Who deserves shoes?


On Sunday, in a defining moment of the war on terror, Muntader al-Zaidi, a 28-year-old Iraqi TV correspondent, flung first one, then the other, of his shoes at President Bush. As he hurled his first piece of footwear, al-Zaidi yelled in Arabic that Bush was a “dog.” The second shoe, he shouted, was “from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!”

We don’t endorse physical violence, in general, and not against elected leaders, such as our own president. But, if anyone ever deserved an old-fashioned Iraqi-style “shoeing,” it’s Bush.

Bush ought to be barraged with a virtual closet full of shoes for all the wrong he has done during his inglorious eight years. For the misguided, mismanaged, bloody war that has brought so much suffering upon Iraq and its people, Bush, rightly, should be hit with a hiking boot. For using 9/11 and “mushroom clouds” as false pretenses to invade that country, when we should have focused on tracking down Osama bin Laden — and also for not capturing bin Laden in seven-plus years — Bush should be knocked with Crocs. For his assault on both civil liberties and the environment, Bush deserves to be clunked with clogs. Being pummeled with pumps is a fitting punishment for firing federal prosecutors for political purposes. In fact, there aren’t enough shoes on W. Eighth St. — be they mules, moccasins or soccer cleats — to give Bush his proper payback.

Many others are deserving of an “al-Zaidi special,” some of them right in our own backyard. Below is a list of just a few who should be shoed:

• The Upstate and outer-borough state legislators who refused to support Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan.

• The “Gang of Three” Democrats who are trying to hijack the state Senate and keep same-sex marriage from coming up for a vote.

• Despite all the good work they do, Mayor Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and 28 other councilmembers for overturning term limits legislatively, doing an end run around democracy.

• The Department of Sanitation for trying to jam three Sanitation districts into a planned megagarage at Spring St., jeopardizing Hudson Square’s future well-being.

• Developer Gregg Singer for heartlessly chopping historic details off the old P.S. 64 in the vain hope of trying to overturn the building’s landmark designation, and for causing the property to sit idle for seven years. (Many shoes.)

• Bad landlords for harassing tenants and for misusing provisions like demolition eviction and mass eviction to clear out rent-regulated tenants.

• Wall St. C.E.O.’s for insisting on giving themselves bonuses even after driving their companies into the ground.

• Disgraced Ponzi-schemer Bernard Madoff for stealing investors’ life savings and putting nonprofit groups out of business.

• Detroit auto executives, the unions, the government and Hummer-loving consumers for America’s inability to manufacture competitive, fuel-efficient cars.

We could go on, and on. Far too many could stand a good beaning with a blucher or a balmoral. But none more so than Bush.