Iraqis can throw all the shoes they want. They can demand that U.S. troops leave as soon as possible. And they may get their wish.
But if they think George W. Bush is the problem there, or that throwing shoes at him will help, their future is cloudier than feared.
Certainly as a liberator, President Bush leaves something to be desired. He invaded the country on faulty intelligence and his plan for occupation was almost nonexistent.
But former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein could have averted the war with simple compliance with U.N. weapons monitoring. It's too late to throw shoes at the real problem; he was hanged long ago.
Moreover, for one to be a liberator, folks must truly want to be liberated.
Ultimately, Iraq will be the kind of country that Iraqis themselves make. That kind of freedom comes with high responsibility. What they do with their freedom is up to them.
To have a so-called journalist hurling shoes at a president does not bode well for a democratic society. Nor does it say much about the state of journalism there.
The mainstream media in the U.S. certainly tainted their profession with their hatred of Bush and their unquestioning love for Barack Obama this year. But at least CNN correspondents kept their shoes on!
If President Bush is guilty of anything, it's hubris and naivete. He thought the Mideast could be tamed through military means; and he didn't appear to completely understand the dynamics in Iraq that would stand in the way of Western-style freedoms.
Those dynamics were rarely more in evidence than when "journalist" Muntadar al-Zeidi tried to hit our president with his shoes, a serious insult in Iraqi culture.
The U.S. is present in that part of the world due to a serious shortage of self-governance there - and the propensity for those in power to abuse it inside and outside of their own countries.
This incident raises nagging questions about Iraq's ability to stand on its own.
Whom will they blame for their problems when the other shoe drops and we're gone?