Friday, June 23, 2017

“They speak of pain who have never felt a pinprick”

Those who are rich or comfortably well off have no idea of the difficulties, problems and dangers faced daily by those who struggle to make a living, even though they work two jobs. Those sitting in their comfortable, air-conditioned offices blithely pass bills without being aware of the real, often life-threatening dangers that loom for the less fortunate as a result of these laws.

Lost in their day to day, hour to hour struggles, the toiling masses have no time to articulate their woes. When some do speak out, their voices are not given a forum.

Today I bring to you one such voice, the voice of a brave and selfless soul who has devoted her life to fighting for the just rights of the weak and sidelined. Listen carefully to the voice of Jean Carol.

Jean Carol

Jean Carol:
" ‘Oh, that won't happen’ I was told.

" ‘They won't take away Medicaid’ they said.

" ‘They'll have to have SOMETHING in place for them’ (for Kids like ours. with Insulin Dependent Diabetes).

" ‘You're so Dramatic’.

“Then--they said I hurt their feelings, because I was angry, furious when they wouldn't stand up for our little boy.

“Now here we are. Days away from a vote that could decide whether we survive financially. More than that, if we physically survive. We would both need a second income, just to pay our kids insulin costs.

“And my partner would start having seizures due to lack of sleep from working so many hours, and the stress of worry.

“Me? My premiums will become too expensive to afford. I'll be sick, a lot, especially as I'll be taking another job, and taking care of my family.

“The GOP has been telling us since the ACA first passed what they intended to do if they ever got the power. Now they do. And they are. And those who voted them in, and those who stay silent have only themselves to blame.

“If you have been silent to date, and you don't stand up now, and call your senators, email the GOP, call the WH, how much did you ever really care about us?

“We are in a battle to survive. And right now, it looks like it's a losing battle. Are you an ally to us? And if not, who are you?

“The new health bill specifically targets kids like ours. Insulin is incredibly costly. As are the associated supplies. Medicaid will be capped, at the amount of the average recipient. Diabetics are way above the average recipient. And McConnell says "they can just go to the ER". FFS!!”

Here is the comment I made to her post:

Gulamusein A. Abba: “This is truly heartbreaking. I feel terrible about the situation because I know you, know how much you have given to the community, how you've stood up whenever it was necessary to do so. And just imagine, There will be thousands who will face the same dilemma. This in the richest country in the world!!

“It makes me sick when people say, "what's the problem? They can always go to the ER". They are like those who speak of pain who have never felt a pinprick. “Go to the ER”!!!! They speak who have never had to step in there even once. Listening to your plight, Jean is making me feel guilty about receiving the benefits I do under Medicare. But for Medicare I would be in a worse position than you. My heart goes out to you, my dear, dear Jean. I wish I could help in some way”.

And here is how Jean responded on her timeline: “Oh, Abba, I'll always be happy that you DO have healthcare. Never feel guilty for that”. So selfless. So devoid of hurt feelings. That is Jean.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Scathing attack on Saudi Arabia

By Gulamhusein A. Abba

“Stop pouring petrol on these fires on the other side of the world”
“Violence has a way of coming home”

Senator Scott Ludlam
Scott Ludlam, co deputy leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate, opposing the  Australian government sponsored arms deal to Saudi Arabia , in a strong speech exposed the hypocrisy of Western governments who claim to be upholders of the rule of law, of justice and freedom and human rights.

He proposed a unilateral arms embargo on Saudi Arabia and launched a scathing attack on the actions of Saudi Arabia in Yemen. He said “there is a word for this kind of horrific violence aginst nonmilitary targets and that word is “terrorism”

Referring to the famine being faced by the Yemenis, he said, “This is an engineered famine. It is an engineered epidemic. There is a word for this too. That word is “genocide”.

Quoting diplomatic cables published by the WikiLeaks organization, he said the cables revealed the following: Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Saudi terrorist groups worldwide. He went on to reveal that these were US Department cables

Citing the “eye for an eye” approach followed by Saudi Arabia government, he revealed that in 2003 and Indian guest worker was punished for his role in a brawl in which a Saudi citizen was wounded. He was punished by having his right eye gouged out.

Blogger  Raif Badwi
Scott said, “this is a barbaric place. Do you know who stood up in Saudi Arabia for human rights and democracy, unlike the United States government or indeed our own? A blogger called Raif Badawi. It is just on five years since he was arrested and sentenced to thousands of lashes and 10 years in prison. He is still in prison – a blogger…”

Lashing of Raif Badawi

Salman Rushdie on why we must read Raif Badawi
A terrific speech. It took a lot of courage to make it and I take my hats off to Scott Ludlam.
Please see the video of the full speech by Mr. Scott at

It may come as a surprise that this condemnation of the Sunni government of Saudi Arabia is being praised by me, a Sunni. In fact, it is no surprise. Firstly because a wrong is a wrong and it must be condemned, no matter who the wrong doer is, and he who has the courage to condemn it deserves to be praised. Secondly, the majority of Sunnis, myself included, do not accept that Saudi Arabia represents correctly the concept of Islam held by Sunni Muslims today

PS. Two of the hypocrites:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Who the aggressor, who the victim?

By Gulamhusein A. Abba

When Hearst Media’s News Times published a piece by me in which I detailed how the U.S., in addition to vetoing UN resolutions critical of Israel, protects Israel in the UN in various other ways, including bullying UN Secretary General into abandoning appointment of a Palestinian to an important position in the UN and withdrawing a UN report on apartheid in Israel, a reader responded.

