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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 31, 2006
Press Gaggle by Dana Perino
Aboard Air Force One
En Route Andrews Air Force Base
3:43 P.M. EDT
MS. PERINO: Good afternoon. For all of you who have been traveling with us the past four days, we're finally on our way home, to D.C.
The President gave his speech today at the American Legion. This was the first in a series of speeches he's going to be giving from now until the UNGA speech on September 19th. Again, the purpose of the speeches is to explain all that we are doing, and what the enemy is doing in the global war on terror, so that the public can clearly understand what we're fighting, how we're fighting, why we're fighting, and most importantly, why we are winning.
On Tuesday -- actually, I have two scheduling announcements. Let me start with Monday. Monday is Labor Day. On September 4th, the President will participate in a tour of Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education. He will make remarks about the economy on Labor Day at that event. It's in Piney Point, Maryland. And that event will take place sort of midday, leaving late morning and getting back early afternoon.
Q Do you know how far away is it from Washington? Is it like a day trip?
MS. PERINO: Yes, it's just a day trip. It will be probably a chopper. But we'll give you details on that in the week ahead tomorrow. But just so that you have this for your planning purposes tonight and for your reporting purposes if you want it.
And then on Tuesday, the President will be giving the second in a series of these speeches. It will be in Washington, D.C. The audience will be the Military Officers Association of America, and there will be many members of the diplomatic corps in attendance, as well.
And with that, I'll take your questions. Let the record show there are no questions.
Q Dana, I just was wondering if you could address what the President talked about today. He seemed to group together Sunni followers of al Qaeda along with Shiites in Iraq who are involved in the sectarian violence, and these groups are fighting each other. So I'm just wondering if you could elaborate on how he thinks these groups are united in one belief?
MS. PERINO: The point of today's speech and the key of today's speech was to show that there is a common thread. You see that the violence that is happening around -- one of the things I mentioned yesterday was that these different groups share an ideology of hatred and use tactics of murder of innocent people, and that there is a common thread that ties all those together.
And so the point of the speech today was to take a step back and to look at the global war on terror in a broader context. One of the reasons for doing a series of speeches is because the global war on terror is very complex, there are a lot of different parts to it, and if the President were to try to address all the parts in one speech, most likely he wouldn't accomplish anything because there would be too much to say. And so by breaking it up this way, you can address the different issues over a period of time when America is, rightly, thinking about the global war on terror, and especially today, he focused on the war in Iraq.
Q What issue does he plan to focus on in the next speech on Tuesday?
MS. PERINO: I hope to be able to give you some more of those details probably by tomorrow.
Q Without giving the details, describe the breakdown -- if today was Iraq, sort of how many speeches -- what will the breakdown roughly look like over the next few weeks?
MS. PERINO: Again, that's what I hope to be able to provide a little bit more detail on tomorrow, as plans are finalized. The speech today was an overall view with a longer section on Iraq, and it will go through the UNGA speech. But for the topics, I'm just going to have to ask for your patience and I'll, hopefully, be able to give you a lot more tomorrow.
Q Can you preview what he's going to be doing on the 9/11 anniversary?
MS. PERINO: No, we have not announced all of those details yet. The one thing I can say is that the President will visit all three sites on the anniversary.
Q On that day, on September 11th?
MS. PERINO: Yes, but there could be additional travel, and I'm just not able to tell it -- to reveal that yet.
MS. PERINO: Okay, thanks everyone.
END 3:47 P.M. EDT