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America; and Peggy Conlon, president, Ad Council.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[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 

[[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 
    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 

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[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.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[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.


    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 
    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 

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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