The John Batchelor Show

Monday 21 August 2017

Air Date: 
August 21, 2017

Co-host: Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, the Great Voice of the Great Lakes
Hour One
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 1, Block A: Pres Trump on Afghanistan.  “Principled realism” — the US needs an honorable plan; we need to face the consequences of a rapid exit, were we to do that (we will not); and Afghanistan stands as a global security threat.
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 1, Block B: Pres Trump on Afghanistan: “Principled realism” — . . . At the NATO opening, I asked our allies to contribute much more money [the treaty-agreed 2% of each GDP] to our common defense, and they’ve done so. The US no longer will engage in [nation-building], trying to re-make another country in our image; those days are over.  . . . Our commitment is not unlimited and neither are we writing a blank check The Afghan govt must carry its share. Neither is our patience.  We’ll make common cause with any nation that chooses to stand with us in the fight against terrorism.  In every [war], we have prevailed. 
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 1, Block C: Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; in re: Pres Trump addressed the fact that after fifteen years and ten months, the matter of Afgh won't be addressed by the addition of a few troops.  “Obama heavy.” “Principled realism” is what used to be called “realism.”   What raised my eyebrows was his talk on Pakistan – called them out of r giving safe harbor to terrorists; and immediately spoke of India. Pakistan’s greatest fear is India.  Pres Trump’s speaking this way sent tremors of fear through Pakistani military and others.  We’ve bribed and pled with Pakistan for sixteen years, to no good end; only death and no progress. If Trump wants to defeat ISIS and Taliban, he’ll have to get Pakistan out of the way
US estimates that 40% of Afgh is currently controlled by Taliban. If a year from now it’s 30%, that’d help. We also have to quit seeing parades of people strutting. Need to stop the mass casualty attacks.  “The Afghan govt is a corrupt thief, always have been; need a govt that doesn’t rob the benefactor, the US.”   Why is Afgh indispensible for US strategy in defeating terrorists? Because al Q and ISIS are based in Afgh and Pakistan.
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 1, Block D:  Gordon Chang, Daily Beast and Forbes,com, in re: Pres Trump Adm decision on its South Asia plan. Reuters: North Korea has been tagged for shipping chem weapons tech to Syria. Has been doing so for quite a while; I thought it’d stopped. The fact that the UN has seen it recently merely reaffirms that it’ll sell anything to anybody, incl nukes, drugs, fake currency, human slaves.  . . . There are all sorts of kidnapped persons in North Korea, incl an American (?) kidnapped from China to teach Kim Jong-il English.  China’s OneBelt/One Road program includes the Pakistan economic corridor, into which China has poured billions. We should just consider that Pakistan is part of China and deal with it that way.  We should make it clear to China that we consider it an adversary in many contexts; thereafter, we can achieve what we need.  Robt Leitheiser’s announcement that he’s going to a Section 301 has awakened the ruling elite in China that Trump is in fact serious, that China cannot buy off the Trump family.  Chinese are delegitimizing their friends in Washington. The problem in North Korea and Pakistan is China.
Hour Two
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 2, Block A: John Fund, NRO, in re:  Pres Trump’s speech. “Obama heavy.”  The Bannon wing of the GOP will not be happy with this speech; we’ll  have to show progress rather quickly, as we’ll be sending young men and women to Afgh who weren’t even born when the war began. . .  Cf: Balkans – we were lucky there because it was a nation-state, which Afgh is not, being a tribal society. I fear this will be a low-grade Vietnam.  Real success on the ground – I don't see it lasting very long.  Absence of a clearly-defined goal, continuati0n of old policies.  This is an improvement of the Obama drift, but not [sufficiently so].  Asymmetrical, nonconventional war; treating it as a conventional war misses the point. People were looking for a grander strategic vision [which this speech did not display]. 
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 2, Block B: Andrew C. McCarthy III, National Review columnist and former Asst US Atty for the Southern District of New York; in re: Imran Ahwan.  Lots of money missing; the prominent Floridian Deborah Wasserman-Schultz. We all hoped that a charging instrument from the grand jury would clear up a lot of mysterious circumstances around this case, esp the specter of info stolen from the Congress and put in the hands of a foreign power. The large Awan family group  using its IT may have pilfered info from up to eighty members of Congress. It's now clearly an FBI case, fled in the District of Columbia, but it stared by the Capitol police force looking into irregular computer activities. When his wife left she took $12,400  cash to her home in Pakistan; it's a felony to take more than $10,00 without filling out an obligatory form. Why was she allowed to travel by US officials?  Why no mention in the indictment that the wife fled to Pakistan, or that the husband tried to flee?  NY Post: Fed authorities investigating if sensitive data was stolen and sold to Pakistani intelligence.
