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pd09au99 Digest of Other White House Announcements...
America; and Peggy Conlon, president, Ad Council. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 1538-1540] Monday, August 9, 1999 Volume 35--Number 31 Pages 1529-1576 Week Ending Friday, August 6, 1999 Remarks at a Memorial Service for Dan Dutko August 2, 1999 First, I would like to say on behalf of Hillary and myself how grateful we are for the life of our friend and how grateful we are for all of you who have come to be with us in honoring it and for those who have spoken before. I have now laughed, and I have cried, and I still miss him terribly. Of all the metaphors we might use about Dan, most of which are funny, I think one which is not funny that really is best is that he was a gardener, for in all of our lives he planted seeds that bore fruit. In the Psalms, it says, ``A good man shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. His leaves shall not wither. Whatsoever he do, it shall prosper.'' Dan made the Earth bloom, wherever he planted himself. The work and the people he touched were his blossom. All of us in this room, those of us who are in politics, those of us who are in private life, however he knew or touched us, he made us blossom more than we would have otherwise. And therefore, as decreed in the Psalms, his memory will never wither. Now, I have a story to tell. I met Dan Dutko 27 years ago, in one of our great lost causes. [Laughter] I mean, this is a doozy. [Laughter] We were in the McGovern campaign in Texas. [Laughter] Now, it was bad enough to be in the McGovern campaign anywhere in Texas. [Laughter] Dan insisted [[Page 1539]] on leading the effort in west Texas--[laughter]--where it was hard to find anyone who would mention Senator McGovern's name. He wanted to work for the campaign. He actually ran our effort in Tom Green County, where we got 30 percent of the vote. I might add, that was only 3 percent less than we got in the whole State. [Laughter] And everyone who looked at it thought it was the most remarkable performance of the entire campaign. Well, all his life he loved big challenges. He stayed with me, and I turned out to be a bigger one than he bargained for. [Laughter] He was really--you know, talk about big words--he was sort of an oxymoron in popular imagination. He was someone others might call a lobbyist, whose integrity, honor were unquestioned. He became a person of consequence in Washington, even though he was born without a nickel to his name, because of that integrity and honor, because of energy and ability, and because, as you see, he had a huge network of devoted friends--enough, Rabbi, that probably we are violating some fire code here today. He lived too briefly, but he did live the American dream. And he was a self-made man who never forgot where he came from. That's why he stayed in the Democratic Party and loved it so much. He thought everybody ought to have a chance to live out their dreams and become what God meant for them to be. I want to say just one thing that meant a particular--a lot to me. When we got our brains beat out in the congressional elections of 1994, a lot of people became sunshine soldiers and were running for cover. Not Dan Dutko; man, he stepped out. He said, ``This is just the sort of thing I'm looking for.'' [Laughter] Everyone wrote us off for dead, said the Democratic Party was becoming a historical artifact. Al Gore and I would have to next appear in a wax museum somewhere. [Laughter] Not Dan Dutko. He never had a doubt. He never paused. He never shirked. He was there in '96. The Vice President mentioned his role in our Inaugural in '97. He was there in '98. He was always the guy on our team that no one ever had to buck up. He was always the one who was lifting everyone else up. He was always the one who had that miraculous combination of an infectious smile and a steely will and a genuinely good heart. But most of all, he was a gardener. He planted, and what he planted bloomed. One of the previous speakers mentioned how much he liked to take promising young people and mentor them and help them flourish. So many of you here are a testament to that, including the new Senator from my home State, Blanche Lincoln, who started her career in Washington here as his personal assistant. One of the things that I am most grateful that he nurtured was AmeriCorps, our national service program, which Debbie now leads magnificently. Whenever we were having trouble in Congress, he was there. His heart was there. His soul was there. His determination was there. And it came not just from his devotion to his wife but from his belief that all young people should have a chance to serve. In no small measure, because of Dan Dutko, 100,000 of those young people have had their chance to serve. Hillary told me that even over our last weekend together in Aspen, Dan was talking to her about AmeriCorps' fifth anniversary and asking folks to help out with the celebration. So we are grateful to him not only for his help to me and the Vice President but for his role in making America a better place. Most of all, we're grateful for his friendship. We loved having Dan and Deb over to the White House to watch movies. He was like me; he liked action movies. We thought there should be a category at the Academy Awards for best performance in totally inane film. [Laughter] The last one, we saw together just last month. I don't think I ever met a man with a more genuine smile, more direct, clear, undebatable sense of good will just coming at you over and over and over again. I'll miss the way he talked about his wife and his sons. I'll miss the fact that he was always there, in the rain as well as the sunshine. I want Deb, and most of all, his sons, to know that he was one of the principal reasons that I had a chance to serve our country as President. And I want them to know that we all know he was a good and loving father and husband--cared more for them than his own [[Page 1540]] life. And that is something that can sustain them for their lives. This is a town obsessed with success. We normally score it by winning and losing. So if I might, I would like to close with Ralph Waldo Emerson's definition. He must have written it about Dan Dutko. ``To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children. To appreciate beauty, find the best in others. To leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition. To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived--this is the meaning of success.'' And the meaning of our friend's life. Note: The President spoke at 2:05 p.m. at Temple Sinai. In his remarks, he referred to former Senator and 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern; Rabbi Fred N. Reiner of Temple Sinai; and Mr. Dutko's widow, Deborah Jospin, Director, AmeriCorps, and sons Jonathan and Matthew. