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Attacks in Syria and Yemen are Turning Disease Into a Weapon of War

           

A cholera-infected man receives treatment at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen, in May.  HANI MOHAMMED/AP

statnews.com - by Homer Venters - July 7, 2017

 . . . Today we are seeing another cruel method of warfare emerge on the battlefield: the weaponization of disease, particularly in Syria and Yemen.

Targeting health care facilities during conflict has occurred before. But unlike the attacks on hospital ships during World War I, or even sporadic attacks in more recent conflicts, the pace of attacks on health facilities, workers, and resources in Syria and Yemen is massive and unrelenting . . . 

 . . . We must not make the mistake of thinking of these deaths and illnesses as collateral damage of war. They are not accidental, and the destruction of medical and sanitation infrastructure is part of a cruel, illegal, and intentional strategy . .

 . . . there must be independent investigations of violations of international law when it comes to targeting health and humanitarian resources . . .

 . . . Hundreds of thousands have already died in Syria and Yemen. And without accountability and clear condemnation from the international community, millions more lives are at stake.

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United States - Russia - Cyber Weapons

In January 1982, President Ronald Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions, including software that later triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline.

This week it is being reported that former President Barack Obama authorized the planting of cyber weapons in Russian infrastructure in the final weeks of his presidency in response to Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The project, not completed before the end of Obama’s term, reportedly left the weapons in President Trump’s control after he took office.

In 1982 the Soviets were at least a decade behind the West in computers and microelectronics. Since then, the Russians are thought to have caught up with western technology, and might now have the same capabilities as the United States.

If a cyber war of this nature were to break out in the future . . . who would be on the front lines?

Documentation for these occurrences will be posted within the links below, including a summary on the 1982 incident from the C.I.A. . . .

CLICK HERE - Reagan Approved Plan to Sabotage Soviets

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What Happens If a Nuclear Bomb Goes Off in Manhattan?

Manhatten skyline. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Image: Manhatten skyline. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

theatlantic.com - March 15th 2017 - Kaveh Waddell

On a quiet afternoon, two medium-sized nuclear blasts level portions of Manhattan.

If this were a movie, hordes of panicked New Yorkers would pour out into the streets, running around and calling out for their loved ones. But reality doesn’t usually line up with Hollywood’s vision of a disaster scene, says William Kennedy, a professor in the Center for Social Complexity at George Mason University. 

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The world today looks ominously like it did before World War I

Industrial Age factory and railway engraving. (Washington Post illustration; iStock)

Image: Industrial Age factory and railway engraving. (Washington Post illustration; iStock)

washingtonpost.com - December 29th 2016 - Ana Swanson

A backlash to globalization appears to be gaining strength around the world. U.S. politicians on both the right and left have called for curbing free trade deals they say benefit foreigners or the global elite. President-elect Donald Trump has championed tariffs on imports and limits on immigration, and suggested withdrawing from international alliances and trade agreements. 

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It Looks Like Russia Purposefully Bombed a Base Used by the US to Force Washington's Hand in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly spoke with Obama by phone in early July and confirmed the plan that will involve enhanced sharing of information about al-Nusra's positions in Syria. Reuters

CLICK HERE - Terms of Reference for the Joint Implementation Group (8 page .PDF file)

businessinsider.com - by Natasha Bertrand - July 23, 2016

Russian warplanes bombed a garrison used by US and British forces in Syria twice last month, despite being warned by a US surveillance aircraft flying nearby that the base was not occupied or being used by members of ISIS.

The airstrikes — which hit the base in southeastern Syria just 24 hours after 20 British special forces had left and killed four US-backed rebels — appear to have been Moscow's way of pressuring the US into sharing military intelligence and coordinating more closely with the Russians in Syria, The Wall Street Journal's Adam Entous reported. . . .

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President Obama visits Hiroshima, speaks out against nuclear weapons

The Hiroshima Memorial.

Image: The Hiroshima Memorial.

inhabitat.com - May 30th 2016 - Lacy Cooke

About 71 years after the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, President Obama visited the site and placed a wreath before the cenotaph at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It is the first visit by a “sitting U.S. President.” Both Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Obama delivered speeches, and Obama spoke out against nuclear weapons.

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Syrian Civil War Prompts First Withdrawal From Doomsday Seed Vault In The Arctic

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was opened on Feb. 26, 2008. Carved into the Arctic permafrost and filled with samples of the world's most important seeds, it's a Noah's Ark of food crops to be used in the event of a global catastrophe. AFP/Getty Images

Image: The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was opened on Feb. 26, 2008. Carved into the Arctic permafrost and filled with samples of the world's most important seeds, it's a Noah's Ark of food crops to be used in the event of a global catastrophe. AFP/Getty Images

npr.org - September 23rd, 2015

A tall rectangular building juts out of a mountainside on a Norwegian island just 800 miles from the North Pole. Narrow and sharply edged, the facility cuts an intimidating figure against the barren Arctic background. But the gray building holds the key to the earth's biodiversity.

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Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change

      

Women working in fields in northeastern Syria in 2010.  A new report suggests extreme drought in Syria was most likely a factor in the violent uprising that began there in 2011. Credit Louai Beshara/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought

nytimes.com - by Henry Fountain - March 2, 2015

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The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons

Andrew T. Goldman in North Topsail Beach, N.C. In August 2008, Mr. Goldman was part of a team near Taji, Iraq, that was trying to destroy munitions that could be used in makeshift bombs. While holding a cracked shell, he noticed a strange smell. Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Image: Andrew T. Goldman in North Topsail Beach, N.C. In August 2008, Mr. Goldman was part of a team near Taji, Iraq, that was trying to destroy munitions that could be used in makeshift bombs. While holding a cracked shell, he noticed a strange smell. Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

nytimes.com - October 14th, 2014 - C.J. Chivers

The soldiers at the blast crater sensed something was wrong. It was August 2008 near Taji, Iraq. They had just exploded a stack of old Iraqi artillery shells buried beside a murky lake.

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The sad legacy of 9/11: Isis and al-Qaida are stronger than ever

 It is the sad legacy of our response to 9/11 that bin Ladenism has spread far beyond Osama bin Laden’s wildest dreams. Illustration: Steve Haske for Guardian US Opinion

Image:  It is the sad legacy of our response to 9/11 that bin Ladenism has spread far beyond Osama bin Laden’s wildest dreams. Illustration: Steve Haske for Guardian US Opinion

theguardian.com - September 11th, 2014 - Ali Soufan

In the years leading up to the attacks of 11 September 2001, the west saw al-Qaida rising but didn’t address the threat in time. My colleagues and I in the FBI and over at the CIA had been focused on al-Qaida since the mid-1990s. The true threat, however, came from the ideology, not the group.

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