Where is the outrage in this country over the treatment of Iraq's most famous shoe-thrower? First, the television reporter who narrowly missed hitting President George W. Bush last December gets hauled away and roughed up, his cries audible even as Bush, perfectly fine, continued speaking. Today Muntazer al-Zaidi gets sentenced for three years. Three years? For throwing a shoe and missing?
Compare that to the treatment of Seattle's own crazed activist, Omar Tahir-Garrett, who in 2001 whacked then Mayor Paul Schell with a five-pound bullhorn during a community festival. The Seattle Times reported in 2002 that Schell suffered "a broken nose and a crushed eye socket, and sometimes still sees a flashing light in his peripheral vision." In a subsequent trial on assault charges, the jury deadlocked despite the testimony of five eyewitnesses. He was tried a second time, convicted and sentenced to 21 months--the maximum term for the charges but still substantially less than Zaidi.