Talk:Muntadhar al-Zaidi/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Dupe article

There is a dupe article, no clue which spelling is correct. (NYT use the spelling with D) If he has a personal bio site in English, we should probably use his own transliteration. --Voidvector (talk) 14:02, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

This is the correct spelling. This spelling has been in use since 2007, and appears in official news releases prior to the shoe incident. Viriditas (talk) 14:04, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

TO DO: clean up/structure references

i've done some of the work in structuring the references, maybe some other people could join in...? :) Some useful links for enthusiastic volunteers (add these to your home page if you forget where they are):

  • Wikipedia:Footnotes
  • Wikipedia:Template messages/Sources of articles/Generic citations
  • for copy/pasting/filling/modifying in:
    • <ref name="...">{{cite news | first= | last= | pages= | language =| title= | date= | publisher= | url= |accessdate=2999-12-31}}</ref>
    • <ref name="...">{{cite web| last =| first =| authorlink =| coauthors =| title =| work =| publisher =| date =| url = |format =| doi =| accessdate =2999-12-31 }}</ref>

Boud (talk) 21:59, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

user removed a citation needed request, claiming that this was for "clarity, accuracy"

In this edit, the user at IP Special:Contributions/ has removed a "citation needed" request {{cn}} and seems to insist that the US Secret Services are waterboarding Zaidi. S/he also labelled his/her edit "clarity, accuracy".

Dear (Johnson & Higgins): please do not remove a "citation needed" tag unless you provide a reliable, external source. Stating "clarity, accuracy" is not a substitute for providing a reference. Moreover, even if US Secret Services are interrogating Zaidi, we have no evidence regarding what interrogation techniques they are using. Common sense might suggest that Bush and Obama realise that they had probably better go into "damage limitation" mode and try to ignore the event rather than making a martyr/hero out of Zaidi. i would expect them to tell their secret services to avoid doing anything which could make the US' international reputation go even lower than it is at the present. This is just my opinion, which is why i'm not including it in the article. On the other hand, the claim about the US Secret Services itself does need a reference. Otherwise, someone (not necessarily me) will eventually remove it. Please discuss this here if you don't understand. Boud (talk) 00:02, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Google news links

All Google hosted news stories should be replaced with hard links to news stories, as they will expire in 30 days. Evidently, the people who keep adding them aren't aware of this. Viriditas (talk) 16:16, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Mediawiki could warn them, when such a link is included in their edit? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:49, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
That's a great idea. It's become somewhat of a problem across the wiki, so I'm surprised nothing has been done. Viriditas (talk) 23:50, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm thinking the Google news stories should just be removed on sight, as they already duplicate information found in the hard-coded sources. Viriditas (talk) 00:13, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

What do you mean by "hard-coded sources"?" Content expires from many online news sites, why should Google-hosted AP stories be treated any differently? Or are you suggesting that no web site of any newspaper, etc., from which content ever expires, should ever be cited on Wikipedia? Do you have a list of acceptable news sources, from which content never expires? Mike R (talk) 15:46, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
An example of a hard coded source is The best thing to do would be to just find the article posted on a site which won't delete it after 30 days (i.e., This is just for the accessibility and convenience of readers, and a Google source is definitely better than no source at all.-- (talk) 15:49, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
And I am not aware of any list with non-expiring URLs, but I think we would all be happy if someone could provide one..-- (talk) 15:50, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Significance Of shoe Hurling in Arab culture - irrelevant

I don't see the point. It gives a legitimate tone to his actions as Islamic religious behavior acceptable as a from of showing an opinion at one. He was clearly trying to hit him considering the strength of his throw, excuse me, 2 throws, and to injure his face. it could have been symbolic as you wish if he thew it without trying to hit him, which is also a very terrible thing to do. whats next? The difference between a Shia throw and a sunni throw? I recommend it should be removed. --Bob1969 (talk) 19:14, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

It's not the role of wikipedia editors to judge whether or not the action was legitimate. It's not a crime if we mention our judgments on the talk page, but it's not the main point and it's not a valid argument for deciding what to include or not include.
From the WP:NPOV, whether or not there was a symbolic aspect to the action could either be something so obvious, that it's a fact, and doesn't need to go to a meta level, or else it could be contested. So far, several newspapers have claimed that it's a fact, and i haven't seen any external evidence that it's not a fact. So far there is just your (Bob1969's) opinion. If you can find a reliable, external source that claims either that Iraq is not part of the Arab world, or that offensiveness is not associated with shoes and dirt in the way described in the present wikipedia article here, then we could NPOV the text to something like "Several newspapers have claimed that the action had a specifically cultural offensive connotation because of blablabla.ref1,ref2,ref3. Prof. Joe Bloggs of the Faculty of West Asian Studies of BloggsTown University, Republic of Bohemia, argues that this is a western urban myth about Arab culture and a misinterpretation of Zaidi's action.ref4,ref5". However, as long as several newspapers or other sources continue to claim that this is relevant, we cannot ignore it. It requires counterevidence IMHO, in order to be NPOVed. You'll need to find such reliable references. Boud (talk) 20:36, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Psalms 60:8 in the Christian bible mentions shoe-throwing as a form of insult. -eclecticerudite —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:58, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

The topic is relevant, covered by multiple reliable sources on the subject, and directly pertains to this incident. Please discuss here before removing. Viriditas (talk) 00:21, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

User:Urbanrenewal has been invited to the talk page to discuss his controversial deletions and to explain why he thinks he knows what is best for an article that is written collaboratively, not unilaterally. Viriditas (talk) 00:31, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
So, still no discussion. Ok, let's see how the reader benefited from edits made by Urbanrenewal:
  • There is now no information about why shoes were thrown at President Bush. So now, the reader has absolutely no idea why Zaidi did it as this information has been removed. Disinforming the reader when every reliable source on the subject discusses this topic is unheard of and unsupported.
  • Sections have been rearranged to highlight recent events, detracting from the broad scope of a biographical article. Chronological material has been moved to the end of the article. This is not how biographies are written on Wikipedia, and this plays into WP:RECENTISM instead of addressing the topic without leaning towards recent events.
These edits were not an improvement and seem to be designed to set the article up for deletion or a merge. Viriditas (talk) 00:44, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
i agree that the edits by User:Urbanrenewal are problematic. For example:
  • In these edits, Urbanrenewal:
    • added "(although both shoes missed their targets by several feet)" to the introduction; this has the weasel word "although", it makes the dubious assumption that al-Zaidi was aiming for more than one target, which would be inconsistent with his statements justifying his action; it gives a numerical estimate of the distance by which the shoes missed their sources without any references;
    • incorrectly replaced The New York Times described al-Zaidi as having become "a huge celebrity in the Arab world and beyond by The New York Times cited certain sources that indicated al-Zaidi had become "a huge celebrity in the Arab world and beyond, - anyone can easily check the reference(ref name="NYT_Zaidi_FolkHero") - the two NYT authors make the claim for themselves in the first paragraph. They do not cite "certain" (weasel word) sources who indicate this. They state it directly.
    • removed the quantitative information in the NYT report thousands of other people in the Sadr City demonstrations
    • added the unreferenced claim that the demonstrators where "anti-US", it can only directly be inferred that the demonstrators were "pro-Zaidi" or probably "anti-Bush", it could probably also be inferred that they are "anti-US-occupation"; whether or not they are against the US in general is a rather speculative extrapolation;
    • incorrectly changed people in Libya to Libya; this is wrong: there is no direct evidence that the State of Libya supports Zaidi;
      • my argument on this one point is not so strong - a charity group run by Qaddafi's daughter is rather close to the government, even though it's not the government, so something more NPOV would have to be found. Boud (talk) 01:37, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    • changed President Bush ducked and narrowly avoided being hit by to President Bush alertly ducked and avoided being hit by; "alertly" is a weasel word; "narrowly" is a relatively objective word reported by several newspapers and visible in the video;
    • removed most of the subsection "Cultural significance of shoe tossing" - without having participated in the discussion on this talk page.
Boud (talk) 01:26, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
It's a bit difficult to assume good faith with User:Urbanrenewal after he does a drive-by like this. This kind of thing should not be permitted. Please go ahead and make the changes you feel are necessary. I would like to focus on expanding the biography chronologically as information becomes available. Viriditas (talk) 01:44, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Significance of shoe-throwing in Iraqi culture?

