The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 17 January 2013

Air Date: 
January 17, 2013

Photo, above: Malian music, among the best in the world, often is played on the djembe (drum) and kora (stringed  instrument).


Hour One

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Larry Johnson, NoQuarter; Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; Thomas Joscelyn, Long War Journal, in re:  Is the situation in Algeria a debacle? No, not really – it was just the Algerians thinking that if they delayed rescuing the hostages, they'd be thrown into pick-ups and trucked deep into the desert or over a national border. Had the US done the rescue, it probably would have gone better, but Algeria did what it could.

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:  Larry Johnson, NoQuarter; Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; Thomas Joscelyn, Long War Journal, in re:  Malian terrorists to French: "You've opened the gates of Hell."   They took over a facility that produces 10% of Algeria's oil – and didn’t destroy it.   Six thousand French citizens in Mali; al Q has told us that the hostages will be used for geopolitical reasons.  US will be ferrying supplies and troops to Mali – French have no ability to do even that, and have called on US and Germany. Can’t conduct air ops or move ground forces in-country – supply food, fuel, ammo – totally unprepared! Boko Haram, AQIM, others, all "rattling cages."  We [US, Europe] need to have a coordinated response. France is dealing with them like a beggar on the street; their arrogance will get them in deep trouble.  French mishandled the Vietminh, calculated that they could draw the US in to save their Indochinese empire -  leading to French defeat. Doing the same thing here? With their [measly] 3,000 troops, they've seriously misdiagnosed the threat; they had no idea what they've got into.  The last 24 hours: Ansar al-Dine and others have taken more ground in the last 24 hours. French are in for a long fight. Groups have heavy weapons from Gaddafi's stock  - armored vehicles, surface-to-air missiles, other; they'll put up a hellacious fight for a while.

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: .Lara M Brown, Villanova, and Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, in re: US politics

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board, in re: What's it like to be the host on a TV show?  It's very hard too convey everything that needs to be said in a minute; also, to choose, book and receive guess is exhausting, but it's rewarding. Have to think what's important to the viewer. To a guest: have to be respectful even in pressing a point.  JB: Mary is always extremely polite as a co-host.   Daily at 1PM Eastern, four minutes of video.

Hour Two

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  . Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: news from the conflict zone: three hostages from a BP gas facility in Algeria; in war the first three reports are wrong. Who led the raid? Direct result of the French post-colonial forces in Mali.  Iranians have been principal distributors of weapons throughout Africa for will over a decades-  certainly including Mali.  Tried to hide he source of these munitions – also appearing in Lain Am and Asia – in every area of conflict.  Threatening attacks in France. AQIM and Ansar al-Dine have joined forces to destroy many deeply important cultural and religious sites in Timbuktu.  Base operation v all the neighbors. The man who funded he Algerian raid is called "Mr Quran" during the day and "Mr Marlboro" – for his huge cigarette smuggling – at night.  These are looking to create their vision of Islam, hooking up with extremists all around; shooting is being fuelled by Iran.  African leaders for a long time have been raising two concerns: China – which takes everything it can & sends it back to China - and Iran, which has been working to undermine regimes for years (mineral wealth; a religious drive vs Christians, esp; and containing N Africa  as part of rebuilding the Persian Empire).  IAEA: Iran is sending its fleet   Twelve thousand books and 50m,000 religious papers stolen from a rabbi, ordered by the Russian courts to return them, govt refuses.

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  . David Makovsky, Washington Institute, in re: Middle East has undergone earthquakes in the last years -  everything shifted, up for grabs – what's striking is that none of these big issues has been joined in the discussions leading up to Israeli elections.  If Bibi makes major policy decisions now, that might hinder him later; and still, the electorate isn’t obliging these discussions.

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  . Ilan Berman, American Foreign Policy Council, in re: in all the Arab world, there's one nation and the rest are tribes; the country is Egypt – which is smouldering; a fertile element for Islamists, or jihadists.  There are to Ansar a-Shariah groups in Cairo!  Everybody wants to take over the Arab world and build the caliphate.  The MB has swiftly  moved to remake Egypt; there are lots of political groups in parliament that are far ore radical, transformative than the Ikhwan. As the economy goes into a death spiral, that empowers the more radical elements b/c they represent the only alternative to the MB.    Maybe democrats are in the street initially, but soon the better-organized extremists take over the show. In Egypt, there are three forces: the Islamists, the military and everyone else.  Full-blown implosion of the economy – tourism is dead (Luxor has hotels vacant, or 1/5 full; foreign investment at zero). Expect political radicalism that may even work vs the Muslim Brotherhood. Mursi believes that Jews are in fact monkeys; says what he thinks. Egypt is emerging as a Sunni counterweight to Iran.   Mursi has no money; is it al mouth?  Lots, but one valuable card is that the Egyptian mil is a powerful force economically and physically; to the extent that the MB has cut sweetheart deals with mil honchos, it still can function, If that condominium ceases, things'll go south fast.

