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Marine's parents offer plea to Bush

'Fight this war right or get out'

CLEVELAND -- The day after burying their son, parents of a fallen Marine urged President Bush to either send more reinforcements to Iraq or withdraw US troops altogether.

''We feel you either have to fight this war right or get out," Rosemary Palmer, mother of Lance Corporal Edward Schroeder II, said yesterday.

Schroeder, 23, died two weeks ago in a roadside explosion, one of 16 Ohio-based Marines killed recently in Iraq.

Paul Schroeder said his son and other Marines were being misused as a stabilizing force in Iraq.

''Our comments are not just those of grieving parents," Paul Schroeder said in front of the couple's home. ''They are based on anger, Mr. President, not grief. Anger is an honest emotion when someone's family has been violated."

Palmer accused the president of refusing to make changes in a war gone bad. ''Whether he leads them out by putting more troops on the ground or pulling them out -- he can't just let it continue," she said.

Allen Abney, a spokesman for the White House, declined comment other than to refer to remarks Bush made last week.

At a news conference Thursday, the president said: ''Pulling troops out prematurely will betray the Iraqis. Our mission in Iraq, as I said earlier, is to fight the terrorists, is to train the Iraqis."

The Ohio couple have long opposed the war and tried to dissuade their son from joining the Marines, but have made their views public only since his death. Yesterday they urged Americans to voice their opposition to the war.

''We want to point out that 30 people have died since our son. Are people listening?" Palmer asked.

More than 1,800 US servicemen and women have been killed in the war.

On Monday, dozens of people, including several holding large American flags, lined the streets leading to the funeral for Schroeder, known to friends and family as ''Augie" based on his middle name, August.

The couple applauded Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier who has camped out in protest near Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, for bringing the war to the public's attention.

''We consider her the Rosa Parks of the new movement opposing the Iraq war," Palmer said.

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