because Saddam's tyranny was too much for Iraqis to bear. Maybe Muntadhar al Zaidi is just a typical Arab who in 2003 did not know what Saddam's regime had been doing to Iraqis for 24 years, and with the discovery of honest reporting in the Arab media (actual reporting done by Jewish American journalist Seymour Hersh) in 2004, the images of abuse at Abu Ghraib by US soldiers angered him, like they angered so many Arabs.

It is as if throwing his shoes at Dubya has solved any of Iraq's problems. If throwing your shoes at a leader is an appropriate response to injustice, why doesn't Muntadhar al Zaidi throw his shoes at the people who have been causing the explosions at Iraqi markets, police stations, universities, restaurants, and even weddings and funerals? Was it Bush who caused those explosions? Or should we forget about them and focus on the crimes committed by American forces, like the Arabs do? US troops withdrew from Iraqi cities almost three months ago, but last month "insurgent attacks produced the highest monthly death toll among Iraqis in 13 months." Is that not injustice, ya Muntadhar? And why didn't you throw one of your shoes at the incompetent Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki?

Nibras Kazimi asks appropriately: "Would al-Zaidi dare to throw a shoe at Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, whose regime enabled jihadists and Ba'athists to wage the bloody insurgency against the New Iraq?"

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