Thursday 15 June 2017
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-hosts: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 1, Block A: Brenda Schaefer, Center for Eurasian, Russian and Middle Eastern Studies, in re: Everyone, even US adversaries, sympathizes with the US over the [Congressional baseball] shootings yesterday. The Democracy Industry – multiple billions – and despite all the funding it's hard to say that external forces ever bring democracy to the developing world. In the past 15 years there’s been a diminution of actual democracies. Maybe foreign intervention isn't spreading democracy but inhibiti8ng. State Dept outreach programs or NGOs living the good life.
Cuts? NED gets close to a billion dollars; can they point to one democratic transition to which they contributed? So much of the govt money actually stays in Washington, For civil society to transition n it has to be local, can't be centered in the US or Brussels. Think of democracy in Poland, or Yeltsin: they made critical compromises with security forces of the old regime, which US-funded groups do not do.
Radio Liberty: post-communism looked to find a new mission. Also Radio Farda: competes with the Internet, predates social media platforms. Radio Free Asia: State advocates for the right of jihadists to practice their Wahhabism, and of girls to be obliged to cover themselves; what many countries need is freedom from religion, which State has totally missed. A fellow in Tunisia was just arrested for smoking during Ramadan
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 1, Block B: Mary Kissel, WSJ and Fox, in re: the DC Congressional shooting, and the NYT and WaPo editorials on the matter [see next segment].
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 1, Block C: Mona Charen, NRO, in re: Editorial pages of NY Times and WaPo are strongly against the GOP. In the heat of response to the Scalise tragedy, published a “fact” based on a falsehood as though to justify the shootings. NYT disgraced itself in its editorial: “There’s a history of Republican violence inspired by Jared Lee Loughner, who gunned down Gabby Giffords; while Jared Lee Loughner was clearly inspired by politics, the Alexandria baseball shooter was not.” — In fact, Jared Loughner was a schizophrenic obsessed with Giffords long before Sarah Palin came on the scene. The baseball shooter asked, “Are the players Republicans or Democrats?”:”Republicans” – and he began shooting.
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 1, Block D: Kori Schake, Hoover, in re: Allegation that Russia subverted the 2016 election; finally, to the current special counsel, whose powers are enormous. Jeff Sessions is not the man to manage this at DoJ since he’s recused himself. Pres Trump said he fired Comey because of the Russia investigations . . . The essential challenge of this Adm: political requisites are running at cross-currents with the legal ones. AG Sessions was extremely cautious in testimony, but perhaps not cautious enough. . . . Our political milieu is so overheated that even though our [structures] seem to working well under the pressure, the envt is so vitriolic. Good for the country if all of us dialled it down. Yes, I think it's getting worse. From question of collusion to obstruction of justice to murky financial ties having nothing to do with Russia. All make it very hard for the president to focus on running the country.
El Al Report with Malcolm Hoenlein
by El AL, the national airline of Israel
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 2, Block A: Dr Alan Mendoza, Henry Jackson Society (London), in re: UK elections. . . . Third election in a row in which Labour lost. Theresa May won’t be removed soon nor will she resign: next week we begin Brexit negotiations with the EU. Corbyn: people voted for him(a) because some shared his views; (b) some who don't know his views but found his speeches invigorating – e.g., the youth vote; (c) those who voted for him despite his views in order to punish the May govt. May made clear that the attack was, indeed, a Muslim matter. Northern Ireland party is strongly supportive of Israel. Last night I was at a reception in New York where people remarked that the British position was hugging the American position.
Dr Alan Mendoza is a Founder and the Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society, and directs analysis, research focus, strategy and development for the organisation. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the Advisory Board of the Electric Infrastructure Security Council, and the presenter of “Current Affairs” on the J-TV news channel. Alan is a frequent speaker at high-profile national and international events and conferences. He has a B.A. and M.Phil in History at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and a Ph.D. at the same institution focusing on Anglo-American relations during the Bosnian War, 1992-1995.
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 2, Block B: David Weinberg, FDD, in re: the Gulf States. Qatar has been thrown out of the Gulf Cooperation Council, led by Saudi Arabia. Secy Tillerson trying to bring the parties together. Trilateral mtg of Saudi, Emirati and Qatari officials is off the table. Pres Trump said that Qataris fund terrorists at very high [Qatari] levels. . . . Qatar and Turkey are bosom brothers. Closely aligned in views, esp on Muslim Brotherhood. Speculation that there’s a 20-30% chance of war.
David Andrew Weinberg is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he covers the six Gulf monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman). His research in this area focuses particularly on energy, terrorist finance, regional security, and human rights. A large part of his research also pertains to the Gulf states’ foreign policies toward such flashpoints as Syria and Iraq. Dr. Weinberg previously served as a Democratic Professional Staff Member at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he advised the chairman on Middle Eastern politics and U.S. policy toward the region.
