“near miss”, “cause”

Today we will look at two different terms: “near miss” and “cause”. We will use a short video to understand their meanings.

In the video you will see Muntazer al-Zaidi, an Iraqi journalist, throwing both his shoes at the US president, George Bush Jnr. The journalist throws his shoes quite accurately, but the shoes don’t hit Mr Bush. They “miss” him, but only just. In fact, they nearly hit his head. So we can describe the incident as a “near miss”. When two aircraft nearly hit each other, that is also a near miss.

Now let us turn to Mr Bush’s reaction afterwards (you can read the full transcript below). Mr Bush says that he doesn’t know “what the guy’s cause is”. In this context, the word “cause” means “a principle or movement that you believe in deeply and are prepared to defend or promote”. For example: Mother Teresa of Calcutta devoted her life to the cause of poor and sick people. Muntazer al-Zaidi’s cause is the widows and orphans and everyone killed in Iraq as a result of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Al-Zaidi (translated): This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog. This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.

Bush: So what if the guy threw a shoe at me? … Er, it is one way to gain attention. Er, it’s like going to a political rally and having people yell at you. It’s like driving down the street and have [having] people not gesturing with all five fingers. It’s a way for people to draw, you know, attention…I dunno what the guy’s cause is, but one thing is for certain, he caused you to ask me a question about him.

  • Maria says:

    jajaja !!!! It would be great if he didn’t miss hit his head

  • kambiz says:

    what a pity!
    it must be hit Buse in the head. I think AL-zaidi is an hero

  • chris says:

    I think all was a SETUP…….

  • Sasha says:

    It`s a pity that Al-Zaidi did not hit to Bush!!!!!!!

  • Aya says:

    I think that the Al-Zaidi has the right to do that because his country has fought by the worst dog in the world BUSH…unfortunately the shoe didn’t hit his FACE.

  • hannia says:

    sorry look

  • hannia says:

    really it was near to hit the Expresident George Bush, so he lok great fast reflexes.

  • hannia says:

    For me it is an excellent reaction by expresident George Bush, it look kind and diplomatic.

  • jorge trujillo says:

    Bush,will be minded as one of the most cruel persons of the world,what a pitty that the
    shoe didn’t hit him !

  • Nadira says:

    Enjoyed the lesson, Bush deserved more.

  • Sahar Mohamed says:

    I respect everyone who defend of his freedom, country and his cause regardless of the religion, color or nationality

  • Dimitar says:

    Hallo friends!

  • Suhanto says:

    Al-Zaidi, If I had been you, I would have controlled myself. I would have shouted” Mr. Bush, I think you have destroyed our country greatly. I am very angry about it. Please count how many children and women have died because of you. Please stop it.” Then I feel happy because I could express the true things kindly. Al Zaidi, however, could not control his emotion because he thought Mr Bush would not take any human advice or shouting.

  • fetrat says:

    Hello all,

    Well i am so happy for this action,

  • abbas ali says:

    Joe’s Cafe,
    your best and your class is too good.

  • ListPk.com says:

    Well, Although Pr. Bush is no more but war he started is still continuing. I think this shoe treatment must be continue so that these world leaders may feel fear to face people and journalist.

  • C says:

    It shows that Bush is still alert and can dodge anything thrown at him. Hahahahah!

  • Yensy says:


  • mouna says:

    i m very impressed by the very rapid reaction of bush.but have it for granted he ll meet what he deserves

  • Marcio Silva says:

    I think that Bush got out from the white House through the rear, it symbolizes what Bush heve been doing for the world and he fade away like a storm that leave the wost.

  • asmaa says:

    i dont know how can gorge buch slept he made a lot of crime .orphans and widows he is the worst prisedant in the world

  • ring says:

    Dear Sir,thanks for your lesson.But why could’t I find the video above.

  • Naima says:

    viva USA

  • Naima says:

    freedom costs alot , brave people who stand for freedom whatever it takes,

  • boly says:

    tge live to zidi

  • hong.t.nhan says:

    that near miss can be said as a close call or close shave; and cause the motive, from the language point of view.
    Well, forget that blunder in Americo-Iraqui diplomatic relation. get ahead with language pals!

