Muntader al-Zaidi, the shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist who forced President Bush to reveal his secret projectile-dodging abilities, has apologized. Not to Bush, but to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. In a handwritten note, he says his “big and ugly act” is inexcusable and asks for the prime minister’s pardon. And can you blame him? Much of the Middle East is going crazy for this guy. They’re marching in the streets, chanting his name. He’s been offered a job by a Lebanese TV station and a 20-year-old wife by the girl’s father. He’s the country’s first tabloid celebrity! If that’s not a sign of progress, we don’t know what is. Prediction: After Zaidi eventually gets out of prison, he designs the most popular line of shoes in the Arab world. It’s just too perfect not to happen.