There is little new to say about the Zaidi incident. Yes, we really do know that the shoe expresses contempt in the Arab world, and if we had doubts about that, then Zaidi clarified matters by calling President George W. Bush a "dog." We know that the Iraqi blamed Bush for all the woes that his country had suffered in recent years, and we also know that he would have never thrown his shoes at Saddam Hussein, who was responsible for Iraqi woes until April 2003. And we know that the Zaidi affair became a giant funnel of interpretation, which many outraged Arabs fell into to make the journalist's shoe-toss a personal statement of their own.
Not many Arabs saw irony in the fact that Zaidi's action is now a game circulating on the Internet. Hit Bush on the head and you can score points. But that detail summed up the sheer mediocrity of this Arab moment, with its earnest demonstrations in support of the journalist, when few Arabs ever bothered to demonstrate on behalf of the countless Iraqi journalists executed by their country's armed gangs. As Tunku Varadarajan wrote so appropriately in Forbes: "The Arabs, who once upon a time boasted Averroes and Avicenna, are now reduced to eulogizing a boorish act of agitprop as a heroic achievement."Mick entitled his post: "The Pervasive Desire to See Bush Fail in Iraq".