This Al Jazeera article says that "In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt...". Given that Al Jazeera editors probably know Arabic culture better than typical editors of Western newspapers know Arabic culture, this suggests that maybe the offensiveness is especially strong in Iraq rather than in Arabic culture in general, and that Western newspapers are to some degree circulating an urban legend regarding "Arabic culture". Otherwise, why does Al Jazeera say "Iraqi" rather than "Arabic" culture? Surely throwing your shoes at someone is probably more or less offensive in most cultures where people wear shoes. And given the range of countries with Arabic culture, probably traditions vary a lot. Anyway, i'm not an expert here. Boud (talk) 03:40, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

intro paragraph: "shouting insults and violently throwing his shoes at "

In the intro, we presently have that Zaidi is especially known for "shouting insults and violently throwing his shoes at ...".

  • Is it possible to throw shoes non-violently? Could Zaidi have gently thrown his shoes at Bush? You could touch someone on the arm either gently or violently, but i don't see how throwing shoes at someone has much freedom to be non-violent, unless that is in an interpretation in terms of what is justified violence, etc. i suspect that adding "violently" might be a weasel word (unintentionally) intended to avoid any interpretation of this particular violent event as morally justified. IMHO the event was violent. Whether or not the event was justified in my opinion is not something of great interest here.
  • "shouting insults". Zaidi clearly explained why he took his action. Clearly there was an "insult" aspect to it, but that was not the main purpose given in his own words: "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog. This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq." Probably the simplest NPOV thing is to quote his two sentences. That way we avoid any risks of POV describing what was in just two sentences. The "insult" part came as much from the action of the shoes as from the word "dog". We could possibly add this in, but it should probably come after the more objective data of the throwing action and his words.
  • So here i think we need something more NPOV, like most notable for having thrown his shoes at ... 2008. Al-Zaidi called out to Bush, "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog. This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq."

Does this sound reasonable?

Boud (talk) 02:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Completely, to me. Including the full quotes may not be appropriate for the lead though.-- (talk) 02:10, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

FWIW, I'm still concerned about how the structure has been deliberately altered from that of a biographical article to that of an event. If this isn't fixed soon, it is highly likely that the article will be merged or redirected. Please fix this. Viriditas (talk) 02:21, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

The delete page seems to be strongly for keep last time i looked, but it's true that things could change later on. i think shifting the 2007 bit back up to chronological order would help for this.
As for the intro, how about since 2005. He first became internationally known for having been detained once by "gangs" in Baghdad[1] in 2007 and released alive. He was twice arrested by United States armed forces.[2] On 14 December, 2008, he again drew international attention by throwing his shoes at ... 2008. Al-Zaidi called out to Bush, "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog. This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq." Boud (talk) 02:43, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
As long as the intro doesn't get too long, this would seem fine (i.e. you might have to move some other material down in to the article).-- (talk) 02:45, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
See WP:LEAD for guidance. The lead section needs to be free from specific details and only summarize the article. Quotes, unless significant, are generally avoided. Viriditas (talk) 02:53, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
It is good work, but also a bit hard to read as one large paragraph. A small portion of it should be trimmed, or it could possibly be broken up in to two paragraphs.-- (talk) 03:04, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Great edits! Viriditas (talk) 03:16, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
i think we're getting there... Boud (talk) 03:22, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Hi, could someone please remove <ref name="alertnet_Zaidi_ransom" /> from the lead section. keeps adding it back in, but probably doesn't know it isn't required in the lead section as this information is already sourced in the body of the article. Thanks. Viriditas (talk) 03:44, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Leaving it out of the lead is fine and I appreciate the calm request. The problem I was trying to correct is that in the References section it says "Cite error: Invalid ref tag; no text was provided for refs named alertnet_Zaidi_ransom " in bold red.-- (talk) 03:51, 16 December 2008 (UTC
Answered on your talk page. Please remove it from the lead at your convenience. The name of the original source has been changed, but still supports the info in the body. Viriditas (talk) 03:56, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I see there is one more broken link. I'll fix it right now. Viriditas (talk) 04:01, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Great, thanks!-- (talk) 04:05, 16 December 2008 (UTC)


al Zaidi or al-Zaidi? Should be consistent either way. Joshdboz (talk) 03:12, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

We have "al Zaidi" in the title, so i assume it would make sense to be al Zaidi throughout, except in the reference information. Boud (talk) 03:22, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
The standard is al-<surname>. As such, it should be "al-Zaidi" throughout. Fastabbas (talk) 16:28, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
The Manual of Style does not provide explicit guidance in this matter, but all of the relevant examples there have the hyphen. If this practice is wrong, you need to bring the matter up before someone releases a bot to make all of the pages conform to that usage. -- llywrch (talk) 17:26, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
If noone brings up any objection to the hyphenated "al-Zaidi" option, then this will require a rename/move of the page itself (along with all discussion and history!), and then a redirect from al Zaidi to al-Zaidi. Boud (talk) 21:20, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Newsbusters blog

Not a reliable source. Moved here:[1] Viriditas (talk) 09:25, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

It was added just because videos are inconvenient references for some users, and it reproduced the relevant dialogue from the video. Badagnani (talk) 10:17, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

minor - archiveurl to kansascity version of jennifer loven article

Just for completeness, in case anyone wants to compare to variations on a mostly identical article with identical titles but just a few paragraphs added/removed, the ref no longer cited is the kansas city one: and the one retained is the sf chronicle one: i chose this since the sf chronicle version covers both the iraq government criticism of al-Zaidi and the trail of blood on the carpet. i don't see much need to cite two variations on a single article unless there's a really good reason. Boud (talk) 22:35, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Detained by gangs

He was detained by "gangs" in Baghdad in 2007 and was also arrested twice by the United States armed forces.

Actually, we don't know who detained him in 2007, and the opinion that it was "gangs" only appears recently, from what I recall, from the mouth of one person. Prior to the shoe event, the perpetrators of the 2007 event were referred to as unknown abductors, or kidnappers. I suggest we fall back on the old wording to avoid recent events coloring the past. Viriditas (talk) 02:12, 17 December 2008 (UTC)


Two of his brothers, Maythem al-Zaidi and Dhirgham al-Zaidi have made statements to the media, some of which does not appear in this article. Can someone do research on this? Viriditas (talk) 02:39, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Is it accurate to state that he has three brothers and one sister in the bio section per AP? Viriditas (talk) 02:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

What Type of Belief He has?

+ The western media is trying to relate him with Al-Qaida or Saddam Hussain, But he has Anti-Alaida and Anti Saddam Beliefs, because people with these beliefs (Hizbollah) consider USA, Alqaida and Saddam to be the same with differnt masks. Al-Zaidi did his task considering it his as a Shaarri' (religeous) duty. Because these days Muslims performed Hujj and it may be possible that, this act can come under the following: + "braa't az mushrikeen" (Hatred against Cruels, which is the essence of hajj) or "rami e jmarat" (Beating the Ibleees (Evil)with stones). Usman05 (talk) 01:04, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Greetings, fellow. I wouldn't say it's true at all that the western media is linking him to Al-Qaida or Hussein. And I really don't feel comfortable with any sort of statement of his beliefs without a citation connected to a primary source. Ovinomancer (talk) 01:21, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

That is why I moved this here. It looks more like a personal opinion than something that should be in the article.-- (talk) 03:19, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Removed from lead

Throwing shoes is an act of extreme disrespect in both the Arab and Islamic cultures. Neither shoe struck Bush. As he threw the shoes, al-Zaidi said "this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog"[3] and "this is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq."[3] Al-Zaidi has been described as being "embraced around the Arab world,"[4] and he has found support from his employer,[5] thousands of protesters in Iraq,[6][4] people in Syria,[4] a charity in Libya,[7] "around 200 lawyers" including some U.S. citizens,[8] and from American critics of Bush and the Iraq War. Al-Zaidi's action was criticized by the Iraqi government.[9]

Some of this is too specific for a lead section. Let's also remember that this is a biography. We also need to stick with stable facts that are not changing every day for the lead section. When the article becomes more solidified, then we can talk about adding some of this to the lead section. But as events change rapidly, it is not helpful to have time-sensitive content in the lead. Some of this reads of advocacy, others indicate condemnation. We want to focus on a biography, not on politics. Let the content speak for itself. Viriditas (talk) 03:12, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Throwing shoes is an act of extreme disrespect in both the Arab and Islamic cultures, as well as several other non-Western (East Asian and South Asian- also Hindu) cultures.

