The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 10 May 2018

Air Date: 
May 10, 2018

Photo: The Large Magellanic Cloud is encircled by bright, young stars. NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI
Co-host: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents
Hour One
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 1, Block A: Sebastian Gorka, national security strategist, Fox News, in re:  North Korea
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 1, Block B: Sebastian Gorka, national security strategist, Fox News, in re: North Korea
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 1, Block C:  Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover, in re: Europeans are treating the US with amazing disdain.  Pres Obama thought that the Shi’a were “a legitimate hegemony” and deserved much more favorable treatment.
US is heading one way; Europe, another. Whither Europe? They think the US will defends the for ever, that they’ll never get the [physical benefits] that Americans expect, and all will have an apartment, a long summer holiday, etc.  This is the opposite of the American tradition of self-reliance, personal independence.
Do the Europeans want us to fail with North Korea and Iran?   They secretly want Trump/America to succeed, but to ankle-bite the US.  Iran’s missile ranges now reach Europe, so Europeans want US to get rid of them but them move back into shadows because the Americans are pre-civilizational.
The US left is a bit like that; are we headed there? No, that ‘s what the last [2016] election was about – half the country said no. It's against our traditions; against reality. Recall that Summers said if Trump was elected the market would collapse, and Krugman predicted GDP disaster. They’d persuaded themselves of those. There are too many things that don’t make sense to them. The gist of the matter is: get back in the game: DPRK, you cannot point missiles at Portland; Iran, no more nuclear threats; Mexico: no more unchecked immigration, and NATO members must pay the 2% they promised. In sum, Europeans want Trump to succeed — it’ll be in their mercantile interest; want peace, trade, profit —but not to get any credit for it. They're not psychologically or spiritually capable of giving him  any credit.
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 1, Block D:  Michael Ledeen, FDD, in re: Iran, esp in the Green Revolution of 2009 where Pres Obama stood silent in face of extreme suffering by Iranian people and their desperate efforts to get rid of the mullahs; the US; the Iran deal. Currently, teachers and oil workers are widely on strike around the country; it’s gone on for a while and will continue.  . . . Iranians have held three revolutions in the last century  . . . Typically, Iranians have preferred to send “stupid Arabs,” as they say, to fight for them, but here, in Syria and toward Israel, it's actual Iranian citizens fighting and dying,  Hizbollah is all over the Gulf, South America, and may places. Ian is on a revolutionary path and the mullahs have no clue how to solve it – and are running out of water.  Like the USSR, which the regime wrecked, and couldn’t be solved by regime elites, and the USSR collapsed.
Hour Two
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 2, Block A: Blaise Misztal, FDD &   , in re: How the JCPOA affects Syria and North Korea.   . . . One can argue that the Russians’s project of rescuing Assad is working well, or perhaps they're just as bent on blowing up the region and re-shaping the regional order as are h Iranians. Not clear.  Moscow chid Israel publicly.  . . . As Iran fired two missiles at Israel, Houthis sent missiles to Riyadh.  Europe disdains the US for withdrawing from the Iran deal, but when Iran sends out missiles, Europe folds its hand and turns away. . . . Huge lack of popularity of Trump there, and also the popular backlash against the refugee crisis. Euros see the Yemeni civil war as an abuse of power by the Saudis.  Happy to side against Iran in Syria but oppose fighting against Iran in Yemen. 
Pres Trump had given himself a deadline of 12 May to announce the DPRK meeting but did so five days early.  Sees himself as having forced Kim into concessions.
 Blaise Misztal is the director of BPC’s national security program. He previously served as the project’s associate director and senior policy analyst. At BPC, Misztal has researched a variety national security issues, including Iran and its nuclear program, Turkey, cybersecurity, stabilizing fragile states, and public diplomacy in the 21st century. Prior to joining BPC, Misztal spent a year as a Nuffield Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford University. He was selected as a future leader by the Foreign Policy Initiative in 2010 and named as a national security Fellow by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in 2011.
