The narrative that the Beirut explosion was an exclusive consequence of negligence and corruption by the current Lebanese government is now set in stone, at least in the Atlanticist sphere. And yet, digging deeper, we find that negligence and corruption may have been fully exploited, via sabotage, toengineer it.
Lebanon is prime John Le Carré territory. A multinational den of spies of all shades - House of Saud agents, Zionist operatives, "moderate rebel" weaponizers, Hezbollah intellectuals, debauched Arab "royalty," self-glorified smugglers - in a context of full spectrum economic disaster afflicting a member of the Axis of Resistance, a perennial target of Israel alongside Syria and Iran.
As if this were not volcanic enough, into the tragedy stepped President Trump to muddy the - already contaminated - Eastern Mediterranean waters. Briefed by "our great generals,"Trump on Tuesday said: "According to them - they would know better than I would - but they seem to think it was an attack." Trump added, "it was a bomb of some kind."
Was this incandescent remark letting the cat out of the bag by revealing classified information? Or was the President launching another non sequitur?
Trump eventually walked his comments back after the Pentagon declined to confirm his claim about what the "generals" had said and his defense secretary, Mark Esper, supported the accident explanation for the blast.
It's yet another graphic illustration of the war engulfing the Beltway. Trump: attack. Pentagon: accident. "I don't think anybody can say right now," Trump said on Wednesday. "I've heard it both ways."
Still, it's worth noting a report by Iran's Mehr News Agency that four US Navy reconnaissance planeswere spotted near Beirut at the time of the blasts. Is US intel aware of what really happened all along the spectrum of possibilities?
That ammonium nitrate
Security at Beirut's port - the nation's prime economic hub - would have to be considered a top priority. But to adapt a line from Roman Polanski's Chinatown: "Forget it, Jake. It's Beirut."
Those by now iconic 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate arrived in Beirut in September 2013 on board the Rhosus, a ship under Moldovan flag sailing from Batumi in Georgia to Mozambique. Rhosus ended up being impounded by Beirut's Port State Control.
Subsequently the ship was de facto abandoned by its owner, shady businessman Igor Grechushkin, born in Russia and a resident of Cyprus, who suspiciously "lost interest" in his relatively precious cargo, not even trying to sell it, dumping style, to pay off his debts.
Grechushkin never paid his crew, who barely survived for several months before being repatriated on humanitarian grounds. The Cypriot government confirmed there was no request to Interpol from Lebanon to arrest him. The whole op feels like a cover - with the real recipients of the ammonium nitrate possibly being "moderate rebels" in Syria who use it to make IEDs and equip suicide trucks, such as the one that demolished the Al Kindi hospital in Aleppo.
The 2,750 tons - packed in 1-ton bags labeled "Nitroprill HD" - were transferred to the Hangar 12 warehouse by the quayside. What followed was an astonishing case of serial negligence.
From 2014 to 2017 letters from customs officials - a series of them - as well as proposed options to get rid of the dangerous cargo, exporting it or otherwise selling it, were simply ignored. Every time they tried to get a legal decision to dispose of the cargo, they got no answer from the Lebanese judiciary.
When Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab now proclaims, "Those responsible will pay the price," context is absolutely essential.
Neither the prime minister nor the president nor any of the cabinet ministers knew that the ammonium nitrate was stored in Hangar 12, former Iranian diplomat Amir Mousavi, the director of the Center for Strategic Studies and International Relations in Tehran, confirms. We're talking about a massive IED, placed mid-city.
The bureaucracy at Beirut's port and the mafias who are actually in charge are closely linked to, among others, the al-Mostaqbal faction, which is led by former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, himself fully backed by the House of Saud. The immensely corrupt Hariri was removed from power in October 2019 amid serious protests. His cronies "disappeared" at least $20 billion from Lebanon's treasury - which seriously aggravated the nation's currency crisis.
No wonder the current government - where we have Prime Minister Diab backed by Hezbollah - had not been informed about the ammonium nitrate.
Ammonium nitrate is quite stable, making it one of the safest explosives used in mining. Fire normally won't set it off. It becomes highly explosive only if contaminated - for instance by oil - or heated to a point where it undergoes chemical changes that produce a sort of impermeable cocoon around it in which oxygen can build up to a dangerous level where an ignition can cause an explosion.
Why, after sleeping in Hangar 12 for seven years, did this pile suddenly feel an itch to explode?
So far, the prime straight to the point explanation, by Middle East expert Elijah Magnier, points to the tragedy being "sparked" - literally - by a clueless blacksmith with a blowtorch operating quite close to the unsecured ammonium nitrate. Unsecured due, once again, to negligence and corruption - or as part of an intentional "mistake" anticipating the possibility of a future blast.
This scenario, though, does not explain the initial "fireworks" explosion. And certainly does not explain what no one - at least in the West - is talking about: the deliberate fires set to an Iranian market in Ajam in the UAE, and also to a series of food/agricultural warehouses in Najaf, Iraq, immediately after the Beirut tragedy.
