The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 14 June 2018

Air Date: 
June 14, 2018

Co-hosts: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents
Hour One
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 1, Block A: Mary Kissel, WSJ editorial board, in re: . . . 
Inspector-General’s report issued today, all 568 pages of it.  The threat is that America, which depends on the voters’s having confidence in their elected officials and the officials’s intention to appoint people of good character to Dept of Justice,
Conclusions: Jim Comey and his underlings ignored protocols in favor do Hillary Clinton . . . has besmirched the reputation of an agency we depend on to uphold the law. Some of the language in there . . . shocks one’s conscience.
Concerning Strzock, Page, others:  Comey’s command failed.  In WWI, Pershing and his lieutenants made bad decisions at Meuse-Argonne; Comey’s failure is comparable to that scale – his lieutenants give the appearance of bias.  He failed to inform his attorney-general of many important missteps, then he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times:  “Says I’m wrong—but that’s good for the FBI. We chose the path most consistent with  . . . values.”  Egad – he did the opposite. Among many problems, in the FBI interview, Mrs Clinton didn’t take an oath and he let her aides sit in with her.  Astonishing.
The IG report is florid – e.g., “the presidential electoral process,” meaning the election.  Absurd,
“We cannot find evidence of political bias” – and elsewhere, “We/re not confident that this is absent of bias.”   Strzock and Lisa page carried on, inc 40,000 text messages, w breathtaking messages.  One that jumps out:  “Is it possible that Trump could win?” asks Page.  Strzock, head of counterinelligence, replied: “No, no, we’ll stop it.” 
Mirabile dictu, this is the first time that this text has been made public; Wray and FBI have decided not to share this for a year and a half. And it’s Congress that’s supposed to oversee the FBI. 
26 Aug 2016, Peter Strzock did several [awful things], was responsible for the story that Trump’s campaign was involved in negative Russian activities. He went to a southern Virginia mall, wrote, “I could smell the Trump support.”  That besmirched the FBI’s seventh floor during 2016. 
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 1, Block B: Mary Kissel, WSJ editorial board, in re: I’ve never seen the Tories in such disarray. She’s a Remainer, but finds herself in charge of leaving the EU. With only months to go, haven’t even figured out what to do with the Customs border with Northern Ireland. One positive note: attitudes against Russia have hardened since the Salisbury attack. . . .  The dollar is very high n the UK, and even the food is good!
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 1, Block C: Bruce Thornton, Hoover; in re: . . .  Jonathan Swift mocked the Eighteenth Century. Gulliver in a shipwreck, washed up on shore, awakens the next morning and finds himself tied down by tiny ropes — by people from the land of Lilliput.
The G7 think they can tie down Donald Trump.  . . . George Washington on nations’s pursuing their interests.   We brought China into the international trading network, and what’s it done? Pursued its own interest, of course.   . . .
The G7 statement out of Canada: policies dragging he US down, one example:  “Commitment to progressive taxation must continue to increase”  How about they get rid of their regressive VAT taxes?  They're regressive.  They've convinced themselves that they represented emotionally exhausted; and the US kept 40K nukes plus 500K US troops posted overseas to protect Europe. For seventy years, Europe has been getting a subsidy to their economies in the form of US taxpayer-paid military protection.
Canada’s dairy tariffs average 270%.  Dairy wars among he provinces; a dairy board established quotas and then turned them on the US, too. Most of Canada’s dairy faring is in Quebec – where reside many of the voters that the Liberals depend on.   Farmers pay $28,000 per cow to the Canadian govt as a tax?  . . . Forty per cent of the EU subsidies are to agriculture there.
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 1, Block D: Lou Ann Hammond,, in re:  Tesla, a gorgeous car; then you see a 9% reduction in its workforce.  In this amazingly good economic environment?    Tesla said the reduction was to put the firm in the black sooner. Was it only Tesla, or also in his solar plant?  Musk wrote that he’l never achieve his goal unless ][the com[any proves it can be in the black].  Tesla took its product to Wall Street, to shareholders, so it's not necessarily bad that politicians decided to chip in some public finds.  All pols really do is spend our money – that’s how we got the national highway system, etc.    . .  Ten thousand employees in the Spartanburg plant; increases our trade by $10 bil last year[?]  We charge a 2.5% tariff for German BMWs imported to the US, but BMWs manufactured in the US shipped to Germany have ten times that in tariffs.
