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 Who throws shoes at Bush?

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Bush visit to Iraq dodges flying shoes 

In this image from APTN video, a man throws a shoe at President George W. Bush during a news conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Baghdad. The man threw two shoes at Bush, one after another. Bush ducked both throws, and neither man was hit. (AP Photo/APTN) In this image from APTN video, a man throws a shoe at President George W. Bush during a news conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Baghdad. The man threw two shoes at Bush, one after another. Bush ducked both throws, and neither man was hit. (AP Photo/APTN) (AP)

An Iraqi man throws a shoe at President George W. Bush during a new conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Baghdad. A man threw two shoes at Bush, one after another, during the news conference. Bush ducked both throws, and neither man was hit. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) An Iraqi man throws a shoe at President George W. Bush during a new conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Baghdad. A man threw two shoes at Bush, one after another, during the news conference. Bush ducked both throws, and neither man was hit. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (AP)

President George W. Bush reacts after a man threw two shoes at him during a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Baghdad.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) President George W. Bush reacts after a man threw two shoes at him during a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (AP)

An Iraqi reporter called U.S. President George W. Bush a "dog" and threw his shoes at him on Sunday, sullying a farewell visit to Baghdad meant to mark greater security in Iraq after years of bloodshed.

Just weeks before he bequeaths the unpopular Iraq war to President-elect Barack Obama, Bush sought to underline improved security by landing in daylight and venturing out beyond the city's heavily fortified international Green Zone.  He declared the war "not over" despite recent gains.

In a sign of lingering anger over the war that will define the Republican president's foreign policy legacy, an Iraqi journalist shouted in Arabic "this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog," and hurled his shoes at Bush during a news conference with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

"It's like going to a political rally and have people yell at you. It's a way for people to draw attention," Bush said. "I don't know what the guy's cause was. I didn't feel the least bit threatened by it."

The journalist was leapt on by Iraqi security officials and U.S. secret service agents and dragged from the room screaming and struggling.

Bush's fleeting visit to Baghdad was aimed at marking the recent passage of a U.S.-Iraq security pact that paves the way for U.S. troops to pull out of Iraqi cities by July next year and withdraw completely by the end of 2011.

It was also meant to hail a recent sharp fall in the sectarian violence and insurgency that raged after the 2003 U.S. invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, and to show support for Iraqi police and soldiers as they take on increasing responsibility.

Asked whether he had come to Iraq on a victory lap, Bush said: "No, I consider it an important step on the road towards an Iraq that can sustain itself, govern itself and defend itself.   "There's still more work to be done. The war is not over."  Bush held talks with President Jalal Talabani and Maliki at the presidential palace.

Later, he thanked U.S. forces for their service in Iraq at a rally of about 1,500 cheering troops inside Saddam's old al-Faw palace at the sprawling U.S. military base of Camp Victory.   Talabani called Bush a great friend of the Iraqi people "who helped us to liberate our country."

Maliki, who had a strained look on his face after the shoe-throwing, praised Bush: "You have stood by Iraq and the Iraqi people for a very long time, starting with getting rid of the dictatorship."













                                                                                                                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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