Adonis Diaries

Brain Pacemakers? To Treat Parkinson’s Disease 

Doctors know that deep brain stimulation works as a therapy for Parkinson’s disease. But they’re still trying to figure out why and how.

A new study sheds some light on the mechanism of action, suggesting that DBS disrupts a pattern of excessively synchronized activity in the brain.

How Brain Pacemakers Treat Parkinson’s Disease?

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Zombie Roaches?

A herd of wildebeests, a shoal of fish, a flock of birds.

Many animals gather in large groups that are among the most wonderful spectacles in the natural world. But why do these groups form?

The common answers include things like seeking safety in numbers or hunting in packs or gathering to mate or breed,

All of these explanations, while often true, make a huge assumption about animal behavior, that the animals are in control of their own actions, that they are in charge of their bodies. And that is often not the case.

0:46 This is Artemia, a brine shrimp. You probably know it better as a sea monkey. It’s small, and it typically lives alone, but it can gather in these large red swarms that span for meters, and these form because of a parasite.

These shrimp are infected with a tapeworm. A tapeworm is effectively a long, living gut with genitals at one end and a hooked mouth at the other.

As a freelance journalist, I sympathize. (Laughter) The tapeworm drains nutrients from Artemia’s body, but it also does other things. It castrates them, it changes their color from transparent to bright red, it makes them live longer.

and as biologist Nicolas Rode has found, it makes them swim in groups. Why?

Because the tapeworm, like many other parasites, has a complicated life cycle involving many different hosts. The shrimp are just one step on its journey. Its ultimate destination is this, the greater flamingo.

Only in a flamingo can the tapeworm reproduce.  So to get there, it manipulates its shrimp hosts into forming these conspicuous colored swarms that are easier for a flamingo to spot and to devour, and that is the secret of the Artemia swarm. They aren’t sociable through their own volition, but because they are being controlled.

It’s not safety in numbers. It’s actually the exact opposite. The tapeworm hijacks their brains and their bodies, turning them into vehicles for getting itself into a flamingo.

2:20 And here is another example of a parasitic manipulation. This is a suicidal cricket.

This cricket swallowed the larvae of a Gordian worm, or horsehair worm. The worm grew to adult size within it, but it needs to get into water in order to mate, and it does that by releasing proteins that addle the cricket’s brain, causing it to behave erratically. When the cricket nears a body of water, such as this swimming pool, it jumps in and drowns, and the worm wriggles out of its suicidal corpse. Crickets are really roomy. Who knew?

2:59 The tapeworm and the Gordian worm are not alone. They are part of an entire cavalcade of mind-controlling parasites, of fungi, viruses, and worms and insects and more that all specialize in subverting and overriding the wills of their hosts.

Now, I first learned about this way of life through David Attenborough’s “Trials of Life” about 20 years ago, and then later through a wonderful book called “Parasite Rex” by my friend Carl Zimmer. And I’ve been writing about these creatures ever since.

Few topics in biology enthral me more. It’s like the parasites have subverted my own brain. Because after all, they are always compelling and they are delightfully macabre.

When you write about parasites, your lexicon swells with phrases like “devoured alive” and “bursts out of its body.” (Laughter)

3:45 But there’s more to it than that. I’m a writer, and fellow writers in the audience will know that we love stories.

Parasites invite us to resist the allure of obvious stories. Their world is one of plot twists and unexpected explanations.

Why, for example, does this caterpillar start violently thrashing about when another insect gets close to it and those white cocoons that it seems to be standing guard over? Is it maybe protecting its siblings? No.

This caterpillar was attacked by a parasitic wasp which laid eggs inside it. The eggs hatched and the young wasps devoured the caterpillar alive before bursting out of its body. See what I mean? Now, the caterpillar didn’t die. Some of the wasps seemed to stay behind and controlled it into defending their siblings which are metamorphosing into adults within those cocoons. This caterpillar is a head-banging zombie bodyguard defending the offspring of the creature that killed it.

4:52 We have a lot to get through. I only have 13 minutes. (Laughter)

4:56 Now, some of you are probably just desperately clawing for some solace in the idea that these things are oddities of the natural world, that they are outliers, and that point of view is understandable, because by their nature, parasites are quite small and they spend a lot of their time inside the bodies of other things.

Parasites are easy to overlook, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t important.

A few years back, a man called Kevin Lafferty took a group of scientists into 3 Californian estuaries and they pretty much weighed and dissected and recorded everything they could find, and what they found were parasites in extreme abundance.

