Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bush makes comment on Sheehan

CRAWFORD, Texas - President Bush said Thursday he understands and respects the views of anti-war advocates like a California mother camped outside his Texas ranch to mourn her soldier son fallen in Iraq, but said it would be a mistake to bring U.S. troops home now.

"I understand the anguish that some feel about the death that takes place," Bush said.

"I also have heard the voices of those saying: 'Pull out now!' " he said. "And I've thought about their cry and their sincere desire to reduce the loss of life by pulling our troops out. I just strongly disagree."

Immediate withdrawal "would send a terrible signal to the enemy," the president said.

Cindy Sheehan has been camped along a road near Bush's ranch since Saturday, asking to talk to Bush about her son Casey and vowing to remain until his Texas vacation ends later this month. Casey was killed five days after he arrived in Iraq last year. He was 24.

"I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan," Bush said. "She feels strongly about her position, and she has every right in the world to say what she believes. This is America. She has a right to her position, and I thought long and hard about her position. I've heard her position from others, which is: Get out of Iraq now. And it would be a mistake for the security of this country and the ability to lay the foundations for peace in the long run if we were to do so."

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