One thought on “NYTimes: The Beirut Explosions: It Sounded Like the World Was Breaking Open

  1. Ammonium nitrate, an excellent agricultural fertilizer but very dangerous compound. When I was beginning college in 1974, a barge carrying ammonium nitrate exploded on the Mississippi. ATF and FBI led a joint investigation to determine the cause of the explosion. It was errant spark on the barge that set it off.

    In terms of the Beirut explosion, there was no one to take responsibility because of the deterioration of civil authority. They also lacked the technical expertise. Unfortunately, across the larger ME, the reluctance to ask for outside help is deafening.

    When we found an aging chemical weapons stockpile in Iraq, many rushed to say we did not find any kind of WMD there. I’m sorry, but an aging stockpile is significantly more dangerous than a stockpile of new chemical weapons. Also, there was an abundance of precursor agents in which a chemical weapons program could be ramped up quickly. If we left those aging weapons alone, something bad would have happened. A small leak from a single, chemical weapon warhead would have killed thousands.

    Moreover, it doesn’t help when we have an idiot for president.

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