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Holy Crap !!!!!!
Well.....She does very correctly point out that President Obama did get the Nobel Peace Prize !!
Numerous Tibetans, mostly monks, have set themselves on fire in the past months as a way to protest the repressive rule of the Chinese government. The Dalai Lama has stated that he does not encourage his people to continue to protest in such drastic ways. At the same time, Beijing has responded with added security measures and arrests. However, the self-immolations continue with no end in sight.
De nombreux Tibétains, principalement des moines, se sont immolés ces derniers mois pour protester contre l'autorité répressive du gouvernement chinois. Le Dalaï Lama a déclaré qu'il n'encourageait personne à continuer de protester avec des moyens radicaux comme ceux-là. Pékin a réagi en renforçant les mesures de sécurité et en procédant à des arrestations. Toutefois, les immolations continuent, sans qu'on en voie venir la fin.
The Prince isn't expected to raise the issue of human rights with his hosts. Perhaps he should, wonders Jerome Taylor by: Jerome Taylor ,for The Independent .They were led out at dawn today, one by...
They were led out at dawn today, one by one, to the public killing grounds. The Seven Saudi Arabian men had been sentenced to death following what human rights groups and the UN said were deeply flawed trials conducted under Sharia law. Some of them were juveniles when they were charged with being part of a gang of thieves in the Saudi town of Abha. But that didn’t save them from the firing squad.
A few hours later, just over 1,000 miles to the north, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were visiting the victims of another brutal Middle Eastern dictatorship. At a refugee camp in northern Jordan they met some of the one million people who have had to flee the death and destruction now enveloping Bashar al-Assad’s Syria. Charles described the scene he saw as an “unbelievable and heartbreaking situation” while Camilla hailed the “strength of spirit” shown by the women she encountered.
Syria's opposition National Coalition said it was pulling out of several international meetings to protest at the "international silence" despite the slaughter of civilians in the conflict.
The announcement came after the coalition had said it would form a government to run "liberated areas" of Syria, and as international condemnation mounted against Thursday's devastating attacks in Damascus that left around 100 people dead.In further violence Friday, monitors said more than 12 people had been killed when buildings collapsed after a missile strike on the city of Aleppo.The National Coalition said it was pulling out of meetings in Italy, Russia and the United States, to protest against the "shameful" lack of international condemnation of "crimes committed against the Syrian people".
The group had been due to attend a Friends of Syria meeting in Rome next Thursday where US Secretary of State John Kerry is also expected. National Coalition chief Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib had also been invited to Moscow."The international silence on the crimes committed every day against our people amounts to participating in two years of killings," said the statement."We hold the Russian leaders in particular ethically and politically responsible because they continue to support the (Damascus) regime with weapons," the National Coalition added.Already Friday, coalition spokesman Walid al-Bunni had announced plans for a government for "liberated areas" following a meeting in Cairo.They would decide on its composition and choose its leader at a meeting on March 2, he added.
The watchdog, which collects reports from a wide network of activists and medics on the ground, gave an initial toll of 99 people killed nationwide on Friday.Despite the increasing brutality of the conflict, which has left an estimated 70,000 people killed, demonstrations continue to be held every Friday nationwide.
Revolution in Riyadh, the possible overthrow of the House of Saud, would represent a severe setback to America’s position in the region and provide a dramatic strategic windfall for Iran.
By: Bruce Riedel
Revolution in Riyadh, the possible overthrow of the House of Saud, would represent a severe setback to America’s position in the region and provide a dramatic strategic windfall for Iran. Former veteran intelligence official Bruce Riedel drafted this memorandum to President Obama as part of Big Bets and Black Swans: A Presidential Briefing Book.
Download Memorandum (pdf) | Download the Presidential Briefing Book (pdf)
TO: President Obama
FROM: Bruce Riedel
Saudi Arabia is the world’s last absolute monarchy. Like Louis XIV, King Abdallah has complete authority. A revolution in Saudi Arabia remains unlikely but, for the first time, due to the Arab Awakenings, it has become possible. The Saudi royal family has unique strengths and legitimacy; the Kingdom was founded in the 18th century as an alliance between the royal family and an austere Islamic preacher whose followers still partner with the House of Saud to govern the state. Almost alone in the Islamic world it was never conquered by European imperialism. The King is the Custodian of Islam’s two holiest cities. And it has the world’s largest oil company and the world’s largest oil reserves. This combination of religious piety and vast revenues has so far been sufficient to stave off the kind of unrest that has shaken much of the Arab world in recent years.
