Lions and Shoes...

Yes I know, this is a paradoxical title. And this is also a paradoxical post...

I have received tons of emails, links, names of support groups, games, poetry, articles, art work -- all within less than 48 hours, and all involving shoes and what to do with shoes following in the footsteps of M.Al-Zaidi.

Thank you all for sending me all of the above, but please STOP.

I did promise to link though to one shoe ceremony. You can read all about it here - bidding your farewells to Bush with yet another pair of shoes. But do keep some for the Booma, because the Iraqi tragic film production is not over yet...

It is not that I want to dampen your excitement when it comes to hurling shoes, after all I did give you basic lessons in both the applied function of a shoe and the insult that goes with it...

It is not that I am denigrating the heroic act of an Iraqi in the face of not only Bush but the whole of America, because whether you like it or not, agree with it or not, and again I repeat, I don't care if you voted or did not vote for him - Bush is the official representative of America. So a shoe in his face means a shoe in yours.

And it is not that I think that Al-Zaidi is not a courageous, brave man. And it is not that I do not want him to be released NOW and am mobilizing and praying for his safety...

It is none of the above...

But am getting tired of this shoe business...and I shall tell you why.

Here is one young man, an eager, angry, ambitious young man who defied all protocols and hurled a shoe in the face of the President of the USA. He paid for his act and will pay some more.

And suddenly everyone is in love with shoes and realized what a horrible government is ruling the USA. And suddenly everyone wants to become a shoe thrower. And suddenly everyone woke up and mobilized in the speed of ligthning for the release of one courageous Iraqi man. Again I think this is remarkable. It is remarkable that people have this capacity to act so fast, to produce links, games, petitions, articles and the rest in less than 48 hours.

I am left to deduce and it is confirmed to me, today more than ever, that when there is a will there is a definitely a way.


But let me ask you something here.

On the 30th of December 2006, a Man with over 30 years of serving Iraq, a Leader who transformed Iraq in such a short span of time into a modern state, where education, health, arts...flourished, a President of a sovereign country, a country that was invaded and occupied by none other than that same Bush and those same people - was hanged.

A man was hanged by the Zionists - Americans and Iranians on the 30th of December 2006, following a senseless non-stop campaign of bombing, brutal sanctions and murder which started not in 2003 as some of you may like to think but in 1991 and continued for over 15 years...and culminated in his death and the subsequent death of a whole nation...

My question is this - Where were your shoes then ?
Where was your zeal, your support, your mobilization, your eagerness, your backing, your articles, your political inventions, your poetry, your petitions....where were you ?

Saddam Hussein did more for Iraq than anyone else. And he definitely was more defiant in the face of America, Bush and his dogs, not during a one single 20 mn press conference but over a period of 35 years...

And he was not only captured, tortured, humiliated, interrogated and imprisoned, but he had his whole family decimated too. And he ended up being murdered by you and your silence. So where were you then ?

Surely you could have exhibited that same passion as you do today. But, no you did not...You waited for over 5 years before finally exclaiming your strong disapproval for this occupation and for your government...and it finally took a pair of shoes.

But the televised hanging of a legitimate President did not move you, nor did the killing of his sons and grandson, and having them all exhibited like some meat for your cannibalistic palates. Nor did the hanging of his aides, nor the imprisonment, till this very day of members of this Iraqi nation, nor the killing of 1.3 million Iraqis, nor the 3 million widows, nor the 5 million orphans, nor the 5 million maimed and injured, nor the 5 million exiled, nor the thousands rotting in jails, nor the destruction, nor the havoc, nor the D.U, or the cluster bombs or the napalm, nor the misery, nor the grief...No, none of that moved you then...

But you were moved by the Iraqi dog that was flown to Minnesota by one of your brave boys and you were moved by the picture of your brave boys throwing candies to barefooted kids running after humvees...and you were finally moved by a pair of shoes in your face.

Maybe this is what it took and this is what it will take from now on...

You understand nothing but the straight, no nonsense language of shoes. And you deserve nothing but shoes and all what a shoe entails...

This, from today onwards, is the only language you will be spoken in and with.

Painting: Iraqi female artist, Sabah Majeed.


Dearest Layla, sometimes you're a bit harsh with the rest of the world. Don't forget that half the world mobilized against that cruel and unfair war but, of course, the powers that be, didn't listen to us, the people. Also, don't forget that Saddam Hussein was put there by the powers that be in the first place although later he wasn't the right man for their interests. You're right. So he and his family were very unfairly and cruelly treated. You're right. Also, maybe people didn't react then (as they are doing now) because we didn't have your blog to open our eyes on what was REALLY going on in your country. Much love and hugs, M.
By the way, it was quite difficult to make a comment. I waited quite a long time, maybe "someone" is boycotting you?? Hugs, M.
Anonymous said…
Kosta said…
Thankyou Layla for your lessons in life.