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Lee Smith, author, in re: Israeli elections: two-state solution?  Nasty to call Israeli voters as "right-wing"; this is not accurate. Hagel to Defense; McDonough as natl sec advisor; Powers to UN; Kerry to State.   From Feb 2007, Kerry has been Bashar al-Assad's closest interlocutor in the US.  Iran? Pres Obama has stacked his Cabinet w people who agree w him in policy; his first term, he had politically expedient appts, but no more. The policy is t seek a grand bargain with Iran; this new Cabinet will not be hard on Syria.   The Russians appear to want Assad to last at least through 2014 elections; Clinton says no, but under Kerry, who knows. Obama: The US believes that the way to solve the Middle East is to empower Iran , esp in Syria, and to acknowledge that it's top dog  in the region. The Obama Admin has vast support for three years., and t Israel is beloved of the US populace – and the latter is what counts.

Hour Three

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: A US court today ordered Moscow to return a vast number of papers stolen from a Lubavicher rabbi, confiscated during the Russian revolution; part taken to Warsaw, where the Nazis stole it and took it to Berlin, whence it later was returned to Moscow in the State archives.  Is the collection of the first five Lubavicher rabbis in Russia. These 12,000 books and 50,000 papers are sacred to Jews worldwide, while Moscow says forget it.  Russian nationalism – they think they’re entitled to it.  Khaled abu-Toameh wrote about the Palestinian Authority  and Facebook shut him down! Does Facebook shut down the virulent words of Mursi?  Abu-Toameh speaks plainly, is careful and honest. Hamas leaders keep pages on Facebook and are never shut down. Mark Zuckerberg: Why?

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  . Daniel Siryoti, head of Arab affairs desk at Israel Hayom newspaper, in re: Long-range missile of Hamas, smuggled in to Gaza from Iran, , can go from Gush Katif to Jerusalem.  F-16s and M1A1 tanks to the Muslim Brotherhood, to a country that is destitute: in the last year, after Pres Mursi was elected, the Egyptians began negotiating with the White House and various Secretaries about buying these in a package. Israelis say naught publicly, but quietly they’re appalled. Seems that the deal is done; in a few weeks or month, we'll know the details and perhaps see delivery.

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  . Ted Gup, author of The Book of Honor: Covert Lives and Classified Deaths at the C.I.A. and a Fellow at Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics;  in re: Secret Double Standard.

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block D:   Michael Ledeen FDD on Tehran gun running and supporting stateless terror. True that we're targeted by lots of “non-state actors.”  But those “actors,” gangs like al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Jammaah this-or-that, are state-supported. Alexander Haig used to growl, “We have to go to the source,” by which he meant the Soviet Union.  And whenever he said it, there were pious cries of “but NO!”  from the usual quarters, such as Foggy Bottom and Langley-on-the-Potomac.  They insisted that we didn't “know” that the Kremlin was in any way “behind” terrorist groups, and when it was pointed out that the PLO actually trained IN the Soviet Union, they responded by denying it was a terrorist organization.  They redefined it as a “national liberation front."

Hour Four

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  Peter Berkowitz, Hoover, in re: History teaching "Failing History: Colleges Neglect Core U.S. Principles," Real Clear Politics, January 15, 2013

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  :   Seb Gorka, FDD, in re:  Jihadist on ht Nile: the return of old players.

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block C:  Robert Zimmerman,, in re: space engineering and climate.  A software issue has forced a delay in the robot refueling experiment on ISS.  The European Space Agency and NASA have confirmed that the Europeans will be building the service module for Orion. An expensive Frankenstein in space?

Thursday  10  Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Robert Zimmerman,, in re: gold strike in Australia. Bigelow private space hotel.  New images of a dry riverbed on MarsReull Vallis, the river-like structure in these images, is believed to have formed when running water flowed in the distant Martian past, cutting a steep-sided channel through the Promethei Terra Highlands before running on towards the floor of the vast Hellas basin. This sinuous structure, which stretches for almost [1000 miles] across the Martian landscape, is flanked by numerous tributaries, one of which can be clearly seen cutting in to the main valley towards the upper (north) side.

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