Nevertheless, revolutionary change in the Kingdom would be a disaster for American interests across the board. As the world’s swing oil producer, prolonged instability in Saudi Arabia would cause havoc in global oil markets, setting back economic recovery in the West and disrupting economic growth in the East. Saudi Arabia is also America’s oldest ally in the Middle East, a partnership that dates back to 1945; the overthrow of the monarchy would represent a severe setback to America’s position in the region and provide a dramatic strategic windfall for Iran. The small oilrich monarchies of the Gulf would be endangered, as would the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Unfortunately, notwithstanding the stakes, the United States has no serious option for heading off a revolution in the Kingdom if it is coming. Since American interests are so intimately tied to the House of Saud, the U.S. does not have the choice of distancing the United States from it in an effort to get on the right side of history. Nevertheless, you should try to reestablish trust with the King and urge him to move more rapidly on his political reform agenda, while recognizing that this effort is likely to have limited results. In the meantime, you should ensure the best possible intelligence is available to see a crisis coming, put in place measures to limit the impact on the global economy of any disruption in oil supply, be ready to shore up the neighboring kingdoms and sheikhdoms, and then try to ride out the storm.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a proven survivor. Two earlier Saudi kingdoms were defeated by the Ottoman Empire and eradicated. But the House of Saud came back. They survived a wave of revolutions against Arab monarchies in the 1950s and 1960s. A jihadist coup attempt in 1979 seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca but was crushed. Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda staged a four-year-long insurrection to topple the royal family and failed less than a decade ago. Nevertheless, al Qaeda cadres remain in the Kingdom and next door in Yemen.
Today, the Arab Awakenings pose the most severe test for the Kingdom since its creation. The same demographic challenges that prompted revolution in Egypt and Yemen apply in Saudi Arabia: a very young population and very high underemployment. Extreme gender discrimination, highly restricted freedom of expression, longstanding regional rivalry with revolutionary Iran across the Gulf, and a restive Shia minority add to the explosive potential. In recognition of their vulnerability the Saudi royals have spent over $130 billion since the Arab Awakenings began to try to buy off dissenters at home. Abroad they have sent troops across the King Fahd Causeway to stifle revolution in Bahrain, brokered a political deal in Yemen replacing Ali Abdallah Salih with his deputy, and sought closer unity among the six Gulf Cooperation Council sheikhdoms. They have also invited Jordan and Morocco to join the “kings club.” But they are also pragmatists and have backed revolutions in Libya and Syria that undermine longstanding enemies of the Kingdom, especially Iran.
So far, they have helped ensure that revolution has not unseated any Arab monarch. However, Bahrain and Jordan have become the weakest links in the royal chain. The King of Bahrain is failing to suppress a prolonged rebellion against his rule; the King of Jordan could be next. Unrest in Jordan would threaten the peace with Israel. But the United States – and Israel – can cope with instability in both small states. Not so in Saudi Arabia.
If an Awakening takes place in Saudi Arabia it will probably look a lot like the revolutions in the other Arab states. Already demonstrations, peaceful and violent, have wracked the oil-rich Eastern Province for over a year. These are Shia protests and thus atypical of the rest of the Kingdom because Shias represent only 10 percent of the population. Shia dissidents in ARAMCO, the Saudi oil company, have also used cyber warfare to attack its computer systems, crashing over 30,000 work-stations this past August. They probably received Iranian help.
Much more disturbing to the royals would be protests in Sunni parts of the Kingdom. These might start in the so-called Koran belt north of the capital where dissent is endemic or in the neglected Asir province on the Yemeni border. Once they start they could snowball and reach the major cities of the Hejaz, including Jidda, Mecca, Taif, and Medina. The Saudi opposition is well-armed with mobile phone technology, which could ensure rapid communication of dissent within the Kingdom and to the outside world.
The critical defender of the regime would be the National Guard. King Abdallah has spent his life building this Praetorian elite force. The United States has trained and equipped it with tens of billions of dollars’ worth of helicopters and armored vehicles. But the key unknown is whether the Guard will shoot on its brothers and sisters in the street. It may fragment or it may simply refuse to suppress dissent if it is largely peaceful, especially at the start.