  • Lilyana says:

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for the precious lesson. Well done. Thanks my teacher, lol 🙂

  • salma says:

    al-zaidi is hero and courage, it is good lesson

  • chalak says:

    fascism is the most welcomed gift gave to the Arabes, if the arabs are realy breave try to be clever enough just like Goerge Bosh who caused you fuck down in Iraq Ahgan Lbenan palastain and Yaman… so on

    Chalak From Kurdistan

  • Aziz says:

    it’s good but how can i download this?

  • aaalllleee says:

    jajaja mega nice this video…..

  • abshir Awad Mohamud says:

    All the people around the world whether a Muslim,Christian,jews, Budisam, and induasam they agree Bush was the worst president entire world.we never see such a stupid president like Bush.Another hand the guy who throw the shoes the Bush he was the most prive in a Muslim world because he sacrificed him self to defend millions and millions people in Iraq.That means he was encoureaged and motivated other people.we love you my dearest brother we never forget you .how ever the guy is now he is free and he received millions and millions of money and reward. thank u all of u. iam from Somalia east Africa.

  • Tera says:

    Wow~Bush deserved it!

  • rend says:

    Thank you for the great lesson @_@

  • salma says:

    really the analysis of the script or the conversation is great. i learnt alot from this enjoyble lesson and wish to be (surely hit).
    i mean the shoes surely hit his head (*_*)

  • salem says:

    i’m very very happy to be spesking and chsting here. brilliant! i like making new special friends!

  • Günther says:

    The question that Mr. Al Zaidi should be asked is “did it help the widows and orphans?” and the answer we all know is no. So I condemned it and he should have thought of a better way to lay his problems and making fanatics to be louder.

  • carrie says:

    I think that it must have been a very good lesson for George Bush who does not care the death of children and iraq public(but provided that he contemplates on this event)

  • Anushka says:

    Great..but I’m not happy..because it’s a near miss not a hit.!!

  • ton ton says:

    Al zaidi is a ill bred man,a coward .Who praises him ,that is also a malefactor.Why? Because for attending this conference.Al Zaidi have had indirectly promised to keep the order,but he had violated the agreement.If he is a hero,he has to oppose face to face to US army.

  • Fatimah says:

    This is the reality show and the lesson to a person who always talk about helping people from a dictator power but he replace it by showed of the ability of his power to the world and pretended to the innocence victim. He thought he is a God who can doing everything by his authority. He forced the world accepted his perception wholly truthful

  • Shahid Hussain says:

    Mr Bush has throwen thousands of bombs on iraqi people by his cruel army. He deserves a lot than shoes. But Al Zaidi has proved that muslims are so brave and favour the truth.

  • miosha says:

    a very good lesson, because Bush deserve more than a sheo

  • Linda k hollywood says:

    Sorry misspell the verb Pariah people

  • Linda k hollywood says:

    The Iraq journalist throwing both his shoes at the US president is not gracious have a malicious intention like parish people.

    Good luck
    Linda k

  • mhmd says:

    Al-zaidi said what it was must say , enough .

  • Fahad says:

    He deserved that,,, VAmpire

  • Hoang Anh says:

    i can understand why Al-zaidi did like that. Regret that shoes are missing.

  • Egal says:

    What mr Al-zaidi gain from throwing a shoe to the most powerful president in the world. It is obvious, he is a criminal. Of course Bush is criminal too against whole society of Iraq regardless of their religion. The poor action of Al-Zaidi shows you that Arabs are like donkeys, because they don’t know how to fight but they know how to throw a shoe.

  • elham says:

    Hi Al-Zaidi,
    you did not miss the time!

    thanks joe’cafe,

  • Magdy says:

    In my opinion , this event is not good because it is done with the president of the greatest country in the world. also , it is the Arabian way to express their opinion , I think it is stupid expression.


    The lesson given is very interesting and takes only a good leader to think twice before taking a decision. I have admitted to the fact that the story is somehow talking about Osama Bin Lardin and the World Trade Center destruction meaning that was an attack on Bush and they missed their target.

  • ajip says:

    Thank’s for the lesson,so i get the meaning of ” near miss and cause”.

    For Al-Zaidi,don’t be affraid with your action many people support what you have done. we will be waiting for your next action.

