Hello,

First, you can add and remove names from the ZNet Free Updates List at
the top page of ZNet = www.zmag.org/weluser.htm. There is a very steady
flow of new material appearing on the top page, of course.

Second, I do hope you will visit and consider relating to our sustainer
program...at http://www.zmag.org/Commentaries/donorform.htm

Third, yesterday we sent you notice of a new project seeking
international signatures for a broad political statement, and hoping to
propel use of the statement in organizing work. Overnight over 10,000
people have signed on. That's good, but only a beginning. And, the good
news is, the pace of sign-ups is only increasing, including many
translations being done, spontaneously, and other efforts by other
organizations taking up the statement to advance the effort.

The page to go to in order to see the initial article co-signed by about
80 leftists from around the world, including many who write for ZNet,
and to see the statement itself and the form for signing on to it, is
http://www.zmag.org/wspj/index.cfm?language=eng

The statement is...

     "I stand for peace and justice. 

     I stand for democracy and autonomy. 
     I don't think the U.S. or any other country should 
     ignore the popular will and violate and weaken 
     international law, seeking to bully and bribe 
     votes in the Security Council. 

     I stand for internationalism. 
     I oppose any nation spreading an ever 
     expanding network of military bases around 
     the world and producing an arsenal unparalleled 
     in the world. 

     I stand for equity. 
     I don't think the U.S. or any other country should 
     seek empire. I don't think the U.S. ought to control 
     Middle Eastern oil on behalf of U.S. corporations 
     and as a wedge to gain political control over other countries. 

     I stand for freedom. 
     I oppose brutal regimes in Iraq and elsewhere 
     but I also oppose the new doctrine of "preventive war," 
     which guarantees permanent and very dangerous 
     conflict, and is the reason why the U.S. is now regarded 
     as the major threat to peace in much of the world. 
     I stand for a democratic foreign policy that supports 
     popular opposition to imperialism, dictatorship, and 
     political fundamentalism in all its forms. 

     I stand for solidarity. 
     I stand for and with all the poor and the excluded. 
     Despite massive disinformation millions oppose unjust, 
     illegal, immoral war, and I want to add my voice to 
     theirs. I stand with moral leaders all over the world, 
     with world labor, and with the huge majority of the 
     populations of countries throughout the world. 

     I stand for diversity. 
     I stand for an end to racism directed against 
     immigrants and people of color. I stand for an 
     end to repression at home and abroad. 

     I stand for peace. 
     I stand against this war and against the conditions, 
     mentalities, and institutions that breed and 
     nurture war and injustice. 

     I stand for sustainability. I stand against the 
     destruction of forests, soil, water, environmental 
     resources, and biodiversity on which all life depends. 

     I stand for justice. 
     I stand against economic, political, and cultural 
     institutions that promote a rat race mentality, 
     huge economic and power inequalities, corporate 
     domination even unto sweatshop and slave labor, 
     racism, and gender and sexual hierarchies. 

     I stand for a policy that redirects the money used 
     for war and military spending to provide healthcare, 
     education, housing, and jobs. 

     I stand for a world whose political, economic, and 
     social institutions foster solidarity, promote equity, 
     maximize participation, celebrate diversity, and
     encourage full democracy. 

     I stand for peace and justice and, more, 
     I pledge to work for peace and justice." 


And finally, to add additional new substance to this message, here is a
report from Iraq, by Robert Fisk...


Raw, Devastating Realities That Expose The Truth About Basra
By Robert Fisk

Two British soldiers lie dead on a Basra roadway, a small Iraqi girl -
victim of an Anglo American air strike - is brought to hospital with her
intestines spilling out of her stomach, a terribly wounded woman screams
in agony as doctors try to take off her black dress.

An Iraqi general, surrounded by hundreds of his armed troops, stands in
central Basra and announces that Iraq's second city remains firmly in
Iraqi hands. The unedited al-Jazeera videotape - filmed over the past 36
hours and newly arrived in Baghdad - is raw, painful, devastating.

It is also proof that Basra - reportedly "captured' and "secured' by
British troops last week - is indeed under the control of Saddam
Hussein's forces. Despite claims by British officers that some form of
uprising has broken out in Basra, cars and buses continue to move
through the streets while Iraqis queue patiently for gas bottles as they
are unloaded from a government truck.

A remarkable part of the tape shows fireballs blooming over western
Basra and the explosion of incoming - and presumably British - shells.
The short sequence of the dead British soldiers - over which Tony Blair
voiced such horror yesterday - is little different from dozens of
similar clips of dead Iraqi soldiers shown on British television over
the past 12 years, pictures which never drew any condemnation from the
Prime Minister.