The succession issue adds another layer of complication. Every succession in the Kingdom since its founder Abdel Aziz bin Saud died in 1953 has been among his brothers. King Abdallah and Crown Prince Salman are, literally, the end of that breed and both are in frail health; after them there are only two remaining half brothers that might suit and then there is no clear line of succession in the next generation. If Abdallah and/or Salman die as unrest unfolds, and a succession crisis ensues, then the Kingdom could be even more vulnerable to revolution.
Like in other Arab revolutions, the opposition revolutionaries will not be united on anything except ousting the monarchy. There will be secular democrats but also al Qaeda and Wahhabi elements in the opposition. Trying to pick and choose will be very difficult. The unity of the kingdom could collapse as the Hejaz separates from the rest, the east falls to Iranbacked Shia and the center becomes a jihadist stronghold.
For the United States, revolution in Saudi Arabia would be a game-changer. While the United States can live without Saudi oil, China, India, Japan and Europe cannot. Any disruption in Saudi oil exports either due to unrest, cyber attacks or a new regime’s decision to reduce exports substantially will have major impacts on the global economy. The CIA war against al Qaeda is heavily dependent on the Kingdom; Saudi intelligence operations foiled the last two al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula attacks on the American homeland. The U.S. military training mission in the Kingdom, founded in 1953, is the largest such mission in the world. The Saudis have also been a key player in containing Iran for decades. King Abdallah was the author of the Arab peace plan that bears his name.
The other monarchs of Arabia would inevitably be in jeopardy if revolution comes to Saudi Arabia. The Sunni minority in Bahrain could not last without Saudi money and tanks. Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are city-states that would be unable to defend themselves against a Saudi revolutionary regime, despite all their money. The Hashemite dynasty would be at risk as well without Saudi and Gulf money and oil. Only the Sultan of Oman is probably isolated and strong enough to endure. Despite the stakes, the options are as unappealing as those President Carter faced in dealing with the end of the Pahlavi monarchy in Iran. And unlike the Shah who tried half-hearted reforms, the Saudi royal family has shown no interest in sharing power or in an elected legislature.
The United States has no serious options for effecting gradual reform in the Kingdom. The King fears, probably rightly, that power sharing is impossible in an absolutist state. In Bahrain, the Saudis showed clearly their view that opening the door to political pluralism will doom a monarchy. And the King will be distrustful of your counsel on this matter because of the stance that you took against his friend and fellow authoritarian, Hosni Mubarak.
Nevertheless, it is important to try to reestablish trust with the King, who continues to need the United States to counter the external threat he perceives from Iran, and to encourage him quietly to accelerate reforms that he has already indicated a willingness to undertake. But, at the same time, you should plan for the worst. The intelligence community should be directed to make internal developments, not just counter-terrorism, its top priority in the Kingdom now. The U.S. cannot afford a surprise like 1978 and you need to know the players in the opposition, especially the Wahhabi clerics, in depth. You should also take steps to help shore up Saudi Arabia’s smaller neighbors who are staunch allies of the United States and to limit the impact of a disruption of Saudi oil supplies. This will be a formidable challenge but it is essential to preparing for what could be a very black swan.
PDF files free to download courtesy Brookings Institute.
The Cooperation Council for Arab States of the Gulf intends to create a unified military command.
And of course would also no doubt help the Arab Monarchies consolidate their own power domestically.
What began as a vicious if obscure fight over land and power between Muslims and an indigenous tribe in a remote state has set off panic among northeastern migrants across India
Like a fever, fear has spread across India this week, from big cities like Bangalore to smaller places like Mysore, a contagion fueling a message: Run. Head home. Flee. And that is what thousands of migrants from the country’s distant northeastern states are doing, jamming into train stations in an exodus challenging the Indian ideals of tolerance and diversity. ...
Former detainees and defectors have identified the locations, agencies responsible, torture methods used, and, in many cases, the commanders in charge of 27 detention facilities run by Syrian intelligence agencies, Human Rights Watch said in a multimedia report released today. The systematic patterns of ill-treatment and torture that Human Rights Watch documented clearly point to a state policy of torture and ill-treatment and therefore constitute a crime against humanity.