  • azar says:

    thanks for your lesson i got meaning of near miss

  • azar says:

    thanks for your lesson i got meaning of near miss(near to hit)

  • Samiha Mohy Eddin says:

    When Mr.Bush brought his military weapons to fight Iraqi people, he might have proved that he was stronger.
    But when Al-Zaidi used hiis SHOES as a weapon to fight Bush, he assured that he became the weakest. For both, Bush and El-zaidi, your mind is the best.

  • Edith from Brazil says:

    I agree with most of the comments.
    Bush looked for and deserved not only shoes but stones.
    It was really a pity it hasn’t hit him…
    I wish he never live in peace after leaving the presidence.

  • Aziz says:

    I read the story of Nimrod, a mesopotamian monarch, the great-grandson of Noah who was a haughty king declared himself a mighty one in the earth. As his name shows, he was a man-hunter. In the last stage of his life, he suffered from a danger disease which doctors failed to find a recovery except beating on his head with shoes two times a day. Bush who killed countless innocent people is the new Nimrod. The resemblance between two rewards points that it was a heaven justice.

  • Crissy says:

    Near-miss-cause/Joe’s Cafe
    Is there no place for us to go and just keep politics out of the language learning process? Near miss and cause were shown by examples…and not to tally political opinions. I like the current event videos. They help me bring “today’s happenings” to my students.

  • Quadery says:

    No Comment

  • tanfrida says:

    In my opinion, Mr. Bush is responsible for every suffer of Iraqis. No wonder that Mr Al Zahidi got mad.

  • Sherry Wan says:

    Best wishes for year 2009 .
    I would like to take part in your club speaking English learning.Please provide detail information.

  • nirma says:


  • macaplice says:

    Well, I guess old George has finally found his weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. A harmless pair of size 10 shoes.

  • younus ali says:

    MR.bush deserve this gift because i ever read in all history of our world a man who is responsible for million peoples killing and he just make differences among the people.i think he should be hang for 8 years because his 8 years tenure he make people cry only.how many home and family destroyed by this evil person.

  • kashif says:

    i enjoy the lesson AL Zahidi is the best one of Arab people

  • Jephanny says:

    My opinion is Al Zahidi should calm down with something he didn’t like. Although George Bush was did something wrong but he is a president. Al Zahidi can’t do like that. That’s action just for a gangster people. I don’t know what happened with him but I think he was lost a very importan thing or family….??? That’s why he’s so mad and throw his shoe to George Bush. Everything will going fine if he can control himself. ^^

  • MARIA says:

    i really enjoyed the lesson and much more the incident.bravo montadar.

  • Chaouki says:

    Do you know what a pair of shoe can do
    for half a man whose crimes are not new,
    for a “heart-free” human being who followed the oil flow,
    for a vampire who sucked the iraqi blood and refused to withdraw?
    Which is better to miss the shoes like fifteen past six
    or stand like six sharp and get knocked?
    Is it a pair of shoes or a shower of bombs can be forgotten easily?
    Which one is cheerer in a game, a raid or a shoe?
    A pair of shoes makes stand up right to honor you or cause you to bend to dishonor you.
    So you deserve what happened to you.
    Mr. Zaidi you are an hero but your rival is nothing but a zero.

  • Azam says:

    I like AL ZAHIDI.

  • jamal quraish says:

    well done to AL ZAHIDI ,he should to be rewarded.He has shown to the western world ,how brave the Muslims are,no body should annoy the Muslims.I wish i was ZAHIDI i would have jumped on him(BUSH the DOG) and would have strangled him.

  • ALFONSO says:


  • jamshid says:

    a journalist’s weapon is his or her pen and or camera and not his shoes!

  • ttte says:

    A lzaidi is a real hero for all the world as he is brave enough to kill Bush with his shoe: I mean kill his character as a tyrrany. WELL DONE Zaidy!!!!

  • abu asem says:


  • Ehsan says:

    I think Al-zeydi should practice more to shoot on target for the next time! It makes ratherly most of people happy! and shows how much the Iraqi people love Bush! and shows us that it is not important how much you shoot heavily toward target, but precise!

  • hanane says:

    what a last kiss for Mr. bosh!! he will never forget it,and what a hard lesson!! this simply how Iraqi people say good bye or “farwell” to an awfull president.