He did not dispute a word of what I had written. Instead he rolled out what appeared to be talking points that are distributed to a network of Israel supporters to be used whenever anything critical of Israel appears in the press,

He pointed out that every U.S. president since Israel’s founding in 1947 has supported Israel, implying that it proves Israel was deserving of US support. He then went on to claim that Israel has been the victim of Palestinians who want to eliminate Israel and that Israel has made several peace proposals but the Palestinians have rejected them.

President Obama declared Israel to be America's "best friend"
 There are some who continue to honor the Goebbelsian belief that repeating a lie often enough will turn it into a truth.

Far be it from me to accuse the reader of lying. I am sure he honestly believes that what he has stated in his letter is true. It is not.

Such falsification of truth needs to be corrected lest others start accepting it. It is in that spirit that this is being written.

Below are the statements made by the reader. My response to them appears in italics below each statement:

Reader: Mr. Abba in his Where I Stand article of May 24 questions U.S. support of Israel, which has been reaffirmed by every U.S. president since Israel’s founding in 1947.
Response:Every US president has affirmed U.S. support for Israel since its founding in 1947 because U.S. politicians rely on the votes of Christian evangelists and Jewish supporters of Israel in U.S and on huge donations that AIPAC is able to funnel into election funds of those who support Israel. It may be noted that every US president has also referred to land East of 1967 borders to be “occupied land” and has also held Israeli colonies built on this land to be illegal

Also, consider this. It would be so very, very difficult to establish a huge military base in the middle of all the Islamic nations. And so "offensive". It would alienate most if not all the Islamic nations. It would not be in U.S. interests to do that. Much easier to help a group of rabid Arab haters, "people without a land" seeking a homeland in "a land without people". That could be promoted as a noble thing to do and also help atone for the sins of our past. Then, once this "homeland" was established, pump millions of dollars worth of arms and ammunition into this new State to help it keep an eye on, and keep in line, the "pesky" Islamic nations in this region so rich in resources we need.  

Reader: Since then, Israel has had to defend itself against invading Arab armies pledging its extermination in 1948, 1967 and 1993.
Response: In 1948 the Arab armies entered Palestine to protect Palestinians from being massacred by Israel. Jewish militias and paramilitary forces, such as Irgun (The Etzel), Haganah (Irgun Beth), Lehi (The Stern Gang) had started the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from areas they wanted to be part of a Jewish state BEFORE the founding of Israel. These massacres, including the Dir Yassein massacre, occurred before a single plane from any Arab country had made its appearance in the area. The Palestinians were helpless. The British, whose duty it was under the British Mandate to protect them did nothing. Instead, when the Palestinians needed them most, they decided to abandon the Mandate and leave the Palestinians to the tender mercies of the Zionists. This gave the Zionists a free hand to carry out the massacres.  

Dir Yassein massacre
The ethnic cleansing is acknowledged by Jewish historians like Ilan Pappe and Benny Norris. Look it up yourself. See also Rosemarie M. Esber’s meticulously documented history “Under the Cover of War: The Zionist Expulsion of the Palestinians”. For now listen to the testimony of a Jewish veteran who took part in this ethnic cleaning:

The 1967  war was initiated by Israel. It was launched to acquire territory needed to accomplish Zionist dream of establishing Ertez Israel in the whole of British Mandate Palestine and beyond.
Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin acknowledged in a speech in 1982 that its war on Egypt was a war of “choice”

Menachem Begin
Reader: It is ironic and perhaps not coincidental that on the date of publication Israel was celebrating Jerusalem Day, the 50th anniversary of the unification of the city
Response:The date of publication is not decided by me. It is an editorial decision. What is more,  East Jerusalem is land occupied by Israel through force. It is recognized by the international community as such. Its retention by Israel is in violation of international law. The unification of West and East Jerusalem by Israel is to be condemned, not celebrated.

Reader: Mr. Abba understandably feels for the disaster that befell the Palestinians in 1948, but the consequences of that war were due to their refusal to accept UN partition and to reject the existence of the State of Israel in Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jews.
Response:The disaster that befell Palestinians in 1948 was not due to the justified refusal by them to accept the UN partition plan but due to the aggressive war of acquisition that Israel waged.
Palestine may have been the “ancient homeland of the Jews”. That is neither here nor there. Palestine has been part of the Ottoman Empire since living memory and it is the homeland of the Palestinians who have lived on it continuously all this time.

Reader: The hatred of Israel still exists and has prevented the Palestinians from saying yes to the various offers for peace over the years.
Response:Israel has made not a single genuine and viable offer of peace over the years. Palestinians on the other hand have studiously and patiently carried on the unending peace negotiations and have agreed to recognize the State of Israel not only in the area earmarked for it  in the UN partition proposal (about 55% of British Mandate Palestine) but in area within the 1967 borders, ie. in about 88% of the British Mandate Palestine. It is Israel that refuses to accept a Palestinian state in this vastly truncated Palestine and goes on building illegal Israeli colonies in West Bank in direct violation of international law and of the Oslo agreement.
Israel remains committed not to living in peace and friendship with Palestinians but to establishing a Jewish state in the whole of Palestine, including West Bank and East Jerusalem. less areas with predominantly Arab populations, which cluster of Bantustans it will “recognize” as the State of Palestine! 
Reader: Mr. Abba, let’s place a note in that Wall!
Response: Mr. Reader, I will gladly accompany you to post a note in the Wall you have in mind if you will accompany me to break down the “separation wall” that Israel has built, most of it on land earmarked in the UN partition plan for an Arab state.