Perhaps apt, that we of the AngloCentric Western Nations can be better taught of shame by the kundara.

A mass movement of Middle Easterners randomly posting old shoes to us; That might get through our fatty thick heads a little better.
Kali Manitou said…
Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) said once that people are easily mobilized but it's hard to organize them, even harder to keep them organized. It's because humans are emotional, irrational, selfish and greedy. ALL HUMANS!
So the shoe story is entertaining to them and they will jerk it until it becomes passe, then nobody will care about Muntather Al-Zaidi. The martrydom of Saddam was a tad too dark for the pussyfeet human sensitivities, so they didn't dwell on it as much. Except unlucky souls whose daily realities would be considered "morbid" for the priviledged few. And the silent majority, the soulless masses inhabiting this earth will move on from "labor concerns" to "womens liberation" to "oh, poor dolphins" to "save the polar bear" to "green energy" to "globalism" to some moviestar to some singer/artist/neigbors daughters to "morality" to "religious/ethical concerns" to some other bullshit until the bullshit splashes on their face.
Then they will be very much indignant, conscious and righteous for a little while. Some will drag it out, take those attributes as a hobby, even building identities around them: "activist", "revolutionary", "humanist","god-loving","community organizer", "public servant","patriot" etc. But at the end all humans care about is survival only and that's the reason we don't deserve it.
So Fuck us!
No need for sacrifice, martyrdom or even concern beyond the empathy that comes about naturally, and disappears likewise. The only choice is in the honesty when we realize what kind of lowly creatures we are. Before that, keep on dreaming about peace that never was, about civilization that never existed. And play your part in the human drama as if there's freedom for you. If that part entails sacrifice, martyrdom, hard work, oh well! Still the freedom lies in the honesty after the realization that there's nothing to be given credit to. No price, no glory survives death.
So that makes it a "Fuck us All!" with a loving smile.
Anonymous said…
Brought down to earth - thanks, Layla. Makes painful reading.

Yes, if only ... But people were gullible, ignorant and weak and believed everything that they were told by the lying press about President Saddam Hussein, apart from not really caring. And everyone's cheering today because the recipient of the shoe has messed up their lives as well - everything's crumbling in the US as we speak. They wouldn't have if life continued to be very comfortable where they are.

Again, it's easy to cheer from the wings, isn't it? While we're all cheering and celebrating shoes, I wonder what suffering the hero, Muntather, is going through, especially since what he did represented all his people and was legitimate under the circumstances (illegal(continued) occupation). May he be set free soon.

In solidarity.

P.S. Just seen this:

U.S. Embassy in Cairo wants the Al-Baghdadia TV Office closed
Roads to Iraq
Martine said…
Yes Layla, one time more you're right...
But in Spain million of people demonstrated and mobilized against this occupation... we were all, me too,I remembered it with sadness and anger.
Friends of mine in Tunisia couldn't made the same their President, Bush's friend,forbidden it... it's sad very sad and disgraceful.

I support all your words Layla..
Kisses to you, my FRIEND.
Anonymous said…
Dear Sister,

I think you missed the reason...

The evildoers undertook a clever and longstanding smear campaign against Saddam Hussein just after the end of the Iran-Iraq war. This prepared the ground for the 1991 bombing campaign and sanctions and paved the way for the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation.

The majority of people will believe most of what is said by the TV newscasters and croocked politicians (America was "discovered", there was never anyone living there...Israel was a land without people for a people without a land...).
Our hero was (and is mourned) by more people than you know...

The reason Muntadar is being hailed as a hero is because he caught the media by surprise...they did not have time to spin their lies to make him into something other than what he is.

Saddam is mourned and loved by the people who understand as the trueist and bravist hero of Iraq, and it was the will of the Lord that despite all the billions of $$ the evildoers spent to smear his name, he went out like the true leader and champion that we all know him to be.

Rest in peace Saddam...May you be in the gardens of Eden.
northshorewoman said…
thank you for your post.

that is interesting: no comments. Has this ever happened to you before? Your posts seem to provoke a lot of commentary, so the silence here is a telling sign.

I am not an American and can't speak on behalf of any American, but I am a Canadian who is culpable as a privileged Westerner. I am not able to explain the conundrum of why the shoe throwing action provoked action, but witnessing the illegal death of the democratically elected Hussein did not result in a similar outpouring.