  • DOHOU Désiré says:

    I just want to congratulate AL-ZAIDI for throwing his shoes to BUSH. I wish he threw stones or shut that “bush man” BUSH.

  • Helmi says:

    it a good idea to take your revange in the way you find it possible even if it’s not a propriate but what Bush has been doing deserves more than that
    for that thanks for the doer

  • Golnar says:

    I admire this brave arab man who reaveled all iraq people feelings to bush .Hope Al-Zaidi tolerate his bad situation now and get his freedom again.thanks for this remarkable topic.

  • rongxiongdai says:

    It’s an excellent example for the topic, I enjoy it.

  • shazia says:

    It was a fantastic lesson.Really enjoyed reading.It was also a lesson for all of us that time flies away.

  • hilla says:

    yes ut was relly funny but bush us still alive than we don’t to care:)

  • Robert Murray says:

    As the saying goes – if the shoe fits … wear it!

  • moon says:

    I think it is a gestue for a foolish leader who doesn’t want to respect international community.

  • koahh says:

    wow..litttle suprised…- -;;

    i never realize that shoes can be a weapon as he did to bush. anyway thanks joe, i exactly understand what “near miss” means and how to use it in grammar:D

  • Eleonora says:

    Good fellow, that Al-Zaidi, courageous behaviour and fair words. Americans have always thought that interfering into other peoples’ life they have a right to dictate them their will.

  • heba fahmy says:

    Bush the son .He deserves this reaction for the damages he made in Iraq ,he also made catastrophe in the people themselves. people can’t live a normal life.

  • fouzia says:

    Oh! that’s a great and unforgotten gift Bush requires when leaving Iraq and his presidency chair in the white house!!!by the way; could you frinds answer this quizz?Which president starts his power by a fall of 2 towers and ends by an attack of 2 shoes????!!!
    1. Bush the fater?
    2.Bill Clinton?
    3.Bush the son?

  • arame says:

    the lesson is so cool

  • Polomi says:

    The lesson is so beautifully taught to us, i guess we all learned it at one shot!!

  • fahia says:

    really bush is evil person i say thanks mr zaidy coze he made his emosionaly bush makes iraq broken country every one can feel bad he killed many iraq made homeless many iraqi made with out future , with out family, and disapoint realy i dislike bush not me only all over the warld and he the enemy of muslim he is deserved that so much more

  • Maggie says:

    Amazing! I wish many more shoes had been thrown at him. He deserves that and even more! So much evil was brought into the world because of his nasty games.
    I hope Mr Obama´s cause will repair all the damage done by the kind of demon Bush was to humanity.

  • al tommy nasser says:

    bush is an asshole.
    he dserves to be in the hell

  • Farhat says:

    it shows how much Bush and the policies of his government are hated by every one. Going through the opinions of different people about this issue, one realizes that Bush is hated and despised not only in Iraq and Afghanistan but all over the world.

  • Abdul says:

    Realy, it was best gift from the all people of muslim and more than 80% non muslim to Mr. Bush= Mr. killer= Mr. Rodif Etlar( Nazi German leader).

  • Moses Mgeni says:

    Good lesson, I agree with Zaidi because everyone likes to be on the winning team but sometimes we are supposed to have the degree of calmness.

  • heonau says:

    i think al zaidi is a impolite man.what ‘s a pity for him. he’ll be heavy punished.

  • arfah says:

    I agree.
    I like it..Mr.alzaidi…
    but why only shoe???
    why not make a big stone??
    I hope not only that,I wanna more attack to him..
    I’m with you obama.
    do the best for your country..
    and make some change to other country
    the krisis global financial will be end for all…….

  • Anies says:

    surely i dislike with Bush cause he is so arrogance but as people it’s not good to do like this. and i hope Al-Ziadi free from anything.

  • Sayed Elkomy says:

    I hope if Al Ziadi has 1000 shoes

  • nziha says:

    Thanks for the lessons.
    Mr Al Ziadi may have his reasons to throw his shoes at Bush but it’d be great if he debated or wrote articles to criticise Bush and the whole world instead of throwing things. The pen is mighter than anything else.
    For Bush, he enters history as the sillest president America has ever have. That’s great for him:)

  • Kathy Nguyen says:

    George Bush has a good reaction. Although he has to leave the White House, he left a good impression by his fast avoiding. and Al Zaidi must get the heavy punishment for being impolite with a President!

