Inside the Middle East
January 29, 2009
Posted: 1932 GMT


Whoever thought a shoe would get its own special sculpture?

In Iraq, a giant-sized golden replica of the shoes an irate Iraqi hurled at former American President George W. Bush was unveiled at a Tikrit orphanage today.

Assisted by kids at the home, sculptor Laith al-Amiri built the $5,000 structure in 15 days, according to the orphanage director.

Made of fiberglass and coated with copper, the monument consists of the shoe sitting on a concrete base. The entire monument is 3.5 meters high. The shoe is 2.5 meters long and 1.5 meters wide.

Is that a tree growing out of the shoe?

(Thanks to CNN Baghdad producer Mohammed Tawfeeq for sending this in from Tikrit!)

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Solomon   January 29th, 2009 7:49 pm ET

an orphanage is the place for the monument.

these children were orphaned by Bush.

let them enjoy and remember this man with a pair of shoes.

Nick-Canada   January 29th, 2009 7:49 pm ET

Americans should make a statue the size of Liberty showing Hussien being hanged as a memorable moment for us.

CS   January 29th, 2009 7:53 pm ET

Bush will go down in history as the nations worst president ever.
He attacked a nation who never performed a single attack on the U.S.
Accused Iraq of having WMD's, when his 1st intel crue told him there was none. He fired them, and got another group in there who would tell him what he wanted to hear.
He lost focus (or purposefully turned his head) of Bin Laden, and the taliban to persue something that had nothing to do with 9/11. Those poor families were never done justice by going to Iraq instead of finding the families and friends who supported 9/11 hijackers. Maybe because they were Saudi, and The Bush's have such a close knit past with Saudis and the Bin Ladens.

The shoe that was thrown at Bush...$12.00

The torture devices for the hero who threw it...$10,000.00

The statue of the footwear of a hero.......priceless.

Nick-Canada   January 29th, 2009 7:54 pm ET

The United states should make a statue the size of Liberty of Saddam Hussien, depicting him being hung, that for me would be a great memorial sculpture to go and see.

CS   January 29th, 2009 8:36 pm ET

Nick. What has Sadam done to the U.S.? He was unquestionably, a terrible dictator to his own people. But help me explain you animosity, and why Americans should hate him.

CS   January 29th, 2009 8:39 pm ET

I think that G.W. should be placed on trial for crimes against humanity.
Him, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, and the whole lot of them. They are all guilty of manufacturing intelligence at a time when Americans were vulnerable, and subjected to the politics of fear. He never followed through with any conviction, with regard to finding the people responsible for 9/11.
Afghanistan is called the forgotten war for a reason.

CS   January 29th, 2009 8:42 pm ET

This is what I mean by people being brainwashed by the media, and TV. The TV comes on and tells you who to hate, and why, and you do it. It's called blind obediance.

Beny   January 29th, 2009 8:49 pm ET

Ah's better than the countless sculptures of Saddam that were here before...
May that remind the Iraqi people that they are now finally free to pelt shoes at anyone they want, and not be executed. And as a reminder for everyone that someone as stupid as Bush should never be allowed to wage a war, let alone lead a military superpower. Go home, Bush. Your stupidity has done enough damage for the US as it is.

Oh and CS? However stupid Bush might have been, I assure you that had Hussein stayed in power that orphanage would have been with thrice the population. The WMD was nothing more than an excuse to gain American support for the benevolent and good action of bringing down Saddam, or have you forgotten the latter's genocides?

After Bush invaded, though, there were times when everybody including me wondered "what the hell is that idiot doing?!!!". Because the war was indeed waged stupidly and with casualties both American and Iraqi that could have easily been avoided by someone smarter.

From what you said, it follows that you disagree with the fact of the Iraq war in itself and have opposed it from the very beginning, and not just the way it was waged (in a really stupid way, like I said).