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 1540] Monday, August 9, 1999 Volume 35--Number 31 Pages 1529-1576 Week Ending Friday, August 6, 1999 Statement on Action To Reduce the National Debt August 2, 1999 Today my administration announced that the U.S. Government will pay down more than $87 billion in the public debt this year--the largest debt reduction in America's history and a total reduction of $142 billion over the last 2 years. This is an important result of the fiscal discipline which is helping keep our Nation on its path to economic prosperity. Six and a half years ago we made the decision to set a new course for our economy, to abandon the large deficits to pursue a new economic strategy of fiscal discipline, investment in our people, and expanded trade abroad. One of the results of this economic strategy has been a public debt that is $1.7 trillion lower than it was projected to be when I came into office. Debt reduction brings tangible benefits to America's working families through lower interest rates. These lower interest costs effectively represent a real and significant tax cut for America's families. Debt reduction lowers long-term interest rates for home mortgages and autos and lowers borrowing costs for businesses, fueling private sector investments for continued economic growth. A typical American family with a home mortgage of $100,000 could expect to have an estimated savings over the long run of more than $2,000 a year because of these lower interests rates. Despite the continued progress, now is not the time to rest on this achievement. We must continue this commitment to debt reduction and maintaining fiscal discipline. Under my framework to pay down the debt, save Social Security, and strengthen Medicare and invest in our children, the publicly held debt will be eliminated by 2015. This would represent the first time the Nation would be debt-free since the administration of President Andrew Jackson in 1835. We must maintain our commitment to reducing our debt and investing in our future. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 1540-1544] Monday, August 9, 1999 Volume 35--Number 31 Pages 1529-1576 Week Ending Friday, August 6, 1999 Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on Iraq's Compliance With United Nations Security Council Resolutions August 2, 1999 Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:) Consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) and as part of my effort to keep the Congress fully informed, I am reporting on the status of efforts to obtain Iraq's compliance with the resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). My last report, consistent with Public Law 102-1, was transmitted on May 19, 1999. Overview We are convinced that as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power, he will continue to threaten the well-being of his people, the peace of the region, and vital U.S. interests. We will continue to contain these threats, but over the long term, the best way to address them is by encouraging the establishment of a new government in Baghdad. To this end, we continue to work intensively with the Iraqi opposition. In May, the Iraqi National Congress (INC) Interim Presidency Committee met with the Secretary of State, the [[Page 1541]] National Security Advisor, and several Members of Congress in Washington. The Department of State has been assisting the INC in its preparations for a National Assembly meeting. Also, the Department has been working with other nongovernmental organizations to develop projects to assist the Iraqi opposition and the Iraqi people in their efforts to achieve a regime change. In June, delegations from the two main Kurdish parties traveled to Washington to discuss the next steps in implementing the reconciliation agreement they signed in Washington last year. During the last 60 days, we have also been working with members of the UNSC to build support to adopt a resolution that would reestablish an effective disarmament and monitoring presence inside Iraq, better meet the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people, and increase pressure on Iraq to account for those missing from the Gulf War, and return Kuwaiti property. The Security Council is currently continuing its discussions on these matters. The United States continues to support the international community's efforts to provide for the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people through the oil-for-food program. On May 21, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1242, extending the program for another 180 days. U.S. and Coalition Force Levels in the Gulf Region Saddam Hussein's record of aggressive behavior necessitates the deployment of a highly capable force in the region in order to deter Iraq from threatening its neighbors, reconstituting its WMD program, or moving against the Kurds in Northern Iraq. We will continue to maintain a robust posture and have established a rapid reinforcement capability to supplement our forces in the Gulf, if needed. Our forces are a balanced mix of land and carrier-based aircraft, surface ships, a Patriot missile battalion, a mechanized battalion task force, and special operations units. To enhance force protection throughout the region, additional military security personnel are also deployed. Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch Aircraft of the United States and coalition partners enforcing the no-fly zones over Iraq under Operations Northern Watch and Southern Watch are regularly illuminated by radar and engaged by anti-aircraft artillery, and occasionally, by surface-to-air missiles. As a result of Iraq's no-fly zone violations and attacks on our aircraft, our aircrews continue to respond with force. United States and coalition forces are fully prepared and authorized to defend themselves against Iraqi threats while carrying out their no-fly zone enforcement mission and, when circumstances warranted, have engaged various components of the Iraqi integrated air defense system. While threats to our aircraft continue, actual Iraqi aircraft violations of the no-fly zones have declined. The Maritime Interception Force The multinational Maritime Interception Force (MIF), operating in accordance with Resolution 665 and other relevant resolutions, continues to enforce U.N. sanctions in the Gulf. The U.S. Navy is the single largest component of the MIF, but it is frequently augmented by ships, aircraft, and other support assets from Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Kuwait, The Netherlands, New Zealand, the UAE, and the United Kingdom. Member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) provide logistical and personnel support to the MIF, and accept vessels diverted for violating U.N. sanctions against Iraq. The smuggling of refined petroleum products through the Gulf has remained at a low level since Operation Desert Fox. The MIF, and our ability rapidly to augment it, will continue to serve as a critical deterrent to both the smuggling of petroleum products out of the Gulf and the smuggling of prohibited items into Iraq. UNSCOM/IAEA: Weapons of Mass Destruction There has been no United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) or International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) presence in Iraq since December 15, 1998. UNSCOM informed the Security Council on June 1 of [[Page 1542]] the status of UNSCOM's chemical laboratory, biological room, equipment, and components in the Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Center (BMVC).
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