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 2, Block C: David Schenker, Washington Institute, in re: Lebanon. Just returned from Beirut. Hezbollah dominates the northern region whereas the border lands are filled with al Qaeda sympathizers. Israel is funding moderate groups there, with some level of success. In Beirut, Hezbollah has been waging a war on behalf of the Assad regime, continue to fight along with Iranians, Shi’ites from all over, and are doing well. Michal Aoun. Nobody wants to rock the boat to overturning right now. . . Why des the Golan border look stable. Is it stable for Syria? For Lebanon? Hard to say; Hezb has a lot of its troops in Syria for Assad; also many along the Israeli border, with increased number of missiles – land and sea; rockets to hit all f Israel from the border to Eilat, and of course Lod and Ben Gurion airports.
Druse: Walid Jumblatt (leader) has nominally turned things over to his son a few weeks ago. Alarmed at the ne electoral law. Druse have been the political fulcrum of Lebanon. Syra is [a mess]; can Lebanon be stable next to that? In the last six years have added 2 million people – refugees; Sunni Muslims. Demographic tightrope. Major Lebanese banking system, but 160 debt to GDP. The Reaper is at the door.
David Schenker is the Aufzien fellow and director of the Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute. Previously, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Levant country director, the Pentagon's top policy aide on the Arab countries of the Levant. In that capacity, he was responsible for advising the secretary and other senior Pentagon leadership on the military and political affairs of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories. He was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service in 2005.
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 2, Block D: Emanuele Ottolenghi, FDD, in re: Hezbollah fighters in Syria opposite Golan: source of income? Bullets bought by illicit cigarettes, for example? Largest past of Hezb operational budget is Iranian aid, but a significant portion is raised by Hezb through bz, and working w organized crime globally Some revenue is local; also expat communities in West Africa, and in Latin America, esp the Triborder Area (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay). Three countries merge at the confluence of to rivers; until the Seventies was a jungle with small villages and lots of smuggling; then a huge influence of Shia Lebanese traders; by the Nineties, he place was filled with electronics and other goods. Global companies issue false invoices, e.g., from China to US to Triborder – all fictitious – enabling Hezbollah to launder vast amounts of money, Three governments there. And Hezb operates across numerous jurisdictions. More than 50% of Paraguay’s income is from smuggling. If he US refuses to enforce its own sanctions, no one else will. Can’t be more Catholic than the Pope.
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 Iran. 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 Corps, Iran: The Looming Crisis, and Under a Mushroom Cloud: Europe, Iran and the Bomb.
El Al Report with Malcolm Hoenlein
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 3, Block A: Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, Jerusalem Center; in re: Secy Tillerson: “Palestinians have changed their policy and no longer will pay terrorists.” Reuters: Not aware of any change; payments — to 35,000 families of dead killers, plus 10,000 terrorists who are still alive and in prison—have been a cornerstone for decades. Has nothing to do with social needs of families; cash is paid strictly because the person has carried out a killing attack. This constitutes 7% of PA budget and uses 20% of incoming foreign aid. The change: PA gives the money to the PLO, which then transfers the money, See Ann Patterson testifying in Congress in 2014; she also was bamboozled. Tillerson is a rookie making rookie mistakes.
Taylor Force was a young US Marine who was murdered in Israel by Palestinian terrorists; the Taylor Force Act was to stop payments to the killers and their families. Tillerson seems to have scotched the bill? Knesset has reduced amt by 1 billion shekels ($300 mil?) per annum. Congress, both parties, feels strongly in favor of cessation of payments to killers’s families. This is important: when the PA understands that the US will withdraw money for terrorists, then there’s a possibility to move forward toward peace. While funding terrorism,
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser is Director of the Project on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center. He was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 3, Block B: Malcolm Hoenlein, in re: . . . role of Qatar, esp via al Jazeera’s false reporting, and its close relations with Iran; the break with its neighbors seems to bode well for Iran. Qassem Suleimani, IRGC, with Fatamih Brigade and Syrian Army: lining militia groups on both sides of the border. Land corridor from Teheran to the Med called the Shi’a Crescent. Harassment of US Naval ships by Iran. Head of Indian navy en route to Haifa to pay tribute to Indian soldiers who fought and are buried there. Grotesquerie: six new pix of al Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem (1921 to 1947) and an uncle of Yasir Arafat. New pix of him walking with Himmler in Germany in what looks like a concentration camp. Al Husseini is smiling broadly. During his stay in Germany he met with Hitler, proposed the final solution. Photos just came up for auction. See Ha’aretz.
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 3, Block C: Mary Anastasia O’Grady, WSJ, in re: Colombia and Brazil
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 3, Block D: Mary Anastasia O’Grady, WSJ, in re: Venezuela
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 4, Block A: Richard A Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, Hoover Institution; in re: James Comey, Jeff Sessions, Robert Mueller.
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 4, Block B: Richard A Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, Hoover Institution; in re: James Comey, Jeff Sessions, Robert Mueller.
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 4, Block C: John Bolton, AEI, in re: Peace through strength, fifty years after the Six-Day War. Terrorist watch on US borders.
Thursday 15 June 2017 / Hour 4, Block D: Ken Croswell, author; in re: Fast radio bursts from neutron stars. Alien communications