Then you made a comparison with 9/11 (the war in Afghanistan is still going on, btw, and claiming more casualties than Israel in Gaza- but like in Gaza over 75% of the casualties are Taliban).
From what you said, I gather that you support the war in Afghanistan by saying it "does the poor families justice".
And that shows the commoner's thoughts- you would much rather have revenge over something done directly to you than save a nation from a tyrant that has, with all due respect, caused more damage than Bin-Laden. And if this is your attitude, why the hell are you poking your nose in Israel's business?

(don't bother answering: I know exactly what you will say and I am going to sleep now anyway).

"and they shall beat their explosive vests into shoes, and their F-16s into hats, and they shall pelt each other happily forever and ever"


Concerned   January 29th, 2009 8:52 pm ET


Saddam was a threat to Americans because he theaten George Bush the father.... The media brained washed us to a point if you ask a kid in an elementary school about Saddam he would say he was behind 9/11. And our military in Iraq is protecting our freedoms.

I think Nick-Canada is that kid in the elementary school. ;)

CS   January 29th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

First of all Beny, I wil tell you that I have a response to all you said.
1.Are you really naive enough to think that the sho thrower is not being tortured as we speak? There's for your supposed Iraqi freedom.

2. Of course there are more casualties in the Afghan war than the Israeli war, Afghanistan has been going on for years now.

3. I agree that Sadam should have been toppled, just two differences of opinion a. We should have never funded him with weapons and money, we knew he was a psyco, that's why he was commisioned to do what he did for our govt. And b. He could have been captured /killed sooner, and w/o the loss of life, and funds that were spent.

4. It's not that I want's that I know my govt always sticks it's nose in the business of others...I just think it's a little hypocritical to butt in, then turn a blind eye when other "interests " arise. We should either fully engage, or not at all. Bin Laden attacked our civilians for no good reason, so we should have neutralized him. The nations should rise up, and take their govt back like we did, instead of whining to us for help one minute, then condemning us the other.

This blog is about Iraq, not Palestine/Israel, and that's what I'm commenting on, because I don't have ADHD like you. You can't even stay on topic with the few posts we have here yet. Pathetic.

I figured you would be weak enough to come make a b-tch comment, then run like a little school girl.

Let me tell you something...I will comment on anything I please. If you don't like it, don't say a damn thing to me then.

Hunk   January 29th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

This what every occoupying force will get eventually, no roses no flowers but disgrace and shame , what did the American administration expected ? roses and flowers ....

Muntudeer – which means =awaiting = lived for this moment and thrown a right hand -he should have used his left hand- to the character of dumbness and foolishness, where a man like Al Jalabi, who lead Bush into believing in the WMD and lodge a war against Iraq .... killing more than what the 12 years sanctions could kill – contribution of the senior Bush- and displacing Iraqis as a result and giving Iran the upper hand to run Iraq right and left.....bravo America thank you. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED S*T .

Obama says this a mistake, then will he accept Bin laden to say the same about 911 ?

I think i will still keep on wearing my shoe as long as Obama still on the office LOL

Solomon   January 29th, 2009 10:09 pm ET

"Obama says this a mistake, then will he accept Bin laden to say the same about 911"

that is a very good point. I hope some American friends reply to your Question..

Filipe   January 29th, 2009 11:41 pm ET

Hunk January 29th, 2009 2200 GMT

Obama says this a mistake, then will he accept Bin laden to say the same about 911 ?


What did Obama say is a mistake??

slim   January 29th, 2009 11:44 pm ET

It's nice to see they can build something for a moment without killing each other! Maybe someday they can work on making their country a peaceful productive member of the world, without an idiot brutal, (I'm going to kill and cut off hands, and heads and gas our own people because I don't like them) type dictator.

txkboy   January 30th, 2009 12:43 am ET

Well, there's gratitude for you. Thank you dear sculptor Laith al-Amiri. Probably a sympathizer that plants IED's in the dark, killing our troops. Sometimes, it would have been simpler to go with Plan A and just carpet bomb the whole country back to the Stone Age. I know, not very humane. So, who's more frustrated? Our troops on the ground or the Iraqi's with no electricity and no jobs?

