The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former President George W. Bush expressed regret today, soon after his release from prison after serving nine months of a three year sentence.
“I’m sorry,” Muntader al-Zaidi told a gathering of reporters at the al-Baghdadia television studio, and added, “that America had such a satanic warmongering leader for eight years.”
A reporter for al-Baghdadia who was covering the Dec. 14, 2008 press conference held by Bush and Iraq prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, Zaidi threw his shoes at Bush and shouted, “this is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq,” as an act of protest.
“While I was in prison I did a lot of thinking and learning to take my mind off the daily beatings, and what I realized was that shoe-throwing is not something you do in a free society,” said Zaidi.
Zaidi went on to say, “I should have just yelled the stuff about widows and orphans. And even that was too wordy, I should have just yelled ‘you lie!’ like that patriotic American congressman,” he said.
“I learned there is no penalty if you do that in a free society, absolutely none at all, zero, nada. And as we all know Iraq is totally free thanks to American intervention,” Zaidi said.
Zaidi appeared to be in good condition after his imprisonment, although he was missing a front tooth. However, he said he would be getting dental work done thanks to the single payer health system — created by the new Iraq constitution drafted by the Bush Administration in 2005.