Great, but this has nothing to do with the biography of Muntadhar al Zaidi and should not appear in the lead section. Please, let's try to focus. Viriditas (talk) 06:32, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I tried making this an appositive to briefly describe to the reader how the shoe-throwing was meant to be interpreted, hopefully this is ok.-- (talk) 07:37, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

(Arabic: منتظر الزيدي Muntaẓar al-Zayidī; alternative transliterations used in Western media: Muthathar, Muntadar, Muntazer, Muthathi; al-Zeidi also transliterated as "Zaid," "Zeid," "Zeidi" "Zayed" and "Seyd" is an Arabic name, meaning abundance or growth or "one who progresses and makes other people progress.")

This long, unsourced etymology detracts from the lead section. I have no objections to it in the article, but let's keep it short in the lead, please. The concerns of readers should always come before editors. Remember who we are writing for here. Viriditas (talk) 06:47, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps this could be footnoted or put in to a comment?-- (talk) 07:29, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
It can even appear in the biography section, which is fine. But in the lead, as long as it is, I think is very distracting to most readers. Viriditas (talk) 07:31, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I think a hidden comment might hide it from readers while still allowing editors to see it. Moving it to the biography would be fine too.-- (talk) 07:37, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I added it as a "note" for now. If anyone find more sources, please add it to the note and decide whether to add it to the bio. Thanks. Viriditas (talk) 14:56, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Attitude in America and This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq

I found this short video on the Economist webpage, posted by a user:

I think the video is a combination of the shoe throwing incident and a clip from an Austin Powers movie.

If not for Wikipedia, I would have never known about what the Iraqi reporter said:

"This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq"

This speaks volumes about how the American media is portraying this incident. It also shows how Wikipedia has become a less biased and complete source of news than many news organizations.

Although many news organizations mentions the first sentence, "This is a farewell kiss, you dog!" only 3 news organization on all of Google News mentioned the "all those killed in Iraq" quote.

In America, the shoe throwing journalist is shallowly portrayed as yet another Muslim fanatic, with no background about why the journalist threw his shoes.

Thus far, I have found only one news organization, Arab News, based in Saudi Arabia which has commented on this biased news atmosphere:

"Incredibly, during a post-incident interview, he said he had no idea what the man’s beef was. And, even more incredibly, on this occasion he didn’t appear to be joking. Did no one translate Al-Zaidi’s message"[2]

Has anyone else seen news articles which mention the striking lack of reporting about what this journalist said? travb (talk) 06:59, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

In fairness, what he said may not have been completely audible at first and the American media may be trying to report what its viewers want to hear. Also, it has been covered by American media, you just have to look a little:[3][4][5]
What is troubling is that there are more than plenty of sources which only tell a joke and fail to communicate the man's beating and the circumstances surrounding the throwing. I have seen some British and American pieces which have commented on this, and one was added to the article. It is a problem, but people also notice and report on it. What is best is for readers and journalists to expect this of each other, and to raise questions when they don't see it.-- (talk) 07:28, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
What is sadly typical is that, an American "[has] to look a little" because what the shoe throwing journalist said is an "alternative viewpoint" instead of a mainstream, nationwide discussion. The majority of Americans are going to only see one side of the shoe throwing incident, which will only bolster their existing prejudices: Muntadhar al Zaidi was yet another fanatical Muslim.
Don't misunderstanding me, I don't blame the media one bit, the media is only a reflection of most American's beliefs and values. The media only mirrors what Americans want to see and hear.
Has any media organization discussed how the shoe throwing was covered in America? travb (talk) 07:30, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Hard to find, but this one kind of gets at it for example. Sometimes human rights groups and media watchdog groups have to pick up on it first. The media barely ever analyses itself, and it's a more widespread problem. So I'd say it's definitely a problem but there is some hope as well.-- (talk) 07:56, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
[6] There was another here, and I think I saw one in the Guardian as well..-- (talk) 18:23, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I will continue the discussion about the media on your talk page. travb (talk) 08:02, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
travb: Your point is (unfortunately) supported by the en.wikinews article on the shoe-throwing event, which omits al-Zaidi's second sentence. The en.wikinews community unfortunately seems to end up preparing consensus articles based mostly on US-based online newspapers which have already been filtered according to the five filters of the Herman and Chomsky model (where the "anti-communist" filter from a few decades ago has been replaced by a broader "anti-terrorist" filter). Since most of the sources have come through what in a statistical sense are mostly the same filters, they remain quite far from neutral, despite the best intentions of well-meaning wikinews editors, who have invested a fair amount of time in looking for various sources and integrating their different claims. This illustrates the difference between neutral and WP:NPOV. NPOV applied to many sources which are similarly filtered with the same non-neutral filters will end up giving non-neutral, but NPOV content.
BTW, the statement above "... media is only a reflection of most American's beliefs and values. The media only mirrors what Americans want to see and hear" is inconsistent with the evidence. i think you'll find that the quite extensive quantitative evidence that supports the Herman and Chomsky model shows that the US media are more a reflection of the US media owners' beliefs and values, of advertisers' beliefs and values, of "flak" (infotainment to distract people from real issues) and of beliefs and values that devalue "terrorists", rather than of typical US citizens' beliefs and values. Boud (talk) 23:47, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Where is he now?

Is there anybody who knows where is he know?is he in Iraq or in somewhere elsE?Bbadree (talk) 08:58, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

He is in the custody of the Iraqi judiciary, and he spoke to his brother and was injured but alright.-- (talk) 09:15, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
That should be in the lead section. Could someone add it please? Viriditas (talk) 11:17, 17 December 2008 (UTC)


Throwing shoes at someone notable makes you notable? Why are we having this article in the first place? It was a pitiful incident everyone will get over in a couple of days. Cheers! Λuα (Operibus anteire) 08:31, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, too many Arabs, in their deep frustration, have considered the pathetic action to be a grand act of heroism. Bare on mind, the attacker did not actually succeed in hitting President Bush. Had he succeeded, his action would have been made equivalent to the conquest of Spain by the Arabs 1,400 years ago! Nevertheless, Mr. Zaidi is now a household name in the Middle East... Fastabbas (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 09:54, 15 December 2008 (UTC).
Sorry, but this an encyclopedia, not a crystal ball where we get to generalize about ethnic likes and dislikes, nor a propaganda mill as you seem to believe by your edits to this article where you admitted on my talk page to adding false information. See below. Viriditas (talk) 10:24, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Aua, I completely agree with you. Who knows how many crazy people have tried to attack world leaders? I'm sure there are a lot of them, and I doubt they have Wikipedia articles. However, it must be said again (a point that Fastabbas fails to comprehend) that Zaidi was notable before this incident. It is also my understanding that his kidnapping remains unsolved. Unfortuantely, we still do not have reliable confirmation on any of this except for a few reports. The latest news reports that I did hear on the radio (American network news) says that Zaidi was beaten on the scene after the shoe attack, and one of the security guards was heard to have said "Avoid the face". It was also reported that they were forcibly testing him for drugs and alcohol. Viriditas (talk) 11:29, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Viriditas, plenty of crazies that have tried to attack world leaders have their own pages. Mehmet Ali Ağca, Vladimir Arutyunian, John Hinckley... (talk) 14:38, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
You're right. I was unaware of how many biographical articles are devoted to the subject. Viriditas (talk) 15:54, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

His notability is also because of his 2007 kidnapping. By hurling the shoe at Bush he symbolizes the feelings of many Arabs. His actions are famous, so why not get to know the man. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AndriLimma (talkcontribs) 14:49, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

CNN's Michael Ware, who has covered the Iraq invasion and occupation since the beginning, remarked yesterday that the Bush shoe-throwing incident is "iconic" in the same way that the pulling down of Saddam's statue was etched in the memory of everyone who saw the video.Rmwarnick (talk) 20:25, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't know about "iconic." I don't think it's Wikipedia's place to be out there identifying what is and what is not an "icon." However, I do think the article is notable. This individual created an international incident that led the news around the world and was played over and over. That's notable. I don't know if it's akin to Marylyn Monroe's skirt flying up over the air vent ("iconic"), but it's certainly "notable." (talk) 21:50, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, according to WP's own standards, the guy has received sufficient coverage as to be considered notable. That's what really matters here.
BTW, my post on this talk page was the only one yesterday, and look at it now! I can't wait to see the page views once they get updated.
Cheers mate!
Λuα (Operibus anteire) 11:07, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
It is true there were many crazy people who attacked leaders but i think Al Zaidi is obviously not one of them at least not to a large no of people around the world, add to that the incident in a way or another has happened in an exciting way and the wiki-encyclopedia is developing and the interset about articles of current events not the same of those which had happened long time ago--Glasszone33 (talk) 20:48, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

This is much more then notable for the ones who are not simple minded and ignorant. There is a reason why most of the world sees him as a hero right now. There is a reason why Bush just laughed it off. Of course he laughed it off, he has too. The man is not stupid.

