OSC: Sadrists Applaud al-Zaidi’s Shoe-Throwing

The USG Open Source Center translates reports on Dubai al-Sharqiyah Television in Arabic on 15 December regarding the throwing of shoes at George W. Bush during a news conference on Sunday:

‘Iraqi Officials Express Mixed Reactions to Shoe-Throwing Incident
Iraq — OSC Summary
Monday, December 15, 2008 . . .

— “The Iraqi Journalists Association (IJA) expressed surprise at what journalist Muntazar al-Zaydi did during the joint news conference of US President George Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. An IJA statement issued following an extraordinary meeting today said that the journalist’s act is unprofessional and put the IJA in an embarrassing situation, asserting, at the same time, that any opposition should be peaceful and civilized. The statement pointed out that the real opposition should be expressed by the pen and true word since they are the most effective. It added that the language of dialogue and resorting to true democratic methods are the best means to shape the future of Iraq. The IJA called on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to release Al-Baghdadiyah’s correspondent for humanitarian reasons.”

— “Speaking to Al-Sharqiyah over phone, Ahmad al-Mas’udi, spokesman for the Sadrist Bloc, said that what journalist Muntazar al-Zaydi did against US President George Bush reflects the Iraqi street’s rejection of the US policy, which led the political process to be built on narrow sectarian and partisan basis.”

Al-Mas’udi says: “This act reflected the Iraqi people’s opinion and resentment of the US policies against the Iraqi people, which led to the creation of imperious partisan groups that want to impose a new dictatorship on the sons of the Iraqi people. It was a cry in the face of a person accused of committing war crimes, and it was also a cry in the face of an authority — founded by this person — that wants to create a new dictatorship in new Iraq.” . . .

— “The parliamentary bloc of the Islamic Al-Fadilah Party called on the Iraqi Government to look with an eye of compassion on Muntazar al-Zaydi, Al-Baghdadiyah Channel correspondent; to overlook what he did during the joint news conference of US President George Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and to release him as soon as possible. In a statement, the bloc said that new Iraq gave all Iraqis, through its constitution, the right to express their opinion in accordance with the law and not to assault others, noting that the Iraqi people’s bitterness and pain should be taken into consideration.”

— “Mahmud Uthman, member of the Kurdistan Alliance, stressed the need for security or intelligence agencies not to interfere in the incident that took place during the joint news conference of US President George Bush a nd Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, calling for leaving the incident to the Iraqi judiciary to deal with.” . . .’

[Addendum: The Egyptian press reports that Egypt’s Syndicate of Journalists expressed support for al-Zaidi and called on the Iraqi government to release him and guarantee him a fair trial.]

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