Nona   January 30th, 2009 1:00 am ET

Well, as an American I can't say that I really support anybody throwing a shoe at our president. On the other hand, as an American, I'd like to throw a shoe at Bush myself. The whole thing makes me sad - not just the shoe-throwing, but the whole 8 years. That man's presidency was the Dark Age of American government. I pray that it's over and that the enlightened age is now here. And even if it's not an enlightened age, just please dear Gd don't let it be another dark age.

And even if I don't believe we should have invaded Iraq, I have to admit that it felt great to see the brutal Saddam Hussein pulled out of a filthy hole in the ground like a stinking rat, and before that, to see his statues joyously toppled by his own people. I hope this shoe statue makes the people of Iraq have that same great feeling.

Let the Iraqis have their shoe statue at their orphanage. It doesn't hurt us, it makes them feel better, and heaven knows they have every right to feel better and to be mad as hell at us.

I.B. Wright   January 30th, 2009 1:28 am ET

txkboy- I don't recall the Iraqis asking you or anyone else to liberate them so what do you suppose they should they be grateful for? Did they attack your country or was it the other way around..hmmm? You think your troops have suffered much more than the ordinary Iraqis so whatever sacrifices they (Iraqis) have made are inconsequential, right? And you think the whole country should have been bombed back to the stone age?; if you truly believe that then I'd pick Saddam over you for a friend any day of the week.

GLeigh   January 30th, 2009 2:03 am ET

Hi all! Lovely statue! Personally I like art, and this one makes a statement. Let's hope the frustrated soul that threw it isn't in some dark prison. I think that I'll write the "Most Honorable President of the United States" – have to look that up but I think it the proper way to address him – and write a request for humane reasons. Can you Nona, as a media person, get that ball rolling? I'd love to see you on Oprah. People here would like to see that he's okay.

Bill   January 30th, 2009 2:08 am ET

Leave it to the Iraqis to spend $5000 on a shoe to honor someone who attacked a world leader, despite what you think of him. Imagine the good that could have been done for the orphans with $5000.

earle,florida   January 30th, 2009 2:12 am ET

The famous TV Host, Mr. Ed Sullivan,who scouted/discovered/ raw talent for the public (similar to American Idol) in the 50's&60's would always open up with the saying, we've got a great "Shoe" for you tonight! I guess,we can apply that to "Georgie Boy",...

GLeigh   January 30th, 2009 2:12 am ET

The U.S. always has good intentions, but our leaders change often. There's good and bad in that. Commitments change. Attitudes. Not the most reliable for others in the long term perhaps.

GLeigh   January 30th, 2009 2:16 am ET

Well, I can't stay. It's a quiet night here. Anyway, I'm working on a new project and need to be working. Blah.... I hope people aren't loosing interest on the pressing problems with Israel and Gaza. The economy has everyone reeling. Take care.

Filipe   January 30th, 2009 2:48 am ET

I.B. Wright January 30th, 2009 128 GMT

txkboy- I don’t recall the Iraqis asking you or anyone else to liberate them so what do you suppose they should they be grateful for?


Maybe I'm mistaken, but I seem to recall a substantial "push" from exhiled Iraqis to liberate the country from the dictaorial rule of Sadaam Hussein. Am I mistaken in this??? Or do you simply have a case of selective recall??

Filipe   January 30th, 2009 4:29 am ET

Nona January 30th, 2009 311 GMT

Hello my lovely friend from Portugal.

I think Linda is stuck in an ice storm and is having issues with power and connection. I haven’t heard from her. I know she was also not feeling well so I’m hoping it’s just the weather. I will pass on your message to her.

I hope everything is OK with Linda!

My prayers are with her!! Please pass my good thoughts to her!

Fawad Ali   January 30th, 2009 4:51 am ET

Celebrate this

Fawad Ali   January 30th, 2009 4:58 am ET


Ah……Another American 'benevolent and good' action would be 'if Americans cut the charity of chemical weapons for IDF, so they won't use them against civilians next time

Daniel Rosaupan   January 30th, 2009 5:01 am ET

Bush was not a bad president. It's only that the media and the arab world had demonized him. I do understand that every decision of a President had undergone a thorough study and intelligence reports were counterchecked and verified.