More beyong the fact that in the Arab culture, someone showing you the buttom of their shoes is the equivalent of someone throwing feces at your face, this man is now the most popular hero in the 21st century because of what his action represented.

He is the first ever person to stand up to the most powerful head of state in the world and what Bush represents.

I think the article is notable because the guy is still alive. It shows how far Iraq has come since Saddam. "These members were labelled "disloyal" and were removed from the room one by one and taken into custody. After the list was read, Saddam congratulated those still seated in the room for their past and future loyalty. The 68 people arrested at the meeting were subsequently put on trial, and 22 were sentenced to execution for treason." [10] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:20, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The US didn't invade Iraq because no one could throw shoes at Saddam. The US invaded Iraq for selfish reason by claiming that Iraq's WMDs were a threat to the US. A claim that turned out be a lie. I get sick of these rightwing nuts somehow proclaiming that they invaded Iraq because they love Arabs/Muslims and wanted to "liberate" them. What a joke. In any case, the new reports are that the shoe thrower was tortured and has broken arms. So there you have it (talk) 08:28, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
All the countries we think have WMD happen to be in the Middle East, rich in energy resources, and are not very well able to defend themselves. And there aren't evil dictators anywhere else in the world either (especially ones that we support). I don't think the people who led the country to war honestly believed Saddam was going to create a mushroom cloud as they claimed to the public.-- (talk) 16:30, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

"huge celebrity"

In your "carefully vetted" introduction the use of the words "huge celebrity" attributed to a NYT article don't appear there. I would change it myself but for the dogmatic control exerted by certain users. |► ϋrbanяenewaℓTALK ◄| 04:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Who are you addressing? This article has been written by dozens of different editors, and because of that fact, there are significant issues that need to be worked out. This is one of them. I don't see any support for the quote, "huge celebrity in the Arab world and beyond", and because of that, it should be removed. It's entirely possible that someone screwed up the source, but they can come here and work it out. Please remove it. Viriditas (talk) 04:13, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I didn't insert the quote, but it may be found here.-- (talk) 04:14, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I can't find it there. Like I said, it sounds like someone screwed up the sources. See if you can find it on Gnews. Viriditas (talk) 04:16, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
This is the NYT's fault for not using a wiki with traceable old versions. i have two copies of the article opened at different times in different panels. The previous two authors were "TIMOTHY WILLIAMS and SHARON OTTERMAN"; the present two authors are "TIMOTHY WILLIAMS and ABEER MOHAMMED". The words appeared in the original version by Williams and Otterman. Correction made. Looking at google you can easily find the old title, though the old content may be harder to find. Boud (talk) 04:26, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I believe you. I ran into this for the very first time last week, and it drove me nuts. This is a new trend, I'm afraid. Viriditas (talk) 04:28, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Maybe we should include a full UTC time along with access-date in the reference? Boud (talk) 04:35, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
"accessdate" not "access-date", and i mean in general, not necessarily just this time. Boud (talk) 04:38, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Boud, your changes are good (as usual), but I think we need to start toning down the lead as much as possible. It's just not going to work on an encyclopedia. Summarize the article as much as possible, but try to leave the emotions out of it. We will be much more successful with this article if we can tone things down. Let the content speak for itself. Viriditas (talk) 04:22, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

i'm not sure what changes you are thinking of. Or you didn't realise that the article was changed by the NYT? "huge celebrity" were the exact words in the earlier version, by Williams and Otterman. Search google reasonably quickly with Shoe-Hurling Iraqi otterman and you'll find that she's still a co-author according to the google archive. Search on Shoe-Hurling Iraqi huge celebrity and you'll still find a few links if you look quickly. This is especially for anybody who's sceptical! Boud (talk) 04:34, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
The lead as it stands now, doesn't really work and needs to be rewritten to conform to encyclopedic standards. I'll have more to say about this in a new talk section later. Viriditas (talk) 02:43, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Here's a copy of the original] (at least right now 04:56, 16 December 2008 (UTC)). Not exactly great for citation. Hmmm... i guess for "accessdate" we could put e.g. ~~~~~ in our edit panel, reload the article in the article panel and quickly check that it hasn't obviously changed, and then quickly click save on the wikipedia panel. On the other hand, if the otherwise "reliable" source is no longer electronically available, and probably not available in print either, then its verifiability becomes more difficult. Also, we have no idea/evidence for whether an article (from anywhere in the world) was changed due to political/nationalistic pressures or due to a desire for more accuracy. Boud (talk) 04:56, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

It's also quite possible that there's a wikipedia feedback effect. The NYT article has been cited a huge number of times in this wikipedia article. Chances are that NYT editors got a lot of political criticism due to a lot of attention on their article, Otterman refused to accept the changes under her name, and so she preferred to withdraw her name and the NYT had to find another co-author. This enabled the NYT to make many changes. i'm just speculating, of course. For whatever reasons, they made several changes which relate to the way it was quoted in this wikipedia article. Boud (talk) 04:56, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I think you nailed it. BTW, it just occurred to me that there is a way to fight this. If Wikipedia could somehow start using a Zotero plug-in (or something similar) we would be able to save web page revisions in order to prevent this from happening again. Viriditas (talk) 07:20, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Zotero doesn't sound like something for archiving. On the other hand, WebCite sounds like it may be what we want. See Talk:WebCite which points to Wikipedia_talk:Cite_sources/archive14#WebCite for the main discussion thread. i'm probably not going to try it right now, but if you try it and are happy with it, feel free to leave a note on my talk page so that i know that at least someone i know as a serious wikipedia editor found it useful for what it claims to do. :) My guess is that in a case like the present case, we would end up with e.g. name="NYTv1" and name="NYTv2" and maybe name="NYTv3" type references, where we update any serious changes (e.g. for the "huge celebrity" quote which got toned down) to NYTv3 but can leave most of the others as NYTv1 as long the changes are minor. In some cases this might lead to sentences in the main text like, "The NYT initially called al-Zaidi a 'huge celebrity', but in a revised version of its article with a change in authorship, corrected this to 'was embraced by'." if we thought it notable enough to describe the NYT's untraceable-wiki type of "reliable" reporting. Boud (talk) 20:35, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I use Zotero for client side archiving. You can see how it works here. You can always go back and see the snapshot of the original web page at the time you viewed it. WebCite sounds like a much better solution for this task, however, it was not intended to be used to refer to previous versions of rapidly changing news stories. In other words, we are dealing with two different problems. If a news story changes over time, unless we have secondary sources describing that change, we are engaging in original research. Viriditas (talk) 02:04, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
"Probably not" is not "certainly not". :) Let's see how my first try works out. At the moment this is reference 8 "Loven, Jennifer (2008-12-15). Bush's Iraq-Afghan farewell tour ..." See the first few lines of User:Boud or add both the archiveurl and archivedate parameters to a reference in order to use this after asking to archive the page. Of course, you also need the original (source) title, url and date. You need to give an email address to to request the archival, and if you do this for pages with big images, you might get your email box clogged, since they say that they only use the email for sending you a copy of the page. My initial, instantaneous reaction is that it seems nice. RTFM and thou shalt find all that you wished for (sometimes). Hope this is what you were hoping for! Boud (talk) 22:19, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
On December 18, a New York Times article went from saying

Al-Zaidi has not appeared in public since his arrest, and his family members and his legal representatives say they have not been permitted to visit him

to saying

The statement could not immediately be confirmed with the family or lawyers of the reporter

-- (talk) 02:16, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
The confidence of his brother, the investigating judge, and unnamed Iraqi officials would suggest he is in reasonable health.-- (talk) 02:48, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Is it glorious to be on the safe side of BLP?

