Bush (More on footwear)
No doubt one of the lasting images of the Bush years will be one of the last: the shoe assault. Within just a few hours of the incident it had become an internet sensation. I'm sure it's generated thousands of jokes already. Yesterday a guy on the radio here was joking that it was one of Bush's better moments, that he showed great agility in dodging the shoe missiles, and poise in his response. Think again. First responses are revealing, and immediately following the incident Bush compared the journalists' assault to having someone scream an insult at you or give you the finger. (He actually said it was like having someone wave at you but "not with all five fingers extended.") Throwing shoes at someone is a physical assault. There is a qualitative difference of the highest order between verbal abuse and a physical assault, and understanding that difference determines a great deal regarding one's ability to make ethically sound decisions when it comes to the use of violence. The journalist in Iraq clearly meant to harm Bush and the video shows that had he not ducked, he may well have been hit in the head. Bush clearly implied that in a free society, such as Iraq (!!!), assaulting someone with flying objects is ok, you just deal with it. Bush family values. Bush Jr. doesn't distinguish between verbal and physical abuse. And how the world has suffered that basic mental laziness. In short, Bush left us the impression that, hey, if he were offended he might just throw shoes too. Gosh darn it, he might just start invading sovereign countries. Some legacy. And then I see Cheney on the news last night, still defending torturing prisoners in Guantanamo. He's a real sicko. I really do hope he ends up in jail.