Iraqi Who Chucked Shoes At George Bush Says He Regrets Nothing 15 Years Later

(Screenshot/YouTube Associated Press)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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The Iraqi journalist who rose to stardom after throwing his shoes at then-President George W. Bush says he has no regrets nearly 15 years after the incident.

Muntazer al-Zaidi fired both of his shoes at Bush during a press conference in Baghdad alongside Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Dec. 14, 2008. On Tuesday, al-Zaidi told Reuters he wouldn’t change a thing about the incident, which landed him in jail, where he was allegedly tortured.

“The same people who entered 20 years ago with the occupier are still ruling despite failures and corruption. The United States knows very well that it brought in pseudo politicians,” he said, per the outlet. “This scene stands as proof that one day a simple person was capable of saying no to that arrogant person with all his power, tyranny, arms, media, money and authority, and to say that you (Bush) were wrong.”

Bush nimbly dodged both shoes, and bystanders and security quickly subdued al-Zaidi. The journalist shouted, “This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog!” as they restrained him.

“It’s like going to a political rally and have people yell at you. It’s a way for people to draw attention,” Bush said of the incident at the time.

Al-Zaidi was sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting a visiting head of state, but released after six months for good behavior. He alleges that government officials tortured him during his time behind bars.

The show-thrower went on to run for an Iraqi parliament seat in 2018 but lost his electoral bid. (RELATED: Defense Secretary Doubles Down On Anti-ISIS Mission During Unannounced Visit To Iraq)

Mar. 19, 2023 will mark 20 years since the invasion of Iraq.