As well as it apparently being in only one source, is "It's glorious to die a martyr" likely to be misinterpreted as being a reference to a "martyrdom operation"? Andjam (talk) 12:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Recommend temporary removal until actual evidence is corroborated by multiple independent news sources. See also: Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons/Noticeboard#Muntadhar_al_Zaidi. It is extremely likely that I will be proved wrong in this matter, and that is my sincere hope. However, in the slim chance that I am right, we will have made the right choice. Viriditas (talk) 12:42, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I just took a look at the latest sources. No corroboration, but lots of fresh doubt on whether Zaidi's actions were planned or spontaneous with many leaning towards spontaneous. Now, why would he write this note if media reports are saying his action was spontaneous? I'm removing the uncorroborated statement (that appears in only one source) from the article until we have confirmation. Viriditas (talk) 13:20, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Removed text follows. Please add it back in when it is corroborated by independent news agencies, not different agencies reporting what ABC claimed:

According to ABC World News, following the incident, al Zaidi's cameraman stated that just before throwing his shoes, al Zaidi handed him a note reading, "It's glorious to die a martyr."[11]

Al Zaidi knew he was very likely to be severely beaten, itself "martyrdom" of a sort. It was certainly possible that he would be killed -- either accidentally during the beating. or by impulse as the shoes flew. The note, if it exists, is an indication that the act was spontaneous, as a "plotter" who is also a journo would more likely have prepared a more elaborate statement. Bustter (talk) 21:01, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, what you say is possible and one way to look at it, but I'm going to withhold speculating until we have more evidence. Viriditas (talk) 02:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Bustter is correct. The note, in Arabic, is shown in the linked footage and there is no reason to doubt its veracity, being shown on a major U.S. network newscast. Badagnani (talk) 01:28, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
As Rosa Brooks editorializes, he very well may have thought the Secret Service or Maliki Body guards would kill him.. I guess they didn't go all the way..-- (talk) 01:47, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Brief biographical information

Two sources giving Zaidi's age, marital status, and educational background:

Iraqi journalist who attacked George W. Bush 'plotted for months': "Mr Khafaji (programming director for Al-Baghdadia Television) said Mr Zaidi was a 28-year-old graduate of communications from Baghdad University who had worked for the station for three years"

Family: Shoe thrower hates both US, Iran role: "Over time, Muntadhar al-Zeidi, a 28-year-old unmarried Shiite, came to hate both the U.S. military occupation and Iran's interference in Iraq, his family told The Associated Press on Monday."

-- (talk) 01:47, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Dude, you're awesome. Viriditas (talk) 01:48, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
8-D. Unfortunately, there did not appear to be much else out there biographically.-- (talk) 01:51, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I thought the actual Biography section looked a bit thin, so I have added this comment on Zaidi's journalism from a UK source. I think it also lends weight to his international notability before the shoe-throwing incident. Incidentally Zaidi seems to be known with a certain relish as "The Baghdad Clogger" in UK media. I'm not sure this is worth including in the article though.G J Coyne (talk) 16:19, 19 December 2008 (UTC)


I have to say, what disturbs me about this event is not the shoe throwing - it is just a protest - but the fact that Mr. Zaidi appears to have received cruel and unusual extra-judicial punishment from the guards. The man threw his shoes, he was then detained by the guards, fair enough, since he could be dangerous; but then he should simply be removed, tried in court if there are charges and either freed or convicted and then for example punished as a deterent. Additional punishment, prior to a conviction, in the form of severe physical violence - done in public, to boot, in front of unwilling witnesses, who will also be traumatised by what they saw - is wholly outrageous. (Of course, that was not the aim or thought of those guards; they simply beat him up because he protested.) It is political repression exactly as practised in Iran, Syria, Lybia, you name it. This is the main issue, but there appears to be almost no comment upon it in the press. Toby Douglass (talk) 13:09, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm sure you can find something. Do the research, find the sources, and discuss this in the article. Thank you. Viriditas (talk) 13:14, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I just watched BBC World News, and they had the beating as one of their marquee headlines, so this angle appears to become the most important of this story. __meco (talk) 13:32, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
According to the BBC, he has been beaten in custody Source. I think we should include this to the article. Ijanderson (talk) 14:01, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm not surprised in the least. Did anybody seriously believe that he was going to get away with that? When al-Zaidi drops off the news radar he might really get whacked, so I trust the good people of WP will make sure we hear about it. --Adoniscik(t, c) 16:29, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Che Guevara

The home is decorated with a poster of Che Guevara, who according to The Associated Press "is widely lionized in the Middle East."

Is this detail necessary for a Wikipedia encyclopedia article? It is attempting to paint Zaidi as a violent revolutionary, and should not appear in a neutral biographical entry. Perhaps we will now add observations about the books on his bookshelf, the slogans on his coffee cups, and the type of cereal he eats for breakfast. I think this is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen on Wikipedia. Please, let's put an end to this. At what point will we also be told that Zaidi carries a copy of The Catcher in the Rye around with him wherever he goes? Enough, already. Viriditas (talk) 11:53, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
If it is well sourced, I think this detail necessary for a Wikipedia encyclopedia article. Find a source which counter acts this view. travb (talk) 17:30, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Please demonstrate that this factoid 1) has been covered by non-western sources and, 2) is significant and topical. Neither appears to be true. Posters of Che Guevara appear on the walls of tens of thousands of college dormitories around the world and have, for the most part, lost any meaning. (Multiple sources attest to the commercial nature of the Che Guevara brand, and how it amounts to owning a pair of Levi jeans or having a bottle of Coca-Cola on your table. Not notable.) Associating Zaidi with the image of Che Guevara is an attempt to a smear a man who has not been given a fair trial. We should only discuss the presence of the poster on his wall if it is encyclopedic. We don't report every thing every source on the subject says. We pick and choose what is notable, what is significant, what is relevant, what is timely, what is authoritative, and more importantly, what is accurate. Please describe how this poster, which is ubiquitous like running water and sliced bread, is relevant to this article. Are we also going to talk about the names of the books on his shelf, the cleanliness of his bathroom, and what type of partner he prefers in bed? This is absurd. Viriditas (talk) 23:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Viriditas, about this not being WP:Notable, the Associated Press along with dozens of other reputable sources in the last day or so have, and thus included it amongst their reporting. Some might view the presence of such a poster, as impugning him as a "violent revolutionary" (someone might want to tell that to the millions of college students worldwide), however others may find this presence of such a poster a positive attribute, or at the very least interesting. It is our job to report the cited information from reputable sources; others can infer whatever they wish from it.   Redthoreau (talk)RT 22:02, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
No, it is our job to report what is relevant and accurate, and unless Zaidi has talked about Guevara or it applies to this article in some way, discussing the furnishings of his room (which may or may not even belong to him) are beyond the scope of this article. Viriditas (talk) 23:11, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
What if that were a poster of Osama bin Laden? Would that change the relevance of the furnishings of his room? This man is famous for making a political statement, so if he represents his political beliefs through the furnishings of his room, then the furnishings of his room are relevant. Certainly you wouldn't argue that the fact that he's from Sadr City should be kept out of the article? This is another fact with no direct relevance to the topic of the incident, though it certainly does provide further information about his potential political leanings. I think the environment in which this man has surrounded himself is entirely relevant to the discussion at hand. TBSchemer (talk) 11:37, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Try to read the entire thread. In the last 24 hours, the media has released images of his flat. The so-called "poster" is nothing of the sort, and does not even come close to the average Che Guevara poster, banner, or flag you find in the typical university dorm room. From what I can tell, it's a tiny, 8½ by 11 inch computer printout, although it could be larger than I describe or even a commercial reproduction. Regardless, it is irrelevant to this article unless al-Zaidi has commented on it directly. The fact is, it was mentioned by a source attempting to smear the man and make him out to be violent revolutionary. You say that al-Zaidi is famous for his political statement, but you stretch that too far by saying that his beliefs are represented by a poster of Che Guevara in his room. We have zero evidence that is true. You say that the environment the man has surrounded himself in is relevant, and yet you claim that the importance of his place of residence, Sadr City, is equivalent to the importance of a tiny flyer of Che Guevara next to his bookshelf that is almost unrecognizable in a photograph? Are you kidding? Viriditas (talk) 12:13, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