NATIONAL REVIEW:  The Very Strange Indictment of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s IT Scammers   It leaves out a lot of highly pertinent information.  By Andrew C. McCarthy — August 21, 2017
Let’s say you’re a prosecutor in Washington. You are investigating a husband and wife, naturalized Americans, who you believe have scammed a federal credit union out of nearly $300,000. You catch them in several false statements about their qualifications for a credit line and their intended use of the money. The strongest part of your case, though, involves the schemers’ transferring the loot to their native Pakistan.
So . . . what’s the best evidence you could possibly have, the slam-dunk proof that their goal was to steal the money and never look back? That’s easy: One after the other, the wife and husband pulled up stakes and tried to high-tail it to Pakistan after they’d wired the funds there — the wife successfully fleeing, the husband nabbed as he was about to board his flight.
Well, here’s a peculiar thing about the Justice Department’s indictment of Imran Awan and Hina Alvi, the alleged fraudster couple who doubled as IT wizzes for Debbie Wasserman Schultz and many other congressional Democrats: There’s not a word in it about flight to Pakistan. The indictment undertakes to describe in detail four counts of bank-fraud conspiracy, false statements on credit applications, and unlawful monetary transactions, yet leaves out the most damning evidence of guilt. In fact, the indictment appears to go out of its way not to mention it….
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Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 2, Block C: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re:  Iran has bought huge amounts of land in Syria; building yet another massive base; building toward a long-term [occupation]. Taking heavy-weapons components to Russia for [repair], violating international [agreements].Syria’s long-range missile factories (Iranian).  Ayatollah Khamenei will not cease the [imprisonment] of _____.   T McCotter: “Surely the European nations will rise up in wrath against this? [Su-uure] UN intercepts(?)/announces North Korean shipment of chem weapons to Syria. Fifteen tons of nerve gas have been used by Syrians?  Makes a fool of the US. Why don't people understand that when you deal with reprobates, it'll turn out badly?  Lack of will. Unwilling to stand up, make a realistic assessment, take tough decisions.
Egypt’s new role in Syria: has negotiated two deals with Russia. Turkey and Iran: the impenetrable Erdogan; a marriage of convenience and maybe of necessity pro tem, but, ultimately, their interests will have to clash.  Erdogan’s obsession with the PKK, et al; he’s endangered the Turkish infrastructure as he moves the country in an Islamist direction.  How long can he survive? Perhaps a long time.  
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 2, Block D: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: JB: Today marks the 100-year anniversary of the Jewish Legion. What was the Jewish Legion in London? MH: It was a Jewish regiment established in the British army. It was a symbol of the birth of the new Jewish nation. At the end of World War I, in 1915, the Zion Mule Corp was formed; later,  in the Second World War, it was to become the Jewish Legion. T McC: Is this story passed on in the way it needs to be to our generation?  MH:  So much has not yet been passed on, and too much of our history’s stories get discarded. It’s more important than ever to appreciate origin tales.  . . .  JB: There were new giant gates found where? MH: Found in Gath, where the Biblical character Goliath is from. Contemporary scientists have found new signs to this city. Gath was the largest city in Israel [Tenth to Ninth Century BC] and, other than the gates, scientists have also uncovered board games in the area made of pebbles and bones; this seems to be one of the important ways they passed the time.   . . .
Hour Three
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 3, Block A: Eric Trager, Washington Institute, in re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.  (part 1 of 2)
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 3, Block B:  Eric Trager, Washington Institute, in re: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.  (part 2 of 2)
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 3, Block C:  Gregory R Copley, Defense and Foreign Affairs, in re:   Civil wars in China, Europe and Americas  (part 1 of 2)
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 3, Block D: Gregory R Copley, Defense and Foreign Affairs, in re:   Civil wars in China, Europe and Americas  (part 2 of 2)
Hour Four
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 4, Block A:  Ian Toll, Conquering Tide (Part V)
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 4, Block B:  Ian Toll, Conquering Tide (Part V)
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 4, Block C:  Sidney Blumenthal, A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. I, 1809 – 1849   (Part IV)
Monday   21 August 2017 / Hour 4, Block D:  Sidney Blumenthal, A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. I, 1809 – 1849   (Part IV)