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Bush Legacy: Iraqi Orphans Help Build Shoe-Throwing Monument

6 years ago
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Via CNN:

A huge sculpture of the footwear hurled at President Bush in December during a trip to Iraq has been unveiled in a ceremony at the Tikrit Orphanage complex.

Assisted by children at the home, sculptor Laith al-Amiri erected a brown replica of one of the shoes hurled at Bush and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki by journalist Muntadhir al-Zaidi during a press conference in Baghdad.

Still awaiting his trial, Al-Zaidi's protest and the sculpture it inspired have marked what could be seen as the perfect symbolic closure to the United States' invasion of Iraq. What began with the toppling of an enormous likeness of Saddam Hussein--and its subsequent shoe drubbing--ended with a sculpture of the shoe aimed at the head of the man who largely responsible for leveling Hussein's bronze.

But why are these Iraqis so ungrateful to our former president given that the tyrant who led them, Saddam Hussein, has been deposed and executed? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that 5.1 million Iraqis were displaced by the war and the sectarian violence that ensued. According to the International Organization for Migration, that figure represents the largest human relocation in modern times.

Consider, too, the mind-boggling number of orphans caused by the war. The Iraqi Government estimates that the conflict has left 5 million children without parents.

Given these hard realities, perhaps a shoe-sculpture can be viewed as a civilized reaction to the legacy of Mr. Bush.

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