||02-19-2009 05:19 PM
The Iraqi journalist who threw a shoe at Bush
Granted, war kills people, but does this journalist really believe Iraq was in better shape with Saddam Hussein as the President?
Bush's 'icy smile' enraged Iraqi shoe thrower
Journalist tells court he aimed to express 'the hatred we have for this man'
Khalid Mohammed / AP
Supporters and relatives of Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who gained cult status for throwing his shoes at former U.S. President George W. Bush, wave as he is taken away from court in a Humvee in Baghdad, Iraq.
msnbc.com news services
updated 1 hour, 44 minutes ago
BAGHDAD - An Iraqi reporter who hurled his shoes at George W. Bush said in the past he had videotaped himself practicing the Arab insult to use against the president whose "icy smile" had filled him with uncontrollable rage.
At the start of his trial in Baghdad on charges of assaulting a foreign leader, Muntadhar al-Zeidi said he recorded his shoe-throwing training two years ago and had hoped to accost Bush in Jordan but this did not take place.
Al-Zeidi, who was hailed across the Middle East by critics of the Iraq invasion and who also called Bush a "dog," told the court he had acknowledged making a training film under interrogation after his arrest at a Baghdad news conference.
"I said this before the guards of the prime minister after I was beaten and after my body was devoured by electricity," said al-Zeidi, who added that his original plan had been to throw the shoes at Bush during a news conference in Amman.
But al-Zeidi, whose unusual protest overshadowed Bush's final visit to Iraq in December, insisted he had not planned to attack Bush this time.
Instead, he said Bush's smile as he talked about achievements in Iraq had made him think of "the killing of more than a million Iraqis, the disrespect for the sanctity of the mosques and houses, the rape