The John Batchelor Show

Monday 15 February 2021

Air Date: 
February 15, 2021

Colleague: Thaddeus McCotter, American Greatness
Hour One
Monday 15 February 2021 / Hour 1, Block A:  Tom Joscelyn, @thomasjoscelyn, Long War Journal and @FDD; podcast: Generation Jihad,  @LongWarJournal; in re: Al Qaeda leader ship in the Arabian peninsula (AQAP) commented on the January 6 tragedy, believes this is all either foretold or deserved  Al Q is a major, major actor. Khalid Batarfi: an ideologue, respected for religious knowledge, and an operator globally.  He was said to have been captured; was not.
Remarking on the US , he cites hurricanes, tornadoes, diseases, ____, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  Taliban has surrounded some provincial capitals in Afghanistan. Primed to take over Kabul.  Americans consistently underestimate Taliban presence in Afghanistan. This administration us reviewing the Taliban deal – there’s not much to it, it’s simply a withdrawal deal. In exchange for which the US endorses Taliban.
Monday 15 February 2021 / Hour 1, Block B: Lorenzo Fiori: Direttore Generale Ansaldo Fondazione ; in re: The virus numbers are diminishing in Italy.   The British variant, highly contagious has been spreading in different regions in Italy, a source of real concern. The normal winter tourist business in the Italian Alps is ’way down and disappointing, but March 5 is the date that the most recent degree expires; awaiting to know the degree of freedom to be allowed. Yellow, orange, red. Mario Draghi has managed to assemble a coalition when no one else could.  Was “SuperMario” as a central banker.  We’re very enthusiastic to have him as PM, to manage the recovery plan. Before him, have needed speed of action.  We expect recovery by the second half of 2021, same as in the US.  
Monday 15 February 2021 / Hour 1, Block C: Michael Yon: @Michael_Yon, war correspondent;andGordon Chang, @GordonGChang, Daily Beast, in re:  The denial of bail for Jimmy Lai, still in custody by Mainland—Michael will report inside info on this development.  Gordon dined with Jimmy Lai last year, when Mainland sent bully boys to throw firebombs at Jmmy’s home.   Lai publishes Apple Daily, the leading Hong Kong publication.  Jimmy Lai is 82 years old, an inspirational figure; he could have left long ago, but is standing ground, perhaps to be a martyr, will sacrifice himself to help save Hong Kong, He’s a hero. This is normal CCP intimidation tactics; would do the same things to HH the Dalai Lama if they could get their hands on him. They’re frankly worse than th Nazis, which is very hard to do—have been committing genocide for decades.  Eager to do the same thing on Taiwan.  Very likely this [losing] policy is required by Xi Jinping, despite likely dissent by other party members.  Hong Kongers knew that Biden was likely to be a sell-out, I agree with Gordon: the safest thing to do is cut all ties with Mainland.   Return to USSR-type stuff: Hong Kong exit ban, dictatorship writ large in skywriting.  Jimmy Lai knew he’d be persecuted of some sort. He gave up a profitable clothing chain because of his beliefs.
Monday 15 February 2021 / Hour 1, Block D: Steve Yates: 葉望輝, @YatesDCIA, @dciadvisory, former deputy national security advisor to Vice President Cheney and currently CEO of DC International Advisory;  and Gordon Chang, @GordonGChang, Daily Beast; in re:  The Biden-Xi phone call.  There are stages in a call: the real time and the after-the-fact analysis.  In real time, usually National Security Council members in the Oval office with the president;  interpretation and transcription in notes done by an NSC staffer; it’s also done remotely.  Xinhua’s report of the call:  the two presidents wishes each other good fortune in the Year of the Ox and discussed substantive matters.  Both US and Chinese read-outs were vcry brief. Why so little information about substance of the call?  US held tight controls and limited access.   A two-hour conversati9on of this sort is rarely anywhere near this long. Emphasis on climate change—filibuster? China never objected to the climate agreements [just never met the targets]. The West always met the burden of paying cash up front.  After the Secretary of State labeled Chinese treatment of Uyghurs “genocide,”  there must have been at least a bit on Uyghurs.
Initiated by the US; celebratory on the lunar new year; and the mention of an agenda beyond trade disputes—all three seen as warming signals from the US, and so announced by China.
Hour Two
Monday 15 February 2021 / Hour 2, Block A:  John Fund, @johnfund, NRO, and David Drucker: @DavidMDrucker, Washington Examiner; in re: Newsom has managed to combine bad luck, cluelessness, and petulance. Facing pandemic fatigue but he has only one script in mind. Parents impatient about the schools situation. Also a problem of management: a big scandal about fraud with pandemic funds. The one thing he has going is that the Democratic party is much stronger now than it was during the last recall.  The French Laundry event—is Newsom Marie Antoinette in loafers? Newsom and Cuomo both in serous trouble. Is Newsom still presidential timber for 2024?  No: virus politics will be important in 2024.
