News Release

* Syria * Ireland Referendum * Charles Taylor Conviction


CHARLES GLASS, [in London, 5 hours ahead of U.S. ET] charlesmglassmail2003 at
A noted journalist, Glass was ABC News Chief Middle East correspondent and just wrote the piece “Syria: The Citadel & the War” for the New York Review of Books.

Yesterday, he was featured on Democracy Now.

IARA LEE, iaralee at
A filmmaker, Lee is currently in post-production on her new documentary, “The Suffering Grasses,” which was filmed at the Syria-Turkey border. She recently wrote the piece “The Only True Revolution in Syria Is Nonviolent.”

ROGER COLE, pana at, Skype: silchester52,
AP is reporting: “Irish voters were deciding Thursday whether their government can ratify the European Union’s fiscal treaty.”

A spokesperson for the Campaign for a Social Europe, Cole said today: “Legally, Ireland has its own constitution that ensures the Irish people are sovereign, as a consequence of our war of independence — unlike the rest of Europe — so we have a referendum about matters regarding the European Union. The issue is that this referendum is being pushed by the current government based on fear. The vast majority of people in Ireland don’t like how the EU is progressing — it’s dominated by German and French bankers. The previous Irish government took on the debt of the Irish banks that became indebted to the big German and French banks and the Irish people are getting crucified for this, having to pay back money they didn’t benefit from — with interest. So a ‘Yes’ on the referendum is being pushed by fear — the ‘Yes’ side states if Ireland says ‘No,’ then the situation could spiral out of control like in Greece. But a ‘Yes’ vote does not insure stability either. And countries that have defaulted after a tough few years, like Argentina and Iceland, have done well.”

BENJAMIN DAVIS, ben.davis at
Associate professor of law at the University of Toledo College of Law, Davis said today: “I was born in 1955 in Liberia where my parents were stationed for the U.S. State Department. Liberia is close to my family and my heart. With the conviction and sentencing of Charles Taylor, another former head of state is held accountable at the international level for his depredations and I welcome that result. Charles Taylor is quoted as comparing his treatment with that of former President George Bush and questions whether there is a double standard. For years now, people in the U.S. of goodwill have raised the issue of criminal prosecution in federal and state courts, foreign courts, and international tribunals of former President Bush and others for the torture and war on false pretenses in Iraq. We are insisting that there not be a double standard. …

There is no structural flaw in the Constitution but a failure of character of our leaders and intelligentsia who loathe even the idea of criminal accountability for high-level governmental officials.”

See: “Taylor: Prosecute George Bush, Too.