Is There a QVC in the Muslim World?

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The NYT reports today that cobblers from Lebanon, China and Iraq are claiming to have made the shoes that an Iraqi journalist tossed at President Bush, but one in Turkey seems to be gaining the marketing edge with Ducati Model 271, since renamed “The Bush Shoe”:

A new run of 15,000 pairs, destined for Iraq, went into production on Thursday, he said. A British distributor has asked to become the Baydan Shoe Company’s European sales representative, with a first order of 95,000 pairs, and an American company has placed an order for 18,000 pairs. Four distributors are competing to represent the company in Iraq, where Baydan sold 19,000 pairs of this model for about $40 each last year.

Five thousand posters advertising the shoes, on their way to the Middle East and Turkey, proclaim “Goodbye Bush, Welcome Democracy” in Turkish, English and Arabic.

For now, Mr. Baydan’s customers will have to take his word for it. The journalist who launched the shoes at a news conference a week ago, Muntader al-Zaidi, 29, was wrestled to the ground by guards and has not been seen in public since. Explosives tests by investigators destroyed the offending footwear.

But Mr. Baydan insists he recognizes his shoes. Given their light weight, just under 11 ounces each, and clunky design, he said he was amazed by their aerodynamics. Both shoes rocketed squarely at Mr. Bush’s head and missed only because of deft ducks by the president.

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