It’s a New and Improved Gaggle, Now with Extra Snark!
MR. McCLELLAN: Good afternoon, everybody. The President was pleased to go over to the Pentagon and receive an update on our tsunami relief efforts by the military, as well as to participate in a briefing on the global — in the — on the global war on terrorism.
Q Did he get an update on the search for Osama bin Laden?
MR. McCLELLAN: I’m not going to get into the discussion of the meeting. It was a classified briefing, and I’ll leave it there, where the President left it earlier.
Q So Scott, is there nothing you can tell us over and above what the President said, which really wasn’t a whole lot, except there needs to be —
MR. McCLELLAN: We’ll continue to talk about what we’re working to do to win the — what we’re working to achieve.
Q Can you just, sort of, give us an update, because we haven’t heard from you much before? What are you looking to achieve —
MR. McCLELLAN: But in terms of — in terms of this discussion, no, it was a classified discussion. So there’s not much else I can get into at this point.
Q What are you looking to achieve in the near term, here, besides the spread of freedom and democracy, in terms of strategy in the war on terror?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I just talked to you about what our strategy is. Our strategy is to go after and bring to justice those who seek to do us harm. Taking the fight to the enemy is at the top of our strategy to win the war on terrorism. Right along there with it is working to advance and support freedom in parts of the world that have not known freedom. And that’s what we’ll continue to do. We’re achieving significant results in terms of dismantling the al Qaeda network. We’ve made great progress there. We’re seeing historic — an historic and hopeful moment in the broader Middle East with elections taking place in Afghanistan, with elections coming up in Iraq, and with an election of a new Palestinian President in the Middle East.
Q Right, but other than Iraq, where is the enemy now? Where are you concentrating your efforts?
MR. McCLELLAN: It’s a multi-front effort, John. There are a number of ways we’re going after the enemy, from cracking down on terrorist financing to working with other nations to share intelligence and act on that intelligence. We’re also working from a military standpoint to go after those who seek to do us harm, whether it’s in Afghanistan or Iraq or elsewhere.
Q But — it’s all kind of ephemeral now. I mean, you could point to Afghanistan before and say, here’s where the terrorists are; you could point to Indonesia and say, here’s where Jemma Islamiya is. But, as I say, it’s kind of ephemeral. We don’t really — where is the enemy these days?
MR. McCLELLAN: John, I’ll give you an update. The enemy is the ideology of hatred and oppression that people espouse. That’s what we’re up against. We’re working to defeat an ideology of hatred and oppression. And you do that by going after the terrorists, who have no regard for rule of law, no regard for innocent civilians, and all they seek to do is spread chaos and fear and intimidation.
Whoa, don’t try to knock Scottie off of his “taking the fight to the enemy/spreading freedom and democracy” talking points by asking him what the hell the strategy behind the War on Terra is. He gets a bit touchy if you do.