One thing I thought of is capitalism and its seduction. This neoliberal consumer capitalism that we in the West live inside is a corruptor of all values and seduces too many people to non-action, navel-gazing and superficial gestures that do not really cause discomfort in their own lives. Maybe a shoe is what breaks through to people because not only is it a material object that people love in the west (collecting shoes is a very big pastime and time and money waster) but also because it is a metaphor for many things.

The shoe, I think, maybe is the tool that allows people, in a bizarre way, to actually connect with the humanity of Iraqis.

And for many in the West who are not familiar with the Middle East cultures, learning about the shoe throwing meaning is a way of beginning to understand the culture in a more meaningful way that is beyond the stupid false representations and sound bites that fill Western media.

this is just my two bits, and by no means an attempt to explain away people's apathy when real injustice is done. But I do believe consumer capitalism plays a very big role in sedating minds.
Anonymous said…
You are a sick, sick, sick woman. Lionizing a sadistic psychopath like Saddam Hussein. Perhaps if it was you or your family who had been the victim of the poison gas, or the rapes, or the torture chambers, you'd feel differently. But then, I suppose torture is only wrong is the torturer is American.
Anonymous said…
we have a saying in urdu...."lathoon ke bhooth baathon se nahin sunte" which translates to "those who need to be kicked cannot be coaxed with words". Maybe that would be an apt title to your post
Anonymous said…
Too little too late in my opinion. Well atleast they're are starting find their balls and re-attaching them :)
Layla, As an Israeli, I cannot outright praise Saddam, but I do understand why Iraqis would. In fact, I can honestly say that if I were an Iraqi, I would be proud to have had him as a leader.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that what was done to him was a crime. He was not executed through any due process. His killers were a Shiite death squad who dared not show their faces.

Additionally, Saddam accepted his fate like a man. If Bush were to face the same fate, he would likely cry and whimper like a little girl.

While we may disagree on some points, I want to tell you that your blog is wonderful and I wholeheartedly support the brave Iraqis who are resisting against the occupiers. You are doing a great job, Layla. Keep up the good work. Remember, there are many others in Israel who recognize that the genocide in Iraq in a grave crime.
Anonymous said…
Lack of comments quite likely is due to you beeing so angry and disapointed at people allover the world cause not helping better..

What should one say Layla? Dont make so many collateral damage of us?
Even if there are some hypocrites..
I for one want to belive the people whom reacted in support for the outraged journalist really are your and Iraq' friends...

Or at least that they truly disagree with the war by US/Bush and their partner nations against Iraq.

You know there is a movement within several of the western countries to accuse both the US and their own puppet governments..
against their war in Iraq Afghanistan Somalia etc.

And it is a very difficult struggle ..

People dont know wether to belive or not belive( which make them insecure and frightened) all the Bush/US propaganda as it is
presented in most of our mainstream media - especially since most of their own national politicians go along with it - is the only truth.

The deliberately composed picture of lies (Dictator SAddam with WMD's, connections with al-qaeda, all muslims are crazy bastards .. and so forth and so on..)
the Clinton BUsh administrations used to excuse themselves for propagating and starting the wars (following the plan to develop their power over the world)
are we doing our best to debunk .

We know how they and their spindoctors tic.

Take care now

Anonymous said…
Hi Layla! I haven't been here in a while, so I'm glad you're still up. On any number of levels of history and understanding, art and music are the only things that last but for some reason they're always the first things to go. You always show me the paradoxes of life, but, through it all, when I want to hear great music or see paintings, I always come to you. Thanks!
SELMITA, last paragraph should read: Friends of mine in Tunisia couldn't do it because their president, Bush's friend, forbade it. Besotes, M.
(Sorry Layla to butt in this way but Selma asked me to correct whatever she wrote...) Hugs, M.
Anonymous said…
Selmita did you use google translation (Spanish to English) for your comment? It never comes out exactly as one wants because it mostly translates word for word.

Anonymous said…
Dear Layla,

Kindly reprovide the ink to the article thatmentioned Montather's disdain for the Iranioan occupation as the link you had provided before leads to another article and it seems that the internal search engine of Uraknet is not functioning properly.
Layla Anwar said…
Hello All,

Thank you for your comments will get back later on...

Anonymous - this is the link

Have a good one.
Kali Manitou said…
Oh, Uspace is here. This blog was missing some cheap sales pitch.
Hey dickweed, your liberty and rights are already in the ditch
He had "original" ideas and links to some bullshit propaganda
Little does he know, soon he will be some chinaman's panda
He talks about freedom and liberty and preaches readily
But with reality beyond linear, his understanding comes only tardily
He's another yankee with freedom to speak as he pleases
Too bad they are all infected with intellectual measles
Anonymous said…
Dear Layla:

Saddam died bravely and without apology.
That he was mocked by his executioners did not surprise me. These are the scum and stooges that America puts in power around the world.

