Bush In The Line Of Fire In Iraq

President Bush has faced a hostile reception on his farewell visit to Iraq just a month before he leaves office. Skip related content

An Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at Mr Bush who managed to dodge the missiles while security personnel leapt on the reporter.

"This is the end!" shouted the protester, later identified as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadiya TV, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt.

Mr Bush ducked both shoes as they whizzed past his head and landed with a thud against the wall behind him. The incident happened during a news conference in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. "All I can report," the president joked later, "is a size 10." He was in Iraq to meet leaders, thank American troops for their work there and celebrate a new security agreement.

The new bilateral deal will see all US troops pulled out of the country by 2011. After talks with Mr al-Maliki, Mr Bush said: "There is still more work to be done," adding that the security pact puts Iraq on a solid footing. "The war is not over," Mr Bush said, but "it is decisively on it's way to being won."

The US Commander in Chief arrived at Baghdad international airport on Air Force One. Mr Bush's visit comes just 37 days before he hands over power to Democrat Barack Obama and a day after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited UK forces in Afghanistan. It is his fourth visit to the war zone as president - his most recent trip there was over 15 months ago, in September last year.

Sky News' US political analyst Jon-Christopher Bua said: "This is possibily Bush's last attempt to restore his legacy and begin the revision of his own history regarding his decision to invade Iraq. "His decision to invade Iraq and its unanticipated consequences will be fodder for historians and the centerpiece of his legacy for years to come." Bua added that Mr Bush is looking to highlight any success before he leaves office next month and possibly distract attention from the "blunders and incompetence" of his administration, "which are painfully exposed in the latest US federal government report".

Earlier this week, US defence secretary Robert Gates made an unannounced stop in the country. Mr Gates has been told he will keep his current job under Mr Obama's regime. President-elect Obama has promised to withdraw all US troops from Iraq a little over a year after taking office, as long as commanders agree the move would not endanger American personnel or Iraq's security. Since the war began almost six years ago, more than 4,209 members of the US military have been killed. In total, the conflict has so far cost nearly $576bn.