Especially common were trematodes, tiny worms that specialize in castrating their hosts like this unfortunate snail.

Now, a single trematode is tiny, microscopic, but collectively they weighed as much as all the fish in the estuaries and three to nine times more than all the birds.

And remember the Gordian worm that I showed you, the cricket thing? One Japanese scientist called Takuya Sato found that in one stream, these things drive so many crickets and grasshoppers into the water that the drowned insects make up some 60% of the diet of local trout.

Manipulation is not an oddity. It is a critical and common part of the world around us, and scientists have now found hundreds of examples of such manipulators, and more excitingly, they’re starting to understand exactly how these creatures control their hosts.

6:23 And this is one of my favorite examples. This is Ampulex compressa, the emerald cockroach wasp, and it is a truth universally acknowledged that an emerald cockroach wasp in possession of some fertilized eggs must be in want of a cockroach. When she finds one, she stabs it with a stinger that is also a sense organ.

This discovery came out three weeks ago. She stabs it with a stinger that is a sense organ equipped with small sensory bumps that allow her to feel the distinctive texture of a roach’s brain. So like a person blindly rooting about in a bag, she finds the brain, and she injects it with venom into two very specific clusters of neurons.

Israeli scientists Frederic Libersat and Ram Gal found that the venom is a very specific chemical weapon. It doesn’t kill the roach, nor does it sedate it. The roach could walk away or fly or run if it chose to, but it doesn’t choose to, because the venom nixes its motivation to walk, and only that.

The wasp basically un-checks the escape-from-danger box in the roach’s operating system, allowing her to lead her helpless victim back to her lair by its antennae like a person walking a dog. And once there, she lays an egg on it, egg hatches, devoured alive, bursts out of body, yadda yadda yadda, you know the drill. (Laughter)

7:48 Now I would argue that, once stung, the cockroach isn’t a roach anymore. It’s more of an extension of the wasp, just like the cricket was an extension of the Gordian worm. These hosts won’t get to survive or reproduce. They have as much control over their own fates as my car. Once the parasites get in, the hosts don’t get a say.

8:09 Now humans, of course, are no stranger to manipulation.

We take drugs to shift the chemistries of our brains and to change our moods, and what are arguments or advertising or big ideas if not an attempt to influence someone else’s mind?

But our attempts at doing this are crude and blundering compared to the fine-grained specificity of the parasites.

Don Draper only wishes he was as elegant and precise as the emerald cockroach wasp. Now, I think this is part of what makes parasites so sinister and so compelling.

We place such a premium on our free will and our independence that the prospect of losing those qualities to forces unseen informs many of our deepest societal fears.

Orwellian dystopias and shadowy cabals and mind-controlling supervillains — these are tropes that fill our darkest fiction, but in nature, they happen all the time.

9:06 Which leads me to an obvious and disquieting question: Are there dark, sinister parasites that are influencing our behavior without us knowing about it, besides the NSA? If there are any — (Laughter) (Applause) I’ve got a red dot on my forehead now, don’t I? (Laughter)

9:29 If there are any, this is a good candidate for them.

This is Toxoplasma gondii, or Toxo, for short, because the terrifying creature always deserves a cute nickname.

Toxo infects mammals, a wide variety of mammals, but it can only sexually reproduce in a cat. And scientists like Joanne Webster have shown that if Toxo gets into a rat or a mouse, it turns the rodent into a cat-seeking missile. If the infected rat smells the delightful odor of cat piss, it runs towards the source of the smell rather than the more sensible direction of away. The cat eats the rat. Toxo gets to have sex. It’s a classic tale of Eat, Prey, Love. (Laughter) 

10:18 You’re very charitable, generous people. Hi, Elizabeth, I loved your talk.

10:24 How does the parasite control its host in this way? We don’t really know. We know that Toxo releases an enzyme that makes dopamine, a substance involved in reward and motivation. We know it targets certain parts of a rodent’s brain, including those involved in sexual arousal.

But how those puzzle pieces fit together is not immediately clear. What is clear is that this thing is a single cell. This has no nervous system. It has no consciousness. It doesn’t even have a body. But it’s manipulating a mammal?

We are mammals. We are more intelligent than a mere rat, to be sure, but our brains have the same basic structure, the same types of cells, the same chemicals running through them, and the same parasites.

Estimates vary a lot, but some figures suggest that one in three people around the world have Toxo in their brains. Now typically, this doesn’t lead to any overt illness. The parasite holds up in a dormant state for a long period of time. But there’s some evidence that those people who are carriers score slightly differently on personality questionnaires than other people, that they have a slightly higher risk of car accidents, and there’s some evidence that people with schizophrenia are more likely to be infected.

Now, I think this evidence is still inconclusive, and even among Toxo researchers, opinion is divided as to whether the parasite is truly influencing our behavior. But given the widespread nature of such manipulations, it would be completely implausible for humans to be the only species that weren’t similarly affected.

11:53 And I think that this capacity to constantly subvert our way of thinking about the world makes parasites amazing.

They’re constantly inviting us to look at the natural world sideways, and to ask if the behaviors we’re seeing, whether they’re simple and obvious or baffling and puzzling, are not the results of individuals acting through their own accord but because they are being bent to the control of something else. And while that idea may be disquieting, and while parasites’ habits may be very grisly, I think that ability to surprise us makes them as wonderful and as charismatic as any panda or butterfly or dolphin.

12:32 At the end of “On the Origin of Species,” Charles Darwin writes about the grandeur of life, and of endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful, and I like to think he could easily have been talking about a tapeworm that makes shrimp sociable or a wasp that takes cockroaches for walks.

12:51 But perhaps, that’s just a parasite talking.

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.
In this fascinating, hilarious and ever-so-slightly creepy talk, science writer Ed Yong tells the story of his favorite parasites —
animals and organisms that live on the bodies (and brains!) of other organisms, causing them to do their bidding. Do…
ted.com|By Ed Yong

 

This blue Halle Forest (Hallerbos) in Belgium

Believe it or not, the mystical and fairy tale-like forest portrayed in these beautiful photos actually exists – it’s called Hallerbos (or Halle Forest in Dutch), and it’s located in Belgium.

The reason this forest looks like it’s been lifted right out of a fairytale is its dense carpet of . These flowers thrive and bloom in spring and early summer, and it is their characteristic explosion of blue and violet that gives bluebell forests like this one their name.

The early spring blooms attract visitors (and photographers) to Hallerbos and to other forests like it in droves. Foggy conditions are especially good for photographers, giving the woods a mysterious and ghostly atmosphere

Dense carpets of bluebells are usually an indicator that the forest in question is very old. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the trees in the area are old, only that the area has consistently remained wooded for at least 300-400 years.

h/t: mymodernmet

 

Image credits: Kilian Schönberger

Image credits: Walter Spoor

Image credits: Guy Lambrechts

Image credits: Jimmy De Taeye

Image credits: Kilian Schönberger

Image credits: Matthias Locker

Image credits: Ramon Stijnen

 

Image credits: josnas

Image credits: gvriend

 

Image credits: Mathijs Frenken

Image credits: Kilian Schönberger

Image credits: Bart Ceuppens

Image credits: Robert Delpeut

Image credits: Adrian Popan

 

Companies don’t care about you

Brands don’t care about you…

Institutions don’t care about you either.

The only people who are able to care about you are people.

The question is: How this institution owned and organized and run by people will allow the people who work there to care?

Generally, the answer is ‘No’, because caring is unpredictable, hard to command and regulate and sometimes expensive in the short run.

What a shame.

Lebanon’s New Traffic Law:

Everything You Need To Know

And what if the roads are not maintained to satisfy the traffic laws?

‎نضال إبراهيم سليم‎'s photo.
Holes the size of a car litter all our highways and swallow what come close, like Black Holes
And the roads lacks lighting and lines delimitations
A funny clause says: Give priority to passing trains. We have no train transportation in Lebanon since 1960.
Yet, if we can stop talking in our mobiles, buckle up, drive slower than we are trained to do and stop at the red lights. Car accidents can be reduced dramatically.
The name of the game is to sustain these traffic laws and allow citizens to believe in their government good intentions and application of the laws.

Posted By :

I think we all agree that Lebanon needs a new traffic law and I’m glad that the authorities finally managed to draft a new modern traffic law.

The question remains whether they will be able to implement it or not?

I followed closely Kalamennas‘ episode last week (what people are saying), listened to what Gen. Joseph Msallem (head of public relations division in the Internal Security Forces) and Marcel Ghanem had to say and all I can say is that law enforcement officers need to figure out a way to gain people’s trust while spreading awareness on the new traffic law.

(For  a couple of weeks, traffic officers will issue warnings since the fines are out of range for most Lebanese and won’t be paid)

If the aim of the new traffic law is to fine people, then things will only get worse and people will find a way to bribe (wasta) not to pay the fines.

