We have found out the hard way in Beruit that the Republican theory of governance — i.e. “not my problem” — is not without its international counterparts:
Since an orphaned shipment of highly explosive chemicals arrived at the port of Beirut in 2013, Lebanese officials treated it the way they have dealt with the country’s lack of electricity, poisonous tap water and overflowing garbage: by bickering and hoping the problem might solve itself.
But the 2,750 tons of high-density ammonium nitrate combusted Tuesday, officials said, unleashing a shock wave on the Lebanese capital that gutted landmark buildings, killed 135 people, wounded at least 5,000 and rendered hundreds of thousands of residents homeless.
The government has vowed to investigate the blast and hold those responsible to account. But as residents waded through the warlike destruction on Wednesday to salvage what they could from their homes and businesses, many saw the explosion as the culmination of years of mismanagement and neglect by the country’s politicians.
Nada Chemali, an angry business owner, urged her fellow Lebanese to confront the political leaders, the “big ones” she accused of driving the country to ruin. “Go to their homes!” she shouted.
I assume that the Heritage Foundation already has some interns on the way to Lebanon to get some pointers.