You say, others may find this presence of such a poster a positive attribute, or at the very least interesting. We don't add things to an article because of our personal biases. We add content and links to topics that are relevant. You yourself admit above that the poster is insignificant due to its ubiquitous presence. Why is it interesting in this article? What relevance does it have? How is it significant to the biography of a man who has not yet received a fair trial? Do you have evidence that the poster belongs to him? Did he admit to it? Did he buy it? Did he tell his friends he personally admires Che Guevara? The news reports say the apartment was furnished, so how do we know the poster wasn't on the wall when he moved in? Why is it important? Considering the fact that this poster is widely available around the world and is found on every college campus on the planet, I fail to see any significance. Viriditas (talk) 00:00, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Viriditas, this issue is not that important for me to get in a feud with you. I am fine with the information not being included in the article, and was merely including my original rationale for including it. I would also politely request that you scratch out the above disingenuous “hypothetical” (as I have removed my own personal statement which you objected to) where (in my view) you are obviously impugning my reasoning for including the information originally WP:NPA. I believe that you are acting in Wp:good faith and only ask that you do the same. Thank you.   Redthoreau (talk)RT 00:25, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I deleted the statement you requested. Now, I would be happy to add Che Guevara to the article if someone would convince me. Viriditas (talk) 00:29, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, I appreciate that. As for it being added to the article, I will forgo any further discussion on the matter (and will leave its possible inclusion up to others).   Redthoreau (talk)RT 00:34, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Che Guevara? Big deal. Now, if he had a poster of Saddam Hussein, that could be another matter altogether. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 04:21, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Probably only for shoe practice, since he held Bush and Saddam on about the same level.-- (talk) 05:09, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

As of today, there is a photograph of al-Zaidi's room floating around the news wires. I'm sure there is more than one, but the photo that I saw shows a small study desk with a bookshelf of books. Just below it, is a tiny poster of Che Guevara, and it does not even appear to stand out. This could hardly be called a poster as it appears to be an 8½ by 11 inch piece of paper. However, it could be larger than that, it's hard to tell. Viriditas (talk) 06:26, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Can you provide a link, so we can see for ourselves? For example, if he likes that al-Sadr guy, and has his poster on the wall, that's of greater currency. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 12:18, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Heh. Sure. Give me a sec. Viriditas (talk) 12:23, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
The image appears in this article and can be seen separately here. Viriditas (talk) 12:38, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Unless he has spoken of Guevara, or others have reported on him speaking of Guevara, it seems a stretch to make a thing out of this. For comparison, Farrah Fawcett's poster was all over the place in the early 70s, so I guess you could say she was "lionized" too. That poster was rather larger than this one, which in fact has a pop-art look to it anyway, and might even be an album cover - maybe from his "Live at Che Stadium" concert. There's also an illustration of what looks like an African mask. Maybe they should make something of that, too. And what about that coffee cup? Is it Starbucks, or some other brand? Enquiring minds want to know! Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 12:48, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
And like another editor reminded us above, Zaidi is from Sadr City! If you're from Sadr City and you don't own a poster of Che Guevara, there is clearly something wrong with you! Can anyone imagine what it is like to live there? Or, heading out to work early in the morning only to be kidnapped for three days? Or, being woken up in the middle of the night and having soldiers arrest you as they search your house? Really, the conditions these people live in must be intolerable. Can anyone here say they would put up with it for a minute? And yet they do, every day, for years on end. Viriditas (talk) 13:20, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
A notable improvement over the Saddam days, where you simply disappeared. I'll stick with the good ol' USA, though, thank you. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 13:24, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Question: how many Iraqi's did Saddam kill? And, how many have died as a result of the Iraq War? Viriditas (talk) 13:28, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
War begets war, violence begets violence. Once the USA has left, the next Saddam will come along, foment a revolution, and impose the next brutal regime. It never ends. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 13:38, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
And yet, in the past, one could say the same thing about the inevitability of slavery, impossibility of women's suffrage, civil rights, gay rights, etc. Dwight D. Eisenhower addressed how to end the war problem, and the answer has been well known for decades. As the plot summary for the film Lord of War states, "the U.S., the UK, France, Russia and China (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council) are the world's leading arms suppliers." Viriditas (talk) 13:50, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
As long as person or country A has something that person or country B wants, conflicts will continue. It's human nature. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 14:28, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. But how do you handle conflict resolution? Do you simply reach for your gun? Viriditas (talk) 14:32, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Me personally? No. But I haven't had to. Yet. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 15:02, 19 December 2008 (UTC)


According to Alexa Internet, is one of the two most visited Islam-related websites on the Internet. They are a professional Islamic news source, and it is perfectly reasonable to assume that they might somehow be able to conduct an interview and quote another Islamic journalist.

If you don't believe the details of al-Zaidi's story, then just find a source which disputes it. But it is perfectly reasonably that one news organization would interview another news organization's journalist, and it is also perfectly reasonably that a co-worker and close friend would know what al-Zaidi had reported on.

IslamOnline is cited in Western media. Please stop removing reliably sourced information, especially without even doing any background research. It is ridiculous.-- (talk) 16:53, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Is the BBC unreliable when it reports things we don't like? Apparently they know who Ahmed Alaa is, and apparently they are willing to also quote Should I remove all the BBC articles from the article? They are funded by a foreign government after all! Maybe we should remove anyone who cites the BBC too! They're all collaborating with foreign governments which are sympathetic to the Islamicists!
Something isn't unreliable just because you don't like it. And you have to have a better argument for removing something than "I haven't heard of it."-- (talk) 16:58, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

At, one of the most popular destinations for reports and analysis on Islamic affairs, traffic doubled after U.S. forces attacked Iraq on March 20. So did cyberattacks, which reached 250 a day, according to Mutiullah Ta'eb, the site's general coordinator. --(Rageh, Rawya (2003-04-17). "Arab Web sites plagued by attacks since start of war in Iraq". AP Worldstream. Associated Press. )

Let's block the Associated Press too! Goodness gracious.-- (talk) 17:14, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
It can be argued that IslamOnline meets the criteria for a WP:RS, and it can be argued that it does not. Grey Fox has raised important questions about the material, and I encourage him to keep doing just that. On the other hand, playing devil's advocate, I have attempted to defend it on his talk page. I think it can go either way. But before we do make a good decision on the topic, the inclusion of the material in the bio section nees to be rewritten. Viriditas (talk) 06:01, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Intro has no mention of claims of abuse whilst in custody

This has alot of media reports backing it up. Please do not remove the beatings info, as this is important that it is taken seriously. Piroska Markus (talk) 11:41, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

It was removed earlier because it had not been confirmed, in spite of "alot of media reports". If it has finally been confirmed, then it should remain in some form, however we need to be careful about WP:RECENTISM and remember that this is biographical article. Viriditas (talk) 11:51, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I restored the previous lead as I was unable to confirm your additions to the lead. It appears that the investigation is still ongoing and there is conflicting information on the subject. Please don't use the lead section to argue over current events. It should be relatively stable, while the rest of the article is in flux. Viriditas (talk) 12:35, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
That there have been allegations of torture (namely attributed to his brother), and calls for investigation (namely by AI and others) is notable. But you can't just say he is or has been without evidence.-- (talk) 13:40, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, bring your best evidence to the table. The reports that I reviewed conflict with one another. Argue it out in the body of the article and come to some conclusion that will not change day by day so we can put it in the lead. Otherwise, keep the lead stable and leave it out until some kind of consensus has been reached on the matter. Viriditas (talk) 14:04, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

This is what Piroska added:

Al-Zaidi's family and the investigating Judge have further claimed that Al-Zaidi has additional physical injuries since being held in custody

I tried to verify this and found multiple reports claiming that one side of his family says there are additional injuries while another says there are not. Who is right? Let's get some hard confirmation on the subject. Primary sources like medical reports in conjunction with good secondary sources are ideal. We might have to wait a few days or simply look harder. Surely someone can take up this task? Please, let's remember we are writing a lead section here, so we should try to keep it stable with an emphasis on a broader biography. We don't need to be adding little items every day saying this or that. If we know he was tortured, then we should say so, but we don't know yet, do we? Viriditas (talk) 14:22, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

The investigating judge seemed to be downplaying his injuries, as did Iraqi military officials. They weren't involved in his detainment, so the odds of them both saying this independently seems reasonably low. (It sounds like he is probably okay apart from the incident when he was taken in to custody) It would be best to hear from a doctor, his family, or his legal representation to get complete confirmation but this hasn't been possible as of yet it seems.-- (talk) 14:45, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. Keep looking, you'll find something. Viriditas (talk) 14:49, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

About 20 members of his family protested at the edge of Baghdad's Green Zone on Friday and his brother Uday complained that "neither his attorney nor any family member has seen him."

