[As’ad] AbuKhalil is author of several books on the Mideast including The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power. He said today: “The level of Arab media interest (especially in the Arab blogosphere) is like nothing I have seen. It is being treated as a vindication for the Arab peoples who opposed the war — the president who arrogantly believed that his occupation troops would be greeted by Iraqis with ‘sweets and flowers’ was himself greeted with shoes.
“This is significant and indicates how Arab public opinion feels about Bush. Al-Jazeera (Arabic) is reporting that up to 100 Arab lawyers have volunteered to defend Zaydi. [The Lebanon-based newspaper] As-Safir is reporting that he is a leftist, and not some Muslim fundamentalist as some speculated. Before the media rush to draw associations between shoes and Arab or Muslim cultures, we can assert that the fellow would have preferred rotten eggs and tomatoes if they were as easy to sneak through the tight security checks as … shoes.”