By Jason Ditz
Besides making an international celebrity out of Iraqi reporter Muntadar al-Zeidi, the now infamous shoe-throwing incident is cropping up in surprising ways across Iraq, where a population beaten and exhausted from years of war is once again finding its voice against the US military presence and the Iraqi government seen as its enablers.
The city of Fallujah was one of the hardest hit in all of Iraq, nearly destroyed earlier in the war. When students at the city’s university held an impromptu rally in support of the jailed Zeidi, US soldiers were quick on the scene. The students raised shoes and some of them threw rocks, prompting the troops to open fire in an attempt to disperse the crowd. One student was wounded, shot in the foot according to his doctor.
Reporter Mohammed al-Dulaimy tells another story at the July 14 Bridge in Baghdad. The bridge is closed to the public several times a day while official convoys pass through… just another reality in the war-torn city. But today when Iraqi soldiers arrived and attempted to close the bridge, angry drivers refused. They continued on their way, honking angrily when the soldiers got in their way. Predictably, the soldiers drew their rifles and began firing. Surprisingly, traffic continued through the square and across the bridge.