I feel played, in a cheap and sleazy way. How about you? I refuse to let them win at this dastardly game they are playing, particularly since it is costing us American lives almost daily. Here's an example of what I am talking about:
Q I have a Katrina question also. It's no secret that a lot of people are saying, four years after September 11th, which is approaching, this kind of demonstration that after the billions upon billions of dollars that have been spent, the nation's response to an emergency is a debacle. What's your response to that?
MR. McCLELLAN: First of all, one of the things that the President said was that he's going to lead an effort to fully investigate the response to Katrina. Like I said, there are a lot of areas there was good response. But this was a storm like we have never seen before in this country. It's one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history. And we always have to assess things and look at the lessons and apply those lessons so that we make sure that we're fully prepared for any possible attack on this nation, particularly a WMD or weapons of mass destruction attack, to make sure we're fully prepared for other disasters that could be of this magnitude. We all hope, in our lifetime, we never see anything like this again, and -- or to prepare for other potential disease outbreaks. That's an area that we remain focused on, that the President stays focused on, as well.
Q But do you understand those who might question the abilities of our government to adequately prepare, given the --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I can understand those that are offering constructive criticism and ideas for moving forward to solve the problems that we have, and those that want to work together with all of us who are focused on solving problems. You make a very broad statement. I think some of the statements you're probably referring to are people getting more into political talk, and that's their business. What we're focused on is helping those on the ground and bringing the nation together to help those in the region. And that's why the President has been visiting the region, hosting meetings with faith-based and community leaders, establishing -- directing his father and President Clinton to lead a charitable effort. Now in terms of September 11th, we all remember very vividly the images of that day, that terrible day. And the President is going to be talking more about it here shortly. He's talking about it in his remarks. The one thing that I think we will remember, as much as the victims and the great work of the first responders, is the resolve of this nation to do all in our power to prevent something like that from happening ever again. That's why the President made the decision that we were going to take the fight to the enemy after the September 11th attack. That's why the President made the decision that we're not going to ignore the Middle East or appease dictators in the Middle East, we're going to help change the Middle East by offering hope and freedom and help change that breeding ground of terrorism.
Q But I think you sort of strayed from the point --
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I don't think we did.
Q -- to the --
MR. McCLELLAN: But I think this all goes to your question.
Q -- of being prepared for an unexpected emergency of a huge magnitude. The public opinion polls, notwithstanding the politicians' criticisms, show that the government and the administration are not held in high regard for their response to Katrina, four years after September 11th.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, again, there's going to be -- well, we already are assessing things on the ground. People have been in the region. But there's going to be a time to step back and look at this in the broader context. But you have to look at all that we've done since September 11th, Bob, to make this nation safer and to prevent an attack from happening in the first place. Our first priority is to focus on prevention, and that's why the President put in place a comprehensive strategy, and not to pull back or withdraw from the fight ahead. We are in a global war on terrorism, and the President is going to see it through. And our enemies know that.