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pd17my99 Remarks on Departure for Fort McNair, Maryland, and an Exchange With...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-iii]
Monday, May 17, 1999
Volume 35-Number 19
Pages 833-893

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]



Addresses and Remarks

    See also Appointments and Nominations; Meetings With Foreign 
        Leaders; Resignations and Retirements
    Camp Hope, Albania, telephone conversation with Americans--889

    Chinese Embassy, bombing in Belgrade--854, 856

    ``Conyers for Congress'' dinner--886

    Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee dinner--876

    Georgia, roundtable discussion on new markets in Atlanta--861

        Community at Spangdahlem Air Base--833

        Dinner with the troops at Ramstein Air Base--836

    Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award dinner--867

    Kosovo, situation in--837

        Departure for Fort McNair--878

        Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States at Fort McNair--

    New markets initiative--860

        Departure from Tinker Air Force Base--854

        Walking tour of tornado damage in Del City--852

Addresses and Remarks--Continued

    Radio address--851
    Senate action on gun control legislation--878
        Arrival at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin--845
        Democratic National Committee
            Dinner in Austin--846
            Luncheon in Houston--839
    Treasury Secretary transition--873
    ``21st Century Law Enforcement and Public Safety Act,'' proposed--
    Washington, departure for Seattle--888
    White House Strategy Meeting on Children, Violence, and 
        Responsibility--856, 857

Appointments and Nominations

    Treasury Department
        Deputy Secretary, remarks--873
        Secretary, remarks--873

Communications to Congress

    Bosnia and Herzegovina, message transmitting report on continued 
        operations of U.S. forces--875
    China, certification of satellite fuels and separation systems 
        exports, message--860
    National Institute of Building Sciences, message transmitting 
(Continued on the inside of the back cover.)

Editor's Note: The President was in Seattle, WA, on May 14, the closing 
date of this issue. Releases and announcements issued by the Office of 
the Press Secretary but not received in time for inclusion in this issue 
will be printed next week.


Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National 
Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408, the Weekly 
Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and
other Presidential materials released by the White House during the 
preceding week.

The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is published pursuant to
the authority contained in the Federal Register Act (49 Stat. 500, as 
amended; 44 U.S.C. Ch. 15), under regulations prescribed by the 
Administrative Committee of the Federal Register, approved by the 
President (37 FR 23607; 1 CFR Part 10).

Distribution is made only by the Superintendent of Documents, Government
Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The Weekly Compilation of 
Presidential Documents will be furnished by mail to domestic subscribers 
for $80.00 per year ($137.00 for mailing first class) and to foreign
subscribers for $93.75 per year, payable to the Superintendent of 
Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The charge 
for a single copy is $3.00 ($3.75 for foreign mailing).

There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in 
the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents.

[[Page iii]]


Communications to Federal Agencies

    Burma, memorandum regarding conditions in and U.S. policy toward--
    Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area, memorandum--

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchanges with reporters
        Bonn, Germany--837
        Rose Garden--857
        South Lawn--878
        Tinker Air Force Base, OK--854

Meetings With Foreign Leaders

    Germany, Chancellor Schroeder--837


    Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week--859

Resignations and Retirements

    Treasury Department, Secretary, remarks--873

Statements by the President

    Death of Meg Greenfield--886

    ``Foster Care Independence Act,'' proposed--886

    Senate action on gun control legislation--890

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--892

    Checklist of White House press releases--892

    Digest of other White House announcements--890

    Nominations submitted to the Senate--892

[[Page 833]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 833-836]
Monday, May 17, 1999
Volume 35-Number 19
Pages 833-893
Week Ending Friday, May 14, 1999
Remarks to the Community at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany

