AQ Khan was once asked if it was worthwhile for a poor country like Pakistan to pursue atomic weapons. His answer was 'we will eat grass if we have to'.
This is more or less the approach that Syria has taken to arm Hezbollah:
The syrian drought
There's more about Syria's transfer of Scuds to Hezbollah. (via memeorandum)
The New York Times mentions this at the end:
In a news analysis in Wednesday's left-leaning Haaretz newspaper, two military writers, Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, speculated that the Syrians were making the missile transfer because while they might want to trade the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights for peace, "they do not sense that there is a genuine Israeli partner with whom they can reach agreement." "Thus they prefer to bolster deterrence," they wrote, "which will prevent Israel from once again striking their territory, as it did in September 2007." The "no partner" argument sounds like typical left-leaning claptrap. The idea that Iran is trying to protect its nuclear program makes more sense and strongly suggests that the nuclear program isn't for civilian use.
Israel struck what many believe was a nascent nuclear reactor in Syria then.
Hezbollah is heavily supported by Iran, which Israel and Washington fear is developing a nuclear weapon. Israeli analysts say that the Hezbollah arsenal may be there largely to serve as potential retaliation should Israel attack Iran's nuclear facilities.
I just came across this yesterday.
Hundreds of thousands people living in the North-Eastern Syrian governorates of Al-Hassake, Dayr az Zawr and Ar-Raqqa have been brought close to starvation, according to a February report from the United NationsOffice for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Three consecutive years of drought, coupled with mismanagement of natural resources and allegedly irresponsible agricultural policies have affected over 1.3 million residents of these northern provinces. The United Nations claims that up to 80% of those affected live mostly on a diet of bread and sugared tea and that children have been reduced to eating two meals a day. Milk for children is reportedly unavailable.Further:
Writing in the Israeli news website Ynet, Guy Bechor, a lecturer on Arab law at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzilyya, added that another contributing factor to the worsening situation in Syria is the Assad regime's " illogical policy of forced agricultural in the east of the country that included forcing residents to grow water-hungry corps such as cotton and wheat." According to Bechor "this prompted water wells to dry up completely and led to deep hunger." The exact number of refugees is disputed, with the United Nations stating that since early 2009 65,000 families have left their villages, while Dr. Bechor claims that "more than 300,000 Syrian families have been uprooted by authorities." Dr. Kedar commented that he was not familiar with any plans for a forced uprooting of Syria's Arab citizens, but that it was not beyond reason that such an action could be undertaken against the country's Kurdish minority. However, he stressed, no indications of this have been seen.So even as Syria strengthens its hold on Lebanon and arms Hezbollah it cannot provide for its people and thousands have been forced from their homes. This isn't a high unemployment rate; but a drought and an associated hunger that Syria has neither the will nor the ability to ameliorate.
And the UN, naturally, doesn't care that Syria chooses guns ahead of butter.