“If there was a good window of opportunity to attack, it was six months ago – not necessarily today,” said Giora Eiland, a former Israeli national security adviser. Pressure from Washington, he said, had forced Israel to drop its strike plan.
“If nothing happened last year, I struggle to see why it will happen this year,” said a top Western diplomat in Tel Aviv, speaking on condition of anonymity given the sensitivities.
Tag Archives: Six Months
An emerging superbug is infecting an increasing number of people in the United States, and health officials are calling for urgent action to stop its spread.
During the first six months of 2012, nearly 200 hospitals and long-term acute care facilities together treated at least one person who had been infected by the superbug, known as Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The bacteria is resistant to a class of antibiotics known as carbapenem, powerful drugs that are typically used as a last resort to treat resistant bacterial infections, thus the origin of the superbug’s name.
… According to Khalili’s highly placed informants, the mullahs set a deadline. If America increases sanctions or conducts a military strike on Iranian nuclear sites in the next six months, the mullahs will unleash terror teams in the United States.
Khalili writes that 10 senior Revolutionary Guards officers, members of the elite Quds Force, are already here. Highly trained and sophisticated, each commands a cell of five agents. Targets have been identified, photographed and approved by Supreme Leader Khamenei, and include electrical transmission lines, cell phone towers, water supplies, public transportation, bridges, tunnels and government buildings.
Sounds too far-fetched? …
Now he is facing a problem he has never encountered before, one that is an awkward fit with his skeptical, K.G.B.-trained mind. Six months into his third presidential term, after a wave of unsettling street protests, Mr. Putin needs an ideology — some idea powerful enough to consolidate the country around his rule.
One of the few clear strategies to emerge in recent months is an effort to mobilize conservative elements in society. Cossack militias are being revived, regional officials are scrambling to present “patriotic education” programs and Slavophile discussion clubs have opened in major cities under the slogan “Give us a national idea!”
After the escape of the blind, barefoot lawyer Chen Guangcheng from his farmhouse in Shandong Province, where he’d been under illegal house arrest, Mr. Song took an even more dangerous risk. He drove to Dongshigu, Mr. Chen’s village, and helped the wife of Mr. Chen’s nephew, who had also been arrested, to escape to Beijing, where she went into hiding to avoid being abused by the local government.
Mr. Song’s act of justice was labeled a crime of “disturbing public order,” and the Beijing Public Security Bureau detained him on May 5. A lawyer visited him a month later, and soon afterward, Mr. Song was put under residential surveillance. He hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
China’s shameless Article 73, which has been criticized by legal experts and human rights groups, gives law enforcement agencies broad surveillance powers and the authority to legally detain terrorism or “national security” suspects for up to six months. It’s that regulation that has resulted in Mr. Song’s being cut off from the world, leaving us willing yet unable to help him.
Conventional wisdom holds that Japan is what nonproliferation specialists call a “threshold” nuclear weapon state — a country that could stage a nuclear breakout virtually overnight should its electorate and leadership resolve to do so. Estimates commonly bandied about run from six months to a year. Toshi Yoshihara and I take aim at such assumptions in Strategy in the Second Nuclear Age. Japanese bombmakers might manage a crude device within that timeframe, but that’s a far cry from a weapon ready for battlefield use.
Officials in Washington and Paris are trying to play down the revised estimates because it throws out the basic premise of the Obama administration’s Middle East policy that Bashar Assad can’t last more than six months against the rebel offensive. US military experts now admit, albeit without attribution, that the overall balance of strength – and not just the numbers – has radically changed in the Assad regime’s favor, due to direct Iranian military input: Military advisers of the elite Al Qods Brigades are conducting crash combat courses for the 70,000- strong pro-Assad Alawite militia and sections of the Syrian army still loyal to the ruler.
This qualitative injection into Assad’s military sources will substantially extend the life expectancy of his regime.
Besides a leadership rift, Chang says the authority of the central government is eroding, the military is breaking free of civilian control, and “Chinese people, from one end of the country to the other, are taking to the streets in protest.
“The wheels are coming off China, and we don’t know where that country is heading,” he said.
The Chinese economy, the engine of economic growth in the Asia Pacific, is also in trouble Chang said. He cited average monthly increases in electricity production over the last six months as an example. The reported 1.5 percent growth in electricity production probably indicates an overall economic growth rate of zero, he said. “China may already be in recession.”
“It’s not too late to save the situation, but I fear that by the fall, it will be too late,” Gudkov told me Tuesday afternoon as we moved with the throng. “Because by the fall, people will join who are not just concerned with politics, but people who have economic concerns. And it will be a rougher, tougher protest because the people who will join the protest are people who are less educated, less well-off, less informed. And they are people who don’t have a good understanding of the law and why it’s important to obey it.” That is, should an economic and budgetary crisis hit and have a tangible and extended impact on Russians outside the Moscow middle class, the resulting populist protests could swallow up this liberal, bourgeois festival of the past six months. And, though predicting things in Russia is a fool’s game, it never hurts to be a pessimist.