Filipe   January 30th, 2009 5:02 am ET

Fawad Ali January 30th, 2009 450 GMT

Country of Iraq, free from occupation but signs of hate are everywhere.

Bush awfully terrible President, co- sponsor of Iraqi occupation, but he is gone. But it won’t mater how many more will lose their lives at the hands of Iranians because they will always be there. Once Americans leave, under Obama administration, they will never redeploy forces ever, even if Iraq will fall into Khomeini’s hands.

Please explain-- I need to understand!

Fawad Ali   January 30th, 2009 5:07 am ET

Daniel Rosaupan,

You are not talking to aliens who just came from mars-we know what Bush has done

Fawad Ali   January 30th, 2009 5:14 am ET

Fundamentalists in Iraq, right now, are in a lot better shape than they were 30 years ago when they took over Iran……it is that simple........

then .... Americans didn't do anything and now Americans can't do anything because of economy and anti war president.....

Fawad Ali   January 30th, 2009 5:21 am ET


lot of people lie where they post from, they probably sitting inside IDF's online propaganda center

Filipe   January 30th, 2009 5:44 am ET

Nona January 30th, 2009 521 GMT

Filipe – I’m from USA.

The South, yall.

I'm sure that just throws these guys for a figgin' loop!
South yall!*** What's that??? Means nothing to a Muslim– right!!

Nona   January 30th, 2009 5:53 am ET

HA! I have no idea if it means anything or not to them, Filipe.

But I do think that anybody who seriously believes ANY participants on this blog are paid to post is deluded anyway. I'm pretty sure that IDF, Hamas, Fatah, al-Qaeda, the CIA, whatever ... all have better and more effective ways to use their resources and meet their goals than to pay somebody to sit on a CNN blog and post. Common sense would indicate that paid bloggers just aren't a priority for any of them.

Fawad Ali   January 30th, 2009 7:19 am ET

Youtube , ireport, all the blogs, even TV programs(“yesterday on YWT, CNN invited once again the most dirtiest, racist Israeli-terrorist- radio propaganda host”). Israeli propaganda machine is active just as their enemies are doing.

This is amazing after carrying out such a brutal action in Gaza; they still have a strong PR…….how? Internet is used the way it never had by anyone before………and terror organizations like A.Q. now exists only on the internet-on blogs,chat rooms etc.--don’t underestimate genocidal propaganda tactics

Fawad Ali   January 30th, 2009 7:21 am ET

IDF propagandist are on the Internet everywhere

The Turk   January 30th, 2009 8:20 am ET

no matter how far these propagandists c an go, our PM Erdogan gave necessary answer to their President Peres on the stage of Davos...

The Turk   January 30th, 2009 8:21 am ET

read it..

Daniel Rosaupan   January 30th, 2009 8:29 am ET


Pls dont be emotional. Bush has no personal hatred against any country for him to risk the lives of the American Soldiers. What happened to twin towers was the proximate cause of his decision. Muslims celebrated with joy when that attacked happened. It was a sign of approval. So justice must be served even if it means war.

Daniel Rosaupan   January 30th, 2009 8:31 am ET

til tommorrow. bye for now.

Fawad Ali   January 30th, 2009 8:38 am ET

Daniel Rosaupan,

Not only Arabs, talking about Americans........Bush is the most hated figure anywhere in the world.........

But now he is gone, it's useless to vilify him......

Beny   January 30th, 2009 8:56 am ET


"no matter how far these propagandists c an go, our PM Erdogan gave necessary answer to their President Peres on the stage of Davos…"

That's right. We come to you with a peaceful offer of renewing the very profitable for you diplomatic relations and you kick us down the stairs. S'allright. We don't really need you.

And I fail to see how has Arduan helped the Palestinians in this very unprofitable for Turkey action.


Unless you noticed, I have been commenting on this blog for long before the Gaza operation. But if you think repeating the mantra of me being an IDF "propagandist" (is there even such a word?) will stop the few voices that don't want Israel under the sea, be my guest.

