The Irony of Freedom

This is rich:

There has apparently been a groundswell of support among Arabs after Muntazer al-Zaidi, a 29-year-old  Iraqi TV journalist for the Cairo-based satellite channel Al-Baghdadia, threw his shoes at President Bush on Sunday during the press conference for his trip to Iraq.

Yelling that it was the “farewell kiss” of Iraqis, and calling the president a dog, al-Zaidi committed an act considered to be the supreme insult in Arab culture.

Al-Zaidi reportedly got a good roughing up for his deed from Iraqi police and remains in custody, facing up to seven years if convicted of attacking a foreign leader.

But while the Iraqi government called on his employers to apologize for the act, apparently planned for months, the Al-Baghdadia news agency responded with a statement demanding al-Zaidi’s release “in line with the democracy and freedom of expression that the American authorities promised the Iraqi people.”

It added: “Any measures against Muntazer will be considered the acts of a dictatorial regime.”

What an indication of how little Arabs understand the connection between freedom and the rule of law.  Jailing someone for an act of physical violence against a visiting head of state makes the Baghdad government a dictatorship?

So Al-Zaidi is essentially invoking “free speech” rights – provided to them by America … so they can assault the American President.

Decent thoughts here:

Pretty certain the late Saddam Hussein, and/or his sons would have first raped and tortured Al-Zaidi’s family, and then sent them one-by-one through an industrial paper shredder. But that’s neither here nor there…

But wait – it gets richer (from the L.A. Slimes):

In the few seconds it took Iraqi journalist Muntather Zaidi to wing a pair of shoes at President Bush, the Middle East got its own version of Joe the Plumber.

Someone at the LAT failed their journalism SAT: