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Bush motorcade passes anti-war mom's protest


Cindy Sheehan holds up a sign as President Bush's motorcade drives by.
Friday, August 12, 2005; Posted: 2:27 p.m. EDT (18:27 GMT)

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) -- President Bush's motorcade, en route to a political fund-raiser near his ranch, passed Friday by the site of Cindy Sheehan's Iraq war protest where more than 100 people had gathered to support her.

Sheehan -- whose son, Casey, was killed five days after he arrived in Iraq last year at age 24 -- held a sign that read: "Why do you make time for donors and not for me?"

It's unclear whether Bush, riding in a black Suburban with tinted windows, looked at the demonstrators as his caravan passed.

The motorcade did not stop.

Law enforcement agencies used their cars to block two intersecting roads, where the demonstrators have camped out this week, and required them to stand behind yellow tape. They were not asked to leave their makeshift campsite.

He arrived at the fund-raiser before noon CT at a neighbor's ranch for a barbecue where he was expected to raise at least $2 million for the Republican National Committee, said RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt.

Some 230 people were attending the fund-raiser at Stan and Kathy Hickey's Broken Spoke Ranch, a 478-acre spread next to Bush's ranch. All have contributed at least $25,000 to the RNC, and many are "rangers," an honorary campaign title bestowed on those who raised $200,000 or more for Bush, or "pioneers," those who have raised $100,000 or more.

On Thursday, Bush, while acknowledging that some families of U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq want to bring the troops home now, said he believed that would be a big mistake.

"Pulling the troops out would send a terrible signal to the enemy," he said.

Speaking to reporters at his ranch, the president noted that the United States sent more soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan before elections and was considering doing so again before another round of Iraqi elections in December.

Reports that the Pentagon may increase or decrease troop levels in Iraq next year were simply "speculation and rumors," he said between meetings Thursday with his military and foreign affairs advisers.

Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq, has said repeatedly that "fairly substantial" reductions were expected after the election if the political process stayed on track, if the insurgency did not expand and if the training of Iraqi security forces proceeded as planned.

Bush said he would make any decision to remove troops based on recommendations by Casey, who gave a briefing by videolink during the president's ranch meeting with advisers.

"My position has been clear, and therefore, the position of this government is clear," Bush said. "Obviously, the conditions on the ground depend upon our capacity to bring troops home."

The president said Casey reported that Iraqi security units were becoming more capable, although he acknowledged they were not ready to work alone without support from U.S. forces. He described the Iraqis' progress as improving from "raw recruit" to "plenty capable."

"I know it's hard for some Americans to see that progress," Bush said. "But we are making progress."

As for bringing the troops home, the president said he had "heard the voices of those saying, 'Pull out now."'

"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," he said.

"I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan," Bush said. "She feels strongly about her position. She has every right in the world to say what she believes. This is America."

As Bush spoke, Sheehan, sat on the road outside his ranch with a growing group of war protesters.

Sheehan began her standoff Saturday, declaring she would stay until Bush meets with her. Since then, dozens of other activists have joined her, including at least three other parents who have lost children in the war, although the protesters began facing increased antagonism Thursday from locals and opposition from other military families.

"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," Sheehan said. "All we're asking is that he sacrifice an hour out of his five-week vacation to talk to us, before the next mother loses her son in Iraq."

An AP-Ipsos poll early this month showed just 38 percent of respondents approved of Bush's handling of Iraq. More than 1,840 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the war in March 2003

The White House said Bush has met with 900 relatives of 272 people who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sheehan met the president in June 2004 but said she deserves another visit since there have been so many revelations about faulty prewar intelligence since then.

LINK TO ORIGINAL

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I don't understand why President Bush doesn't give Cindy even 10 minutes. It makes him appear cowardice. This doesn't have to be like this. Just meet with her and hear her out. SHE'S LOST HER SON! WHAT?! DOES LIGHTENING HAVE TO STRIKE YOU BUSH? OR ARE YOU THAT UNCARING ABOUT THE PUBLIC? How can you be so cruel and cold? I don't understand....

talk about cowardice you can't even put your name to it. takes a real person to complain, but then not have the courage to say i did this. I think this is all a bunch of crap. her son , my fellow comrade in arms, made a decision to defend this country and possibly pay the ultimate sacrifice. Maybe he joined to get the college money and that is why mom is pissed off, because he now can't go. Leave Bush alone he has enough to do instead of dealing with idiots!!!!

