The John Batchelor Show

Monday 22 January 2018

Air Date: 
January 22, 2018

Photo: Coat of arms of Rojava, YPG territory in northern Syria now under bombardment by Turkey.  "You can allow the Syrian/Iranian militias to take your land, or else be bombed by Turkey."  NATO ally?
Co-host: Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, the Great Voice of the Great Lakes
Hour One
Monday   22 January 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: It took Afghan security force from 12 to 16 hours to secure the Intercontinental Hotel, where the massive attack had just taken place.  Haqqani Network, Siraj Haqqani.
Monday   22 January 2018 / Hour 1, Block B: Tom Joscelyn, Long War Journal and FDD; and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; in re: Al Qaeda op imprisoned in France for 15 years; US wants him: Christian Ganczarski,.   His sentence ends in a few years; US trying to extradite him on multiple charges. 
The US announced yesterday that Christian Ganczarski, a German jihadist who joined al Qaeda in the 1990s, has been charged with various terror-related crimes in a superseding indictment. . . .
Airstrikes out of East Africa: US forces conducted a counterterrorism strike against Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa, yesterday. The strike killed four Shabaab terrorists outside of a southern Somalia city, according to US Africa Command (AFRICOM).
The strike occurred approximately 50 kilometers northwest of Kismayo, the site of another recent airstrike. On Dec. 15, 2017, US forces conducted targeted Shabaab in the same approximate location, killing eight Shabaab fighters and destroyed one vehicle.  . . .
Former Guantanamo detainee warns against spilling secrets    Ibrahim al Qosi, a former Guantanamo detainee, is one of three senior AQAP leaders featured in a video released this week titled, "Secrets, its Dangers and the Departure of the Best of Us." The video is focused on the US drone campaign and the jihadists' lapses in security.
Monday   22 January 2018 / Hour 1, Block C: Josh Rogin, Washington Post; Gordon Chang, Daily Beast and Forbes,com; Thaddeus McCotter, WJR; in re: Josh Rogin’s article on a Marriott employee who “liked” a tweet about [liberty] in Tibet, and the force of the Chinese Communist Party landing on Marriott —demanding and receiving an abject apology — and on the hapless employee, whom the CCP demanded be fired (and he was).  The Party bloodlessly utilizes economic power to insert intelligence/espionage, and major propagandistic, powers.  Western nations are unaccustomed to this and have yet to develop modes of opposing these intrusive and quite dangerous encroachment on not only our various constitutional liberties but, looking a bit over the horizon, our physical security.
..  ..  ..
On Sunday, North Korean singer Hyon Song Wol crossed into South Korea with six other members of her advance team, which will spend two days planning cultural performances at the Winter Olympics by the North’s singers, dancers, and pop musicians.
Hyon, known as the “girl on a steed” after her most famous song, passed through the Demilitarized Zone in a bus. She was greeted in Seoul by what The New York Times called “a media frenzy.”
In addition to Hyon’s 140-strong art troupe, North Korea will send a cheering squad of 230 members and hundreds of others, including a taekwondo demonstration team and officials.
Hyon’s visit is part of a geopolitical gambit of South Korean President Moon Jae-in to join together the two rival Korean states. At the Pyeongchang Games, to be held east of Seoul beginning Feb. 9, the South and North Korean teams will march in the Opening Ceremony together under one flag, showing a united Korean nation. The two rival states will field a single women’s ice hockey team, the first time they have done so.
Moon hopes that Pyongyang’s participation will lead to an incident-free Olympics and Paralympics, which end Mar. 18, as well as create the conditions for general peace and reconciliation on the troubled peninsula.
In pursuing his vision, Moon has, of course, angered conservative—and generally older—South Koreans. He can afford to do that. After all, he easily beat their candidate in the by-election last May 9. Yet he is also alienating a substantial portion of his own “progressive” political base, especially younger voters.
