The John Batchelor Show

Monday 11 June 2018

Air Date: 
June 11, 2018

Photo: The true face of North Korea: Ancient trucks, soldiers sleeping on roads, and people living in this unfinished block of flats.
Co-host: Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, the Great Voice of the Great Lakes
Hour One
Monday   11 June 2018 / Hour 1, Block A: Tom Joscelyn, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies; & Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal; and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; in re:
Analysis: Taliban will halt attacks on Afghan government for 3 days     The Taliban has announced that it will refrain from offensive operations against the Afghan government for three days during the Eid holiday. However, this is a shorter timeframe than the Afghan government's announced ceasefire. And the jihadists say they will continue to attack the "foreign occupiers," meaning the US and allied forces, during this brief respite. The Taliban also does not say it will participate in meaningful peace talks with the Afghan government.
---US govt (Gen Nicholson) claimed that the letter held a peace plan, which it emphatically does not; it threatens foreign forces – “We’ll have peaceful dialogue as soon as forces leave” [and we take over].  Letter also says anyone cooperating with the current govt is a traitor, and it stresses that the only true rep of Afgh people is the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan — the Taliban. It's highly disturbing that any US official would claim it’s a peaceful missive. . . .  Taliban have been skillful in manipulating Western officials, get favors nominally as part of a negotiate on, which it always turns out not to be.
Monday   11 June 2018 / Hour 1, Block B: Tom Joscelyn, Long War Journal and FDD; and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; in re:  Islamic State claims responsibility for bombing outside Afghan ministry in Kabul.  A suicide bomber struck the front gate of the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development building in Kabul earlier today. The Islamic State quickly claimed responsibility via its Amaq News Agency propaganda arm. It is the latest in a string of attacks claimed by the so-called caliphate in Kabul this year.  See:
Ghazni: the Ghazni-Paktia Highway has been cut for more than a month. The Afgh army is deeply incapable.   
Monday   11 June 2018 / Hour 1, Block C: Gordon Chang, Daily Beast and Forbes,com, in re: Larry Kudlow, suddenly laid low and at Walter Reed, may be doing reasonably well.  He spent the last weekend involved in trade discussions.  . . . China is the trade outlaw at the center of global commerce; does not subscribe to comparative advantage, is predatory. Massive violations in the 2025 Initiative.    US has a [modest] surplus in trade with Canada; the focus should have been on the EU.
How do we get everyone to realize that China is the outlaw? Slowly, but getting there; and if Pres Trump calls them out, that’ll do well. China doesn’t pick on only the US, but on everybody.
Monday   11 June 2018 / Hour 1, Block D:  Josh Rogin, Washington Post, in re:  Mike Pompeo.
Hour Two
Monday   11 June 2018 / Hour 2, Block A:  David M Drucker, Washington Examiner, and John Fund, NRO, in re: Entering the summit, Trump is in a good position: GOP holding its fire, and Dems are also holding their fire for their own reasons. Gives maneuvering room to the president. If he pulls off compete denuclearization, it'll be an astonishing triumph; if he doesn't quite, the American public still will not [be angry].  The big question is, will he bend in order to get a deal?
In a sweet spot – we’re years away from complete denuclearization; photo op of the year, rivals Gorbachov & Reagan Norks have such a horrible rep that Trump gets points all around. A low-risk operation for Pres Trump.  The one concern a GOP hawk is concerned about: pres is always in a hurry and wanting best optics, that he’ll let Kim define denuclearization downward.  GOP thinks Kim will ever actually agree to CVID. . .  . G7 over he weekend; much of the melodrama at the close: relations between US and Canada. Justin Trudeau is in a bad way politically in Canada; if he backs down from Trump, he’ll be in even hotter water at home.  Eighty per cent of Canadians dislike Donald Trump.  Note that the markets barely responded today. Much fury signifying nothing. 
Thaddeus McCotter: Am looking out the WJR window at Canada; I recall Pierre Trudeau. I think this’ll blow over; but it's now difficult for other leaders to strike a dal with the US.  You always want to leave your opponent with room to save face; otherwise, you won't get anywhere.
Monday   11 June 2018 / Hour 2, Block B:  David M Drucker, Washington Examiner, and John Fund, NRO, in re:  The 2018 Midterms, esp in California.  . . . Larry Sabato on California and other national seats in the Midterms. 
Monday   11 June 2018 / Hour 2, Block C: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re:  Undersea terrorist tunnel, 1.9 mi (3 km) from the Israeli border: intended to send frogmen. Israel bldg a 650-ft undersea barrier.  Hamas has underwater motorized scooters.  . . . Isr has underwater detection systems.  Almost impossible to know where along the seacoast tunnels have been blt.
Jordan: In worse shape now than in previous years- internal situation, limited resources, millions of refugees passing through. Ardent demos against the results of the WB. Saudis and Kuwaitis offering five years of budgetary support and [job training]. If King Abdullah faces this sort of problem cd spill over to other sheikhdoms. 