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 2, Block B:  Anthony Ruggiero,  in re: Iran and North Korea. Unfortunately, I see Kim as setting a rap, incl driving a wedge between South Korea and the US>  US wants up-front, tangible denuclearization ; DPRK wants long, drawn-out denuclearization, I suspect we’ll revert to the relations of yesteryear. Kim went to Dalian to meet Xi Jinping; Pres Trump shd be prepared to walk out, demand quick denuke; go for more than nukes; chem/bio, human rights, the other matters; don't relieve the sanctions pressure. Chinese clearly are using h US to create a long, slow denuclearization.  If the Trump Adm is willing to go after Chinese banks. DPRK created the playbook for Iran – flawed nuclear deals used to fleece the US out of billions of dollars.  Bolton:  we’ll back Air Force  1, load all the nukes on it and fly out. Otherwise, ,there’s nothing to talk about.
Anthony spent more than 17 years in the U.S. government as an expert in the use of targeted financial measures. Most recently, he was a Foreign Policy Fellow in the Office of Senator Marco Rubio, where he drafted Iran-related legislation and was Senator Rubio’s senior advisor on issues related to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Anthony is recognized as an expert in targeted financial measures as a foreign policy tool and has extensive experience working on non-proliferation, North Korea, and Iran.
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 2, Block C:  Emanuele Ottolenghi, FDD, in re: Iran & Boeing sanctions.  . . . Iran Air had transported materiel for the mullahs, so the US was compelled to sanction Iran Air.  Boeing.  Airbus. Now, Trump’s decisions go very far: reinstates the enrie panly of restrictions against h aviation sector May force a choice on ht Iranian regime – its fleet of aircraft is aged and crumbling need to be replaced. Lacking access, Iran cannot dvelop economically as well’ restrictions on sales might cause Iran to renegotiate what was a very bad deal.  Boeing . US walking away does not void the deal;; Europeans say its enshrined in a security Council resolution that binds the entire intl community. US exit gives [power] to Europeans – special mechanisms of payments and financing.  Expect significant friction between Brussels and Washington. Question: IS this US Adm serious aut using these tough sanctions.  In the past, violators ran afoul not only of DC but also of heir own govts; here not the same.  If Pres Trump isn’t willing to challenge the Euros and maintain that, then it won't work. Consider also retaliatory sanctions!  US and Europe cd get tangled in a nasty fight; Russia and China would be he beneficiaries.  Of he 200 Airbus craft ordered, only two have been delivered. Is Iran out of money? The Iranian orders were important for production lines . . .  Turns out that the incertitude of the last months, when Europe couldn't figure out what direction Pres Trump would take, have stood us well
Emanuele Ottolenghi is a senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and an expert at its Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance focused on Hezbollah's Latin America illicit threat networks and Iran's history of sanctions evasion. His research has examined Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including its links to the country’s energy sector and procurement networks. His areas of expertise also include the EU's Middle East policymaking, transatlantic relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Israel's domestic politics. He is author of The Pasdaran: Inside Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard CorpsIran: The Looming Crisis, and Under a Mushroom Cloud: Europe, Iran and the Bomb.
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 2, Block D: Hanin Ghaddar, Washington Institute, in re: Hezbollah/Lebanon elections.   Hizbollah are used for ground troops all around Lebanon, esp South Lebanon, Syria and the region.
Hanin Ghaddar is the inaugural Friedmann Visiting Fellow at The Washington Institute, where she focuses on Shia politics throughout the Levant.The longtime managing editor of Lebanon's NOW news website, Ghaddar shed light on a broad range of cutting-edge issues, from the evolution of Hezbollah inside Lebanon's fractured political system to Iran's growing influence throughout the Middle East. In addition, she has contributed to a number of U.S.-based magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and Foreign Policy.
Hour Three
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 3, Block A:  Malcolm Hoenlein, I re:
For the first time ever, Israel is under attack and a handful of Arab states are on its side.  Even the king of Bahrain says. “Israel has a right to fend itself.”  A bicycle race started in Israel and Arab states are participating, Many Arabs are says, “Take Iran out — do whatever you have to. 
