You shouldn’t throw shoes at speakers at public events, especially not foreign heads of state. But the Mutander al-Zaidi situation in Iraq is a nice encapsulation of how divergent the Iraqi understanding of the war is from the one that still prevails among American elites:

As Parliament began to discuss legislation on the withdrawal from Iraq of armed forces from nations other than the United States, a group of lawmakers demanded that the legislature instead take up the issue of the detained journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, 29. After his shoes narrowly missed Mr. Bush’s head at the news conference on Sunday, Mr. Zaidi was subdued by a fellow journalist and then beaten by members of the prime minister’s security detail, who hauled him out of the room. Mr. Zaidi’s cries could be heard from a nearby room.

The legislative session became so tumultuous that it prompted the speaker of Parliament, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, to announce his resignation, according to The Associated Press. A spokesman for Mr. Mashhadani, Jabar al-Mashhadani, refused to confirm whether the speaker had tendered his resignation, although he would not deny it.


Some in Parliament say the government should release Mr. Zaidi immediately, while others say the judiciary should decide his fate.

It will be better for everyonewhen we’re gone.