Iraq: Thrown ‘on behalf of’ the region’s poor and oppressed

Widespread solidarity with Iraqi journalist who threw shoes at Bush

The Arab world is witnessing actions of solidarity with Mountazar Al Zaidi, with organized protests across a number of countries. With a shoe, the journalist Al Zaidi made a wish come true for people in the region and the world who are opposed US policy in the region, which violates human rights and has led to the destruction of Iraq to the point of making some Iraqis long to go back to the days of the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.

What this journalist has done is not surprising, given the exposure to the world of the lies of George W. Bush about the invasion and occupation and the so-called ‘freedom and democracy’ enjoyed by the Iraqi people. The reaction of the Iraqi government now to Zaidi – imprisonment and alleged torture – is more evidence that what is happening now in Iraq is far from ‘freedom and democracy’. There are news reports that Zaidi has had bone fractures and is suffering from very serious infected wounds. His family was even asked to have Zaidi return home a week later so as not to see him in this horrific condition and so that anger does not erupt within the courtroom when he is brought before it.

It is reported that Zaidi is a ‘communist revolutionary activist’, campaigned against the regime of Saddam Hussein.

The way in which Zaidi bid George W. Bush goodbye during his visit to Iraq was the least this vicious leader and his rotten administration deserved, having for decades led the world into war and impoverishment and having backed Arab kings and corrupt regimes in order to keep control of oil and other wealth. Considering the Bush administration’s role in backing the Israeli regime it is not surprising that people in the Gaza Strip, despite the murderous siege, are protesting in solidarity with Zaidi.

The support and solidarity we have seen in the last few days could easily intensify with activity spreading. Socialists and the left in the region should step up their actions and not only engage in solidarity protests, but also help to build a movement against war and for the unity of the masses against this deadly capitalist system.

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December 2008