Hour Two
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 2, Block A:  Yossi Klein Halevi, in re: Hamas gangsters out of Gaza; keeps the provocations up for a purpose: without these, there’d be no reason for Hamas’s existence.  Abbas is trying to undermine its position, while they're trying to weather that. The tunnels,  underwater activities, fire kites—all are to keep the extreme friction alive. My books are attempts to step back, take a deep breath, and go back to basics I tell the story of ho the Jewish people is, why we came back. I tell this story to my Palestinian neighbor and by extension to the Arab world, as the Arab world tells a systematic lie about us, about our 4,000-year connection to the land, says there was no Temple. No way to peace as long as they see us as Colonialists.   . . .  If the goal is a comprehensive agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, it won't happen too soon.  The region is now a potentially a very important part of the process: a shared fear of Iranian [predations]. Strategic partnership emerging between Israel and the Saudis, and the Gulf states, plus Egypt and Jordan. Let’s aim for an interim agreement. Today, the only border where we don’t have terrorist threats is the West Bank. We need to confront the desperation of the Gazan people. Generals have been calling for months for easing the economic aspects of the blockade.
Book overview:  Mr. Halevi, who lives on one side of a concrete wall that divides East Jerusalem from the West Bank, has structured his book as a series of 10 letters to an anonymous Palestinian neighbor, each of which takes on a different aspect of the centuries-long discord between Arabs and Jews. The letters move seamlessly from personal reflections and memories to larger existential issues and historical overviews. Two themes run parallel throughout. One is the tension between the Israeli story of faith, exile and redemption through Zion, and the Arabic “counter-story of invasion, occupation, and expulsion.” The other theme is the “need to challenge the stories we tell about each other, which have taken hold in our societies.” “To you we are colonialists, Crusaders,” Mr. Halevi tells his neighbor. “And to us you are the latest genocidal enemy seeking to destroy the Jewish people.”
Yossi Klein Halevi is a senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Together with Imam Abdullah Antepli, he co-directs the Institute’s Muslim Leadership Initiative.  Yossi is the author of Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation, published by HarperCollins in 2013, which won the Jewish Book Council's Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award. He most recently published, A letter to my Palestinian Neighbors”.
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 2, Block B: Major General Michael Edelstein serves as Israel’s Defense and Armed Forces Attaché to the United States; from 2012 to 2014, MG Edelstein served as Commander of the Gaza Strip division, leading the division during both Operation “Pillar of Defense” and Operation “Protective Edge”; in re: Gaza.   Underwater tunnels by which Hamas could go secretly from their base into the sea and thence into Israelis territory.  Israel has slowly and carefully destroyed all the tunnels they've found and deprived Hamas of many of its capabilities – but there are more tunnels. The overall status of US-Israel mil cooperation: large and in may areas. Technology – US support with budget plus  with some agencies for new capabilities, incl how to surprise enemies.  Note tunnels from Mexico into the US.  Also in many aspects of the intelligence realm.  The budget (MOU) - $3.8 mil from US to Isr for mil security.  F35s and others.  I think this has over time defended US interests across the Middle East.
F35 were used successfully against Iranian bases in Syria. A great platform; Israel was the first to use the. Flew in combat formation w F15s. 
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 2, Block C:  Farzin Nadimi, Washington Institute, in re: Boeing has just pulled out of a $16-bil deal with Iran, which is scavenging and cannibalizing old and ancient aircraft and desperately needs new craft and many parts.  Have created a system of front companies worldwide to source parts; new sanctions make it slightly more difficult, but they'll manage. Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and other countries, are home to front companies.  Every day that goes by adds a bit to the stress on the companies.  Note that the IRGC uses the many Iranian domestic civilian airlines in Iran are also used for mil purposes.  Can the US Treasury shut down those airlines? Yes, by  . . . Mohan Air, Caspian Air . . .  Can secondary sanctions warn off suppliers around the world?  Yes!  . . . Mirage Air is a company . . .  since 2011, have created this brand name to have a commercial umbrella. Iran hangs on smuggles, fids workarounds; can it continue indefinitely?  I think not; it’s closing in. The two aircraft used by the Supreme Leader have been identified.  
Farzin Nadimi is a Washington-based analyst specializing in the security and defense affairs of Iran and the Persian Gulf region. He has written previously for The Washington Institute regarding Tehran's asymmetric naval warfare strategy.
