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Ari & I: January 30, 2003

Russell Mokhiber questions White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer

Russell Mokhiber questions White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer

White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer gestures as he speaks to reporters at the White House briefing room April 2, 2003 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Russell Mokhiber: Ari, two things. Yesterday in South Africa, former President Nelson Mandela said "All President Bush wants is Iraqi oil because Iraq produces 64 percent of the oil and he wants to get a hold of it." He also said that America is "so arrogant" that they dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and killed innocent people. President Bush, on the other hand, yesterday said "either you are with us, or you are with the enemy." In saying this, does the President believe that Nelson Mandela, France and Germany are with the enemy?

Ari Fleischer: No, on the last point. And on the first point, if this was a war for oil, the United States would be the one saying -- lift the sanctions -- and that way Iraq could pump oil. This is about peace, this is about protecting the people in the region and the American people from Saddam Hussein and his weapons that kill millions.

Mokhiber: May I have a second one --

Fleischer: No you can't. Not today. We are running late.

Ari moves on.

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