Judge Dhia al-Kinani, the magistrate investigating the incident, said the court has opened a probe into the alleged beating of journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi during the news conference.

-- (talk) 16:15, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

The letter may or may not have been written by him and he may or may not be severely injured, but one wonders why the U.S. and Iraqi governments can't do something as simple as allowing him to meet with his family or legal counsel. He threw a shoe and was beaten to the ground, he isn't very much of a danger (and according to much of Iraq, he did not do anything wrong).-- (talk) 16:42, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Right to counsel

I'm not a lawyer (especially an Iraqi one) but in Article 19 of the Iraqi Consitution it says "the right to a defense shall be sacred and guaranteed in all phases of investigation and trial" and "every person has the right to be treated with justice in judicial and administrative proceedings". So why hasn't al-Zaidi met with a single one of the lawyers waiting in line to represent him? Is it overridden by the fact that he is in the Green Zone?-- (talk) 20:24, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

I mean the judge met with him to ask him if he did it, so wouldn't that be a part of "all phases of investigation and trial"?-- (talk) 20:38, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Does anyone know if it is typical for someone to be kept privately like this in Iraq? I guess this would ignore the Human Rights Watch report (released on the day of the shoe-throwing incident, no less) which said "abuse in detention, typically with the aim of extracting confessions, appears common".-- (talk) 20:47, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

He apparently had a government appointed lawyer to begin with. A bit more about the "deeply flawed" Iraqi legal system is here and here.-- (talk) 00:44, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Bush, physics, and the Matrix

To lighten the mood around here: I honestly think it would be interesting to discuss the physics of the shoe toss. I was actually quite impressed with President Bush's dexterity (I'm sure others were as well. I doubt I could have ducked like that, and I'm much younger than him.) It's also amusing to see that the Christian Science Monitor has begun comparing the President to Neo[7]; I hope we can get this in the article. Viriditas (talk) 01:51, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

More mood lightening from the NYTimes: Perhaps we could pay down the deficit by selling lots of shoes pelted at Bush?-- (talk) 14:36, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
With the "offender" apparently having been subjected to serious violence, I sense that this entire story is changing in mood also from the light-hearted piece which the incident in itself should warrant to a more somber case of human rights abuse and physical violence used to suppress political dissidents. __meco (talk) 15:23, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
But Bush joked about it! Just some good ole American democracy..-- (talk) 15:44, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
The more serious perspective obviously wasn't present from the outset. The situation has changed with the news of physical abuse. __meco (talk) 16:03, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
The journalists saw him get knocked to the floor, could hear screaming from the other room, and there was blood left on the floor. It was and is obvious he was mishandled, it is just easier for some to joke about the incident than to discuss the details of what actually happened.-- (talk) 16:07, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
One could argue that the President may not care if the journalist got a beating, but since this has now become the foremost angle of this story, he and everyone else will have to take this into account now. __meco (talk) 16:37, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
One would wonder whether the affront to journalism was that one journalist threw his shoes, or that other journalists watched him get pummeled and then later joked about it.-- (talk) 16:14, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
One more mood lightener: Bush's hanging.
His entire presidency was a set-up for that one. :)-- (talk) 04:45, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
A few later nighters:
  • "You've got to give Bush credit. I mean, the guy moved pretty quickly. ... Too bad he didn't react that way with bin Laden or Katrina, bin Laden or the mortgage crisis, bin Laden or Afghanistan, bin Laden or the Lehman Brothers." --David Letterman
  • I don't think Bush really has dodged anything like that, well, since the Vietnam War." --David Letterman
-- (talk) 05:11, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Deletion of photo

The photo was deleted today, "image against policy. no source no license"[8] if an editor has a problem with the image, ask for the image itself to be deleted, then the image information will be removed here, not vice versa. Thank you. travb (talk) 17:40, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

The image was deleted twice today, and Zaidi's biographical image was deleted earlier. I think that both images are fine for this article and do not have any copyright problems as they illustrate the critical commentary in an apporopriate manner. I suggest restoration of both images with more informative licensing. Viriditas (talk) 00:06, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
The image was deleted again, with the comment: "problematic image. do not readd before addressing the problems)"[9] This editor has contributed nothing to this article, and in 6 months, had never even created an article. travb (talk) 20:32, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
This image is on VOA. I'd assume it is in the public domain. It might also be possible to do a screen-capture from White House video of the press conference. Just two other ideas if this is a continuing problem.-- (talk) 20:39, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Assume is not good enough. Do you want the Wikimedia Foundation to have to go to court or negotiate with companies for alleged copyright violations for a zillion different photos? Let's do the work...
  • The link you gave says In this image from APTN video - it looks like a still from the video i saw which has "AP" in big, so it's very very likely to be Associated Press Television News and not Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. So it's very unlikely to be in the public domain.
  • There is a licensing template on File:Shoe_against_bush.jpg which gives the text This image is a faithful digitalization of a unique historic image... Use of historic images from press agencies must only be used in a transformative nature, when the image itself is the subject of commentary rather than the event it depicts (which is the original market role, and is not allowed per policy). Is the image itself the subject of commentary? By reliable external sources (not wikipedians!)? E.g. Le Louvre offered to pay 30 million euros for rights to display a glossy printout of this particular photo in the "Fall of the US Empire" Hall and there was controversy about whether or not Le Louvre should do this? The fact that it shows a boot about to be thrown at the head of the President of the United States of America is clearly notable, but only because of the fact of the general event: al-Zaidi threw the boot at Bush and narrowly missed. The photo illustrates the event, but is not itself the main subject of interest. So far, we don't have any particular evidence that the snapshot itself has become as much a subject of debate as the event itself.
Much as i would be happy to see the photo in the article, i think that whoever keeps deleting the photo seems to be correct in terms of avoiding any copyright problems for wikipedia. You could try contacting (emailing?) Associated Press Television News and ask them if they would accept for the photo to be published on the Wikimedia wikis under licence X - you'd have to discuss with them what licences X would be acceptable for wikimedia wikis. i wouldn't expect much success, but you could try. Or else you'll have to find reliable sources that focus a lot of attention on the photo itself rather than the event. Boud (talk) 00:30, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Then someone should just do a screen grab from the White House video from around 17:35-17:42.-- (talk) 01:09, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Here is a completely public domain picture from a White House screen grab. Somebody else could make one too.-- (talk) 02:07, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I uploaded this screenshot and added it to the article.--Nosfartu (talk) 19:29, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Boud, your presence on this page is greatly appreciated. Viriditas (talk) 06:07, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

What is the timestamp of the screenshot in the video? Prodego talk 20:38, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I just froze the frame and snapped the picture, I wasn't sure I would need to record the exact frame number. It should be between 17:38-17:45 if someone else wants to get a better shot or record the exact frame number, etc.-- (talk) 20:50, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Cumbersome argument solved: User_talk:Nosfartu#File:Bushduck.PNG. Thanks Nosfartu, for doing what other editors didn't want to bother to do. travb (talk) 21:40, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Heh, please keep all images linked to this page watchlisted. This is by no means over, and I'm sure you know what I mean. The image deletion crusade knows no end. Viriditas (talk) 07:29, 20 December 2008 (UTC)


He apologized, maybe we should mention that? (If it isn't already mentioned and I completely missed it)


Λuα (Operibus anteire) 20:16, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Under Iraqi Response:

