Sadly, this protest against the imperialist destruction of his country and deaths of over a million due to the American invasion will not transcend the symbolic. But meanwhile, news is filtering out, and now confirmed by the BBC, that Mr. al-Zaidi is being tortured while held in U.S. custody at Camp Cropper. He is reportedly being charged with assault against the Iraqi Prime Minister.
From the BBC report:
Muntadar al-Zaidi has allegedly suffered a broken arm, broken ribs and internal bleeding, his older brother, Dargham, told the BBC.The disgust with which millions in the world hold the aggressor Bush, who faked evidence for a war in Iraq, and then invaded the country, with the connivance of both political parties in the United States, and then proceeded to occupy the country by force, and torture thousands of its citizens, this disgust found its symbol in Muntadar's impulsive demonstration.
Mr Zaidi threw his shoes at Mr Bush at a news conference, calling him "a dog".
A spokesperson for the Iraqi military says the journalist is in good health and said the allegations were untrue....
Our correspondent says that the previously little-known journalist from the private Cairo-based al-Baghdadia TV has become a hero to many, not just in Iraq but across the Arab world, for what many saw as a fitting send-off for a deeply unpopular US president.
As he flung the shoes, Mr Zaidi shouted: "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog"....
Mr Zaidi has previously been abducted by insurgents and held twice for questioning by US forces in Iraq.
In November 2007 he was kidnapped by a gang on his way to work in central Baghdad and released three days later without a ransom.
He said at the time that the kidnappers had beaten him until he lost consciousness, and used his necktie to blindfold him.
Mr Zaidi never learned the identity of his kidnappers, who questioned him about his work before letting him go.
Whatever "crime" Muntadar has committed pales next to the crimes of Bush and the U.S. military in Iraq. Muntadar should be freed immediately, and if he was mistreated in custody, his abusers should be charged. The fact this will never happen only points out to the thousands of Arabs protesting in the streets the lie behind the pretense of "progress" in the Middle East. By "progress", the U.S. government means progress in mollifying its own population that things will get better, that the U.S. will withdraw... some day. (Even as the government sets certain dates, the generals "on the ground" are already denying any such withdrawal.)
Whoever is holding Muntadar al-Zaidi, in the name of justice, release him!