Bush: protesters "wrong"; pullout would repeat "mistakes" that led to 9-11
PENTAGON President Bush says an abrupt pullout from Iraq would repeat what he calls the "costly mistakes" that led to Nine-Eleven.
Speaking as protesters gather in Washington for a weekend march, the president said anti-war activists are well-intentioned -- but wrong.
He says withdrawing from Iraq would allow terrorists "to claim an historic victory over the United States."
Bush spoke after meeting with top Pentagon commanders. He said terrorists in Iraq are testing America's willingness to defend itself, and that if the nation fails that test, the consequences "would be enormous."
Bush said terrorists had been led to doubt America's courage after the U-S response to the Iran hostage crisis, the Beirut barracks bombings and other attacks.
Protest leaders are hoping tens of thousands will march Saturday. The event caps a bus tour by Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq last year and who spent much of August camped outside Bush's ranch in Texas.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.