Hunk   January 30th, 2009 9:41 am ET

Filipe January 29th, 2009 2341 GM

This an extract of Obama interview with Al Arabyia TV, look at line number 5.

"And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task."

Now you tell me , if Bin laden says the same about 911 that it was a mistake , will that be acceptable ?

The Turk   January 30th, 2009 9:43 am ET

to Beny..

all you defend is "profit"...

we are not after profit from this humanitarian disaster caused by Israels 60years aggression.. we dont need you either..

and besides, Turkish people are not "tribal" nor our government is a "tent state"..that you used to handle with..

If I were a Jew in Israel, I would really think who needs who at the region most for long term survival.. turks need jews or jews need turks most?

It was our peaceful hand which was refused by Israel..

Sam   January 30th, 2009 11:12 am ET

I think Iraqi's should've made a statue of Bush instead to honor him for bringing his own fake democracy on top of his tanks.... with the shoe flying towards him. LOL

Libra   January 30th, 2009 12:35 pm ET

What will grow out of that shoe is a yearly harvest of western hatred.

Fawad Ali   January 30th, 2009 2:31 pm ET

The Shoe will also symbolize the freedom of expression and speech.......and so please stop censoring the comments

GLeigh   January 30th, 2009 2:34 pm ET

The shoe is a symbol of an insult and I agree Fawad. A first.

GLeigh   January 30th, 2009 2:41 pm ET

It's art. The shoe just expresses frustration, as we all feel it now Fawad.

I.B. Wright   January 30th, 2009 5:41 pm ET

Filipe- So you're saying that based on the push of a few "exhiled" Iraqi's, you somehow translate that into support by the majority of Iraqi's to invade their country? Maybe its your weak attempt to justify a stupid remark and not my selective memory that's the issue here.

Filipe   January 30th, 2009 7:59 pm ET

I.B. Wright January 30th, 2009 1741 GMT

Filipe- So you’re saying that based on the push of a few “exhiled” Iraqi’s, you somehow translate that into support by the majority of Iraqi’s to invade their country? Maybe its your weak attempt to justify a stupid remark and not my selective memory that’s the issue here.

No---– YOU translated that into "support by the majority of Iraqi’s to invade their country" !!

Filipe   January 30th, 2009 8:15 pm ET

Hunk January 30th, 2009 941 GMT

Filipe January 29th, 2009 2341 GM

We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task.”

Now you tell me , if Bin laden says the same about 911 that it was a mistake , will that be acceptable ?


You're taking great liberty in translating Obamas' statement into an appology for some specific act! He simply said "sometimes we make mistakes" !! The US has never perpetrated an act of terror on innocent Muslims. Bin Laden can in no way ever claim that the acts of terror throughout the world attributed to Al Queda are mistakes! They are preplanned acts of terrorism, simple as that. There's no excuse-ever!

I really don't see how you can even relate what you said to Obama's statements! It's simply absurd!

Hunk   January 30th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

Filipe January 30th, 2009 2015 GMT


You’re taking great liberty in translating Obamas’ statement into an appology for some specific act! He simply said “sometimes we make mistakes” !! The US has never perpetrated an act of terror on innocent Muslims. Bin Laden can in no way ever claim that the acts of terror throughout the world attributed to Al Queda are mistakes! They are preplanned acts of terrorism, simple as that. There’s no excuse—ever!

I really don’t see how you can even relate what you said to Obama’s statements! It’s simply absurd!

Which mistakes Obama is talking about ? he is apologizing over some person killed on he jungle! and that acts and that apology is coming when addressing the Muslim world in that paragraph !!! what that mistake... that could be other than invading two Muslim nations with absolutely nothing to do with 911 ! otherwise he is not apologizing for that, but for other little thingin that don't worth mentioning ...

The WMD wasn't the biggest lie ever recorded in the history of mankind ? that little thingin was the very base to for the sanctions regime that killed thousands – for 12 years- and that lie was again the base for launching the war that killed thousands again FYI.

