I wrote this the day after the explosion and the conclusions/opinions I have in this writing… I still maintain as my overall opinion.
The entire event was a mess…. and preventable as hell. But it’s Beirut….
Thoughts. And I have been musing on this all morning.
Ok… dunno how much there needs to be analysis for this event on what caused it because *every* bit of non-US news I can find is saying more or less that this was a honest-to-gods accident that was preventable- and happened because of corruption/ineptitude of certain parties in Lebanon since the Ammonium Nitrate was off loaded into that building.
The paper trail pertaining to attempts to get the nitrate moved apparently is quite substantial. Bless bureaucracy for its paper generation for a change, right?
Where things go from here is really the big issue.
Immediate issue looks to be medical and food supplies. I had the BBC on today and a doc at one facility said they went through almost a month’s worth of supplies in a day and they are extremely low in general first aid/trauma supplies. Considering how many facilities were damaged, it may be worse than stated.
That they are accepting help from everywhere, including Israel, says a lot and the supplies issue may be a temporary thing.
Food… 85% of their grain storage was in port. We have stuff sitting in silos here, doing nothing last I knew. I should hope someone is thinking on that- offering up excess means its doing something rather than rotting away. I hope the US is offering up some of that…
Political over there-
President Aoun… is in a bind. On the one hand, he had an economic crisis and a pandemic he had to deal with while a hand was tied behind his back, like almost all presidents there have because of Hezbollah… and now this.
Some of the commentary I’ve read is that the port authority is apparently in the thrall of Hezbollah to a degree via suborning or outright cajoling of officials. Or even plain old Mob-style owned.
Corruption was apparently the norm there and given how much a paper trail of circular-filed requests to get the Nitrate moved there is, the backlash is going to be substantial… cause my take is there is a no-party-line condemnation of what led to the stuff being left there… and Aoun’s statement of Punishment for those who enabled this to happen is bold and dangerous.
Dangerous…. Because there is is commentary that he was bought by Hezbollah a while ago or they have heavy hooks into him as theoretical .
If he plays it right, this tragedy can be a way to outright force a bit of reform within the port (estimated 1.5 billion in tax revenue lost every year) and potentially shake lose some of the hooks Hezbollah may have in him.
Because if some of them *are* responsible for this, he now has to take their heads/nail them to the wall because of that statement or he potentially wrecks the cross-faction of support for answers. Dangerous position for him… but potentially good in establishing himself as not beholden to them.
Right now… this is a fast moving situation and that country cannot afford to NOT find who enabled this and pursue restitution/criminal charges.
What I am reading is folks there want answers and someone to pay for the inaction. Aoun might get the public cover he needs to fix things and give the people what they want. The question is can he do it and does he have enough backing to do what he needs to?
I don’t know… but I do know that right now, he has capability and support of the people. If he does, its in the US’s interest to help support him bringing in those responsible for the material lingering there.
Sometimes good can come of tragedy. Here is hoping some does here.