Muntandar al-Zaidi is a hero for a lot of reasons. First, he didn't resort to violence in the true sense of the Middle East conflict to express himself. Instead, he tapped a deep-rooted Arab cultural expression of disdain to show his objection and protest of President Bush's failed policies in the Middle East and in Iraq by throwing his shoes at the President.
Immediately, according to some reports, Muntandar was grabbed and beaten by guards. One reportedly said in Arabic, don't kick him in the face, and he was led out covered in some blood. Well, so much for Democracy.
The fact is that Muntandar's action is a move from violence to Democracy, the kind of Democracy Bush needed a long time ago. Instead of resorting to violence, the cameraman for al-Baghdadiya TV protested in the one non-violent way that reflects the deep-seated frustration and pain Bush has brought to Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. Throwing his shoes.
But, Muntandar started a movement that is catching on. People all over the world are mailing a pair of their old shoes to President Bush and I have, too, in a form of protest.
And here is a picture of me throwing my shoes at President Bush -- shoes I purchased while at the Asian American Journalists Association two summers ago in Miami. View the photo by clicking here.
Non-violent protest is the way to go and instead of being beaten, Muntandar al-Zaidi should be praised.