This among other fatal mistakes of this magnitude, was the reason the 911 attacks happened.... FYI.

thats not merely absurd but its so naive on your part, time will tell you that Obama is believing that the war on Iraq was a mistake that pulling America leg to believe on the WMD is one more fatal mistake and that Afghanistan is a mistake too.

You said : "The US has never perpetrated an act of terror on innocent Muslims"

If what i have mentioned above is not an act of terror then what is terror? An Arab poets says ... killing a man in a jungle is a crime unforgivable but murdering a whole safe people -nation – is a crime under consideration , means people can still debate about it .

I.B. Wright   January 30th, 2009 10:21 pm ET

Filipe-Now you got me really confused. A couple of exhiled (i.e. living in another country) Iraqis asked to be liberated so, based on that, you interpret that as Iraqi support for the invasion- in spite of the fact that you pretty much conceded the majority of Iraqis didn't ask to be liberated. I don' think my selective recall as you put it, has anything to do with this and your point is...what is your point? Your misguided defense of such ignorant remarks made by your pal txkboy is your prerogative, but has nothing to do with me or my selective recall. Maybe you can explain why the U.S. didn't attack the country where these exiled people wanted to be liberated from, if it was such a big concern?

Nona   January 31st, 2009 1:33 am ET

I'm sure if anybody asked Obama for an apology for the Iraq invasion in a personal setting, he'd give them one. He's said many times the US should never have invaded, and he voted against funding that war and sending soldiers to Iraq as a U.S. senator. He's been 100% against the Iraq war from the start, as have many American citizens. It's one of the reasons he was elected.

Whether he'll apologize publicly, I don't know. It wouldn't surprise me if he did.

Even if he did, it wouldn't matter to a lot of people who just want to hate the USA anyway and who will always make excuses to find fault and lame reasons why Obama's efforts aren't good enough, like, maybe he'll publicly apologize on the wrong Arab network.

::::::::eye roll:::::::::::::

I.B. Wright   January 31st, 2009 2:29 am ET

Nona- Mr. Obama has nothing to apologize for in my opinion. And I disagree that people just want to hate the USA for no good reason. I believe they would rather like the USA and it's their foreign policy that people hate. With any luck, President Obama will change all that or at least make it better.

SanAntoTx   January 31st, 2009 6:52 pm ET

If the shoe fits. I hope peace comes soon and the killing stops. In most cases i don't think it is worth the lives wiped away from this earth. I'm not saying Bush was responsible for death delt in the middle east, but he didn't help. I know he put a stop to sadam but by then the wars in the middle east wer taking as meny lives as was being saved.
In the end I'm left with with two questions.
What was the real motivation to enter a war that would last for almost (if not more than) a decade.? And what was gained besides the stedy oil prices?

If humans would put the effert they put in destroying each other into helping those who can't help themselves (and not by invadeing "occuping" their country) i wonder what the shoe would look like then? I guess we'll never know.
At least it was just a shoe he threw and not a grenade. If the shoe fits....

Erich   February 1st, 2009 9:22 pm ET

Gaza and Hamas:

I do not understand. Hamas claims a victory, stating that Israel has not been able to prevent them from firing rockets into Israel. After so many dead, what kind of victory is that?! An ideological one? Great. Real smart.

OK, let's see. Hamas fires rockets into Israel, hitting only rarely, and expects that this is a victory. Israel retaliates and kills some Palestinians. The last time around they killed a lot of Palestinians. So, if we do the math, and Hamas keeps attacking Israel, in about ten years or so Hamas will have achieved the goal of getting just about every Palestinian in the Gaza Strip killed. Unfortunately, the Palestinians fail to see that they are supporting a government that is in effect, bringing about their own deaths. Sounds insane to me. I've heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Does Hamas really think Iran or Syria care at all about the plight of the Palestinians?! If so, why don't those governments give them money and build up their infrastructure? Why don't they start trading with them directly, instead of sending them weapons to fight against Israel? THAT would be support. THAT would be showing that they care for the WELL-BEING of the Palestinian people. No. Instead, they send them weapons, so they can continue to shoot at Israel and then get annialated. Makes perfect sense.

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