  • sayed says:

    This is heavenly justice. Bush (Dog) insulted all Muslim and Arab nations, so ..he must be insulted too, and(among his soldiers and keepers). He was supposed to be crushed into dust. He should be rapped..he should see his parents , his sons , his relatives , his people ..he should see all these (killed) to feel and know the (cause)of this guy.

    As I expected before( here in this site ) dog (Bush ) will go to hell. Damn him … Amen.

  • yaamir says:

    Everybody should join to throw their shoes to Bush..

  • yasin says:

    there are many people holding great power in their hands ı recommend them to spend this money on the childeren dying of hunger in africa not on army.

  • asmaa says:

    i think the most important thing about what happen wasn’t how Al Zaidi beaten bush in the shoes .
    it’s about that he finally has Courage to do that .
    hit him by the shoes it just a symbole
    it means that we aren’t fried anymore & very angry .
    he and all the Unfair coutry have to take care

  • iraj says:

    i think it wasn’t as mr bush say to get attention for himself .i think his goal was much bigger than bush’s idea it was for iraqi injured people of war .
    now all the world are talking about iraq.they have to thank to Al _naidi for it.
    just god help this man

  • MUSTAFA says:

    what is his size shose.
    I hope it is 55

  • mai anh says:

    I think it’s right ‘cos many people are so tired of what Bush has done with the world’s peace. sO he ’s worth being treated like that ^^
    I realyy appreciate Obama, Bush should withdrawn

  • mai anh says:

    I think it’s right ‘cos many people are so tired of what Buse has done with the world’s peace. sO he ‘s worth being treated like that ^^

  • alaa says:

    push kill iraqi people and still kill in every where so deserve that.

  • Galatea says:

    After all the crazy behavior of Bush against de arabs he deserves to be buried under an avalanche of shoes.

  • suntea says:

    I sympathize with Al Zaidi who, maybe because of what happened to his country and his people let his emotions get the better of him. When a person is so affected by a situation, sometimes he/she acts impulsively without thinking about the effect of his/her action

  • shalva says:

    It’s interesting to see how Muntazer al-Zaidi meets to president of Iran or to Ben Laden Or to Hasrala.

  • ria saduri says:

    wow..what a unbelievable action, I guess, al-zaidi didn’t need to think twice for doing it. For me…,Bush Jr. deserves to get it. Just make it as a little intermezo for him. thank’s for the “near miss”, it’s really usefull for knowing it.

  • Abdul Saboor says:

    That is nice and it is appreciated i am writing this that let you know how easily this dialog made to hav a sense of learning for us but for bush it is a die sown

  • murat says:

    One million people have been killed in Iraq because of baseless politics of the US Government, after all this response is not enough for humanity civilization in the universe.

  • Majeed says:

    Mr Bush has made so much evil in the world, so he merits more than a shoe

  • amin says:

    this lesson is verey good becouse we don’t like gorge bosh so montathar al zaidy the best one in arab pepole.

  • Michelle says:

    Sad to think that the President of the United States is barely capable of coherent speech. At least BaraK Obama speaks in complete sentences. As for the gesture, Al-Zaidi is a frustrated man who hopefully will limit his outbursts to throwing shoes.

  • hosaen says:

    Al-Zaidi is a wild man ! and philistia.I dont like talk about him.

  • Ajay says:

    I am very much impressed by Bush & also being his fan becaucse he has proved that he is a livewire.

  • mohammad kazem says:

    This is the reward for someone,who is so arrogance & not considerate other people

  • Kolbil says:

    Al-Zaidi simply did what was deserved of him,Kind god thinks whatever he does or says is the ultimate.Posterity will surely have the final say.I can’t just help myself wait for Al-Zaidi’s part 2,more grease to his el-bones

  • Mon says:

    greatt! I like Al-Zaidi and thanks the enjoyable lesson

  • Tara says:

    Nice lesson! I have to admit I was impressed by Bush’s quick reaction.

  • >