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'Shooing' doesn't represent a broad anti-US movement: Bush

world Updated: Dec 16, 2008 21:52 IST

As the dramatic TV footage of him being shooed away by an angry Iraqi reporter hit global headlines, US President George W Bush has tried to brush off the weird incident saying it does not represent a "broad" anti-American movement in the war-torn country.

"I'm pretty good at ducking as some of you know," Bush told journalists, joking about the incident and referring to his penchant for avoiding tricky questions from reporters.

Bush, who was unhurt when the Iraqi TV journalist Muntader al-Zaidi hurled two shoes at him during a joint press conference with Premier Nuri Kamal al-Maliki on Sunday, downplayed the significance of the incident saying he did not think "you can take one guy throwing shoes and say this represents a broad movement in Iraq.

"You can try to do that if you want but I don't think that would be accurate."

Bush also said he has seen a lot of weird things during his eight-year-long Presidency and that he would term the latest incident as "one of the weirdest".

Hitting someone with a shoe is considered the supreme insult in Iraq. It means that the target is even lower than the shoe, which is always on the ground and dirty.

Iraqi crowds hurled their shoes at the giant statue of Saddam Hussein that stood in Baghdad's Firdos Square before helping American marines pull it down on April 9, 2003, the day the capital fell. More recently in the same square, a far bigger crowd composed of Iraqis who had opposed the security agreement flung their shoes at an effigy of Bush before burning it.