If not, then the ISF should develop a strategy to

1) spread awareness on the new traffic law without fines

2) serve as role models and

3) gain people’s trust and encourage them not to break the law.

Two days ago, I spotted 4 police officers breaking the law on my way from Jounieh to Achrafieh.

One of them wasn’t wearing a seat-belt, the other wasn’t wearing a helmet on his bike, and the 2 others were driving recklessly and cutting off people.

If some police officers are incapable of respecting the law and are not being fined or reprimanded, then things will never work out even if this new law is the one of the most modern ones in the world.

On another note, you need a proper infrastructure and decent roads to properly implement the new traffic law, which is not the case.

Our roads are terrible and barely lit, traffic lights (if present) are not working everywhere, road works are lousy and hazardous, potholes are everywhere etc.

Of course this is not an excuse not to have a new traffic law but the absence of any initiative to fix all these small issues endangering people’s lives makes us wonder if the government is serious about this new law or they’re just doing it to collect more money from the Lebanese.

Speaking of violations and fines, I summed up some of the technical details that were mentioned on LBCI in order to give you an idea about the new law. If you are interested in reading the whole 177-pages long law, you can find it [here].

(Almost all deputies didn’t get around reading the traffic law)

All in all, we do need severe offences to stop traffic violations but we also need competent and trustworthy law enforcement officers to do the job, and we need the law to be implemented in all regions and on all individuals without any exception.

PS: The fines are so high in this new traffic law that one blogger thought of introducing the Lebanese driving ticket loan.

newlicense

Cat1

cat2and3

Cat4and5

In addition to the above violations, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or exceeding the speed limit will be also be punishable by law. The fines will be determined based on the severity of the violation.

 

 

Swapping wives among monarchs and Emirs: This is what Al Saud tribe does best

It is all done within the Wahhabi religious sect forms: The monarch or an emir from Al Saud divorces his wife and marry her to his brother and then may reclaim his former wife…

Just a lengthy game of having fun with women, getting tired of a woman, missing her, reclaiming her…

Who is to account or blame? For example,:

1. The founder of this dynasty in Saudi Arabia, Abdel Aziz bin Saud bin Mordachai, married Hossat and then married her to his brother Muhammad bin Abdel Rahman. Hossat gave birth to Abdullah and a daughter.

The monarch discovered that Hossat is getting prettier and remarried her from his brother. Hossat gave birth to a large litter who became monarchs and respected Emirs, called the Sudari branch in the royal big family.

Hossat gave birth to:

1. late monarch Fahd

2. Current monarch Selman

3. The vice defense minister and aeronautic Sultan bin Abdel Azir

4. The former interior minister Ahmad bin Abdul Rahman

5. The late Nayef who was appointed as second in line

6. Turky II

The famous billionaire Al Walid bin Talal emulated this Wahhabi royal pass time and customs: He gave up his first wife Asma bin Aydan to his cousin Abdul Aziz, the son of his “uncle” Fahd. He remarried Amira , the sister of his first wife, and received %25 million in endowment. He sent his totally illiterate second wife to Paris for a full year in order to learn the etiquette.

Our late PM billionaire, Rafic Hariri, made his fortune in Saudi Arabia and gave away his Iraqi wife to the monarch Fahd. He  married Nazek Awdeh, the wife of one of his employee. The first wife gave Rafic Baha2 and Saad. Saad was appointed Lebanon PM and leader of the Moustakbal Sunni movement

Note 1: When Abdel Aziz seized power over Mecca and Medina in April 1926, he ordered his troops to destroy all the tombs and shrines of the Prophet companions , wives and daughters in Medina. He was about to erase the Prophet tomb and mosque when an uproar in Egypt and India stopped him in his tracks.  This plan was re-ignited lately, 80 years later, to demolish the mosque under which the Prophet is supposedly buried, remove the corpse and bury it in an anonymous location.
The Wahhabi sect believe it an abomination to visit and pray over tombs and shrines. This is what exactly the Wahhabi extremist terrorist ISIS is doing in Iraq, Syria, Libya and anywhere they get hold of territories.
Note 2: The founder of the Wahhabi sect had a Jewish father. No wonder that the Saudi dynasty had close ties to the Zionist movement since 1920 and later with Israel.
Note 3: The British empire supported continuously the Wahhabi tribes with money and weapons since the 18th century in order to destabilize the Ottoman empire in Iraq and Syria. Britain had an eye on Yemen and the Arabic/Persia Gulf.

