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.

 

Blair calls on West to combat ‘growing’ danger of Islamist extremism

No Qatar ‘concessions’ on end of dispute with fellow Gulf states

Bahrain expels representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Netayahu to Abbas: Does you want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel?

Dubai's Emaar posts huge Q1 profit

Witnesses in Morsi trial: Hamas and Hezbollah attacked Egypt prisons

Family of detained Al-Jazeera reporter in Egypt call for his release

Bomb targets convoy of Education Minister in north Iraq

After Ervin scandal, Iran Prisons Chief becomes Head of Justice Department

Egypt FM travels to US as Washington relaxes hold on military aid

US diplomat visits Libya amid political upheaval

Jarba asks Saudi Arabia to increase support for Syria rebels

Better late than never: Erdogan offers condolences over mass WWI killings of Armenians

Hezbollah veto dashes Geagea dreams of presidency

UN aid chiefs make impassionate call for Syria access

Police brigadier general killed in Cairo bomb attack

11 new MERS infections registered in Saudi

EU denounces Syria plans for June 3 election

Iran envoy row fails to make headway at UN

Amnesty: Qatar fails to protect domestic workers

US will deliver 10 Apache choppers to Egypt to counter terrorism

US expresses horror at South Sudan violence

Egypt's next president will have to deal with frustrated workers

Rival Palestinian leaders agree on national unity govt

Jumblatt backs lawmaker Henri Helou for Lebanon presidency

Global chemical watchdog: Syria weapons handover at 86.5 percent

Kerry ‘prefers’ Cold War-like situation to current complex challenges

Israel to call up Christian Arabs for military service

Egypt prosecutors submit new evidence in Jazeera trial

Families of Iran prisoners break silence over abuses at notorious Evin

Lebanon sends rare aid to its territory in Syria

Iran divorce rate increases amid slow population growth

Suspected militant attacks kill four Yemen officers in two days

Distrust casts shadow over South Kordofan peace talks

Ali Tarhuni heads Libya constituent assembly

Washington revisits story of Syria chemical weapons

PM Erdogan to tour Europe for expat presidency votes

Erdogan to May Day protesters: Give up on your hopes of Taksim!

Palestine plays down threat to dismantle PA

South Sudan army battle rebels as insurgents target oil fields

Two Somali MPs shot dead in 24 hours

MERS death toll keeps climbing in Saudi

Court deals blow to US administration on drone attacks

Berber protesters clash anew with Algeria police

US has 'indications' of new chemical attacks in Syria