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.

 

Syria army retreats as rebels hold on to Idlib

Turkey accused of providing weapons to Syria jihadists

Yemen shelling kills two Saudi border guards

Nusra Front chief pledges no attacks on West

Israel FIFA suspension bid withdrawn, amended proposal passed

Attack on Shi'ite mosque in Saudi Arabia

Syrian Christian beheads IS terrorist

Al-Azhar meets Marine Le Pen to 'show true Islam'

IS claims Baghdad hotel car bombings

'Highest ethical standards' for Qatar World Cup

Bombs rip through Baghdad hotel car parks

Merryland Park: A missed symbol of liberal Egypt

Syria revenues shrink under rebel control

Blair resignation widely welcomed by Palestinians

Qatar pledges $50 mn to Indonesia for sheltering Rohingya migrants

Al-Jazeera interview with Nusra leader draws criticism

Palestinians 'open' to every scenario on FIFA vote on Israel

Iran defends spy trial of US journalist

Iraq exhumed remains of 470 bodies from Tikrit mass graves

Kerry set to launch final diplomatic push for Iran nuclear talks

Coalition raids target headquarters of rebel troops in Yemen capital

Iraq operation to liberate Anbar faces barrage of criticism

EU calls for resumption of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks

Fast pace of executions in Saudi Arabia 'very disturbing'

Tunisia begins hearings into ex-regime's rights abuses

‘Islamic State’ executes 20 men in ruins of Syria ancient city

Saudi Arabia announces sanctions against two Hezbollah leaders

Libya to fight aggression with 'strength'

Iran says nuclear talks could go beyond deadline

Hamas accused of committing war crimes against civilians

German court rejects Yemenis' case over US drone killings

Kuwait emir urges Muslim states to fight extremism

NY Times journalist has Turkish citizenship revoked

Military site inspections necessary to Iran deal

Iraqi forces on outskirts of Ramadi

Syrian refugees ignored at Turkey poll campaign

Director 'shocked' at Morocco’s prostitution film ban

Libya PM survives assassination attempt

US criticises Shiite name of Iraqi military operation

Israel warplanes strike Gaza after rocket attack

Pro-government fighters retake Yemen city from Shiite rebels

Libya militias trap civilians in Benghazi

EU border agency plans to expand migrant rescue operation

Syria state TV blames ‘foreign enemies’ for signal jamming

Palestinians and jihadists clash in Yarmouk