Entries in Ari Fleischer (2)


Former Bush Aide Urges Obama to Retaliate Against Somali Pirates

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer issued a stern warning to the Obama administration in the aftermath of the killings of four Americans at the hands of Somali pirates on Tuesday: retaliate or face the consequences.

“If I was a Somali pirate & if O doesn't retaliate, I'd keep taking hostages,” Fleisher, who served as the White House’s chief spokesman during the first two years of President George W. Bush’s presidency, tweeted. “If crime/terror pays, there will be more crime/terror.”

There has been no word from the White House about what action the Obama administration might take in the wake of the killings, but ABC News’ Jake Tapper reports that over the weekend the president authorized the use of force against the pirates in case of any imminent threat to the hostages.

Early Tuesday morning, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan notified President Obama that the four hostages -- Jean and Scott Adam from California and Phyllis MacKay and Bob Riggle from Washington state -- had been killed.

The Americans, who were on a round-the-world journey on their yacht, encountered pirates last week 300 miles off the Somali coast. U.S. officials had attempted to negotiate with the captors when gunfire broke out. American military forces killed two pirates in the shoot-out and captured more than a dozen others.

“4 Americans killed by pirates,” Fleisher tweeted. “This is the 3:00am call that Hillary warned about. If O doesn't want more killed, he must strike back.”

One Somali pirate was recently sentenced to 33 years in prison for his involvement in the 2009 hijacking of a U.S. shipping vessel, the Maersk Alabama. U.S. forces intervened and saved the life of the Alabama’s captain. Pirate activity has been on the rise in East African waters over the last few years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ari Fleischer Hammers President Obama Over Israel

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(SKOKIE, Ill.) -- At a campaign event Monday in Skokie, Ill., former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer launched a blistering attack on President Obama's Middle East policy, accusing him of treating Israel like "an annoyance" and "the real threat to peace on the Middle East."

Fleischer, who served under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2003, told the crowd of Jewish Republicans it is time for the president to "be silent" when it comes to criticism of Israel.

"You get the sense that when Nobel Peace Prize-winning Barack Obama looks at the Middle East, he sees Israel -- small, free, and democratic -- as the true threat to peace," Fleischer told the Republican Jewish Coalition of Illinois at an event with Republican candidates, including GOP Senate nominee Mark Kirk.

"You get the sense that when he looks at Israel," Fleischer continued, “he sees Israel as somewhat of a bother, somewhat of an annoyance, that is getting in the way of his views of what the Middle East ought to look like.  And perhaps that is why so many in the Jewish community, particularly so many Jewish Democrats like former Mayor of New York City Ed Koch, have now gotten a case of buyer’s remorse."

Fleischer hammered the president for criticizing Israeli developments in the West Bank and failing to speak out against anti-Israeli actions by Iranian President  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas.

"We have a President who speaks when he should be silent and is silent when we need him to speak," Fleischer said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio