Thursday 12 March 2020
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-hosts: Sebastian Gorka, Fox; and Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 1, Block A: Brett Ahrends, Marketwatch, in re: This is a textbook case of mass hysteria. The big difference between Wuhan virus and pneumonia is that the media aren't writing wall to wall about pneumonia. We are not in a disaster movie. You can measure the hysteria on the stock market – it’s a psychological phenomenon more than a financial measurement. See: Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds! Buy stocks now only if you’re comfortable holding on to them for one, two, five years.
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 1, Block B: Brett Ahrends, Marketwatch, in re: Bonds: 0.726 today. The market discount in a few months; this may be over in thirty days. The governor of Ohio is closing schools till: the end of March. That’s it. As for the bond market, there’s something I’m not getting. Negative yields on junk bonds? Makes no sense. A return-free risk. A lot of momentum, and people rush in to Treasurys when they’re scared. No significant inflation here, but you’re getting less than 1%, might as well hold in cash. . . . Worst thing you can do is buy in a crash, then panic soon thereafter and sell. Good to buy in in stages. A little today, maybe a little tomorrow. Sooner or later, it’ll rebound. Rob Arnott, Research Affiliates, looked up the market during Spanish flu of 1919. The Fed stepped in around lunchtime; a thousand-point rally, then fell back. Buy broadly: international, EM Asia; and long-term. On Friday, watch the last hour: short sellers have made so much money but can't hold their positions over the weekend. Monday, the Dow could be up 4,000 points!
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 1, Block C: Sam Tadros, senior Fellow at Hudson; and Johns Hopkins; author, Motherland Lost, The Egyptian and Coptic Search for Modernity; in re: Eulogy for Maged Atiya at St Mary & St Mark Coptic Church in Manhattan on East 62 St. He was a scientist, professor of physics at Columbia, then ran a nuclear lab for the US govt, then became a most successful businessman; had a vast knowledge of what seemed like every subject. Was passionate about his people, the Copts.*
He tweeted under the name of a 1920s Egyptian intellectual. Catholic Church donated the Manhattan church to the Copts! Pogroms in Egypt against Christians.
* ”He has been described as brilliant, a man with an extraordinary mind, a caring soul, a unique voice, a gifted observer of Egypt, the most humane individual I have ever met, a cultured thinker, a vital voice of reason, one of the most thoughtful individuals in our civilization’s predicament or, as Hisham Melhem put it, ‘he was my northern star.’” . . . “As Maged had once written me, ‘I like anyone who can change their mind, since I do that often anyway.’” “In an earlier message, he had suggested the approach to writing about someone we both disagreed with, he wrote, ‘try to imagine what limitations placed on him were, what his priorities were. It will help with being balanced.’” . . . “In his essay on liberal education, Leo Strauss had written that, ‘liberal education is liberation from vulgarity. The Greeks had a beautiful word for vulgarity, they called it apeirokalia, lack of experience in things beautiful. Liberal education supplies us with experience in things beautiful.’”
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 1, Block D: Conrad Black, NRO, in re: President Trump’s speech last night was very god in content, and perhaps adequate in presentation. The drastic step of shutting fdown air traffic from European continental countries. Sensible. Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, all had 30% increase in identified cases since yesterday. Helped close the spigot of where this is coming from; Europeans are catching up with China in percentages of [the ill]. Testing isn’t as important as it sounds; was promised by nor delivered. Japan is tong. Canada will be fine. Democrats have been making outrageous comments, monstruous defamations. They went from hoping Mueller, then the recession, then impeachment, ten the virus—each would finish Trump off. The only way to defeat Trump is to run a really good candidate against him; instead, they’ve floundered around. The notion that he colluded with a foreign power to get elected is preposterous and outrageous. The charges against him were not crimes and were not impeachable. . . . Abortions up to and including infanticide: won't fly with the American electorate. They therefore resurrected Biden. The party at least has a sense of survival. Sherrod Brown for vice-president? He’d be at least adequate as president, and might be very good.
