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MARCO WERMAN: Former President George W. Bush hoped that a functioning democracy in Iraq would help spread democracy across the Middle East. Perhaps he didn't anticipate something else that happened in Iraq would prove quite as influential. I'm talking about shoe-throwing. You'll remember that an Iraqi journalist threw his shoe at President Bush during a press conference last December. Many Iraqis hailed the journalist as a hero; the shoe was pretty popular, too. A statue was recently erected in its honor in Tikrit, the hometown of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The statue has since been taken down, but the shoe â€“ or rather, another like it â€“ is still flying high. This time, the shoe in question was thrown in Britain. The target was Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. He was giving a speech at Cambridge University. The shoe fell short of its mark, but the young protester who threw it did manage to shout a few choice words at Wen. He called the Chinese leader a â€œdictator.â€ Wen Jiabao replied that such â€œdespicable behaviorâ€ would not stand in the way of friendship between China and the UK. By the way, the protester in Britain was detained by police, and the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoe at President Bush, he remains in jail in Baghdad.