Monday 15 February 2021 / Hour 2, Block B:  John Fund, @johnfund, NRO, and David Drucker: @DavidMDrucker, Washington Examiner; in re:  Is the GOP raising funds separately from Mr Trump? All candidates will stake their 2024 claim to be leaders, but Mr Trump will continue to be influential, if he wants to—he does – as he’s very well thought-of by Republican voters. In 2022 . . .    Mrs Pelosi’s extreme focus on Trump: post-Trump derangement syndrome.    
Monday 15 February 2021 / Hour 2, Block C:  Mary Anastasia O’Grady: @MaryAnastasiaOG; @WSJOpinion;WSJ editorial board; The Americas column; in re:  FARC, the Marxist revolutionary group since the Fifties; terrorists, blew up civilian sites.  Found a pot of gold in drug trafficking which is heir main activity at present. Biden’s adminisrati9n encouraged Colombia to let them into the parliament.  So they’re still taking drugs north into the US.  CIGIG: was supposed to be a UN body to work in Guatemala against criminals, it, surprise, nothing good happened.   “Preventative detention” became widespread, could be detained for years with no proof.  No accountability.   Hyde Amendment.
Monday 15 February 2021  / Hour 2, Block D: Ronald Goldberg, FDD, former NSC; in re: 
Iran will block snap nuclear inspections if the other parties to the Iran deal “don't uphold their obligations.” This means: block the IAEA from seeing even those sites that Iran allows unless somebody allows huge amounts of money in—and sanctions relief. Looks as though the US is about to return to the errors of the Obama administration in this matter.  The JCPOA was woefully flawed—didn’t address terrorism, missiles, human rights. Iran now wants the JCPOA in perpetuity, with sanctions relief, so they’re breaking every JCPOA limit. If Biden accepts this, it loses all leverage.  
A wiser course would be:  Instead, we demand a new, long-term agreement or else Iran to face continuing sanctions. Houthis, Red Sea, Yemen, the Shi’a Arc, Hezbollah, Lebanon.
Hour Three
Monday 15 February 2021  / Hour 3, Block A:  Malcolm Hoenlein, @conf_of_pres, Conference of Presidents, in re: Iran says it will end snap IAEA inspections unless it gets the deal it wants from Biden. A violation of the JCPOA and an insult to the Europeans who’ve been favoring the JCPOA.  A potentially explosive game, up February 21.  UN inspectors have found radioactive races and new sites.   . . . Biden took the Houthis, Iranian proxies, off the terrorist list. In Yemen, 30,000 people have been killed. 
Turkey is fighting in Iraq vs the PKK—shot Kurds in the head in a cave. Turkey sends jets over Kurdish territory.
Israel’s air strikes against Damascus: another Iranian provocation and aggression.  It does so also in Ethiopia and Sudan.   More than 7,000 rockets; Hezbollah has a 30,000 standing army, very sophisticated arms.  Also Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Lavrov: if the EU decides  it's necessary to restore relati9ns, we’ll be ready; but if he EU goes ahead with sanctions because of the Navalny attempted murder, Russia will break relations.   The EU always backs down—“They march backwards”— but sometimes they have spine concerning human rights.  Today the UAE ambassador was sworn in to Israel, and Morocco is shopping for an embassy in Jerusalem.   
Iron Dome deployed permanently around Israel.  Very serious concern about the War in the North.  
Monday 15 February 2021  / Hour 3, Block B:  Malcolm Hoenlein, @conf_of_pres, Conference of Presidents, in re: A huge beer brewery, over 5,000 years old, near the Nile south of Cairo.  King unified Egypt in the First Dynastic period. Eight enormous production units, 65 feet long.  Found a Roman soldier’s pay slip near Masada: Gaius Maseus, was left broke because they deducted food, barley, leather, clothes—he was thus left broke at the end of the month.
Monday 15 February 2021  / Hour 3, Block C:   Andrew C McCarthy, @AndrewCMcCarthy, Ball of Collusion; and Thaddeus McCotter, @ThadMcCotter, @theamgreatness, American Greatness, in re: The remains of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump.  Officer Sicknick apparently may have died of a stroke—no evidence of blunt-force trauma. The impeachers alleged that he’d been killed as a direct result of the Capitol invasion, but that seems not to be true. SO far, no police report. House impeachment managers relied only on a New York Ties article, which has been amended (i.e., weakly retracted).  Misinformation in the fist report, and much reason to doubt the fire extinguisher story; finally concedes that we don’t know how he died. This has always been a political exercise, partisan, to promote a white supremacist narrative and lay the groundwork to disqualify Republicans.
Monday 15 February 2021  / Hour 3, Block D:  Andrew C McCarthy, @AndrewCMcCarthy, Ball of Collusion; and Thaddeus McCotter, @ThadMcCotter, @theamgreatness, American Greatness, in re: A lot of information is missing on what Mrs Pelosi and other House leader were doing during the Capitol invasion. She was concerned about the appearance having uniformed guards there then. “Optics.”  Sergeant at Arms was [worried]. She intends to keep the guards there now till September.  . . . Hunter Biden.  
Hour Four
Monday 15 February 2021 / Hour 4, Block A:  The Return of George Washington: 1783-1789,by Edward J. Larson
Monday 15 February 2021 / Hour 4, Block B:  The Return of George Washington: 1783-1789,by Edward J. Larson
Monday 15 February 2021 / Hour 4, Block C:  The Return of George Washington: 1783-1789,by Edward J. Larson
Monday 15 February 2021 / Hour 4, Block D:  The Return of George Washington: 1783-1789,by Edward J. Larson