‘Low-Life Scum’ makes public appearance with protest


art by Maddy Mueller

Upon entering the Senate chamber room on Jan. 29, 2015, Henry Kissinger was greeted with a group of protesters from Code Pink, a group of anti-war protesters not unknown to Washington. They held signs saying things such as “KISSINGER WAR CRIMINAL,” and held up their hands covered in symbolic red paint while chanting “Arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the committee chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, invited former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that day to address the committee concerning global security challenges.
Kissinger was the secretary of state under President Richard Nixon during the last years of the Vietnam war. That war led to the death of more than 58,000 Americans and ended with no results. It was one of the few wars in which the United States left without victory.

art by Maddy Mueller
art by Maddy Mueller
After about two minutes of protest, Code Pink had made its point and was escorted back to their seats to sit silently for the remainder of the session. While there were no laws broken during the act of heroic protest, the leaders of the event, specifically McCain, were anxious to remove the disturbance and continue with the scheduled meeting in peace.
However, the way McCain responded to them was unacceptable. As one of the men who heckled him left the room, he called out: “Get out of here you low-life scum!”
If anyone in that room were a “low-life scum,” it would be the man who was the principal architect of the U.S.-led coup in Chile. That coup led to 16 years of repression, torture and death under the U.S.-appointed puppet in Chile.
If anyone in that room were a “low-life scum,” it would be the man who, in 1975, pre-approved the Indonesian dictator’s invasion of East Timor. The dictator then took power in East Timor in a coup with support and weapons from the U.S. He then spread terror in that nation for a year, massacring more than a million innocents.
If anyone in that room were a “low-lifescum,” it would be the man who pressed for military action against Cambodia in 1975 after they detained an American merchant ship and after reports stated the ship had been searched and returned to the sea. That man then sent in 110 Marines and the Air Force to devastate the island of Cambodia where the ship was temporarily stopped.
If anyone in that room were a “low-lifescum,” it would be the man whose actions then led to the death of 18 Marines and 23 Air Force men and who used a 15,000-pound bomb on that island, which is the most powerful bomb below nuclear-level that the U.S. possessed at that time. The number of dead innocents on the Cambodian side was uncountable because of the devastation that the decision of that man had caused to that island.
If anyone in the room were a “low-life scum,” it would be Kissinger, the man who was invited to enlighten the Senate Armed Services Committee with his great and abundant knowledge of death and destruction.
The protest Kissinger faced on that dayis nothing compared to the crimes he committed in his political career in Washington. It was nothing compared to the thousands of avoidable U.S. military deaths in Vietnam that he allowed to happen for political purposes.
Those who protested against Kissinger are the definition of patriots. One of America’s first patriots, Benjamin Franklin, said, “It is the responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” Each of us must make the American political system better. We should stand up and do what the brave Code Pink does and attempt to fix injustices through peaceful protest because, Mr. McCain, it is our civic duty to ask questions that will make this country even greater.
By Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Kafi
art by Maddy Mueller.  infographic by Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Kafi
art by Maddy Mueller.
infographic by Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Kafi