This week, the Iraqi government sent police to order the removal of a statue honoring the Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who threw a shoe at former President George Bush. The statue’s removal in Tikrit appears to be an effort to show respect to the United States by denying the right of free speech to the Iraqi people.
The police cited that fact that the shoe was on public land to order its removal. This would be a valid claim if it was not so selective. Public land throughout Iraq is used to honor political figures and causes, including privately funded statues.
The shoe has become such a symbol that the manufacturer is struggling to fill orders.
Baghdad-based artist Laith al-Amari created the fiberglass-and-copper work to honor to the pride of the Iraqi people with the now dominant symbol of defiance against the United States. Many Americans would prefer to leave the shoe and get back the troops.
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