First Published: 2007-09-11

 
Pro-peace protest disturbs pro-war testimony
 

Seven anti-war protesters hustled out of committee room hearing Petraeus, arrested by police.

 

Middle East Online

Code Pink woman: ‘I have a right to speak out! This is not Russia!’

WASHINGTON - The screams of pink-clad female protestors could be heard but General David Petraeus could not. The US commander in Iraq had a dud microphone.

What was billed as the most electrifying day of testimony in Congress for many years lurched into farce Monday as Petraeus struggled to be heard and members of the anti-war group Code Pink were dragged kicking from the room.

"I'll bet (Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-) Maliki's sitting there watching this and thinking, 'at least my mike works'," one congressional staffer was heard to grumble.

The audio failure seemed all too apposite for anti-war campaigners who accuse President George W. Bush of turning a deaf ear to the groundswell of US opinion that wants the Iraq adventure to come to an end.

At least seven hecklers, including prominent anti-war campaigner, Cindy Sheehan were hustled out of the committee room and arrested by police, with one Code Pink woman screaming "I have a right to speak out! This is not Russia!"

The technological gremlins eventually fixed and order restored, the US military's top counterinsurgency expert got down to business explaining why Congress should give him more time to pacify the bloodstained nation.

But his message was already at risk of being drowned out as opposing camps square off over what is probably the most emotive debate to engulf the United States since the Vietnam War.

Before she was evicted, Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin said that Petraeus was "nothing but a messenger for the White House," echoing the left-wing group MoveOn.org's denunciation of "General Betray US."

"We've had the wool pulled over our eyes right from the start of this war. We're sick of the lies and want our troops home," she said, proudly leading Code Pink's self-confessed contingent of "rabble rousers" into battle.

But the cerebral Petraeus, who has a doctorate in international relations from Princeton University, remained unflappable as he laid out the "devastating consequences" that would erupt from an abrupt US exit from Iraq.

 

Kuwait uncovers new IS cell

Israel approves law allowing force feeding of prisoners

Israel committed war crimes on 'Black Friday'

Israel PM approves 300 settler homes in occupied West Bank

Egypt's gift to the world: Suez Canal Axis

One Turkish police killed in attack blamed on PKK

New sexist gaffe of Turkish deputy PM: 'As a woman, be quiet!

UN envoy invites Syrians to ‘thematic’ talks

Pentagon to worried lawmakers: We will remain vigilant on Iran

Hamas calls for revolt against Palestinian Authority

ISIS claims deadly car bomb in Yemen capital

Allies tolerate Turkey's double game to boost IS fight

Somalia ‘making progress’ despite insecurity and election delay

Germany, Iraqi Kurds say Turkey should resume peace process

Syria skeptical about Turkey's intentions in fight against ISIS

Somalia indentifies hotel bomber as former German resident

US gets formal approval to use Incirlik air base in Turkey

Saudi policeman killed, 2 injured in attack

Jordan jails 8 for "plotting a terrorist act"

Israeli strike on Syrian town kills 5 pro-regime fighters

Yemen orders militia to merge with army

Erdogan heads for China for talks

France seeks to revive ties with Iran

Syria army, Kurds oust IS from Hasakeh city

Yemen truce has failed to take hold

Iran urged to free Washington Post journalist

UN aid chief calls for greater Syria access

Rebels gain ground near Syrian regime heartland

Cairo furniture factory fire kills 25

Javad Zarif has 'no concern' about nuclear deal

Somalia unable to hold full elections in 2016

Kuwait sentences 4 Egyptians to death for murder

Two Bahrain police killed in 'terror' attack

Turkish sergeant shot dead by Kurdish militant

Libyan court sentences Kadhafi son to death in absentia

Netanyahu: Iran a 'formidable' danger to Europe

Iran's conservative media slams French FM over export of tainted blood

Air raids and clashes shatter Yemen truce

Syrian army, Kurds push IS out of Hasakeh

NATO stands with Turkey in face of 'terrorism'

Mogherini due in Iran for nuclear deal talks

Erdogan: No peace process with Kurds amid attacks

Saudi FM denounces 'aggressive' Iran statements

Two suspected jihadists in Cairo raid

Saudi king supports Turkish military action