Jingoistic near-riot stops speech on war in Iraq
- The following article appeared on page A3 of the Wednesday, May 21, 2003
edition of The Arizona Republic and is credited to Nicole Ziegler Dizon
of the Associated Press. It's unfortunate that this article does not
quote from the speech. It would be interesting to know what Mr. Hedges
said to provoke such a response. It's surprising that a Pulitzer Prize
winner would be so progressive.
REPORTER BOOED OVER ILLINOIS COLLEGE ADDRESS
Iraqi War Speech Stirs Crowd Animosity
Chicago--A New York Times reporter cut short a keynote address to graduates
at a private Illinois college over the weekend after audience members
shouted down his comments about the war in Iraq.
Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize winner and author of a recent book that
describes war as an addiction, was booed Saturday at Rockford College,
a small liberal arts school 80 miles [130 kilometres] northwest of
Chicago. After protesters twice rushed the stage and twice cut power to
the microphone, Hedges cut his speech short.
"He delivered what I guess I would refer to as a fairly strident perspective
on the war in Iraq and American policy," college President Paul Pribbenow
said Tuesday. "I think our audience at commencement were not prepared for
Many audience members turned their backs on Hedges, while others booed,
said Pribbenow, who pleaded to let the speech continue.
Hedges said he had given similar talks at several other colleges on his
book but had never had such a response.
"I was surprised at how vociferous it was," Hedges said.
Elinor Radlund, who attended the ceremony, said a woman beside her began
singing God Bless America while a man rushed down the aisle shouting,
>The Chicago suburbs are notoriously Republican, and a
>private college would only serve to concentrate the
>toxicity, I suppose. Still, I can't imagine a New
>York Times reporter saying anything really radical.
>So this crowd was probably being true to the tradition
>of American democracy according to which it is
>"unpatriotic" to say anything critical about foreign
I have often said that the motto of the New York Times
should be "All the Jews see fit to print", and it really
puzzled me that a reporter from that newspaper would
say anything to create such a frenzy among supporters of
ZOG. I am, however, reminded of the reaction to the
very mildly dissident comments of the Dixie Chicks, which
included death threats, so it may have been something no
stronger than that.