Malcolm showed me document proving that the Saudis were financing Palestinian Authority terrorism  In the hotel at that moment were a CNN crew and us. That was it.
Gaza is the Hamas Palestinians; West Bank not absent of trouble. Next Monday the US embassy is moving from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  I'll be at he White House for an event and then at the Israeli embassy in the evening. Spent about $400K for the move; eventually, a new embassy will be built on an adjacent plot of land.
___ blew up their own fuel pipelines!  . . . Yesterday. Israel took out 50 locations in Syria where Iran had materiel. Continuing riots in Gaza.    IDF: regular army is made up of kids who've just left high school.  What it mans to defend Israel right now is an eighteen-year-old has a very heavy weapon on her/his shoulder.  Commerce continues almost normally, but no parent can sleep well.
Morocco: broke dipl relations with Iran, since Iran was using its embassy in Algeria to provide SAM missiles; trying to create a destabilizing movement [among Polisario]. 
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 3, Block B:  Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, in re: Israel strikes in Syria; Quds Force attack on Israel. Most of the Iranian infrastructure in Syria has been hit; we’re preparing for a second round.  Why did Iran use Quds Forces instead of Hizbollah? . . . Might have extended the problems into Lebanon.  In Gaza, they're very aware of Israel’s capabilities & dasn’t trigger Israeli responses.  Recall that in Feb. Iran sent an armed drone to explode inside Israel.  Right now the confrontation seems to be in/from Syria.  Are the Druse in the north of Israel especially in danger? No, because the Israeli defense system is strong. It's a few miles wide and 40km long; very small. Right now, Iran has aimed at a narrow band and most of their missiles actually landed inside Syria. Why now?  Because they've been hit several times inside Syria [and are reacting].  Israel has been obliged to target convoys from Iran to Hizbollah; been going on for five years or more.  The only historical war I can compare this to is the  ten-year war between Iraq and Iran; I prefer that not occur here. What shall we worry about? Israeli and Jewish targets outside Israel. Remember Argentina.
Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, a special analyst for the Middle East at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence.
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 3, Block C: Gregory Copley, President of the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), based in Washington, DC. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Defense & Foreign Affairs publications; in re: the Koreas
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 3, Block D:  Gregory Copley, President of the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), based in Washington, DC. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Defense & Foreign Affairs publications; in re: the Koreas
Hour Four
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 4, Block A:  Through the Valley: My Captivity in Vietnam, by William Reeder Jr.
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 4, Block B: Through the Valley: My Captivity in Vietnam, by William Reeder Jr.
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 4, Block C: Adam J. White is director of the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School; a Manhattan Institute City Journal contributing editor; and a research Fellow at the Hoover institution; in re: Prosecutorial Fraud Arrives at the Supreme Court - The Weekly Standard
Thursday 10 May 2018 / Hour 4, Block D:  Ken Croswell, astronomer, in re: Intergalactic collision birthed a sparkling ring of young stars  An intergalactic scuffle seems to have resulted in the birth of new stars. Astronomers have spotted a large ring of young stars around our galactic neighbour the Large Magellanic Cloud, that probably formed when the Small Magellanic Cloud smashed past its larger sibling.
Located just 160,000 and 200,000 light years away, respectively, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are the most luminous of the more than 50 galaxies that orbit the Milky Way. As the clouds revolve around us, they have also orbited each other.
Right now, they are 75,000 light years apart. But they passed close together 200 million years ago. The Small Magellanic Cloud may even have smashed right through its big sibling.
Now Christian Moni Bidin of the Catholic University of the North in Antofagasta, Chile, and his colleagues have spotted what they believe are the glowing remains of this skirmish: six young starson the fringe of the Large Magellanic Cloud, each part of a vast ring some 80,000 light years in diameter. One star shines between the Magellanic clouds, where young stars were already known, but the other five . . .
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