The 81-page report, “Torture Archipelago: Arbitrary Arrests, Torture and Enforced Disappearances in Syria’s Underground Prisons since March 2011” is based on more than 200 interviews conducted by Human Rights Watch since the beginning of anti-government demonstrations in Syria in March 2011. The report includes maps locating the detention facilities, video accounts from former detainees, and sketches of torture techniques described by numerous people who witnessed or experienced torture in these facilities.“The intelligence agencies are running an archipelago of torture centers scattered across the country,” said Ole Solvang, emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch. “By publishing their locations, describing the torture methods, and identifying those in charge we are putting those responsible on notice that they will have to answer for these horrific crimes.”
On Wednesday, August 1st, a Tibetan man called Gyatso, who currently resides in Belgium, sent a photograph to the offices of the Tibet Post International of Thupten Yeshe, a 29 year old monk who is from Shingtri monastery, Tso-ngon area, north-eastern Tibet and explained that he has been reported missing.
The monk is from Tende village in Ba County, Tso-ngon, north-eastern Tibet. Thupten was brought in Ba County by his father Kadho Gyab, and mother Kako, in a family with two sisters and five brothers.
On the 14th of March of this year a number of monks from Shingtri monastery protested against the Chinese government's policies in Tibet. During the protest many monks and lay people were arrested by the Chinese police and most were released after a certain period of time.
The war on terror shifts its focusIt’s appropriate that the United States is now officially backing Al-Qaeda fighters in Syria given the fact that the primary focus of the war on terror has been shifted away from Muslim extremists and re-aligned to target politically active, conservative and libertarian Americans.
The latest salvo comes in the form of an ABC Studios drama which demonizes a Texas militia group as dangerous right-wing extremists, lifting its story from last year’s arrest of Hutaree militia members in Michigan who despite being charged with planning to kill police officers were later acquitted.
As we have documented, under the Obama administration, the characterization of Americans who distrust big government and adhere to constitutionalist principles as domestic extremists or even terrorists has accelerated.
The most recent example was a study funded by the Department of Homeland Security which characterized Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.
Entitled Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970-2008 (PDF), the study was produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland. The organization was launched with the aid of DHS funding to the tune of $12 million dollars.
While largely omitting Islamic terrorism – the report fails completely to mention the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – the study focuses on Americans who hold beliefs shared by the vast majority of conservatives and libertarians and puts them in the context of radical extremism.
The leader of West Africa’s regional bloc said in an interview published Sunday that military intervention in Mali is “inevitable” within weeks, if there’s no quick change in the nation where Islamist extremists rule the north.
Alassane Ouattara, who also is the president of Ivory Coast, told the French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche that half the intervention force would be made up of Malien soldiers and would likely include soldiers from Niger, Nigeria and perhaps countries such as Chad — with logistical help from France and the United States. He defined logistical help as material support and counselors but added that combat aircraft are needed.
“If the situation doesn’t evolve favorably and rapidly, yes, there will be a military intervention in Mali,” he said. “It seems inevitable.” He added, “I think we can talk in weeks, not in months. There is urgency.” ...
Though the violence in the eastern Indian state of Assam has been building for years, state officials say they were caught unaware, while others claim that the government was deliberately negligent.
There is a numbing familiarity to the riots that struck the eastern Indian state of Assam this month, leaving 48 dead and 400,000 people homeless. The violence had been building for months and even years — thousands of years.
So why, critics ask, were the authorities caught by surprise despite clear warnings of impending conflict?
“The district authorities should have seen the tension building up and acted sooner to prevent the kind of violence that we have seen since,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director of Human Rights Watch.
The Bodo tribe in the finger of land between Bangladesh and Bhutan has long been feeling squeezed by Muslim Bengalis immigrating from Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated countries on the planet. In addition to having less communal ideas about land ownership than the Bodos, the Bengalis, whose numbers are growing, increasingly threaten the Bodos’ dream of having an independent state. ...
Security forces in Saudi Arabia have killed two demonstrators in the country’s Eastern Province, which has been a major scene of anti-regime protests over the past months.
The Riyadh regime forces opened fire on a demonstration in the Qatif region of the province on Sunday.
The victims were identified as Akbar Hassan Shakhouri and Mohammedredha Felfel, who were among the protesters demonstrating against the detention of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nemr al-Nemr, who was attacked in his car upon arrest earlier in the day.
The Hindu Many Chinese Sympathetic to Tibet: Poll Radio Free Asia 21, 2013. AFP.