May 5, 1999

    Thank you very much. Secretary Cohen, thank you for your remarks and 
your remarkable leadership. We're glad that you and Janet are here with 
us today and there for the men and women of America's military services 
every day.
    Secretary Albright, thank you for being able to redeem the lessons 
of your life story by standing up for the freedom of the people in the 
    To the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Hugh Shelton--I was 
looking at General Shelton standing up here--you know, he's about a head 
taller than I am. And I thought to myself, he not only is good; he looks 
good. He looks like the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But what 
I want you to know is, however good he looks, he's better than that in 
the job that he does.
    I thank General Clark for his leadership. Ambassador Kornblum, 
National Security Adviser Sandy Berger. Our USAID Director, Brian 
Atwood, is doing so much for the humanitarian relief. Brigadier Scott 
Van Cleef, thank you. Chief Master Sergeant Daniel Keane, thank you for 
making all of us feel so welcome here today.
    I'd like to thank the distinguished German public officials and 
citizens who are here. And I'd like to thank the Spangdahlem oom-pah 
band and the gospel choir. Thank you. I thank all the men and women of 
Team Eifel and all your family members who are here. I am delighted to 
see so many children here today. And I hope this will be a day they will 
long remember.
    The 52d Air Expedition Wing is crucial to our mission in Europe. 
There are so many to thank: the Stingers and Hawks, the Panthers, your 
guests here, the crews of the Flying Knights, all the hundreds of base 
operations and support personnel here, working day after day and now 
night after night. We ask so much of you, and you never let us down.
    Ever since the end of the cold war, this base has been busy with the 
challenges of a new era, training new allies, planning new missions, 
helping people in need like the earthquake victims in Turkey whom the 
52d Civil Engineer Squadron assisted last summer. A few years ago, you 
helped to end the cruel war in Bosnia. And I'm sorry you have to do it 
all over again, but I'm proud of the job you're doing today in Kosovo.
    Earlier this year, some of you in the 22d Fighter Squadron flew 
support for Operation Northern Watch. Since this conflict in Kosovo 
began, we have been depending on you more than ever. It's meant more 
hardship and more hard work for you. Many of your loved ones are right 
now flying out of Italy, and of course, these F-117 stealth fighters and 
their crew are here from Holliman Air Force Base in New Mexico. And 
they're a long way from their families.
    Night after night--to Serbia, punching through enemy defenses; 
putting ordinance on target; returning home to debrief, rest, and then 
do it all over again: That takes courage and skill and a lot of support 
that we must never take for granted--refueling in midair; evading 
antiaircraft fire; pinpointing targets; seeking, often at great personal 
risk, to avoid civilian casualties; coordinating with crews from other 
nations; rescuing a downed pilot, as one of your squadrons did just a 
few days ago; and for the base personnel and the loved ones, always the 
anxious waiting for the aircraft to return.
    One thing I have tried to make sure the American people understand 
in the years that I have been President is that your jobs have inherent 
dangers, even when not directly engaged in conflict. As many of you now 
know, just yesterday we lost two brave Americans in a helicopter 
training accident

[[Page 834]]

in Albania. And today we grieve with their families and pray for them.
    I came here more than anything else to say on behalf of your fellow 
Americans: We thank you for your service and your sacrifice. Though 
you're far from our shores, you are close to our hearts every day.
    I also would like to thank the people of Germany, who are our allies 
in this cause and who do so very much to make all of you feel at home 
here in this wonderful country.
    I just came from an operations briefing and a tour of the aircraft 
you fly from this base. I want to talk just a little bit about why 
you're flying. And I want all of you, particularly who have children 
here, who think about the world they will live in the 21st century, to 
think about why you're flying.
    Our mission in Kosovo has nothing to do with trying to acquire 
territory or dominate others. It is about something far more important, 
creating the kind of world where an innocent people are not singled out 
for repression, for expulsion, for destruction just because of their 
religious and ethnic heritage.
    You look around today at the people we have in uniform here. We have 
people from all different racial and ethnic backgrounds. We have people 
from all different religious heritages. And I think America's military 
is stronger because we try to get everybody's talents and put 
everybody's talents to the best possible use--not weaker. And I can tell 
you for sure that our country is stronger when we reach across all the 
lines that divide us and celebrate our differences but say that what 
unites us is more important.
    All the differences that exist among people in the world, especially 
differences of religion, make life more interesting and more 
enlightening when they are limited by an understanding of our common 
humanity. But when people throw away that understanding of our common 
humanity and make differences the only thing that matter and make them 

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