Yesterday's inauguration should be a reminder to us all that most of the world does not enjoy the freedom that we do. In particular we should remember those who live in the appallingly topsy-turvy world that is Arabia today. A few weeks ago, a journalist threw his shoes at the President of the United States. For that act he deserves to be slapped on the wrist to the fullest extent of the law. Sadly the nation in which is imprisoned (and the nations to which he could be transferred) has a strange sense of justice:
He is in danger over there," [his lawyer] said in a telephone interview Monday. "He's also in danger in other Muslim countries because people who support his action could try to make him a martyr.Read that again. And again. It took me until the third read to realize what the shoe-thrower's lawyer was saying: He's in danger, because people who whole-heartedly agree with him might well kill him in order to strengthen the cause of opposition to the American mission in Iraq. And people wonder why I can't bring myself to look at the Middle East with enthusiasm.