President George W.Bush charged Tuesday that anti-war protesters such as Cindy Sheehan, who want the troops brought home immediately, are "advocating a policy that would weaken the United States."
In remarks to reporters outside an exclusive resort where he is vacationing, Bush gave no indication that he would change his mind and meet with Sheehan, who lost a son in Iraq and has emerged as a harsh critic of the war there, when he returns to his Texas ranch Wednesday.
Sheehan has been maintaining a vigil outside the ranch, a demonstration that has attracted other anti-war protesters.
Bush said that two high-ranking members of his staff have already met with her.
On Iraq, Bush said that a democratic constitution "is going to be an important change in the broader Middle East," reports the AP.
According to Times Online, Mrs Sheehan, known as a "Gold Star mom" in America because her son, Casey, was killed in action in Sadr City, Baghdad, last year, also she started a vigil against war in Iraq near Bush’s ranch, supported by hundreds of people from allover the country.
"I want to know what the noble cause is that my son died for like (Bush) always says," Mrs Sheehan said. "Because I don’t believe dying in a war of aggression on a country that’s no threat to the United States of America is a noble cause."
Mrs Sheehan's protest, with its mounting personal cost, has attracted enormous attention in America. Through the lenses of unceasing media coverage, she has invoked sympathy from thousands of strangers just as she has enraged supporters of the war and others who believe her rhetoric and logic is simplistic.
On Wednesday night, candlelight vigils were held in towns across America to show support for Mrs Sheehan and yesterday her protest was joined by Senator Becky Lourey of Minnesota, whose son also died in Iraq.