Sunday 20 January 2013

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Photo, above: Tuareg people, traditional sovereigns of the Sahara.    

Historical recounting: A precise date of birth cannot be given for Adrien Atiman but it is believed to have been between 1866 and 1868 in a village on the banks of the River Niger near Timbuktu, in present-day Mali. At that time Timbuktu was a stronghold of the Tuareg tribe, who were noted for their deep involvement in the slave trade.  In his address to the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society in London in 1888, Cardinal Lavigerie referred to the situation: "The Tuaregs are the most frequent purveyors of these troops of human beings. Their hearts are as hard as the iron of their lances, and a handful of raw sorghum each evening, with a drop of water, are all that they give to the Slaves who travel, carrying the horrible Slave yoke. If anyone falls it is instant death - the experienced eye of the merchant can judge whether his victim is likely to escape from him by death before the end of the journey. If he feel sure of this, he finishes him off with one blow of his club - the hyenas and the jackals will come and devour their flesh, leaving blanched skeletons to mark the road to the markets of Morocco or Fez."   It was the Tuaregs who kidnapped Adrien Atiman when he was a young child: "I had already lost my front teeth, which naturally fall out at the age of seven or eight." Years later he guessed he must have been around ten years old and went on to describe his capture: "One day after a feast at which mutton was roasted over a big fire, some pale-faced men, who I think were Tuaregs, were quite near by. My father lifted me up and took me to a village, whose name I do not know, where I remained for two or three weeks. Afterwards I was brought back to Toundurma. Possibly one month passed, when I was spirited away to the village where I had been hidden the previous month. A few days later, about midday, I was taken and hidden behind some large sacks of flour covered with palm leaves. Then a Tuareg entered by force, discovered me, seized me, put me on the back of his camel and left at a gallop."  For three weeks Adrien remained in a Tuareg encampment and after that was sold to slave traders in Timbuktu for a jug of salt. The Arab who bought him put him in a sack and took him on a trek of over 1,100 miles to Metlili in Algeria. However, during the journey he was sold to another Arab, with whom he completed the journey and found himself in Metlili. In his old age, Adrien recollected that he was reasonably treated.

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JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW

Hour One

Sunday  20 Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense, is concluding his farewell tour.  He’s returning from Europe.  As the United States pivots away from Europe and toward the Middle East and Asia, Mr. Panetta is careful to assure Portugal that the US isn’t ready to abandon a strategic place in their country.

Panetta tells Portugal U.S. remains committed to Azores base

Sunday 20  Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:  Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in re: Mali came first, then Algeria; conflict in North Africa seemingly came from nowhere.  But did it really?  Or has this been brewing under the surface for a long time? Michael Rubin has seen the lay of the land in Mali. Mali is one of the five poorest country on Earth, was ranked as the most democratic Muslim state; but the army was upset at bad management of an Islamist invasion in the north, at Timbuktu. Ocean of arms from Libya to Tuareg. who then were evicted by Islamists. I went to Timbuktu, drove 200 mi through the desert to get there. Borders – Mali, Mauritania, Algeria – are only theoretical in the Sahara. AL Qaeda has no interest in colonial borders.  Affiliates: Pakistan, Yemen, and AQIM (al Q in the Islamic Mahgreb). Drug smuggling networks go all the way south to Mozambique. Timbuktu was historically Sufi (?). In Nigeria, the local branch of Islam was to strong for the Islamists to break in.  Wahhabist preachers left Saudi to go to Gao, for example, and annoyed the locals; but AQIM now sustains itself with drugs and kidnappings for ransom.  Locals initially accept the radicals then see what life is like under them and turn against them. Happened in Afghanistan and Iraq – "We don’t like the Americans, but they’re better than al Qaeda." King Fahd Causeway and Muammar Gaddafi Islamic Center in Bamako.

Sunday 20 Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . Michael Rubin (continued) a Q franchise is on the run there for the moment; can't extirpate them but can keep them from settling in. Tens of thousands of Malians have settled in France – huge migration.  Need to focus on the Sahel – Mauritania to Chad – is where we need to look for present and future trouble, Imagine Morocco – a failed state on the Med.  Western Sahara {Saharawi}, declared independence; Morocco occupies.   Half of Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Chad, all the way to Somalia.  Thirty thousand surface-to-air missiles went missing in Libya post-Gaddafi; flowed west, south, east.

Sunday 20  Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Claudia Rosett, FDD, in re: the UN and Palestinians, who did an end-run trying to get in via UNESCO – which triggered an automatic cut-off of US funding. Now it’s clear that UNESCO is lobbying in Washington to have The US waive its own laws to fund a Paris-based organization. Irina Bokova, a Bulgarian head of UNESCO, has sent an American former Hill insider to find a way around US law to get $80 mil PA to the N agency. Sounds as though it’s about to happen in a few weeks.  UNESCO has until recently had Syria on its Human Rights Committee and was flying Syrians in to their meetings (on the US dim(..  Its audit dept points out that its deeply inefficient, bases its staff in Paris instead of I the poor countries it's supposed to serve, and great amounts of money pay for staff perks. Has a huge office in Teheran – why? Opaque. Issue coupons to get around foreign exchange regulations, incl for Iran. Director-General has spent an unseemly amount of time in Washington lobbying, hand in hand w Ted Turner's A Better World campaign.

Hour Two

Sunday 20  Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  Don Kettl, Dean of School of Public Policy, U Maryland, and Brookings, in re:  Today is Inauguration Day; Monday  celebration is just a formality. The real business of the second term of the Obama Administration is about to begin: Pres Obama's transition to . . .

