Drip, Drip, Drip

by dday

The Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament has resigned over the al-Zaidi arrest.

Iraq's parliament speaker announced his resignation Wednesday after a parliamentary session descended into chaos as lawmakers argued about whether to free a journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush.

The speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, has threatened to resign before and has been suspended for embarrassing the prime minister with erratic behavior.

On Wednesday, after arguments erupted among lawmakers over the fate of the journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the speaker said: "I have no honor leading this parliament and I announce my resignation."

al-Mashhadani is a Salafi elected on the Iraqi Accord Front list, a Sunni-led slate. So much for the idea that only Shiite Sadrists supported al-Zaidi.

Meanwhile, as rallies seeking al-Zaidi's release continue, he received a judge in his jail cell rather than a courtroom today, pleading guilty to the charges.

THE Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at United States President George W. Bush has appeared before a judge in his jail cell because he is too injured to appear in a courtroom, his brother says.

The al-Zaidi family went to Baghdad's Central Criminal Court expecting to attend a hearing, his brother, Dhargham, said.

He said the family was told that the investigative judge went to see al-Zaidi in jail, and to return in eight days, Associated Press has reported.

"That means my brother was severely beaten and they fear that his appearance could trigger anger at the court," Dhargham said.

The anger is already being triggered. Yesterday crowds in Najaf (a Shiite holy city and Sadrist stronghold) threw shoes at an American military patrol. At some point they'll realize that other projectiles can do more damage.

This is very dangerous.