South Koreans of all political stripes are upset that women are being turfed off their ice hockey team to make room for North Koreans. Not only are the athletes “furious” and Korea Ice Hockey Association officials “utterly speechless,” more than 70 percent of the South Korean population is opposed to the joint team. That’s the case even though more than 80 percent said they supported North Korea’s participation in the Games.
Monday   22 January 2018 / Hour 1, Block D:  Jim Holmes, first holder of the Admiral Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the Naval War College; in re: Freedom of navigation (FON): the passage of USS Hopper, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy, named for the pioneering computer scientist Rear Admiral "Amazing" Grace Hopper, upset the delicate sentiments of some Chinese fishermen who were near Scarborough Shoal, which China had illegally seized and claimed as its own. New US National Defense Strategy (so far, we have only an 11-page memo). 
Hour Two
Monday   22 January 2018 / Hour 2, Block A:  David M Drucker, Washington Examiner, and John Fund, NRO, in re: . . . Five red-state Democrats defected from the Democratic effort to cause the GOP to fail in its vote; Schumer then did the only smart thing left for him to do: he pulled the negative-vote plug before he had no perk (“fig leaf”) left to claim. Tax bill; the market. 
Monday   22 January 2018 / Hour 2, Block B:  David M Drucker, Washington Examiner, and John Fund, NRO, in re: The US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, avers that no stone will be left unturned to find the missing text messages ’twixt the married Peter Strzok, originally on Mueller’s team and now removed, and his alleged mistress, Lisa Page, a highly-placed DoJ/FBI lawyer. Lots and lots of txts in 2016-2017.  Missing: 14 Dec 2016 to 17 May 2017.  Oops. Out of legitimate concern for his legal future, Strzok hired David Boies, Esq, who charges $700 an hour. Who's paying? Does this relate to the Clinton email probe, or  . . . .   Where might the missing txt be?  The AG is exercised about the missing documents. 
Chairman Goodlatte, House Judiciary; Chairman Gowdy, House Oversight; Chairman Nunes, House Intell: sent a letter to AG Sessions that accelerates into the matters.
Monday   22 January 2018 / Hour 2, Block C:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, & Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, in re: VP Pence announced that the US embassy will move to Jerusalem in 2019. Will move to a renovated an existing facility, currently used to process visa apps. Abu Deess: a neighborhood adjacent to Jerusalem, is proposed as a good home fr he intended Palestinian embassy, but Abbas has walked away from this, as usual.  He does not want to negotiate on any matter; this gave him an excuse to withdraw [again] and act miffed.  The problem with the PA actually negotiating is that it’d have to acknowledge the existence of the State of Israel and, worse, it’d render Abbas pretty much irrelevant and unneeded. 
Hamas and Hamas in South Lebanon: building an alliance between Hamas and Hezbollah.
Tensions rowing; Syria has rebuilt its missile capacity; Iran increases its aggressive activities. Intended 100,000 Iranian military ; 29 Iranian bases in Syria.    JCPOA; Euro parliament; Velyati, head of the Argentine bombings.  Iran plays Europe and the US against each other; why do the Euros have so much trouble acknowledging it?  Euros are in love with their profitable bz deals with Iran, but they see that Pres Trump is serious and that the whole JCPOA could blow u and collapse. Meanwhile, more Iranian bases in Sudan and Somalia.
Turkey bombs YPG — Rojava! – in northern Syria. Turkey is bldg a 900-km wall on its border with Syria and 144-km wall along its border with Iraq[?]
Monday   22 January 2018 / Hour 2, Block D:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, & Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, in re: A surge of alliance among three nations, Cyprus, Greece, and Israel.  To come: Roumania, Bulgaria, a bunch of others, all concerned to share desalinization and trade, plus urgent security concerns – Iran. Sudan. Our delegation went to three countries in four days; enormous understanding, appreciation, enthusiasm.  Cypriot PM has a phone on his desk with w direct connection to the PM of Israel. 