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 2, Block A: Elana DeLozier, in re: Oman update, Iran nuclear file update. First new Omani sultan since 1970. A sense of renewal in the country. The new role for the family in Oman: Sultan Qaboos was a one-man royalty; the current sultan is bringing his family in to the ruling regime. Relations with the US are most important to Oman. Russia is interested in entering. The oil crisis between Russia and the Saudis is of interest, as low oil prices are grave to Oman, which is a poor nation. Will probably maintain its policy of neutrality. Will probably be willing to have Oman as a facilitator between nations; Oman must maintain adequate relations with Iran, which is a very near neighbor. Oil in the $20s an $30s is ’way too low for Oman, pushes them even farther into debt, then rely on China or Gulfies, which puts Oman at the mercy of the lender. Iranian plan to implement its nuclear plan is continuing. It’s been producing more HEU monthly than during JCPOA.
Elana DeLozier is a Research Fellow in the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where she specializes in Yemen; the Gulf states; and nuclear weapons and proliferation. She spent eight years in the Middle East (2011-2018) as a political analyst and trainer, including six years in the Gulf and two years in Lebanon.
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 2, Block B: Hanin Ghaddar , in re: IMF, financial crisis, Hezbollah, coronavirus. Hezbollah needs a cover for their controls; first effort failed, so now have what looks like a technocratic government, but that’s [bogus]. Are stuck in a quagmire without intl help, which they refuse.
Hanin Ghaddar is the inaugural Friedmann Visiting Fellow at The Washington Institute's Geduld Program on Arab Politics, 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.
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 2, Block C: Ariel Gelblung, in Argentina, in re: In 1938, the Anschluss, a most important rally of 20,000 or 30,000 people in Argentina. Twelve thousand Nazis were in Argentina before the war, celebrating in the 1930s the advance of the Hitlerites in Germany. Fertile ground in Argentina. It’s been widely seen as a refuge by default; instead, it was sympathetic to the Nazis. Banco Aleman Transatlantico to transfer funds to what’s now Credit Suisse. A researcher in a warehouse found a document with the names of 12,000 Nazis who held funds in Credit Suisse, based in Zurich. Transfer of gold out of Venezuela [gold from gold teeth!]. They elected a Fascist in 1943, who destroyed a lot of the records. Aryanization laws of the 1930s. Credit Suisse has been somewhat cooperative; will they document where the funds are? Will the funds ever be restored for positive purposes to the heirs of the victims? We’ll travel to Zurich in about a month; in view of current holidays and the virus, it’ll take a little time. Second, this is distinctly Nazi money; will the bank give it to Nazi heirs, or discuss what to do? You were speaking of Jewish money that s stolen. Before the war, Nazis sent to Switzerland. By the time of the Aryanization of the economy, it was Nazi money and it’s hard for us to prove which of it is Jewish money.
Sent Deutschmarks to Argentina, then bought dollars that went to Switzerland. In ‘43 when they disbanded the investigative committee, they destroyed a lot of the documentation. This find is important because it gives evidence of Nazi activity in Argentina. Documents fund in a German-Argentine bank from the 1980s. Nazi heirs trying to get the money.
Ariel Gelblung is a founding Member and current director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Latin America (CSW) and Secretary of the Board of Directors since the mid-Nineties. He has represented the Center at the Argentina’s chapter of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and has taken part in some important milestones of the institution such as the extradition of Dinko Sakic.
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 2, Block D: Ilan Berman, in re: Gulf roundup, Saudi 2030. Saudis see to have more spare cash than the Russians do, so can escalate more and last longer. Iranians are very preoccupied, as Iran is having a tremendous disaster with coronavirus. Eight high-level officials have died . WaPo article: mass graves in Iran are now so big that you can see them from space. A Chernobyl-sized disaster in Iran. The major buyer of Iranian oil, China, has a slowdown in demand; also, look for a shift in Chinese-Iranian relations, as the level of Chinese interaction has had a significant impact on the virus spread.
In Saudi, Vision 2030 is moving forward at a good clip. Too early to call Saudis an ally in the realm of human relations, but it looks [promising].
