What’s wrong with this picture?
Blog Guy, I’ve been seeing photos of well-armed rebels in Yemen in recent days, and I notice a lot of swollen cheeks. Are those plucky lads in need of major dental care?
No, don’t worry about that. These guys are just getting stoned on a leaf called qat.
According to Wikipedia, qat contains an amphetamine-like stimulant which is said to cause excitement and euphoria.
But…but…but… That one guy is holding a huge honking rocket-propelled grenade! Should he be doing that?
Oh, don’t worry, it’s no worse than giving Ozzy Osbourne the keys to a fully-armed battle tank.
But you wouldn’t DO that!
You make a good point. An RPG is kind of extreme, but these guys on the right are also chewing qat, and they have nothing more dangerous than AK-47s and semiautomatic pistols.
Don’t they fire those weapons?
Only when they’re excited or euphoric…
Top: A defected army soldier chews qat, a mild stimulant, while securing the frontline of a site of recent clashes with forces loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa October 8, 2011.
Right: Defected army soldiers chew qat, a mild stimulant, as they secure the frontline of a site of recent clashes with forces loyal to Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa October 8, 2011.
REUTERS photos by Ahmed Jadallah