The fact that people have overthrown tyrants throughout history does not even occur to most Americans. Reality is what they are told. They can't even conceive that Iraqis can control their own destiny.

And they have no concept of just how ignorant they are.

I suspect that you don't fully grasp how Americans are conditioned in school and each day to not think critically about anything. Mindless consumption is just one expression of it.

We in America live in a carnival culture. This is one reason why the shoe-throwing resonates so well.

Noam Chomsky, a public intellectual who is known around the world, and is the eight most quoted person in history, is unknown to 98% of the US population. Does that tell you something?

You would be shocked at the naivete of even our university professors. I often wonder how I survived intact with a critical consciousness.

We are a society in decay. I hope we are sufficiently weakened before we destroy the world.
Layla Anwar said…
Hello Merche,

You said " Also, don't forget that Saddam Hussein was put there by the powers that be in the first place although later he wasn't the right man for their interests."

I am afraid but you are parotting the same old propaganda...

Had the Martyr Saddam Hussein been put there by those same powers, you would NOT have had to witness the following :

- nationalization of Iraqi oil in the 70's

- Western intelligence putting Khomeini in power.

- Israel supplying arms to Iran during the Iran Iraq war.

- Iraq buying the bulk of its arms from Russia, China and France and not the US.

- Scuds falling on Tel Aviv,

- Full support to the Palestinian cause.

- Full support to all Arab causes and "third world" causes.

- A total refusal to sign any peace treaty with Israel

- Israel bombing the Iraqi nuclear facilities in 1981.

- Gulf War 1

- 13 years of brutal sanctions.

- Gulf War 2 with a hundred hiroshimas on our heads.

- Giving the kurds, who are backed by the Israelis AND Iranians their own state and therefore the partition of the country.

- handing Iraq over to Iran, by establishing a full sectarian shiite state loyal to Iran.

- had S.H been one of them, he would have accepted to take up exile with his family like the Shah.

- And definitely you would have not had to witness his lynching at the hands of those you claim put him in power.

Kindly ponder on these points before circulating that same old stale propaganda.

Layla Anwar said…

Hello and nice to see you again.
I see that you have not forgotten the shoe lesson in one of my previous
Hope you will catch up with the dog and babylonian numerology lesson as well.
Layla Anwar said…

Thanks for your comment. I sometimes share your nihilism, but most of the other time, I will beg to differ...I simply call it Hope, an infitesmal ray of Hope.
Layla Anwar said…
Hello Selma,

Thank you for your comment. Yes I agree, I have said it before, I hold much admiration for the Spanish people when they asked Aznar to fuck off...Hats off to them. It was a great lesson in "democracy", hope they do the same for Afghanistan.
Layla Anwar said…
Hello Northernshorewoman,

A nice exposé on the symbolism of shoes !
Yes, it can be considered as a medium to teach about other

I am not sure I agree with you though on the rationale as to why the lynching of Saddam Hussein did not bring forth the same outpouring of support and sympathy.

I agree with one commenter, Layth, when he clearly says that the Media, in particular the Western dominated media had over a decade to prepare for that event...

In other words, a huge propaganda spin about the alleged crimes of Saddam Hussein and his government paved the way...
Layla Anwar said…
Dear Layth,

Yes you are right, the media brainwashing had a lot to do with it...But I will add to that the total failure of the so called left and anti war movement. These latter bought the story and did not even bother to expose the lies...In fact, when looking back at the unfolding of events pertaining to this disgraceful group, one can only come to one conclusion --- that they were as complicit in the murder as the warmongers.
Layla Anwar said…
Dear lil' Deer,

Yes you are also right, as Layth stated, propaganda but ALSO as you mentioned LACK of CARING and lack of INDEPENDENT TOUGHT. A lethal combo if you ask me.