Ilan Berman is Senior Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC. An expert on regional security in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Russian Federation, he has consulted for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency as well as the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, and has also provided assistance on foreign policy and national security issues to a range of governmental agencies and congressional offices. He has been called one of America's "leading experts on the Middle East and Iran" by CNN.
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 3, Block A: Dani Dayan – Israel elections, virus prevention
As Consul General of Israel in New York, Ambassador Dayan represents the State of Israel to communities throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Delaware. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1955, he is the first Hispanic Consul General of Israel in New York.
Amb. Dayan has established a reputation as an Israeli public figure, lecturer and entrepreneur. He served as Chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria and as the Council’s Chief Foreign Envoy. In these roles, Amb. Dayan opened doors to the major seats of government worldwide and conducted regular meetings with foreign diplomats and journalists.
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 3, Block B: Malcolm Hoenlein, in re: Syrian chemical weapons development. Iran. Probably several thousands in Iranian mass graves. Ali Akhbar Velyati is positive for coronavirus. Iran has “been taking it one the chin” for a lot of things. . . . Europeans showing no backbone in many matters. High-sped rail link to Qom. Even speaking of furloughing political prisoners—but those jailed for under five years. The prisons are awash I coronavirus. IAEA is accusing Iran because Iran is denying IAEA access. Breakout time is probably reduced to a fraction of formerly.
Turkey intends to build a canal to circumscribe the Bosphorus Straits; 40,000 ships a year, more than in Panama Canal. Wd cost $20 billion, which Turkey cannot afford. Erdogan and his pals have bought a great deal of land on which the canal wd pas. “Non-Israeli residents in Jerusalem.” They're not Palestinians. They all want to live I Israel, not under PA jurisdiction. Have sent 20 tons of disinfectant to the West Bank; PA has been restrictive so we don’t have data.
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 3, Block C: Chris Riegel, Scala.com, in re:
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 3, Block D: Richard Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, Hoover; in re:
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 4, Block A: Seb Gorka, America First radio, in re:
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 4, Block B: Seb Gorka, America First radio, in re:
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 4, Block C: Terry Anderson, senior Fellow at Hoover, Renewing Indigenous Economies Project; TheHill; in re: Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), 18,800 acres, part of the national bison range. The objection is that they’re not responsible enough to manage the lands they live on: “Need to be deemed competent and capable before the govt will let them manage their own lands” — overt racism.
The national bison range is 18,000 acres in NW Montana, spectacularly beautiful; land of the Flathead Indians, who once controlled 20 million acres. This small piece of land was bought by Teddy Roosevelt, at $45/acre in modern terms. The notion that they're not capable of managing buffalo is a little unthinkable. The objection is from the Public Employees for _____, esp Paula Dinnerstein. She also admits the range has been badly neglected so ar. The public employees want to control to manage, the Buffalo range; don't want Native Americans to manage, which would mean fewer jobs for public employees. Who should know more about managing buffalo?
The Trump Administration is transferring some land; the Natl Bison Range transfer has been attacked as a GOP effort to privatize, which is obviously not the case as it’d be owned by Native people. A for Bear Ears, “there are antiquities that’d be damaged by oil and gas” –so let the tribes manage their own antiquities. For 250 years, the undermining of the Native peoples to let them manage the lands they know best, as though “the Indian is a child we need to pen up” — a breathtaking notion. “Competent and responsible” to be determined exclusively by the federal government. In Montana, both our senators are on board, but neither one has been willing to face up to the racist policies of the federal government Bernie Sanders should be screaming.
Thursday 12 March 2020 / Hour 4, Block D: Richard Fontaine, CNAS, in re: Afghanistan; the Taliban and US exchange promises. Eerie parallels between the Vietnam endgame and the currently proposed on between Washington and Taliban. Khalilzad. In 1973, Kissinger signed the Paris peace accords with the understanding that the US would continue to aid South Vietnam and that North Vietnam wouldn't invade. Of course, it did. Unhappy parallels. . . . Large commitment that potentially diminishes over time. Danger. . . . In 1991, Soviets backed away from Afghanistan. [see: the essential contribution of Artyom Borovik]