"Mainland Chinese are largely sympathetic to the cause of Tibet but do not necessarily support self-immolation protests challenging Beijing’s rule in Tibetan-populated areas, according to a random survey carried out by RFA.Chinese living in Tibetan-populated areas meanwhile are guarded in their comments on the more than 100 burning protests that have occurred so far, according to the survey by RFA's Tibetan Service, which polled about 30 Chinese citizens over the last few months. “The oppression of Tibetans and the persecution by one race of another, aimed at eliminating their culture, is unacceptable in today’s world,” said a woman living in China’s northeast province of Jilin.“It is unacceptable that one race should oppress the rights of another,” she said amid Tibetan concerns that their religion, culture, and language are being eroded under Chinese government policies aimed at clamping down on monasteries and other Tibetan institutions.A Chinese man living in the south-central province of Guizhou said that he “wholeheartedly” supports and prays for those Tibetans who have self-immolated “for the cause of the Tibetan people.”“I wish them success. May their aspirations be fulfilled!”
FREE TIBET AND UYGHUR, INNER MONGOLIA!!! IT IS THE FUTURE . NO ONE CAN CHANGE IT
A bit radical because this video comes from "WorldHatesChina" .Which is not true pre say.
The reality is that the world at large does not hate China rather is more in Awe of China.
We carry this Scoop only in the interest of giving both sides of a sorry story.
IRAN UNDER ATTACK:http://www.scoop.it/t/from-tahrir-square?q=IRAN+
The urban Chinese population has greater trust in anonymous online microblogs than state run newspapers and television news, a new study has revealed.
The Epoch Times has reported that the findings were made in a study on the quality of life of urban residents by the Institute of Sociology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the China Social Sciences Press. Interviewees were asked to rank the level of integrity of 11 industries and typical work units in the study the report said citing the Legal Evening News, a state-run newspaper. The report said that the state-run media’s level of integrity is “relatively low” compared to blogs and microblogs. “According to the report, young netizens from the age of 30 and under trust the contents of platforms like Sina Weibo more; microblogging ranked second, winning the trust of 21.6 percent of participants, a proportion exceeding Chinese newspapers,” The Epoch Times said. Media profession in China ranked sixth on the integrity list out of the 11 industries included in the study.The Chinese government has long tried to keep a tight rein on traditional and new media to prevent any challenges to its political authority. Earlier this year, China blocked the websites of Bloomberg and The New York Times and also forced Al Jazeera to shut down its Beijing-based English bureau.
Embassy Attacks and Middle East Unrest in ContextHuffington Post (blog)It seems bizarre that right-wing pundits would be so desperate to use the recent anti-American protests in the Middle East -- in most cases numbering only a few hundred people...
ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) - Iran has offered support to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad as his forces tried to choke off rebels in the northern city of Aleppo.Seeking to restore his authority after suffering...
eeking to restore his authority after suffering the gravest setbacks so far in the 17-month-old uprising, culminating in the defection of his prime minister on Monday, Assad was shown on television on Tuesday meeting a senior official from his key regional ally.
It was the first footage broadcast of the 46-year-old leader for two weeks, and came a day after Syria's new caretaker prime minister was televised chairing a hastily called cabinet session, possibly to rebut reports that other ministers had deserted along with premier Riyad Hijab.
Saeed Jalili, head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said Iran would not let its close partnership with the Syrian leadership to be shaken by the uprising or external foes.
"Iran will not allow the axis of resistance, of which it considers Syria to be an essential part, to be broken in any way," Syrian television quoted Jalili as saying.
The Syrian Intelligence War | A tale of two security headquarters | There is much more to the conflict in Syria than meets the eye.
Syria is currently the scene of a cold war between the US, NATO, Israel, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on one side and Russia, China, Iran, and the Resistance Bloc on the other hand. Amidst the fighting between the Syrian government and anti-government forces, an intense intelligence war has also been taking place.
Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the Bundes Nachrichtendienst (BND, Federal Intelligence Service), has been pointing its finger at Al-Qaeda for the bombings in Syria. This, however, has the effect of hiding and detracting the role that the intelligence services of the US and its allies have played. By crediting Al-Qaeda, the Bundes Nachrichtendienst is helping get Washington and its allies off the hook. Albeit Al-Qaeda is far more than just a US intelligence asset, the organization and label of Al-Qaeda is a catch-all term that is used to camouflage the operations of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other affiliated intelligence services.
