8/12/2005

KR: Mother demanding answers about Iraq gets a formulaic response from Bush

"I've thought long and hard about her position. I've heard her position from others, which is, `Get out of Iraq now.' It would be a mistake for the security of this country."


CRAWFORD, Texas - By Thursday, President Bush could no longer ignore the grieving, angry mom camped outside his Texas ranch.

Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif., set up her tent beside the road leading to Bush's 1,600-acre spread last week, demanding to talk to the president about her son's death in Iraq. She's endured blistering heat, drenching rains, an earth-shaking thunderstorm and an army of fire ants, but she's also set off a storm of her own.

With the death toll in Iraq mounting at an alarming pace, Sheehan has become a flashpoint for emotions about the war. Her efforts to shame the president have won praise from the left, condemnation from the right and have divided her own family.

Journalists and supporters have flocked to her makeshift roadside campground on the central Texas prairie.

"I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan," Bush told reporters Thursday after more than a week of intense media focus on his uninvited visitor. "I've thought long and hard about her position. I've heard her position from others, which is, `Get out of Iraq now.' It would be a mistake for the security of this country."

Not surprisingly, the answer didn't satisfy Sheehan, who vowed to continue her vigil for the duration of Bush's five-week visit to Texas.

"The president says he feels compassion for me, but the best way to show that compassion is by meeting with me and the other mothers and families who are here," she said in a response distributed by e-mail. "Our sons made the ultimate sacrifice, and we want answers."



KR Washington Bureau | 08/11/2005 | Mother demanding answers about Iraq gets a response from Bush

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