McCain calls Code Pink protestors 'low-life scum'
It was quite a day yesterday for the Senate Armed Services Committee. Scheduled to testify were former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, 91; George Schultz, 94; and Madeline Albright, 77.
Crashing the party was Code Pink, who proceeded to try to "arrest" Kissinger for war crimes. The more unruly they got, the madder committee chairman Senator John McCain got.
Bridget Johnson of PJ Media was there and reports:
Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he would call recess until Capitol Police removed Code Pink from the room.
“I’ve been a member of this committee for many years, and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place,” McCain said, which led to shout-backs from the protesters.
“You know, you’re going to have to shut up, or I’m going to have you arrested. If we can’t get the Capital Hill Police in here immediately… Get out of here, you low-life scum,” McCain added.
“So Henry, I hope you will — Dr. Kissinger, I hope on behalf of all of the members of this committee on both sides of the aisle — in fact, from all of my colleagues, I’d like to apologize for allowing such disgraceful behavior towards a man who served his country with the greatest distinction. I apologize profusely.”
Later, when Kissinger began his opening statement, more protesters popped up in the room, screaming about Vietnam and rattling off his “war crimes.”
“Vietnam! From 1969 to 1973, Kissinger, working for Richard Nixon, oversaw the slaughter in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, that led to the deaths of millions — millions of people. Many thousands more died from the effects of massive doses of agent orange and from unexploded bombs that covered the countryside!” a protester shouted. “Chile! Henry Kissinger was one of the principle architects of the coup in Chile on September 11th, 1973…”
Shultz then stood up to verbally battle the protesters, saying, “I salute Henry Kissinger for his many contributions to peace and security.” That led to a standing ovation from the committee members and audience that drowned out Code Pink.
It's a popular notion that our incursions into Cambodia "destablized" the government and led to the rise of Pol Pot and the Killing Fields. The truth is a little different. The only reason we went into Cambodia was because the North Vietnamese controlled wide swaths of the border area and were bringing in weapons that were killing a lot of Americans and South Vietnamese. In fact, it was North Vietnam that destablized Cambodia and who assisted the Khmer Rouge in their takeover of the government.
Kissinger was a problematic secretary of state. But he served two presidents honorably and probably did more to prevent World War III than just about anyone else. He had a brilliant strategic vision and correctly saw that triangle diplomacy with China would be a game-changer. He is often called out for his negotiating the end of the Vietnam War, but he was in an impossible position, having to take his orders from Richard Nixon, who desperately wanted out of Vietnam, and satisfy a South Vietnamese government who seemed perfectly at ease with America doing their fighting for them. He also dealt with an enemy who knew they had the negotiating advantage, and played it for all it was worth.
In the end, the treaty was fatally flawed, and South Vietnam fell. How much of that was Kissinger's fault is an argument for historians.
The aging hippies of Code Pink no doubt saw an opportunity to attack their nemesis one last time. Truly pathetic that they can't let the past go and move on.