These boots are made for throwin’

The guy who threw the boots at Bush works for a network that supports the Sunni insurgency, so he doesn’t exactly speak for the Iraqi people. On the other hand, this suggests a hole in the security web around the President.

I notice a tendency in parts of Blue Blogistan to make the TV reporter who threw his shoes at the Beloved Leader (henceforward to be known as “George W. ibn al-Kalb”) some sort of spokesman for the outraged Iraqi people. The technical term is “projection.”

It will be interesting to see what the reactions are among Iraqi politicians, but the shoe-thrower turns out to work for a network based in Egypt that supports the Sunni insurgency. So curb your enthusiasm, folks. Be grateful the ibn al-kalb wasn’t hurt. And it wouldn’t hurt to express a little admiration for his coolness.

Looked at from another angle: Anyone with press credentials can pretty well count on being within shoe- (or knife-) throwing distance of the President. Today’s incident suggests the need for somewhat closer screening. How confident are we that the security checkpoint on the way in to that press conference would have been able to detect a few ounces of Semtex and a blasting cap, molded into the shape of a boot-heel?

Update The shoe-thrower is a former Ba’athist, now turned Sadrist. (Interesting, possibly scary, crossing of sectarian lines there; maybe Bush – sorry, I meant “ibn al-Kalb” – really is a uniter, as he claimed to be.) He was the head of the (national?) students’ union under Saddam Hussein, and SH’s lawyer is volunteering to represent him.

So the headline here is “Saddam Hussein partisan attacks Bush.”

Can you say “Dog bites man?”

I was sure that you could.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com