January 04, 2009

On that shoe-throwing incident with Bush

a few weeks ago in Baghdad. The MSM was all atwitter about how the incident should be seen as how an indication of how the Iraqi people see the invasion. Unmentioned anywhere in the accounts was the cultural context in which this took place. The Iraqis have an extreme sense of hospitality. A guest is considered to be under the physical protection of the host--as my Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad once reminded me. An attack on the guest is an insult to the host, and, carried to its logical extreme, an attack on the host. To throw a shoe at a guest of the Prime Minister who happens to be the President of the United States, is an embarassment to Al-Maliki, if not an attack on him. It was no wonder the shoe thrower was roughed up.

Posted by LMC at January 4, 2009 06:13 PM | TrackBack