Monday, December 15, 2008

Bush Survives Deadly Shoe Attack

Baghdad, Iraq, On trip shrouded in secrecy , President George W. Bush hailed progress in the war that defines his presidency.

Shortly after a journalist for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt tried to assassinate him .

The man hurled two size 10 shoes at him that he had managed to smuggle in past security on his feet.

Muntadar al-Zeidi shouted in Arabic "This is a farewell kiss, you dog!"

Bush using his super fast presidential reflexes ducked both shoes as they whizzed past his head and landed with a thud against the wall behind him.

"The war is not over," Bush said, adding that "it is decisively on it's way to being won."

Nearly 150,000 almost victorious U.S. troops remain in Iraq fighting a war . More than 4,209 members of the U.S. military have died in the conflict, which has cost U.S. taxpayers $576 billion since it began five years and nine months ago. It would have only cost $ 200 billion had another company than Haliburton been hired to supply troops.

"There is still more work to be done," Bush said after his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, "But its not my problem now so good luck."

It was at that point the journalist stood up and threw a shoe from about 20 feet away. Bush ducked, and it narrowly missed his head. The second shoe came quickly, and Bush ducked again while several Iraqis grabbed the man and dragged him to the floor.

In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt. Iraqis whacked a statue of Saddam with their shoes after U.S. marines toppled it to the ground following the 2003 invasion.

White House press secretary Dana Perino suffered an eye injury in the news conference melee. Bush brushed off the incident, comparing it to political protests at home.

"So what if I guy threw his shoe at me?" he said. "A week of water boarding should sort him out."

After the news conference, the president took a 15-minute helicopter ride through dark skies over Baghdad to Camp Victory. Telling hundreds of troops he was "heading into retirement so if you die its not on my watch." Bush blamed Saddam for the 2003 invasion saying, "He was asking for it" and said, "America is safer and more secure" than it was before the war.

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