The two Britons, still in uniform, are lying on a roadway, arms and legs
apart, one of them apparently hit in the head, the other shot in the
chest and abdomen.

Another sequence from the same tape shows crowds of Basra civilians and
armed men in civilian clothes, kicking the soldiers' British Army Jeep
and dancing on top of the vehicle. Other men can be seen kicking the
overturned Ministry of Defence trailer, which the Jeep was towing when
it was presumably ambushed.

Also to be observed on the unedited tape - which was driven up to
Baghdad on the open road from Basra - is a British pilotless drone
photo-reconnaissance aircraft, its red and blue roundels visible on one
wing, shot down and lying overturned on a roadway. Marked "ARMY' in
capital letters, it carries the code sign ZJ300 on its tail and is
attached to a large cylindrical pod which probably contains the plane's
camera.

Far more terrible than the pictures of dead British soldiers, however,
is the tape from Basra's largest hospital that shows victims of the
Anglo-American bombardment being brought to the operating rooms
shrieking in pain.

A middle-aged man is carried into the hospital in pyjamas, soaked head
to foot in blood. A little girl of perhaps four is brought into the
operating room on a trolley, staring at a heap of her own intestines
protruding from the left side of her stomach. A blue-uniformed doctor
pours water over the little girl's guts and then gently applies a
bandage before beginning surgery. A woman in black with what appears to
be a stomach wound cries out as doctors try to strip her for surgery. In
another sequence, a trail of blood leads from the impact of an incoming
- presumably British - shell. Next to the crater is a pair of plastic
slippers.

The al-Jazeera tapes, most of which have never been seen, are the first
vivid proof that Basra remains totally outside British control. Not only
is one of the city's main roads to Baghdad still open - this is how the
three main tapes reached the Iraqi capital - but General Khaled Hatem is
interviewed in a Basra street, surrounded by hundreds of his uniformed
and armed troops, and telling al-Jazeera's reporter that his men will
"never' surrender to Iraq's enemies. Armed Baath Party militiamen can
also be seen in the streets, where traffic cops are directing lorries
and buses near the city's Sheraton Hotel.

Mohamed al-Abdullah, al-Jazeera's correspondent in Basra, must be the
bravest journalist in Iraq right now. In the sequence of three tapes, he
can be seen conducting interviews with families under fire and calmly
reporting the incoming British artillery bombardment. One tape shows
that the Sheraton Hotel on the banks of Shatt al-Arab river has
sustained shell damage.

On the edge of the river - beside one of the huge statues of Iraq's
1980-88 war martyrs, each pointing an accusing finger across the
waterway towards Iran - Basra residents can be seen filling jerry cans
from the sewage-polluted river.

Five days ago the Iraqi government said 30 civilians had been killed in
Basra and another 63 wounded. Yesterday, it claimed that more than 4,000
civilians had been wounded in Iraq since the war began and more than 350
killed.

But Mr Abdullah's tape shows at least seven more bodies brought to the
Basra hospital mortuary over the past 36 hours. One, his head still
pouring blood on to the mortuary floor, was identified as an Arab
correspondent for a Western news agency.

Other harrowing scenes show the partially decapitated body of a little
girl, her red scarf still wound round her neck. Another small girl was
lying on a stretcher with her brain and left ear missing. Another dead
child had its feet blown away. There was no indication whether American
or British ordnance had killed these children. The tapes give no
indication of Iraqi military casualties.

But at a time when the Iraqi authorities will not allow Western
reporters to visit Basra, this is the nearest to independent evidence we
have of continued resistance in the city and the failure of the British
to capture it. For days the Iraqi have been denying optimistic reports
from "embedded' reporters - especially on the BBC - who gave the
impression that Basra was "secured' or otherwise in effect under British
control. This the tape conclusively proves to be untrue.

There is also a sequence showing two men, both black, who are claimed by
Iraqi troops to be US prisoners of war. No questions are asked of the
men, who are dressed in identical black shirts and jackets. Both appear
nervous and gaze at the camera crew and Iraqi troops crowded behind
them.

Of course, it is still possible that some small-scale opposition to the
Iraqi regime broke out in the city over the past few days, as British
officers have claimed. But, seeing the tapes, it is hard to imagine that
it amounted, if it existed at all, to anything more than a brief gun
battle.

The unedited reports therefore provide damaging proof that
Anglo-American spokesmen have not been telling the truth about the
battle for Basra. And in the end this is far more devastating to the
invading armies than the sight of two dead British soldiers or - since
Iraqi lives are as sacred as British lives - than the pictures of dead
Iraqi children.

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