I was going to go with the "Who Throws a Shoe" title, but after Googling it, I saw how unoriginal that would have been. I also pondered adding the infamous Austin Powers clip to the bottom of this post, but opted to simply link to it instead. See, simple modifications easily make this post stand out.. right?
Recent events have revived the popularity of this Austin Powers moment. While we've all found a way to chuckle over the fact that George W was nearly beheaded by a shoe at an Iraqi press conference, the fact of the matter is that this is one of the highest insults in Arab culture. Maybe it's something innate in regard to the Presidents that we elect, but Bill Clinton seemed to miss the memo on cultural awareness too. Anyway, I digress. And Willy C was in the States at the time, so he has a better shot at forgiveness.
Back to the topic at hand. Arab culture views the sole of a foot as the dirtiest part of a person's body. It certainly makes sense, if you think about it. When entering a mosque, the first thing a person is required to do is remove his or her socks & shoes and then wash his or her feet. By pointing the sole of your shoe at someone within this culture, you're demonstrating complete ignorance and total disrespect. As you can surmise, Bush basically got the steroid-induced version of this insult.
As always, be aware of your surroundings. Feel free to share any relevant experiences that you might have had in regard to the above noted situation.