Iranian soldiers and Hezbollah in Syria are wearing Syrian mil uniforms to avoid being targeted by Israeli drones[?]; Assad obviously in collusion.
Al Quds Day: Gaza sent kites and drones carrying Molotov cocktails, which have done extreme damage – 45 fires on Friday and 10 on Sat; ergo, using drones to take them down.  . .  Khamenei said: Some Arab govts are enemies of their own people [and in effect need to be removed] This constitutes a direct threat.  . . .  Iranian youth are not buying this – have seen unemployment of 40% or more; scary drought; today Netanyahu made an extraordinary offer to share Israeli technology with Iranians,  incl water filtration/desalination.  Sending a message: the attacks against the regime have nothing to do with the people, are against only the regime.  
Monday   11 June 2018 / Hour 2, Block D: Indiana Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Israel Antiquities Authority: a burial complex in Tiberias, founded in 18 AD at Sea of Galilee – little cubicles; was supposed ot be a regular construction project; is 2,000 years old started by the son of Hero the Great, was capital of a long time; hot springs, Roman villages. During the construction, found a series of cambers and some ossuaries w carved stone doors. Probably was robbed in antiquity, but can learn a great deal from what remains.  Carved limestone? Story from Deutsche Welle.
Caesarea: a beautiful ruin on the Med coast; when Muslim invaders arrived, they destroyed all th Roman iconography – pillars ripped up and used in homely Islamic structures. The Rothschilds supported diggings of fortifications from 1251 AD; during the visit of King Louis IX of France who participated in construction,  Mysterious access tunnels.  A second level w mosaic floors.  One of the only ___ is carved in the walls of the Caesarea theater.  Roman weapons.  Caesarea is in effect a time machine. 
Hour Three
Monday 11 June 2018/ Hour 3, Block A:  Captain Jerry Hendrix, Telemus Group, in re: Makinder’s thesis:  in 1904 and 1919, the Heartland, center of gravity; very focussed on the World Island (the Eurasian continent) – Heartland is where Russia and Ukraine come together, having excellent crops, energy digging, and railroads. Whoever controls the Heartland controls the World Island; who controls the World Island controls the world. What we see now is that space is the new Heartland.  Our chief rival is China, which has begun to think, write, prepare for space, write of VERTICAL SOVEREIGNTY, Gathering and controlling geopoints on the Moon Gravitationally stable Lagrange Points – L3, 4, 5 – can overlook both the Earth and Moon.   US’s space command does not yet look to competition in space, or securing space, or denying access to a threat.
Now, telecoms, banking, lots of essential activities; and from a mil standpoint, the US mil currently and in the foreseeable future is wholly dependent on space.  . . . Mahan said mil follows trade.   Air Force and Pentagon are reticent; White House takes a more aggressive stance, wants to assure that there’s American leadership. Will the space command be ancillary to AF or competition to it? Ahh - that’s probably why they want to go slow.  Space force probably wd be carved out of Air Force, incl out of AF budget (one-third thereof, plus some of its smartest people). 
Monday 11 June 2018/ Hour 3, Block B:  Jed Babbin, American Spectator, in re: Obama Adm deceptions: Office of Foreign Assets Control , who lit passage through US banks, tried mightily to issue a license to an Omani bank for washing billions in rials in order to return it in wire transfers back to Iran.  US banks refused because they’d be legally liable and in trouble.    . . . If you can't verify Iranian compliance (we did not), you can't verify compliance, Iran inspects its own nuclear sits. A bad actor. 
Larijani on the 9/11 attack: Our govt agreed not to stamp the passports of some of the attackers but were entirely under the supervision of Iranians. Pres Bush might have gone to war with Iran had that statement been made early after 9/11.   Public Law 107-40.  You’ll never see a mention of this is Pres Obama’s memoires.  He denies history and the value of American security. An enormous stain on him, his unconcern and, frankly, ignorance, of what's happened between US and Iran since 1979.
Monday 11 June 2018/ Hour 3, Block C:  Guy Lawson*, in re: Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Foreign Minister, and US-Canada trade disputes.
* Guy Lawson has travelled the world reporting on war, crime, politics, and sports. His work has appeared in many national publications, including the New York Times, Harper's, GQ, and Rolling Stone, and he is the coauthor of The Brotherhoods. He and his family make their home in upstate New York.
Monday 11 June 2018/ Hour 3, Block D:  Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, and author, Spaceport Earth, in re:  . . . commercial space going to Mars.
Hour Four
Monday 11 June 2018/ Hour 4, Block A: Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto, by Alan Stern and David Grinspoon
Monday 11 June 2018/ Hour 4, Block B: Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto, by Alan Stern and David Grinspoon
Monday 11 June 2018/ Hour 4, Block C: The Dead and Those About to Die: D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach, by John C. McManus
Monday 11 June 2018/ Hour 4, Block D:  The Dead and Those About to Die: D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach, by John C. McManus