Monday, December 15, 2008
The Meaning of the Shoes
From AOL News
BAGHDAD (Dec. 15) - Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets Monday to demand the release of a reporter who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush, as Arabs across many parts of the Middle East hailed the journalist as a hero and praised his insult as a proper send-off to the unpopular U.S. president. [...]
Journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who was kidnapped by militants last year, was being held by Iraqi security Monday and interrogated about whether anybody paid him to throw his shoes at Bush during a press conference the previous day in Baghdad, said an Iraqi official. [...]
Showing the sole of your shoe to someone in the Arab world is a sign of extreme disrespect, and throwing your shoes is even worse.
Newspapers across the Arab world on Monday printed front-page photos of Bush ducking the flying shoes, and satellite TV stations repeatedly aired the incident, which provided fodder for jokes and was hailed by the president's many critics in the region.
A note from Radarsite: We all understand now the significance of this particular insult in the Arab world -- right? But do we really? Somehow I tend to doubt it. The true significance of this attack on President Bush and symbolically on the United States, and its enthusiastic reception in both the Arab world and in our own liberal media has not really been addressed. One part of this story is of course the breathless eagerness with which our own biased leftist MSM quickly grasps onto any story that will support their long-held conviction that the Iraq war was a foolish criminal endeavor, perpetrated on the American people by a clueless ignorant cowboy -- "the unpopular U.S. president".
But I contend that this incident provides us with an even more important lesson. One which we should have learned by now but have not. It is simply this: Why should this act of hatred and resentment come as a surprise to us? Haven't we accepted the fact yet that 'blood is thicker than water'; or in this case, that the Arab world's adherence to Islam and to Sharia law supersedes any temporary arrangements of convenience made with infidel governments. Treaties made with Arab (or any Muslim) states are in reality no more than cynical measures of expediency. Realpolitik.
Here is the cold hard truth: Islam is, was, and always will be the sworn enemy of Western civilization in general, and of the United States of America in particular. Any thoughts that we can peacefully coexist without risking subsequent betrayal are foolhardy and delusional. Every time we think we have made inroads into the Muslim world we should be automatically circumspect and on guard. For when push comes to shove, all of those minor political or regional differences between Arab/Muslim states will be quickly set aside when confronted with the common enemy of the infidel West. Until the very roots of Islam are torn out of this culture we will never succeed in establishing any meaningful and lasting peace in this region.
The Arab world has lionized the shoe-tosser not just because he confronted and insulted an "unpopular American president", but because he heroically challenged the power and the hegemony of the Infidel West. To not understand the depth of this animosity is to not understand the profound meaning of this monumental global confrontation we are experiencing.
Does this mean that we should just give up on our efforts to reform and democratize the Middle East? Of course not. But we cannot be naive or overly optimistic. We must constantly bear in mind the immutability of the message of the Koran. During the Cold War we developed the concept of 'Trust but verify'. This attitude is even more relevant today when confronted with militant Islam.
Posted by Roger W. Gardner at 2:53 PM