Sunday 20  Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  Gordon Adams, Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center and Professor of Foreign Policy at American University The drawdown begins.  The Department of Defense isn’t waiting this time, for sequestration to take effect.  The leadership at the Pentagon is telling the branches to start cutting.  Conserve cash wherever and however you can.  Hiring freezes.  Temporary employees are no longer employees.  Other line items are getting crossed out now, instead of the next sequestration deadline at the beginning of March. Seven or eight hundred thousand individual contractors to the Pentagon are about to be released.   Behind the Rhetoric

Sunday 20 Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  Ronald Marks, Senior Fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University, and a 16-year veteran of CIA, writing for the Security Debrief blog;  in re:
 foreign and domestic regulation of the Internet. A new year is a time for a new start - especially useful in securing the Internet and the nation’s critical infrastructure.  The bad guys know that stealing our intellectual property and computer data is no longer the best or even easiest way to damage America’s economy.   Cyber Deja Vu All Over Again – Challenges in 2013

Sunday 20  Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Natan Sachs, Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution; Foreign Affairs; in re: One of our most controversial allies is preparing for a potential transfer of power: Israel elections on Tuesday.  

Hour Three

Sunday 20  Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, in re:  Every year you hear the advice, sometimes cajoling or nagging: get your flu shot.  This year it’s said to be more critical than ever: the 2013 strain of flu is powerful; it grabs you and doesn’t let go.

Sunday 20 Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  . Sam LaGrone, editor of the news site of the US Naval Institute, news.usni.org    Shrinking Budget Disease is striking the Pentagon; all branches in cost-cutting mode, worried about sequestration - but the Navy is revamping one of its most advanced technologies.  Sam LaGrne writes about this technology for the Danger Room at Wired.com. 
Secret Nuclear Redesign Will Keep U.S. Subs Running Silently for 50 Years

Sunday  20  Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  . Robert Jervis, Adlai Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Columbia University, in re:
 Iran appears to be making more progress toward a nuclear weapon.  New leadership in American foreign affairs and national security has a potential opening to try new ideas. “Getting to Yes with Iran - The Challenges of Coercive Diplomacy” in Foreign Affairs magazine: Getting to Yes With Iran

Sunday 20  Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block D:   Tim Higgins, Automotive Reporter, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, in re: GM rebadging Volt as a Cadillac; id est: taking a Chevy Volt chassis and laying a Caddy skin over it. The Chevy Volt Gets a Second Life as a Cadillac

Hour Four

Sunday 20  Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  Barry Pavel, director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council, and a veteran of the Defense Department and the National Security Council; in re:  Obama two point oh begins today.   Confirmation hearings for President Obama’s choice for Secretary of Defense start this week, and an every-four-years process of assessing the military’s current and future needs begins soon:  Quadrennial Defense Review.  

Sunday 20  Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  Claudia Rosett, FDD, in re: the UN and Palestinians, who did an end-run trying to get in via UNESCO – which triggered an automatic cut-off of US funding. Now it’s clear that UNESCO is lobbying in Washington to have The US waive its own laws to fund a Paris-based organization. Irina Bokova, a Bulgarian head of UNESCO, has sent an American former Hill insider to find a way around US law to get $80 mil PA to the N agency. Sounds as though it’s about to happen in a few weeks.  UNESCO has until recently had Syria on its Human Rights Committee and was flying Syrians in to their meetings (on the US dime).  Its audit dept points out that its deeply inefficient, bases its staff in Paris instead of I the poor countries it's supposed to serve, and great amounts of money pay for staff perks. Has a huge office in Teheran – why? Opaque. Issue coupons to get around foreign exchange regulations, incl for Iran. Director-General has spent an unseemly amount of time in Washington lobbying, hand in hand w Ted Turner's A Better World campaign. 


Sunday 20  Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block C:  Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in re: 
Mali came first.  then Algeria; conflict in North Africa seemingly came from nowhere.  But did it really?  Or has this been brewing under the surface for a long time? Michael Rubin has seen the lay of the land in Mali. Mali is one of the five poorest country on Earth, was ranked as the most democratic Muslim state; but the army was upset at bad management of an Islamist invasion in the north, at Timbuktu. Ocean of arms from Libya to Tuareg. who then were evicted by Islamists. I went to Timbuktu, drove 200 mi through the desert to get there. Borders – Mali, Mauritania, Algeria – are only theoretical in the Sahara. AL Qaeda has no interest in colonial borders.  Affiliates: Pakistan, Yemen, and AQIM (al Q in the Islamic Mahgreb). Drug smuggling networks go all the way south to Mozambique. Timbuktu was historically Sufi (?). In Nigeria, the local branch of Islam was to strong for the Islamists to break in.  Wahhabist preachers left Saudi to go to Gao, for example, and annoyed the locals; but AQIM now sustains itself with drugs and kidnappings for ransom.  Locals initially accept the radicals then see what life is like under them and turn against them. Happened in Afghanistan and Iraq – "We don’t like the Americans, but they’re better than al Qaeda." King Fahd Causeway and Muammar Gaddafi Islamic Center in Bamako (?).

Sunday 20 Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Michael Rubin (continued): al Q franchise is on the run there for the moment; can't extirpate them but can keep them from settling in. Tens of thousands of Malians have settled in France – huge migration.  Need to focus on the Sahel – Mauritania to Chad – is where we need to look for present and future trouble. Imagine Morocco as a failed state on the Med.  Western Sahara {Saharawi}, declared independence; Morocco occupies.   Half of Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Chad, all the way to Somalia.  Thirty thousand surface-to-air missiles went missing in Libya post-Gaddafi; flowed west, south, east.

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Music

Hour 1:  Eagle

Hour 2:  Call of Duty, discs 1 and 2

Hour 3:  Assassin's Creed

Hour 4:  Crysis