Tag Archive | "Makers of War"

Makers of War, Machinery of Death

 

Wired Magazine’s Inside Look at Syria’s Arms Makers

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

 

The arms manufacturers of Aleppo used to be ordinary men—network administrators, housepainters, professors. 

Then came the bloody Syrian crisis.  Now they must use all their desperate creativity to supply their fellow rebels with the machinery of death.

Wired Magazine’s Matthieu Aikins gives us a rare look into one of Aleppo’s makeshift bomb-making factories.

 

 

How War in Syria Turned These Ordinary Engineers Into Deadly Weapons Inventors

By Matthieu Aikins, et al.
Wired.com

 

ABU YASSIN pulls open the heavy iron gate of the school and steps back.

“Peace be upon you,” he says in Arabic, grinning and extending a hand, his arm stained to the elbow with aluminum powder.  “Welcome, welcome.”

He turns and waves for me to follow.  We walk along a short pathway toward the front door, past an assortment of ordnance laid out on the concrete, bombs that fell from the sky but failed to explode: an ovoid 88-millimeter mortar shell, a big 500-pounder with twisted tail fins, a neat row of pale-gray Russian cluster bomblets, their nose fuses removed.  “Later! I will open them later!” he says, eyebrows waggling with anticipation.

The four-story school is shaped around a set of basketball courts, paved with stone tiles and pocked at the far end with small dark craters.  A set of white plastic lawn chairs and a table have been arranged in the central courtyard near the door leading into the school.

A young boy walks over in silence.  “Let’s see, coffee or tea?” Yassin says, distracted, contemplating the plastic furniture.  Another assistant, an older man in a filthy smock, comes out and stands beside us holding a silver cylinder the size of a soda bottle.  It’s wrapped in clear plastic tape and sprouts a red fuse, which the man proceeds to light.

The fuse sputters as he steps forward and pitches the cylinder underhand across the courtyard, where it bounces and rolls to a halt some 30 yards away.

“Explosion!” he yells as Yassin looks on.

With a deafening clap, the bomb bursts in a cloud of flame and smoke, buffeting our faces with a pressure wave.  Yassin scurries forward and crouches on his haunches to examine the crater it leaves.  

Slowly he walks back, shaking his head.

“Very bad, very bad,” he mutters—but then, remembering his guest, his expression brightens to a smile. “Please, sit down…”

“…These things are for killing people,” he tells me at once, in sudden disgust. “Every time I make a bomb, I feel sorrow…”

An exceptional glimpse into Syria’s current crisis and the homegrown bomb-makers fueling it, you can read Wired Magazine’s full article here.

* * * * * *

Article excerpt by Matthieu Aikins and Wired.com.  Wired’s full article contains photographs and audio interviews by Moises Saman, and audio recordings by Sam Tarling and Alexander Fedyushkin.

The above photograph is by Moises Saman.

Posted in History, MediaComments (1)


HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Romney's old firm has gotten into drugs
    Boston Globe - Clinics like one on Topeka Street in Boston can be lifesavers for addicts trying to kick heroin or other opiates. Reports of heroin overdoses and deaths are on the rise as cheap and potent versions of the drug — sometimes laced with the pain medication fentanyl — flood the market. Governor Deval Patrick has declared it a public health emergenc […]
  • When trickle down stopped
    From 50 years of the Review's overstocked archives, in this case back when the journal was known as the DC GazetteCarl Bergman, 1974 - The [DC] city government has the strangest  attitude about housing. It seems to think that  it’s not the housing that's the problem but  rather the people. They are never the ones that city planners and administrato […]
  • Professional statisticians come out against public school wreckers
    Valerie Strauss, Washington Post - You can be certain that members of the American Statistical Association, the largest organization in the United States representing statisticians and related professionals, know a thing or two about data and measurement. That makes the statement that the association just issued very important for school reform.The ASA just […]
  • UN scientists want far more use of renewable power plants
    Guardian - Mitigation of Climate Change, by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a panel of 200 scientists, will make it clear that by far the most realistic option for the future is to triple or even quadruple the use of renewable power plants. Only through such decisive action will carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere be kept below t […]
  • Tennessee legislature votes against any rapid bus system
    Wired - Tennessee lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor a bill that bans the construction of bus rapid transit anywhere in the state.The impetus for the vote was a proposal to build a $174 million BRT system in Nashville called The Amp, which would’ve ran on a 7.1 mile route and served rapidly growing neighborhoods across the city. There’s a more detailed […]
  • Jimmy Carter comes out against pipeline
    Washington Post - Former president Jimmy Carter has joined a group of Nobel laureates who oppose construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, warning President Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry, “You stand on the brink of making a choice that will define your legacy on one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced – climate change."By ann […]
  • British teachers fear Ipads may be hurting kids' learning
    Telegraph, UK - Rising numbers of infants lack the motor skills needed to play with building blocks because of an “addiction” to tablet computers and smartphones, according to teachers.Many children aged just three or four can “swipe a screen” but have little or no dexterity in their fingers after spending hours glued to iPads, it was claimed.Members of the […]
  • How the war on drugs aids the drug trade
    Thanks to the war on drugs, the illegal drug trade has boomed, according to some estimates, to the size of the legal pharmaceutical industry. Consider this item from the Miami Herald: "Wearing protective gloves and masks, members of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare carried 127 bales of cocaine — with a street value of about $350 million — off the ship […]
  • Bush was tougher on Wall Street criminals than Obama
    TPMAMY GOODMAN - Who was tougher on corporate America, President Obama or President Bush?MATT TAIBBI: Oh, Bush, hands down. And this is an important point to make, because if you go back to the early 2000s, think about all these high-profile cases: Adelphia, Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen. All of these companies were swept up by the Bush Justice Depa […]
  • Former news media CBS hires former acting CIA director as "senior security correspondent"
    Even CNN hasn't sold out journalism this badly. . .Danny Weil, RINF - CBS News has hired former acting director of the CIA, Mike Morell, as their senior security correspondent.  Morell has been a frequent guest on CBS’ Face the Nation, where he has disseminated   CIA propaganda and misleading information, raising questions about CBS’ journalistic integr […]
  • Solar power in the dark?
    Todd Woody, Atlantic - Scientists at MIT and Harvard University have devised a way to store solar energy in molecules that can then be tapped to heat homes, water or used for cooking.The best part: The molecules can store the heat forever and be endlessly re-used while emitting absolutely no greenhouse gases. Scientists remain a way’s off in building this pe […]
  • Pocket paradigms
    Part of my love of the craft of journalism has been the simple joy of possessing the license to go wherever curiosity leads, to consider no place in the planet alien to my inquiry, to use words as a child uses little plastic blocks. Part of it has been the pleasure of deliberately learning more about something than any reasonable person would want to know. - […]
  • Word
    Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. If there is any fixed star in our constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, national […]
  • Furthermore. . .
    Nine of the ten cities where people feel least safe walking at night are in the south or in California 25 greenest cities Global nonviolent action database […]
  • Today in history
    Today in history 1912 -- Titanic sinks at 2:20am. Harry Elkins Widener goes down clutching his 1598 edition of Bacon's Essays. Most Americans these days think it is just a movie.  1967 -- US: First mass burning of draft cards as 400,000 march in New York City & 80,000 in San Francisco opposing the Vietnam War. Daily Bleed […]