Yesterday, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at George W. Bush and shouted “This is a farewell… you dog!” In the Arab world, throwing shoes at someone is a major way to insult them. In the aftermath, the journalist has been jailed pending a decision about whether to charge him with assault. Jill at Feministe put it well:
…And because U.S.-occupied Iraq is such a free society, the man was beaten, dragged outside, and is currently jailed.
As far as I can tell, unless jury nullification or something similar exists in Iraq, if it goes to trial Muntadhar al-Zaidi’s conviction is pretty likely as there is a videotape of the incident.