PM Modi has been highly supportive; moving and touching meetings.
The “drizzle”: “The drizzle (of rockets) has been still going on . . .  for the inhabitants of the region it has been a terrible reality.” 
Israel is bldg a wall that goes down dozens of feet and above ground for around 20 feet*. Gaza is on the edge of collapse as most state employees haven’t been paid in a dog’s age.
*UK Telegraph: “The subterranean wall is being built using similar construction techniques to those used for the foundations of skyscrapers or large underground car parks. Israeli teams are digging into the earth and dropping down vast metal grates around which they pour concrete. 
“The wall will only be one-meter thick but officials said they were confident that the barrier would be enough to keep out future tunnels.      
“While the wall might neutralise the threat from tunnels, officials said they expected Hamas to continue investing in drones and heavier rockets to keep up their offensive capabilities.”
Hour Three
Monday 22 January 2018/ Hour 3, Block A:  Arthur Vandenburg, The Man in the Middle of the American Century, by Hendrik Meijer [pron: my-er]. Arthur and Hazel Vandenburg, sailing from Europe to New York, in their stateroom receive an invitation from Sinclair Lewis and his brilliant wife Dorothy Thompson to join them for cocktails. What might have come to fisticuffs became instead a firm friendship. . . . (1 of 4)
Monday 22 January 2018/ Hour 3, Block B:  Arthur Vandenburg, The Man in the Middle of the American Century, by Hendrik Meijer [pron: my-er].  (2 of 4)
Monday 22 January 2018/ Hour 3, Block C: Andrew C McCarthy, NRO, in re: The Collusion Reclamation Project.  FISA court surveillance of Carter Page/Steele dossier has become a liability; then drunken-Papadapoulos/Australia, although that’s an inconsistent tale; now: NRA. Collusion 3.0.  Repair and undergird some sort of notion of a Trump tie to Russia.  A different tale of potential campaign finance problems.  They now want to rush away from the dossier. The attractive part of the NRA story is that there might be a financial paper trail — and they can take on the NRA at the same time.  Lots of wiggle room here to jump from theory to theory till they find something on which they can hang their hat. Here, the NRA becomes a cut-out for the Kremlin.  Aleksandr Torshin, linked to Russki organized crime, almost busted in Spain but he avoided Spain.  He’s also a senator in the Russian Upper House of Parliament (Federation Council of Russia, and Deputy Governor of the Russian Central Bank.   Also founder? funder? of the Moscow group: Right to Bear Arms in Russia [шутка!]  Donald Trump, Jr., and Torshin seem to have met; Torshin went to an NRA convention where Trump, Jr. was.   Unclear if Russian Central Bank made any contribution to the NRA.  Hazy tale. 
Monday 22 January 2018/ Hour 3, Block D:  Andrew C McCarthy, NRO, in re: The Collusion Reclamation Project.  Puzzling over version 4.0.
Hour Four
Monday 22 January 2018/ Hour 4, Block A: Dr Laura M Brown, George Washington University, in re: Benjamin Harrison to the White House. 
Monday 22 January 2018/ Hour 4, Block B: Jim McTague, Barron’s, in re: employment. Why some long-term unemployment?  Theories: Jobs hitherto requiring only a high school diploma now often need a college degree. Also highly-skilled trades lack trained candidates.  Also, some qualified people can't move from where they’ve been settled. Also gray-hair discrimination.
BLS: Data-scraping – get AI computers to sift through 100s of millions of data on Net and analyze.  . . .  IMF points out that there’s a correlation between children’s reading ability and foot size – correlation, not causality!  Regression analysis.
Monday 22 January 2018/ Hour 4, Block C: An Empire of Ice: Scott, Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science, by Edward J. Larson
Monday 22 January 2018/ Hour 4, Block D:  An Empire of Ice: Scott, Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science, by Edward J. Larson