On December 18, 2008 a spokesman for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said al-Zaidi wrote a letter to Maliki expressing regret for his actions and asking for a pardon. Al-Zaidi has not appeared in public since his arrest, and his family members and his legal representatives say they have not been permitted to visit him.[8] Dhargham al-Zaidi claims his brother was severely beaten after being taken into Iraqi custody.[9] Human Rights Watch has written in a December 14, 2008 report that "abuse in detention, typically with the aim of extracting confessions, appears common" in the Iraqi legal system.[10] Iraqi officials and al-Zaidi's other brother have denied that the journalist suffered any severe injuries.[11] Amnesty International has called on the Iraqi government to disclose the whereabouts of al-Zaidi and to investigate all allegations of ill-treatment.[12] It was not clear when the letter was written by Al-Zaidi.[13]

The apology was political since it was addressed to Maliki and involved a pardon, so I think this is the appropriate are for the apology, but I'd welcome your input as well.-- (talk) 20:26, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Some more [10] Grey Fox (talk) 21:14, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

This Time report says that al-Zaidi says in his letter that "his actions were directed squarely against Bush and not at al-Maliki" - which i didn't see in the other reports - he's not at all apologising for having aimed at and yelled at Bush, he's only apologising for the fact that al-Maliki could have suffered. Boud (talk) 01:36, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

What a shame they don't release the letter.-- (talk) 01:43, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Given he says he would do it again, maybe it is obvious why they haven't released his 'apology' -- (talk) 21:38, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed split

The current article is apparently hard for some readers to read, and is starting to dominate this page. I'd propose a split for the incident, and having it be summarized on this page. This would improve readability and allow for more information about the incident.

Sections on the new page could include something along these lines:

  • the incident
  • timeline proceeding the incident
  • outcry/international support
  • trial
  • influence on others (copycats, creative works, ..)

Thoughts?-- (talk) 04:42, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

  • I don't think the article size, scope, or topic qualifies for splitting at this time, and I think the compositon can be condensed even further to shorten the current version. We really don't need multiple articles on the topic just yet, and it is far too early to split out the main section. Instead, consider splitting out a subsection in the near future. Right now, the article needs cleanup and rewriting, not splitting. Viriditas (talk) 07:46, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
    • On second thought, I had no idea the article was now at 49kb so a split of some kind does seem warranted, but it has to be done carefully. Viriditas (talk) 08:11, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
      • The article contains of lot of references, which take up a lot of bytes in the source but negligible place in the main body of the rendered version of the article. By my estimate, removing all the references makes the article source 24719 bytes long, i.e. just 25kb. [Howto: iceweasel extension itsalltext / emacs as editor / M-x query-replace-all] To anyone reading this too quickly, i am not recommending the removal of any references, i'm just noting that the source length is not such a good estimate of the "readability" length of the article. This article is not (yet) too long. Boud (talk) 21:25, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
      • As for editing convenience, it's best to edit individual sections or subsections. IMHO it's still too early to think of splitting the article. Boud (talk) 21:25, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Should the article be split, it would be very important to make clear that this dude is notable only because of his shoe-throwing incident. Prior to the incident, he was an unknown -- "an obscure reporter." That he was kidnapped does not make him notable. Indeed, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been kidnapped in recent years, so the kidnapping incident in itself does not make the dude notable. Jonniefast (talk) 08:44, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Your opinion is subject to debate. The AfD showed that your opinion is in the minority. Zaidi was not unknown before this incident as his kidnapping was reported widely around the world., by proposing a split, you are encouraging editors like Jonniefast to come forward and make these types of arguments which could result in the biographical article being deleted and redirected to the new article you are proposing. I hope you understand that splitting the article may actually work against you. And please, register a single account so we can leave you discussion messages. I'm going to move the split tag to the appropriate section, as it doesn't need to be in the header. I think the jury is out on whether a split will actually help, so I would proceed very carefully here. It is unlikely that editors like Jonniefast will allow two article to exist on this topic. Please understand that your good intentions may result in the deletion (or redirect) of the biographical article, and that essentially, that is what Jonniefast is saying. Viriditas (talk) 09:40, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, of course, our opinions, yours and mine, are most certainly subject to debate -- there is no argument about that. However, Viriditas, bear on my mind that when someone is kidnapped, that's not an action that they initiate; they are simply victims of the action of others. And in Iraq, they are victims among too many -- nothing special in a devastated lawless country. On the other hand, the shoe incident was in fact totally initiated by al-Zaidi personally. Hence, it was his behavior, his action, during the press conference that has changed something in this world. That has made him notable. For the record, I do not agree with what al-Zaidi did. I strongly suspect that he took advantage of a rare moment of opportunity to gain popularity, fame, and attention -- just as president Bush noted. That's like seeing a million dollars a shoe-throw away and grabbing it. In America, it is meaningless, but if you are an Arab or a Muslim in the Middle East, it is overloaded with meanings. Al-Zaidi broke the journalistic norms and codes because of his greed. In the end, he is just a selfish and opportunistic thug from Sadr City. Jonniefast (talk) 22:04, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Jonniefast: At the present there are about 3042 United States journalists listed in Category:American_journalists, but only 26 Iraqi journalists listed in Category:Iraqi_journalists. Given the relative populations of the two countries, we would have a neutral judgment of notability if we had about 10 times more Iraqi journalists. If you want to help build up the wikipedia, then one obvious project would be to find the other 200 or so notable Iraqi journalists whose pages have not yet made it to en.wikipedia. Please remember that en.wikipedia is not USA.wikipedia: The average Wikipedian on the English Wikipedia is (1) a man, (2) technically inclined, (3) formally educated, (4) an English speaker (native or non-native), (5) white, (6) aged 15–49, (7) from a majority-Christian country, (8) from a developed nation, (9) from the Northern Hemisphere, and (10) likely employed as an intellectual rather than as a labourer (cf. Wikipedia:User survey and Wikipedia:University of Würzburg survey, 2005). You might try asking on for help in order to help work against this systemic bias, since articles on Iraqi journalists might more often start up there before English versions are created. Boud (talk) 00:41, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm just saying at 50kb not every detail should be added about him anymore unless we split. Also, al-Zaidi was notable not only for his reporting, but also for his detainment by unknown gangs and U.S. troops.-- (talk) 12:32, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Just a reminder that without the references, the source is about 25kb - see above. Boud (talk) 00:41, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough.-- (talk) 01:31, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Boud is right as usual. (Is this guy ever wrong about anything??) It's a good thing this topic has come up now, rather than later. We need to start discussing what we are going to do, as the article is rapidly moving away from the scope of a biography. Viriditas (talk) 06:49, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, yes, definitely, i have plenty of proof about errors i've made. :) Also, see below, i might have made some errors there, though not intentionally, of course. Boud (talk) 20:23, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Just to clarify: that's "yes" to "[is boud] ever wrong about anything?". :) Boud (talk) 20:26, 22 December 2008 (UTC)


Who added "Mr." to the article, and why was this done? Viriditas (talk) 09:41, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Please remove all instances of "Mr." Viriditas (talk) 09:41, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Done and also corrected a big letter "A" in words "al-Zaidi". (talk) 10:20, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

"Copycats" is POV

"Copycats" (subsection title and used at least once in the text, before my corrections) is POV. See wiktionary:copycat: "copycat (plural copycats) 1. (informal) One who imitates others' work without adding ingenuity". What evidence do we have that the people who imitated al-Zaidi did not add any ingenuity? None. However, i'm not sure what would be NPOV. Here are some ideas:

  • Followup incidents
  • Shoe-throwing as a new political tradition
  • Shoe-throwing as a new political fashion following al-Zaidi's action
  • Shoe-throwing events following al-Zaidi's action
  • Shoe-throwing incidents inspired by al-Zaidi's action

i'm not really happy with any of these. For the moment i've put the final one. Any ideas? Boud (talk) 21:44, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Imitation, reproduction, inspiration, similar? Could one of these words help?-- (talk) 03:21, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm leaning towards "inspired". Viriditas (talk) 03:23, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Inspired replications?-- (talk) 03:46, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference alertnet_Zaidi_ransom was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference Zaidi_US_2arrests was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ a b Cite error: The named reference BBC081214 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ a b c Cite error: The named reference NYT_Zaidi_FolkHero was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference KaradshehNasr081215 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference Support was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference newscomau was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference AFP081216 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference Loven_Zaidi_blood was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^
    • ^ Video showing note