Bless you.
Layla Anwar said…

The only sick one around is your psychotic, racist, sick, depraved, murderious, lying mind...You are the type that will keep repeating the same shit that you swallowed and keep farting out, like a moron.
Go to hell. I have no time for your crap.
Layla Anwar said…
US donkey,

The only shredder I have seen was in Abu Ghraib you tiny bastard.
Try to think for yourself instead of ruminating information like a diseased mad cow. You can go to hell too, no time for retards like you.
Layla Anwar said…
Anonymous re: urdu saying,

I will try to memorize that one by heart...good proverb !
Layla Anwar said…

Whose balls "dear" ? Be more succint !
Layla Anwar said…
Benny from Israel,

Thank you for your comment and support, which I must admit did surprise me...but that is not the only time I am surprised that way...
You said that you "As an Israeli, ... cannot outright praise Saddam" - YET,

I saw it with own two eyes, right after Gulf War 1, an interview with Iraqi jews living in occupied Palestine, they were gathered in a kebab restaurant and others were in a "chaikhana" drinking tea as if they have never left Baghdad, believe it or not, they had the picture of Saddam Hussein both in the kebab restaurant and in the "chaikhana". Even the guy who conducted the interview was phased.
I remember distinctly one of the men saying - Saddam Hussein is my hero.
The interviewer then asked - Even though you had Iraqi scuds fall on Israel ?!
And the man replied, yes even though - He is a Battal, a Hero.
Layla Anwar said…

Yes I know the mainstream media this and the mainstream media that, BUT ALSO when shown evidence to the contrary there was and still is REFUSAL...

I do not doubt that the support of Al-Zaidi is genuine, 5 YEARS AFTER, or should I say 18 YEARS AFTER...

A little too late in my opinion.

Layla Anwar said…
Hey Markie,

Nice to "see" you again, been a long time. What would one do with music and art ? A senseless life for sure devoid of any paradox.
Layla Anwar said…
Dear John,

Hello and thank you for visiting and a smashing comment.

I loved the bit about the "carnival culture"

Yes it is indeed a miracle that you have kept your critical consciousness...A miracle for sure !

And even though I do not personally put Chomsky on such a high pedestal, I do however understand why he is such an icon in the US amongst intellectuals. He is probably the only thing that happened to U.S in terms of leftism, a warped one too, along with another "icon" Howard Zinn.

But even then, it does not make one iota of difference.
Ian said…
Layla, I assure you that most people (at least, in this hemisphere) were not moved by the Iraqi dog that was flown to Minnesota, the picture of soldiers throwing candies to kids or by the shoes being thrown at Bosch’s narrow, evil head. We are too insular and too self-absorbed to be moved by anything that doesn’t directly smack each of us in the face. I believe the word is “apathetic”. We also have incredibly short memories to the point that, by the middle of Saturday, the shoe-throwing incident and everything it stood for will be ancient history. It is a sad commentary on the state of things here. There are people who truly care, many in fact, but I don’t know if the numbers are enough to make a difference. Perhaps we will see.

On another note, it’s a shame that in the subsequent shoe-throwing articles so much is being made of Muntadar being a shia (as if the name doesn’t give it away). It doesn’t seem to have been an influencing factor in his actions and I don’t see why this matters at all.
Layla Anwar said…

Thanks for reminding me just in case I have

As for the last paragraph, I agree with you, I don't understand why this fuss about Muntazar being a shia...but I do know actually. It is because he was recuperated politically by the JAM movement, stating that he is one them...

The fire brand driller of a

A sham. You guys have turned Iraq into a bad bad circus.
Layla, I'm sorry. I must admit I'm very ignorant on what happened exactly with S.H. in your country because I realize I AM brainwashed by western media. As I told you, I'm very happy to have found your blog because I'm learning and, as you know, THAT is never too late. Hugs, M.
Anonymous said…

And [Sadddam] was not only captured, tortured, humiliated, interrogated and imprisoned, but he had his whole family decimated too. And he ended up being murdered by you and your silence.

Ah, MUSIC to my ears.

Thank you.

Anonymous said…
Saddam will go down to history as one of those historic leaders that have taken a humiliated country and made into a power that the world has feared. I am talking about leaders like Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini. Oh! I am regurgitating Western propaganda. But this propaganda might be true. If the people you mentioned did not jump to ask for Saddam release was because they did not want him released. They wanted him death. And what would have happened to the young journalist who launched his shoes to Bush if he had done the same to Saddam?
Anonymous said…
re your uncensored blog

What a compliment to you.

It means you are not an 'aicha' yet. (another Iraqi word taken from the adjective 'aged' I think)


Layla Anwar said…

Wrong. Aicha means the one who is alive...
Anonymous said…
'wrong. Aicha means the one who is alive...'

That word is 'aisha'. Obviously you are too young to know the word 'aicha'... It was usually used to describe an old horse. Ask someone you know who is much older than you.


Layla Anwar said…

You are wrong once is not "aicha". You have clearly forgotten your "mother tongue" is Haicha what you are referring to. Meaning an old cow.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for clearing it up. We actually drop the 'H' in our dialect.



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