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 2, Block D:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: The Trump Administration’s endeavor to arrange a peace treaty with bad actors – Hamas, Palestinian Authority, others – seems [Utopian]. You need a partner in a peace negotiation and the common goal of stopping the violence. These are missing here. They won’t even read the document.  Also, they say things that are truly outrageous and unacceptable. UN votes against Israel and refuses to acknowledge what Hamas is doing. While Hamas turns back Israeli supplies in order to make Gazans suffer and thus exacerbate anger.  Btw, Russian National Day this year was celebrated for the first time in West Jerusalem.
Where Israel is nine miles wide, there’s a wall and, on the western side, a large pharmaceutical plant. It should be on both sides of the border, but Palestinians are kept behind that wall in reduced conditions only by their rum leadership.  SodaStream had 1,200 Arab and Israeli employees, all receiving equal pay and benefits; the PA created impossible working conditions so finally the company gave up and moved the plant away; now many Bedouins are working in the new plant but the Palestinians are bereft. Note that 4,000 victims of the Syrian war have been treated in Israel.
As Palestinians enter Israel to go to Israeli hospital, Israeli civilians volunteer to drive them for free to the hospital – but the PA charged them for having stood in line!
Hour Three
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Al Quds Day, Jerusalem Day; Palestinians call it Naksa Day. Khamenei pushed to have a big demo in Teheran, but a sparse attendance.  Instead, “Our lives for Iran” – a call for withdrawing from foreign engagements and, even, death to the Supreme Leader! Weak attendance in Gaza; Hamas threatening to launch 5,000 fire balloons tomorrow.  . . .  EU: The amazing Mogherini – she who’s deeply fond of Javed Zaif –again assured everyone of the fulfillment of the JCPOA. [What's she drinking?]  Many companies have withdrawn from contracts with Iran, including Koreans and Japanese; plus many European firms. Shipping and insurance companies have backed off quickly. Israel put up an Iranian twitter page – got tens of thousands of tweets from Iranians saying they love and support Israel. Netanyahu said: We’re prepared to help you with your drought.
Egypt – insurrection in Sinai; instability in Egypt will shake the whole region. Jordan: have a ne prime minister – caught in a vise: got $2.5 bil to stabilize the economic situation, but can it undertake the demanded strictures, which will further distress and enrage the populace? Erdogan spending money wherever he can foster incitement.  Ramadan ended today, Eid al Fitr tonight.
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 3, Block B: Emily Landau, in re:   North Korean discussions constituted crisis management: tension-reduction.  The two sides agreed that the fiery exchanges of recently could lead to war, might even expose Kim to pre-emptive action by the US. Recall that DPRK is already a nuclear state – its very late in the game to reduce tensions.  We may or ma not reach denuclearization, but at least can endeavor to reduce the [hostility] and . . . quite staring into the abyss.  Unintended escalation to nuclear war. Need to work on the relationship. Also need to curb and stop DPRK’s selling nuke components to whoever pays in hard cash. It blt the nuclear reactor that Israel bombed in Syria; and DPRK has extensive mil relations with Iran.  Is crisis management useful in diminishing tension? This will be a very good test. We shd expect not to see another missile test, nor more [wild] rhetoric.
Emily Landau is a senior research Fellow at INSS and head of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program, leading its research, conference outreach, and mentorship projects. Dr. Landau has taught nuclear strategy, negotiations and arms control in different programs at Tel Aviv University since 2004; she currently teaches in the executive MA program on Diplomacy and Security at Tel Aviv University, as well as in the Lauder School of Government at IDC Herzliya (from 2013), and the International School at the University of Haifa (from 2008).
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 3, Block C: Robert Zimmerman,, in re: Massive Martian dust storm. Had to shut down all of Opportunity except its clock, so it can call in once a day during max sunlight.
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 3, Block D:  Robert Zimmerman,, in re: Space
Hour Four
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 4, Block A: The Unknowns: The Untold Story of America’s Unknown Soldier and WWI’s Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home,
by Patrick K. O'Donnell
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 4, Block B: The Unknowns: The Untold Story of America’s Unknown Soldier and WWI’s Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home,
by Patrick K. O'Donnell
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 4, Block C: Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto, by Alan Stern and David Grinspoon
Thursday 25 January 2018 / Hour 4, Block D:  Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto, by Alan Stern and David Grinspoon
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