Wednesday, December 17, 2008

al Zaidi's Day in Court

In what has been called the shoe that has been heard around the world, or my favorite, sock and awe, the Iraqi journalist that gave of himself as a parting gift to President George Bush is having his day in court today. To recap, from the NY Times: The incident on Sunday occurred during a news conference with Mr. Bush and Mr. Maliki in Baghdad’s Green Zone; Mr. Zaidi rose from his seat and threw a shoe at the president’s head. He shouted, “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!”

Mr. Bush ducked to avoid the shoe. Moments later, Mr. Zaidi threw his other shoe, shouting, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!” The shoe struck the wall behind Mr. Bush.

Who knew that the Iraqis would take rule of law seriously? Or that they would have a law against insulting the head of a foreign nation while he is visiting that can result in 7 years in prison? Sounds like Bush and Cheney wrote that one for themselves, thinking, perhaps we may not be greeted with flowers after all...

Muntader al Zaidi may be charged with the lesser crime of merely insulting the head of a foreign state, which carries the penalty of only 2 years in prison and/or the fine of 200 dinars, the equivalent of 17 cents.

The defense's argument is that al Zaidi engaged in free expression, choosing a popular local way of expressing himself to the occupier, and therefore his case should be thrown out of court and he go free. 

While he was in jail his brother raised concerns that he was badly beaten, had ribs broken, maybe and arm or two, but that seems to have been rhetoric designed to stir up support. It would have been different if he had been detained by US security. He could then have been shipped off to Guantanamo and treated in a first class manner instead of the heaping abuse he got in an Iraqi jail.

To show everyone how it's done correctly, the Illinois legislature met for a couple of hours before deciding to wait for a Federal lawyer to show up and advise the proceedings on whether they can impeach Governor Rod Blagojevich or not. The Feds are concerned that the legislature may screw up any future criminal proceedings. He is being charged with conspiring to do criminal acts, and the problem is that may be more in the realm of hearsay than actually engaging in criminal activity. So far, there's no law against cursing and trash talking, or we'd not have any professional sports in our country.

General Electric announced they have a 2.7 billion dollar contract with the Iraqi government to supply them with 56 huge electricity generating turbines. There are parts of Iraq that don't have any electricity, and many places where electricity is generated only for a few hours a day. The problem haws been that there hasn't been enough fuel for the turbines they already have, and there aren't enough trained Iraqis to do proper maintenance.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Thanks for commenting. I always try to respond...