Syrian intellectuals and scientists have also been reportedly assassinated in Damascus. Like in Iraq and Iran, it is probably the work of Israel’s Mossad and part of Tel Aviv’s policy of crippling scientific and technological advancement in enemy states. Informed sources in Washington have already clarified that Israel is helping the Free Syrian Army and actively participating in the intelligence war against Syria. An unnamed US official has confirmed to David Ignatius that both the CIA and Mossad are involved in Syria. . In his own words: “Scores of Israeli intelligence officers are also operating along Syria’s border, though they are keeping a low profile.”  A Qatari defector in Venezuela has also been reported to have divulged that the Qataris have been outsourced intelligence work against Syria by the CIA and Mossad.
President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said.
Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.
This and other developments signal a shift toward growing, albeit still circumscribed, support for Assad’s armed opponents - a shift that intensified following last month’s failure of the U.N. Security Council to agree on tougher sanctions against the Damascus government.
The White House is for now apparently stopping short of giving the rebels lethal weapons, even as some U.S. allies do just that.
But U.S. and European officials have said that there have been noticeable improvements in the coherence and effectiveness of Syrian rebel groups in the past few weeks. That represents a significant change in assessments of the rebels by Western officials, who previously characterized Assad’s opponents as a disorganized, almost chaotic, rabble.
As the battle against Syrian rebels reaches a new stage, Israel is worried that President Assad might use his vast arsenal of chemical weapons against his own people or neighbors -- or perhaps even give some to Hezbollah.
Aleppo lies some 400 kilometers from the Golan Heights, but the Israelis have reinforced the border barriers in the last few days and dispatched additional soldiers to the area. They fear that a wave of refugees will also wash across the border into Israel.
"We can see the fighting from here, the mortar shells; we can hear the echoes of the bullets of the battles in the battle between the Syrian army and the rebel groups. Two-hundred meters south we can see the United Nations, and 800 meters west there is the border fence. It just shows to what extent the disintegration of the regime is far from abstract; it is real, and it is getting closer." That is how Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently described the situation. He said that Israel has to be prepared for every scenario.
In Jerusalem, one can imagine several of them. For example, a horror scenario in which terrorists could attack Israel with rockets, including from the Golan Heights, amid the general chaos. But military leaders are even more concerned about the Syrian regime's chemical weapons. They could be slipped into Lebanon by Hezbollah or fall into the hands of terrorists in Syria. Or, as a last resort, Assad could launch missiles armed with poison gas at Israel, as well as at Jordan and Turkey.
On the other hand, seeing that Syria has not fired a single shot at Israel in three decades, why would it now resort to using chemical weapons? Indeed, experts in Jerusalem are astonishingly unanimous in their assessment that a direct attack is unlikely. But that hasn't stopped Israel from conducting exercises simulating a poison gas attack on Haifa, and the number of Israelis picking up gas masks at distribution centers has nearly doubled within just a few days.
There is a deep-seated fear that despots react irrationally whenever their survival is threatened. Chemical weapons have already been unscrupulously used in the region on more than one occasion. In the 1960s, Egypt used poison-gas bombs during Cairo's intervention in the civil war in Yemen. And, in the 1980s, Saddam Hussein used poison gas against Iranian soldiers during the Iran-Iraq War -- and to murder large numbers of his own population.
"Once Hezbollah gets its hands on chemical weapons, someone will teach them how to use them," says Isaac Ben Israel, the former head of the Israeli military's research department. "The Iranians and the Syrians have already taught them how to launch long-range missiles."
As fierce fighting continued across Syria on Sunday, the country’s foreign minister, on a visit to Iran, blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey for the escalation of violence and vowed that his government would rout the rebels fighting the army in Aleppo. ...
How do Syrian rebels shuttle around their cities when government snipers are quick to fire on anything that moves? They simply hop in the beast shown above, ride through a hail of government bullets and take out said snipers.
he photo above shows a Suzuki pickup that’s been converted into a gasoline-powered turtle armed with a DSHK machine gun. Apparently, the Turtle (we’re giving it that nickname, right here, right now, even though the rebels call it the T-HOMS75) carries a driver, a gunner and an asissistant and can hit speeds of up to 49 mph while protecting its occupants from light and medium caliber bullets.
Speaking of Syrian rebels, click here to see their latest flamethrower and click through the jump to watch a video of them using a different armed Suzuki pickup to shoot at a government Mi-8 helicopter.