تبادل الزوجات في مضارب آل سعود
طوني حداد

من يقرأ تاريخ ال سعود يلحظ ان هذه الظاهرة ( ظاهرة تبادل الزوجات ) منتشرة بينهم وتتم عملية التبادل علنا بعد ان تضفى عليها الشرعية من خلال طلاق وزواج شكلي … فعندما تزوج مؤسس المملكة عبد العزيز ال سعود من “حصّة” بنت احمد بن محمد السديري اكتفى منها ثم أهداها لأخيه الأمير محمد بن عبد الرحمن الذي تزوجها وأنجب منها الامير عبدالله وشقيقته …
عندما اصبحت حصّة زوجة لاخيه ( احلوّت ) في عينية فقام باستردادها من اخيه ( طلاق وزواج شكلي ) … وبفضل حصّة هذه أصبحت عشيرتها تعتبر من عشائر الشيوخ في السعودية بعد ان كانت كمّا مهملا من اللصوص وقطّاع الطرق البدو وأصبح ابن عمها أهم صحفي سعودي -أنتو أكبر القدر-..
حصة السديري في زواجها الثاني من عبد العزيز انجبت ابناء يعرفون باسم:
( السديريون السبعة ) وهم:
الملك الحالي سلمان بن عبد العزيز .
الملك المتوفي فهد بن عبد العزيز آل سعود الملك السابق.
الأمير المتوفي سلطان بن عبد العزيز آل سعود ولي العهد السابق.
الأمير عبد الرحمن بن عبد العزيز آل سعود نائب وزير الدفاع والطيران السابف.
الأمير تركي الثاني بن عبد العزيز آل سعود زوج الاميرة هند الفاسي المغربية.
الأمير المتوفي نايف بن عبد العزيز آل سعود ولي العهد الأسبق.
الأمير أحمد بن عبد العزيز آل سعود وزير الداخلية السابق.
أعاد الملياردير الأمير الوليد بن طلال وابن عمه الأمير عبد العزيز بن فهد سيرة جدهما الكبير … فقاما بتبادل للزوجات ايضا كما ذكرنا أعلاه …
بدأ العملية الوليد بن طلال الذي تزوج من ( اسماء بنت عيدان بن نايف بن سحمي الطويل العصيمي العتيبي ) وبعد ذلك( احلوّت ) اسماء في عيون ابن عمه الامير عبد العزيز بن فهد … الوليد تنازل لابن عمه عن اسماء فطلقها ليتزوجها عبد العزيز … وحتى يكتمل الفيلم الجنسي تزوج الوليد من اختها ( اميرة ) فيكون بذلك قد تزوج بنات العائلة كلها ( عائلة عيدان بن نايف )!
لا نعرف مهر أسماء الاول – عندما تزوجها الوليد – او مقدار مهرها الثاني – بعد ان تسلمها منه ابن عمه عبد العزيز “جيّرها له” – ولكننا نعرف على وجه اليقين أن مهر اختها ( اميرة ) كان خمسة وعشرين مليون دولار-كما ذكرت صحيفة الوطن السعودية- وقدأرسلها الوليد قبل الزواج منها الى فرنسا لمدة سنة كاملة لتعلم الاتكيت وفن التعامل مع المجتمعات الراقية لانها تنتمي لعائلة بدوية من بدو نجد وبالكاد كانت تعرف نطق اسمها …
و طالما سيرة “الدعارة الشرعيّة” انفتحت فلا ننسى “ساكن الضريح” اللبناني السعودي..
فرفيق الحريري تنازل عن زوجته الاولى العراقية -والدة بهاء وسعد- للملك فهد … وتزوج من نازك عودة وهي فلسطينية أردنية كانت زوجة موظف كان يعمل في شركات الحريري الذي بدوره تنازل عنها لرفيق الحريري مقابل مبلغ مرقوم وأصبح اسمها نازك الحريري بدلا من نازك عودة..
تاريخ آل سعود أبناء “موردخاي”تاريخُ داعر شاذ ..عقولهم تحت سراويلهم الداخلية ..زيجاتهم “تعريص مقنّع بالشرع”, قطعان من رعاعٍ همج , فورة النفط أخفت أذنابهم داخل عباءاتهم النتنة وجعلتهم -شكلاً- بشراً..هم البهائم الأعراب الذين وصفهم سبحانه وتعالى بقوله:
“أشد كفراً ونفاقاً”..
حثالة المخلوقات قاطبة..سلالة أبالسة من الأوباش المجرمين الدمويين.
والخازوق أنّ هؤلاء السفلة وسخ التاريخ نصّبوا أنفسهم مبشرين بالجرية والديمقراطية وحقوق الانسان وقادوا أكبر كذبة وجريمة في تاريخ العرب “الربيع العربي”..
ويخوضون اليوم حربهم المدمّرة القذرة ضد سورية واليمن صاحبتا الحضارة التي تمتدّ الى ماقبل التاريخ..
صدق من قال:
“أفصح ماتكون القحباء حين تحاضر بالعفاف”

