Update on the massive Beirut explosion

What is behind the massive explosion in Beirut, asks regular viewer Blanket Man? Brad provides his analysis with the first question – Cui bono (who benefits?) Iran does. Who set it off? Maybe an accident but quite possibly Iran. Who kept so much volatile ammonium nitrate for so long and for what purpose? Who did it even belong to? Best candidate is Iran now that Lebanon leadership is gone and the country in chaos. The retired CIA Operative and Chief of Station, Brad is now president of non-profit Americans for Intelligence Reform. Please subscribe to our channel and we welcome comments.


one of the things we’ve
00:06
talked about the least
00:08
because you want to wait until you know
00:11
something
00:12
about things like this was the massive
00:15
explosion took out a significant portion
00:18
of beirut
00:19
measurable fraction of beirut and
00:21
certainly the entire dock area
00:23
and you know i haven’t really paid that
00:27
close attention because you need to wait
00:29
literally till the dust settles before
00:31
you can tell but
00:33
surely there’s got to be hizballah
00:34
fingers in there somewhere
00:36
what do we what do we know about that at
00:38
this point
00:40
yeah it is an interesting thing and this
00:42
i i’m responding to a question that came
00:44
in from one of our regular viewers it’s
00:46
uh blanket man and uh he asked if we
00:50
could have some comments on the
00:51
explosion in
00:52
uh beirut and the subsequent protests
00:54
and he
00:55
raises a number of good points about the
00:57
the protests that are taking place in
00:59
thailand and other
01:00
other places in the world and any
01:02
possible linkage to
01:04
chinese uh the my words now the very
01:07
aggressive
01:08
chinese expansion taking place and
01:11
uh the new silk road the resurgence of
01:13
the chinese
01:14
um uh it you know attempt to
01:17
re-establish
01:18
a new silk road to dominate the world
01:21
economy so
01:22
uh all excellent points an excellent
01:24
question um
01:25
first starting with the as you pointed
01:27
out correctly i’ve hesitated to say too
01:29
much about this
01:31
um just based on the the paucity of
01:34
information on the actual facts so
01:37
excuse me some of this is going to be
01:39
speculative in nature it’s just
01:41
no way to escape it but so this
01:43
explosion took place was enormous i’ve
01:45
looked at the
01:46
uh somebody flew a drone over it i was
01:48
looking at the photographs of this i
01:50
mean and it was
01:51
it flattened that area it was a big
01:53
explosion ammonium nitrate was the
01:56
explosive uh material that that that
01:59
went off that was set off
02:01
and uh the buildings in the whole area
02:03
it looked like multiple blocks away
02:05
things were just completely flattened
02:06
anybody
02:07
uh even if they weren’t crushed by a
02:09
falling building anyone in the area
02:11
that blast would have almost certainly
02:13
killed i mean there is a shock wave that
02:15
comes out from
02:16
a blast that big that will kill people
02:18
who are nearby it just turns the inside
02:20
to
02:20
goo you know if you’re if you’re that
02:22
close to the thing and even
02:24
people quite a ways back would have been
02:25
badly hurt you know things
02:27
happen i you know people i’ve known have
02:29
been caught at a distance from a glass
02:31
you know
02:31
detached retinas and things like that so
02:33
that that
02:34
shock wave goes out and does a lot of
02:36
damage for quite a little distance with
02:38
an explosion
02:39
that’s this massive so one of the real
02:42
questions out of this and something
02:43
everybody’s looking at is i would say
02:46
two issues one
02:48
who set it off and now yes it is
02:51
conceivable there’s a small chance it
02:53
was still an accident
02:54
but all the information coming out looks
02:56
like it was done on purpose so
02:58
who set it off is one of the questions
03:00
the other thing is
03:01
who did this stuff belong to i mean why
03:04
was it being held for so long
03:05
this was captured in a ship that was
03:08
searched where the explosive materials
03:10
simonium nitrate was found and then it
03:12
was put in this warehouse and stored
03:14
from
03:14
over the last seven years or so and
03:18
of course one of the problems with that
03:19
is these things depending on how it’s
03:20
stored and all of that
03:22
which i don’t expect they’re they took a
03:25
great deal of care on that issue but
03:27
depending on how it was stored these
03:29
things deteriorating can become more
03:31
dangerous
03:32
to go off when you don’t want them to
03:33
sort of thing by accident so
03:35
that for that reason i always kind of
03:37
hold as a relatively small percentage
03:40
chance but a very realistic chance that
03:42
this whole thing was an accident but
03:44
i don’t think so looks like it was set
03:46
off on purpose
03:47
uh so the question is you know who would
03:49
set it off and
03:50
who did this stuff belong to why was it
03:53
being kept
03:54
because they as i say they confiscated
03:56
it off that ship
03:57
so there’s a lot of speculation on that
03:59
now the
04:00
easiest way is is kind of the occam’s
04:03
razor answer to this thing what’s the
04:05
simplest
04:05
answer that fits all the facts the the
04:09
group or country in this case that’s the
04:11
best position to move in
04:14
is uh probably iran and i would say that
04:18
that lebanon out of all of this
04:21
and because of that explosion the
04:23
lebanese government fell they’ve all
04:24
resigned and they’re out so now they’re
04:26
going through the throes of this
04:28
and you know who benefits the most from
04:30
that who’s in position to take control
04:32
of of iran and it looks like it’s going
04:35
to be
04:36
uh iran i mean sorry to take control of
04:38
lebanon
04:39
and um you know hezbollah will probably
04:41
be the
04:42
uh you know that will have to see what
04:44
deal they work out they’ve kind of
04:45
traditionally been the guys on the
04:47
ground in charge of this sort of thing
04:49
and uh what kind of uh relationship
04:51
they’ll build
04:52
each there’s a lot of splinter groups of
04:54
this some are going to be
04:56
probably wiped out by iran and some
04:57
they’ll work with and
04:59
and continue to build control and act as
05:01
surrogates for iran in there but
05:03
i think i so because iran is so well
05:06
positioned to
05:07
gain from all of this i always suspect
05:09
their hand behind it
05:11
because it’s a normal thing you know
05:12
kind of follow the follow the who’s the
05:15
greatest benefactor of all of this and
05:17
since it’s it’s iran
05:19
uh i i wouldn’t be surprised if that the
05:22
ammonium nitrate had nothing to do with
05:23
them beginning but they discovered it
05:25
was there
05:26
and it’s one of those things i i always
05:28
talk about i mean these services are all
05:30
penetrated by all sorts of different
05:31
people so it’s hard to keep
05:33
secrets in there and it’s one of the
05:35
downsides for the united states in
05:37
in doing intelligence work uh in a
05:39
relationship with
05:40
their intelligence service because their
05:42
intelligence service is penetrated
05:44
probably by iran and by china and by
05:46
russia and
05:47
uh you know it’s just it’s hard to keep
05:48
that sort of organization tight in those
05:50
areas of the world so i think if we look
05:52
at it
05:54
i think probably iran was behind who set
05:56
it off i mean they wouldn’t have sent
05:58
their own guys in to do it but they
05:59
would have acted through circuits there
06:01
set the thing off with the goal of of
06:04
kicking the government out and the
06:06
massive riots that took place i mean
06:08
i’ve seen some of the photographs and
06:10
there were
06:10
certainly hundreds of thousands of
06:12
people in the street and in a relatively
06:14
small country i mean that’s a lot of
06:15
people lebanon isn’t that
06:17
uh heavily populated so they got a lot
06:20
of people out in the street for these
06:21
protests that’s not an easy thing to
06:23
organize and get done
06:24
so again who was behind that and and the
06:27
likely culprit was iran
06:29
the government folding and and resigning
06:32
from office
06:32
the big winners iran and i think lebanon
06:35
is lost i think iran has won this
06:37
i think they’ve taken control it’s just
06:39
it’s all over but the you know screaming
06:41
and shouting
06:42
and the execution of a few people but i
06:45
think it’s a done deal
06:46
now to the larger question uh
06:49
most assuredly there is cooperation
06:52
economic
06:53
and and otherwise with china
06:56
and iran we know that they cooperate on
06:58
these issues and we know 100
07:01
that uh china is very very aggressive
07:05
what they’ve been doing
07:06
building these islands in the south
07:07
china sea and uh this
07:09
like these lawsuits and problems they’ve
07:11
gotten into with philippines and
07:13
their expanded espionage and military
07:16
roles and all over the south sea from
07:18
australia you know all the way up to
07:20
taiwan um
07:22
they’re very very aggressive and very
07:24
determined and they know that they’ve
07:26
got one
07:28
overwhelming problem that they have to
07:29
overcome and that’s basically the us
07:32
economy
07:33
and because the banking system goes
07:35
through
07:36
the united states the united states
07:38
that’s one of the means that the united
07:40
states has done to take
07:42
actions against other countries trying
07:44
to stop them from doing things will
07:46
will you know block uh money going to
07:48
them and things like that as part of
07:49
sanctions
07:50
those sorts of things and it’s that the
07:52
way the world economy is set up is a
07:54
real real problem for china they know it
07:56
and they’re doing everything they can to
07:57
overcome it 100 all of this is confirmed
08:00
they’re taking huge advantage of a lot
08:02
of things in the stock market here in
08:04
the united states which
08:05
i’m an active part of trying to get them
08:07
held to the same standards that
08:10
american companies are held too when
08:12
they enter the u.s stock market and the
08:14
chinese have not been
08:15
so if they’re held at the same standards
08:16
they’re they’re screwed a lot of their
08:18
things are going to go away
08:19
they’re also uh they are the single
08:21
largest manufacturer of
08:22
bitcoin uh they’ve got a huge factory
08:25
there basically you need
08:26