I am soooooooooooooo sick of the attack attack people.
Bush is the one embarrassing our veterns, the military and the presidency.
Bush is on vacation for 5 weeks!! He should have the common human decency to meet with this grieving widow. Stop listening to Billy Oh'Really and Faux news.

Hi, just a quick comment. Cindy is not a widow. She lost her son, not her husband.

It is not cowardice to take a stand against something you beleive in. Even in the face of the people who would insult her for doing what she thinks is right. I have been in the Army. I still do not support this war on a country that was no threat to us until we invaded. Yes, people who join do realise the possibility of death. But nowhere in our oath does it say we have to agree with a war of oil. We serve the coutnry becuase it is our duty, but it is the duty of the president to serve the people, and he has been neglecting. If you have forgoten, when he took the presidency, he swore to uphold the constitution and to serve the people of the united states. Not lie about foreign powers or serve his own pocket.

President Bush already spoke to Cindy. My heart goes out to her. However, when our children join the armed forces they do so to protect our country, not to go to college. I'm sure he would not be proud of what his mother is doing. M. Moore had to get ahold of her when she was really down.

The sad thing is that she dishonors all that her son stood for. He knew his job and went to do it, no if ands or buts. Thats why you don't see the rest of her family anywhere near her.

As the mother of a soldier who has been to Iraq and must return yet again, I know first hand that they can not speak out for fear of retribution. This keeps a lot of family members quiet as well. The media, contrary to what a lot say, is not "liberal". They are not printing the truth behind what many soldiers feel but are maintaining the propoganda of this administration. How do you explain the officer that defaced cars at the Denver airport that had pro-Bush bumper stickers? He knew he could not publically speak out. And to you who said my son willingly joined - yes he did, after a recruiter filled his head with promises of an education. He wanted only to save his parents the expense of putting another child through college. Why do recruiters only go to poor and working class neighborhoods?

Did you ever think that ALL of the people like you, who spout this crap are brainwashed or so bent by some form of greed or vices that they can't see the TRUTH. I know there are alot of you jerk's out there, but that doesen't make you right or Truthful. Alot of Germans and American Corporate types were behind Hitler too, that did'nt make them right either. Let's hope the truth of stolen votes, stolen tax money, Major ABUSES OF POWER, lie's that get bigger each day, will finally catch up with you and your kind.
Cindy is Honor in the highest, something you and your kind can NEVER KNOW.

The people like me are U.S. ARMY and NAVY for 4 generations. If we were all brainwashed i'm am glad. To be brainwashed into knowing true honor and sacrifice to protect the likes of you was more than worth it. All of my fallen family and wounded friends say "you are WELCOME citizen".

Did you ever think that ALL of the people like you, who spout this crap are brainwashed or so bent by some form of greed or vices that they can't see the TRUTH. I know there are alot of you jerk's out there, but that doesen't make you right or Truthful. Alot of Germans and American Corporate types were behind Hitler too, that did'nt make them right either. Let's hope the truth of stolen votes, stolen tax money, Major ABUSES OF POWER, lie's that get bigger each day, will finally catch up with you and your kind.
Cindy is Honor in the highest, something you and your kind can NEVER KNOW.

Did you ever think that ALL of the people like you, who spout this crap are brainwashed or so bent by some form of greed or vices that they can't see the TRUTH. I know there are alot of you jerk's out there, but that doesen't make you right or Truthful. Alot of Germans and American Corporate types were behind Hitler too, that did'nt make them right either. Let's hope the truth of stolen votes, stolen tax money, Major ABUSES OF POWER, lie's that get bigger each day, will finally catch up with you and your kind.
Cindy is Honor in the highest, something you and your kind can NEVER KNOW.

How could what this mother is doing dishonor her son? If he died for our freedom,which was never threatened by Iraq, then he would be proud that she is exercising one of those freedoms. Like all the other arguements from the right wing neocons your arguement is assinine.

A lot of these kids joined because they believe in this country and what it stands for. They want to fight for the freedoms we embrace. They did not join to fight a war such as this. Do not put them or anyone else against this war down as un-American or cry babies because they speak out against an unjust war. For many this was not the fight they entered the military to fight. It is un-American and unpatriotic to put down anyone expressing their freedom of speech. My son joined for many reasons, all honorable. This war is not. He doesn't want out of the military and is not afraid or against going to war for a just cause. But this is not that cause.

So little cowboy George and his posse made it by all those dangerous women and was able to attend his meeting with the "pioneers" and the "rangers".

Is this really the President of the United States of America? It can't be an old time wild west show for children? They were more sophisticated.

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