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.

 

UAE warns Qatar to take neighbours' demands 'seriously'

Russia warships, submarine strike IS targets in Syria

France sets out tough new anti-terror law

Morocco dismantles 'IS-linked cell plotting tourist attacks'

Prime time for Ramadan on Gulf fashion calendar

Asian states downplay 'Russia proposal' to send troops to Syria

Iran’s Salehi urges West to save historic nuclear deal

Iran, allies mark Jerusalem Day with rallies

US-led Syria strikes kill 472 civilians in one month

Nine killed in Iraq suicide bomb attack

Trump-Saudi ties help pave way for new Saudi crown prince

Makeshift clinic saves lives near Syria’s Raqa

Egyptian fuel helps restart Gaza power station

Rights groups say Morocco protest leader 'severely beaten' during arrest

5 killed in Mogadishu car bomb attack

UN experts urge Egypt to halt executions after 'flawed trials'

Qatar emir congratulates newly-appointed Saudi crown prince

Kushner hails 'productive' Palestine-Israel talks

Macron says removing Assad no longer priority in Syria

Turkey sends first aid ship to isolated ally Qatar

Iraq PM says IS admitting defeat in Mosul

Egypt delivers fuel to ease Gaza electricity shortage

Saudi Arabia named after ruling dynasty

Turkey detains catering boss after army food poisoning

Israel says will unleash 'unimaginable power' in future Lebanon war

Brussels nail bomber identified as Moroccan

Saudi stock market bullish on new heir

Lebanon's Salame to be new UN Libya envoy

New Saudi heir is king's agent of change

Turkish President accused of influencing courts

Mohammed bin Salman named Saudi crown prince

Algeria leader drops Panama Papers libel suit vs Le Monde

Morocco detains three as Rif protests continue

Israel starts work on new settlements amid Trump 'peace' push

At least 10 dead in Mogadishu suicide attack

Iraq forces advance in Mosul Old City

Yemen cholera death toll passes 1,100

Iran-made drone shot down by US plane in Syria

Raqa’s own battle to liberate hometown from IS rule

Saudi, Iraq hail 'qualitative leap' in relations

French journalist killed in Mosul

Iran protests against Tillerson 'transition' comments

Saudi foils ‘terrorist act’ in territorial waters

Ex-Barclays CEO charged with fraud over Qatar funding

London mosque terror attack suspect named in media