computational power and electricity to
08:29
run it and they’ve got these huge
08:30
centers computation centers set up next
08:33
to uh
08:34
uh power plants that that make
08:36
electricity so they can run
08:38
you know full bore to create bitcoin
08:40
which they’re doing
08:41
they hope to supplant the the uh you
08:44
know international
08:46
system for finance by switching to an
08:49
electronic thing that cannot be
08:50
controlled by the united states that’s
08:52
one of the reasons that bitcoin and
08:55
other types of
08:56
of uh currency of this nature is is
08:58
being so
08:59
backed by a number of different people
09:00
is because china and iran and countries
09:03
like that need to
09:04
to create this separate economy out
09:06
there this separate world economy
09:07
so they’re working hard and there’s zero
09:09
question that china
09:11
is fully engaged in trying to
09:13
re-establish
09:14
uh a new silk road if you will which of
09:17
course runs through
09:18
the south china sea and basically the
09:20
greater china sea as i said
09:23
kind of all the way from taiwan down to
09:25
australia they want to control all of
09:26
that
09:27
because such a huge percentage of
09:30
commerce
09:31
world commerce goes through there so if
09:33
you can control it and limit it and and
09:35
do whatever you want
09:36
to it uh having all these islands with
09:39
these uh military bases on them and they
09:41
they’re basically you know stable
09:44
aircraft carriers out in the ocean
09:46
uh and by the way china is building
09:47
aircraft carriers they’ve been behind
09:49
the power curve on that i think one is
09:51
either just finished or almost finished
09:52
and two more are in the in the works to
09:54
be completed which would put them
09:56
essentially on par with aircraft
09:58
carriers
09:59
uh in the pacific with the united states
10:02
so uh
10:04
that’s a big deal i don’t know that
10:06
aircraft carriers are necessarily the
10:08
thing of the future so it
10:10
might be there might be other options
10:12
that would that would
10:13
completely leave us in the driver’s seat
10:14
but those are military issues that yet
10:16
to be played out
10:18
but they are being discussed so this
10:20
silk road is a danger
10:21
uh the setback that they had with the
10:23
philippines is good for the good guys
10:26
and this is something that people are
10:27
starting to realize is a real problem
10:29
and you started to see
10:30
countries like india who’s had border
10:32
skirmishes and
10:33
australia which has been very severely
10:36
targeted by
10:37
chinese intelligence programs and
10:39
philippines i mentioned a lot of these
10:40
other countries that are
10:42
around in this area are now starting to
10:44
see
10:45
just how bad this situation is and fight
10:47
back so i’m
10:48
reasonably optimistic on this because
10:51
the opposition
10:52
is starting to coalesce even uh taiwan
10:55
recently we sent a
10:56
i don’t remember who it was but there
10:58
was a high level uh
11:00
us delegation that visited taiwan
11:03
and that’s the highest level government
11:06
official from the united states that had
11:07
been there in
11:08
decades so it’s it’s uh it is sending a
11:11
signal and i wish the united states
11:13
would get even stronger
11:14
on that i will say president trump has
11:16
done a fabulous job on fighting back on
11:18
china
11:18
if he were not doing that you would not
11:21
see this
11:21
coalescence of countries that are
11:24
willing to kind of step
11:25
up and fight back i think it needs to be
11:27
taken to a whole new level i think we
11:29
should
11:30
go ahead and feel free to challenge the
11:31
chinese i they
11:33
they’re not prepared to take on the
11:35
united states head-to-head
11:36
military-to-military sort of thing
11:38
so uh i would be selling you know the
11:41
most sophisticated
11:43
fighter aircraft that we can and
11:45
missiles and defense systems and
11:46
everything to taiwan for example
11:48
and the other countries in the region
11:50
we’re certainly doing that with japan
11:51
japan
11:52
militarily in that region is a relative
11:55
powerhouse and certainly a worry for
11:57
china so those are the types of things
11:59
that will keep them in check and
12:01
it has to be thought through carefully
12:02
and we don’t want to hand out stuff
12:04
willy-nilly to just anybody
12:05
who’s going to lose control of it or
12:07
just go shoot somebody randomly
12:09
but uh those things well thought through
12:11
well planned and with
12:12
people that are relatively close enough
12:14
allies to actually fight back and are
12:16
are afraid of china and their expansion
12:18
all of that makes sense and
12:19
like i said we’re basically there now so
12:22
that just needs to be expanded but
12:24
uh absolutely all of these are are great
12:26
points great question by blanket man and
12:28
i appreciate it very much
12:31
the entire lebanese government did
12:33
resign as a
12:34
as a so there are big things in play and
12:38
don’t forget india india seems to be on
12:40
the side of the coalition against china
12:42
so yes very much that’s a good thing too
12:45
thank you so much brad
13:13
you
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