News Release

* Syria * Iraq * Antiquities * Terrorist Groups

JAMES ABOUREZK
A former U.S. senator, Abourezk has met with high-ranking Syrian officials, including President Bashar Assad. He said today: “The proposal that Syria is reportedly putting forward at the U.N. for a Mideast free of weapons of mass destruction is a very good one.” Abourezk is in D.C. on Wednesday and Thursday.
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SCOTT C. DAVIS
Author of the new book The Road from Damascus: A Journey Through Syria, Davis recently returned from Syria; he spent the first several days of the invasion of Iraq in Syria. He has visited Syria repeatedly over the last 15 years and can speak about his interactions with everyone from ordinary families to Hezbollah members vacationing in Syria to strong feminist Syrian government officials.
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ABBAS KADHIM
Kadhim, originally from Najaf, joined in the uprising against Saddam Hussein following the 1991 Gulf War. After the U.S. failed to back the Iraqis trying to overthrow the Iraqi dictator, Kadhim went to Saudi Arabia, where he was detained in a camp for over a year. He is now teaching at the University of California at Berkeley and finishing a doctorate in Islamic Studies.

DENIS HALLIDAY
Former head of the U.N. oil-for-food program, Halliday said today: “What’s needed is the restoration of the Iraqi food distribution system.”

JAMES JENNINGS
President of Conscience International, a humanitarian aid organization, Jennings has just returned from Baghdad and is able to talk about the humanitarian situation in Iraq. As a former archaeologist, he is also able to discuss the significance of cultural artifacts.
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PATTY GERSTENBLITH
A professor of law at DePaul University who specializes in cultural heritage law, Gerstenblith holds a doctorate in Near Eastern Archeology. She noted that the Hague Convention of 1954 (Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, article 4, paragraph 3) declares that during war, states that are parties to the convention should “prohibit, prevent and, if necessary, put a stop to any form of theft, pillage or misappropriation of, and any acts of vandalism directed against, cultural property.”
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GREG PALAST
Author of the book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Palast said today: “The current U.S. plans are to convert Iraq into a Bush-style democracy where money and interests of large corporations count more than votes. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick is talking about ‘building economic openness, growth, prosperity’ in the region while, behind closed doors, plans are made to privatize Iraqi oil and corporate lobbyists are enlisted to draft new laws for Iraq.”
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BEAU GROSSCUP
Author of The Newest Explosions of Terrorism, Grosscup is a professor of international relations at the California State University in Chico.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167