Len Olea’s Blog

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Not an ordinary journalist

Posted by lenolea on December 19, 2008

Muntadhar al-Zeidi is not an ordinary journalist.

When al-Zeidi yelled at US President George W. Bush, saying, “This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is for the widows, orphans and those you have killed in Iraq,” he went beyond being an ordinary journalist.

When he threw his shoes at Bush, one after the other, al-Zeidi was not a mere chronicler or spectator, as journalism schools have always taught students to become.

Al-Zeidi is a journalist who has seen the truth that has been suppressed for years by the US military-industrial-media complex. He went beyond professing the truth–that Bush, the war criminal, is
responsible for the killing of millions of innocent civilians in Iraq. He acted based on that truth and has given voice to the voiceless, maimed and killed Iraqis.

Not all journalists have the courage to do the right things when confronted with similar situations. Amid bastardization of truth by the powerful and their lackeys, many opt to remain ‘professional’ and shrug their shoulders off. Worse, they would just parrot what they have been told.

It is unfortunate that the head of the Iraqi Union of Journalists described al-Zeidi’s act as ‘strange and unprofessional.’ Anyone who has a sense of justice would be enraged at the commission of war crimes.

Al-Zeidi is a journalist as he is an Iraqi and an Arab. He is among the faceless and nameless millions of ordinary people around the world who have loathed the US’ wars of aggression and plunder.

The Iraqi regime may have succeeded in physically battering and detaining him. But al-Zeidi knows that he has set himself free by his symbolic expression of outrage towards today’s chief representative of US hegemony.

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