Archive for the ‘Iraqi’ Category

Iraqi shoe-thrower gets 3 years in jail

March 12, 2009

30 year old Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi journalist who rose to notoriety and fame for interrupting a Bush-Maliki conference in Baghdad in December 2008 has been sentenced to 3 years in jail on Thursday, March 12, 2009. He went on a shoe-throwing rampage which targeted, but missed visiting US president George W. Bush.

Swearing innocence to the charge of assault he said, “what I did was a natural response to the occupation,” referring to the US-led Iraq war against Saddam Hussein. For violating journalistic ethics and endangering the life of a dignitary, al Zeidi got the minimum sentence (max.15 years) to the charge which he can appeal. Upon hearing the sentence, some of al Zeidi’s relative’s fainted.

In a world where the boundary between right and wrong is often disputed, many in the Muslim world who laud the journalist’s action was disappointed with the verdict. Others who look at his misplaced display of anger and think of the assault as an immature tantrum think the sentence serves him right. =0=

A shoe fly-by for Pres. George W. Bush

December 15, 2008

A shoe from an irate journalist in Baghdad was thrown on Pres. George W. Bush when he attended a news brief about the war with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The US president made light of the incident after he dodged being hit before the man, restrained by security service personnel, was whisked out of the conference room. Shouting invectives, the disruptive hysterical Iraqi hurled the second shoe on Bush, but landed off target just the same.

Pres Bush’s unannounced farewell visit in Baghdad was probably the last before he ends his presidency in January 2009. (Photo Credit: AP) =0=

NOTE: The general reaction of the Arabs and Muslims about the shoe-throwing tips support for the journalist. This speaks of how people in that part of the planet view what is right and wrong. There are those who applaud the show of rage. They celebrate suicide bombers and wail in full drama when someone gets killed violently. Others wonder if there is anything to be damned about the angry shoe. But certainly, in the civilized world, in a saner environment, it’s not the way to treat a head of state, no matter how unpopular he can be.

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Despite ban, 15,000 OFW’s work in Iraq

September 28, 2008

The ban against taking jobs in Iraq has not been heeded by those who seek work even in places that are dangerous. To date the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported 15,000 Filipinos had been employed in Iraq in defiance to the 2004 prohibition by DOLE after the abduction and release of truck drive Angelo de la Cruz. Malaya (09/27/08, Naval, G.)

With high paying job offers that they can’t resist for they almost don’t have them in the Philippines, overseas foreign workers (OFW’s) sneak into Iraq from nearby Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Dubai to work, braving the perilous conditions of war.

Embarrassing the government, OFW’s defy orders and brush aside the dangers they put themselves into. In their desperation, they ignore the authorities, making the country’s laws meant to protect them, useless. The labor department has little choice, but to reconsider lifting the ban that lacks teeth and relevance.

On top of it, the country must widen its job pool not only for returning OFW’s, but for those who are forced to look for employment abroad at the expense of being separated from their families. Many jobs offered to Filipinos are menial and those that have few takers. Dependence on other countries for these jobs is dangerous for the future of the nation. =0=