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Maintaining an autonomous foreign policy comes with the steepest of prices: Case of Syria in last 4 decades

Syria during the reign of late Hafiz Assad undertook a consistent strategy to master the autonomy in its foreign policies, against all odds.

Before Hafez Assad military coup in 1972, Syria witnessed a succession of coups.

The people in Damascus knew that a coup is being prepared when the Saudis left the country: The monarchy in Saudi Arabia was the financial deep pocket for every military coup.

It is documented that the first monarch Ibn Saud wrote in his testament to his descendants:

1. Egypt is the head of the Arab World. Decapitate Egypt.

2. Syria is the heart of the Arab World: Plunge a dagger in this heart

3. Syria must never link with Iraq.

Obey these orders and the monarchy will survive and strive. (Yemen was still under British dominion)

Hafez was able to sustain this strategy after the death of the Arab Leader Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970,  whom no Arabic leader could circumvent without terrible repercussions to his regime.

In order for an autonomous Syria to bear fruit, it was necessary and indispensable to focus on the moot flank which was Lebanon: Lebanon was the main hub for all kinds of undercover foreign machinations to destabilize the Middle-East.

After the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Lebanon was wide open to the preparation of all kinds of foreign plans to wreck havoc in the Orient.

By 1972, the Palestinian Organization Fateh of Yasser Arafat was the powerbroker in Lebanese politics and matched the Lebanese army military might. Fateh was ousted from Jordan and they settled in the Arkoub region in south Lebanon before they moved their headquarters to Beirut.

Arafat feared Hafez most and he did his best to find a balance between satisfying Hafez dictate and keep the flow of financial and political supports from Saudi Arabia, Iraq of Saddam and Egypt.

All the political manoeuvring of Hafez to firmly bring Arafat under his wing failed. Hafez then created a parallel military Palestinian wing (The thunderstorm) under the umbrella of Fateh (Al Sa3ikat) and used this branch to squeeze Arafat for political concessions.

It is related that most of the Palestinian heavy weapons were stashed in Sa3ikat warehouses, and that is why Arafat could not kill the emerging civil war in Lebanon swiftly and in its bud.

Direct interference in Lebanon was becoming an urgent matter and the USA provided the Green Light to Hafez to control Lebanon for over 3 decades.

The funny part is that Hafez never asked any financial aid or support from the successive US governments in order to maintain his autonomy.

In order to safeguard Syria from foreign interventions, particularly military wars that he is not prepared for, Hafez obliged the Turkish government to hand over the Kurdish/Turkish resistance leader Abdullah Ocalan. He managed not to let the US get involve in Syria internal affairs and negotiate better term for the distribution of the Euphrates River.

The successor of Hafiz, his son Bashar opted to try an alternative policy of openness to the western nations since 2001. The globalization process was very tempting to allow many close relatives to the family of Assad to monopolize many State institutions and trafficking.

Soon the Syrian regime was under heavy pressures from the USA and France to support their foreign policies.

During Hafiz, Syria played skilfully the political navigation of regional game of influences between the rising Khomeini Iranian Islamic State and the neighboring Arabic States.

Thus, Hafiz allowed that Hezbollah remains the main resistance force in Lebanon against the Israeli occupier while sustaining the standing political power of Nabih Berry (current Parliament chief), leader of the Shi3a AMAL militia.

When the western powers, backed by Turkey, decided to destabilize Syria, Iran was already firmly implanted in Syria and Lebanon and had managed to organize and finance a powerful resistance movement in south Lebanon and in the Bekaa valley.

It is thanks to Iran and Hezbollah, backed by Russia and China, that the regime in Syria was able to withstand the onslaught of the civil war for the 5th year.

The irony is Israel failed to take advantage politically in this period.

Instead of opening political negotiations, Israel kept opting for pre-emptive wars in Lebanon and Gaza and failed miserably, while the resistance forces increased its firepower and political standing.

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

April 2015
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