Guest blogged by David Edwards
In an article published at the Huffington Post this afternoon, Cindy Sheehan reiterated her position and clearly stated the purpose for her vigil in Crawford.
People have asked what it is I want to say to President Bush. Well, my message is a simple one. He's said that my son --- and the other children we've lost --- died for a noble cause. I want to find out what that noble cause is. And I want to ask him: “If it's such a noble cause, have you asked your daughters to enlist? Have you encouraged them to go take the place of soldiers who are on their third tour of duty?” I also want him to stop using my son's name to justify the war. The idea that we have to “complete the mission” in Iraq to honor Casey's sacrifice is, to me, a sacrilege to my son's name. Besides, does the president any longer even know what “the mission” really is over there?
President Bush held a press conference this afternoon. As he denied "rumors" about possible troop withdrawals, a reporter asked if he was referring to Cindy Sheehan. Bush refused to respond to Mrs. Sheehan's concerns directly and did not indicate if he intended to meet with her during his 5 week vacation.
Sheehan has been camping outside of the Bush
palatial estate ranch hoping for an explanation for why he sent her son, Casey, to die in Iraq. She has been very clear in statements that she no longer wants Bush to use her son's death as an excuse for continuing the war.
Bush: Yeah Steve.
Reporter: You're referring to Mrs. Sheehan here, I think?
Bush: I'm referring to any grieving mother or father no matter what their political views may be. Part of my duty as president is to meet with those that have lost a loved one and so, listen, I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan. 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 postiion. I've thought long and hard about her position. I've heard her position from others which is "Get out of Iraq now" and... um... uh.. it would be a mistake for the security of this country and to lay the foundations for peace in the long run if we were to do so.
Bush: You get different opinions when you meet with moms and dads and sons and daughters... uh... and uh... and and wives and husband of those who have fallen. One opinion that I've come away with universally is that, you know, we should do everything we can to honor the fallen and one way to honor the fallen is to lay the foundation for peace.
We have a short video clip of the Bush press conference (in Windows Media format).
Even as we are only four days away from the deadline for the Iraqi constitution, Bush refuses to even consider a plan for withdrawing troops. He considers comments about possible troop withdrawal from the pentagon "speculation and rumors".