Follow the money
Lebanon - boasting assets and real estate worth trillions of dollars - is a juicy peach for global finance vultures. To grab these assets at rock bottom prices, in the middle of the New Great Depression, is simply irresistible. In parallel, the IMF vulture would embark on full shakedown mode and finally "forgive" some of Beirut's debts as long as a harsh variation of "structural adjustment" is imposed.
Who profits, in this case, are the geopolitical and geoeconomic interests of US, Saudi Arabia and France.It's no accident that President Macron, a dutifulRothschild servant, arrived in Beirut Thursday to pledge Paris neocolonial "support" and all but impose, like a Viceroy, a comprehensive set of "reforms". A Monty Python-infused dialogue, complete with heavy French accent, might have followed along these lines:
"We want to buy your port." "It's not for sale." "Oh, what a pity, an accident just happened."
Already a month ago the IMF was"warning"that "implosion" in Lebanon was "accelerating." Prime Minister Diab had to accept the proverbial "offer you can't refuse" and thus "unlock billions of dollars in donor funds." Or else. The non-stop run on the Lebanese currency, for over a year now, was just a - relatively polite - warning.
This is happening amid a massive global asset grab characterized in the larger context by American GDP down by almost 40%, arrays of bankruptcies, a handful of billionaires amassing unbelievable profits and too-big-to-fail megabanks duly bailed out with a tsunami of free money. ...
You may recall that a couple of months ago, after President Trump announced “Operation Warp Speed,” I became concerned that he was going all-in with Big Pharma on the coronavirus vaccine. After I voiced my concerns, I was contacted by a person very close to the president who assured me Trump was absolutely NOT jumping in bed with Big Pharma and that he would be, in fact, taking strategic steps very soon to protect Americans from Big Pharma’s predatory practices.
Now we’ve seen the results of that action. Trump has signed executive orders to “cut out the middle men” who rake in hundreds of billions of dollars in Big Pharma profits. It is these middlemen who keep drug prices insanely high in the USA while the very same drugs are a fraction of the price in Canada or Mexico (not to mention India, where drug prices are even lower).
Two days ago, President Trump spoke directly about the “rich enemies” in Big Pharma who are trying to stop him from implementing his efforts to bring down prescription drug prices in America by cutting out all the price gouging and monopolistic price fixing by pharma distributors.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told lawmakers that the United States intends to impose sanctions on firms that continue to help Russia build a natural-gas pipeline to Europe as he sought to dispel concerns about Washington's commitment to halt the controversial project.
"We will do everything we can to make sure that that pipeline doesn't threaten Europe," Pompeo told a senate hearing on July 30, adding: "We want Europe to have real, secure, stable, safe energy resources that cannot be turned off in the event Russia wants to."
Comment: It doesn't matter what the Europeans want!
Pompeo told the panel that the United States has already been in touch with some companies working on Nord Stream 2 about the risks they face if they don't halt their activities.
The State Department and Treasury Department "have made very clear in our conversations with those who have equipment there the expressed threat that is posed to them for continuing to work on completion of the pipeline," he said.
The United States opposes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would run under the Baltic Sea and double Russia's direct natural gas exports to Germany while bypassing Ukraine. Washington claims the pipeline would increase Europe's dependence on Russian gas while also hurting Ukraine, which stands to lose billions of dollars in gas-transit fees.
'Frustrations' With Germany
Work on the nearly $11 billion project, which is more than 90 percent complete, was halted in December after the United States passed a law that imposed sanctions on vessels laying the pipeline, forcing Swiss-based AllSeas to pull out.
Russian vessels are now seeking to finish the project, but they require help from international companies such as insurers and ports, which Pompeo has now threatened to sanction.
Pompeo earlier in the month announced that he was removing guidelines from a 2017 Congressional bill that exempted the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from sanctions amid signs that Russia was taking steps to complete the project.
During the July 30 hearing, Senator Ted Cruz (Republican-Texas) said he had discussed Nord Stream 2 in "considerable depth" with President Donald Trump a day earlier during their trip to Western Texas, a major energy producing region.
Texas potentially benefits from the continued delay of Nord Stream 2 as it opens the possibility of more U.S. liquefied-natural-gas exports to Europe. Russia has accused the United States of using energy sanctions as a "weapon" to open up new markets for its oil and gas industry.
Cruz said Trump expressed "frustrations" with the leadership of Germany, which continues to support the Nord Stream 2 project.
U.S.-German relations have suffered under Trump, who recently announced he would be pulling about 12,500 troops from the country.
Comment: Sanction and punishment. How short-sighted is this? The benefit from lower gas prices due to the pipeline is projected to benefit all European consumers, a positive impact considering the sudden crash in the global economy. What helps one sector, eventually helps all:
"If Nord Stream 2 remains unfinished, European benchmark TTF gas is expected to average about $4 per million British Thermal Units next year. But if the project can be completed as its backers hope early in 2021, then the average TTF price that year could drop to about $3, we estimate. If sales to Europe are constrained again, as they have been this year, that will put downward pressure on Henry Hub prices. The net impact of that in terms of lost revenues for upstream US gas producers could be significant."
The Title Transfer Facility, more commonly known as TTF, is a virtual trading point for natural gas in the Netherlands. The Dutch platform is considered Europe's benchmark gas market.
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Why are frogs so happy? They eat whatever bugs them!