On Monday, a group of anti-war protesters disrupted a conversation between economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a City University of New York event. The group accused Pelosi of being a “war criminal” and a “sad old drunk,” among other things.
While some in the audience voiced their displeasure with the hecklers, others seemed to agree with their criticisms of Pelosi’s record on foreign policy.
The protesters’ criticisms were wide-ranging and touched on several issues, including the Iraq War, the war in Afghanistan, and tensions between China and Taiwan.
One protester accused Pelosi of lying about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, while another criticized her for supporting U.S. involvement in the Afghan conflict. Others accused Pelosi of supporting U.S. intervention in Ukraine and the Nord Stream pipeline controversy.
One protester even suggested that Pelosi was due to be indicted, saying, “Is that why you’re here, because you’re getting indicted tomorrow, you god—- war criminal! How many people have died in your f—ing name?” While the basis for this accusation is unclear, it suggests a deep-seated distrust of Pelosi and the political establishment more broadly.
This is not the first time Pelosi has been confronted by anti-war protesters. In August, she faced criticism for her trip to Taiwan, with some accusing her of trying to provoke the Chinese government.
While Pelosi has long been a supporter of the U.S. military and has advocated for a strong foreign policy, her record has also drawn criticism from those who see her as too hawkish and overly supportive of U.S. intervention abroad.
While the hecklers’ tactics may have been disruptive and off-putting to some, their criticisms raise important questions about the role of the U.S. military and foreign policy more broadly. As the country grapples with ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and tensions with Russia and China, it is important that policymakers and citizens alike engage in a meaningful dialogue about the costs and benefits of U.S. intervention abroad.
Whether or not one agrees with the protesters’ specific criticisms of Pelosi, their willingness to speak out against the political establishment suggests a growing dissatisfaction with the status quo.
As the country faces a range of domestic and international challenges, it is more important than ever to listen to the voices of those who are most impacted by U.S. foreign policy and work towards a more peaceful and equitable world.