Before going to work in Bahrain in 2004, I did a little bit of reading up on things to be aware of in the culture I was about to enter and one of the things I learned was that you don’t show the soles of your feet to an Arab. Not too difficult, I thought and we hardly sit around showing the soles of our feet to people anyway, do we? Therefore, aware of this, I should, perhaps, have been aware of the significance of the journalist throwing his shoes at George W Bush in Baghdad yesterday.(1) This was a big, big insult, unfortunately, the significance and the symbolism of the act was lost on George, who started babbling on something to the effect that in a democracy people can throw their shoes at who they want and who today finds himself visiting the man with the nice shawls in Kabul.
George bears responsibility for the massacre of millions and then he has the audacity to visit those parts of the world where his forces have inflicted great pain, places he doesn’t even begin to understand and there he was spouting out his offensive patronising platitudes and the idiot is actually surprised when a pair of shoes are thrown at him. George, it is time for an indictment for crimes against humanity to be thrown at you. No shoes or indictment in Kabul today though and I expect that the man with the nice shawls will be congratulating him on his surviving a terrorist attack.