As you can probably tell from the paucity of posts, it’s been a busy holiday season for this humble correspondent. I did, however, catch this passage in an Associated Press story yesterday about the postponed trial of Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at Dubya during a press conference in Baghdad:
. . . in the most telling sign of the changes that are sweeping over Iraq, Tuesday’s second anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s hanging went by almost unnoticed — a near-forgotten footnote in a war that has claimed the lives of more than 4,200 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis.
The anniversary was not even marked in Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, where the insurgency quickly took hold after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Returning to the article’s main topic, the AP scribe (Patrick Quinn) then writes:
The trial of al-Zeidi was to begin Wednesday on charges of assaulting a foreign leader, which his defense team said carried a maximum sentence of 15 years. . . .
Last week, [Iraqi prime minister Nouri] al-Maliki sought to undermine the journalist’s popularity by saying he had confessed that the mastermind of the attack was a militant known for slitting his victims’ throats.
Al-Maliki said that in a letter of apology to him, al-Zeidi wrote that a known militant had induced him to throw the shoes. The alleged instigator has never been identified and neither al-Maliki nor any of his officials have provided a further explanation. The letter was not made public.
The journalist’s family denied the claim and alleged that al-Zeidi was tortured into writing the letter.
Guess it’s clear why there’s no reason to commemorate the death of Saddam. His body may be out of power, but his spirit is thriving nicely.