The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 17 October 2013

Air Date: 
October 17, 2013

Photo, above: Hour 4, Blocks C & D: Law of the Desert Born (Graphic Novel): A Graphic Novel by Louis L'Amour, Beau L'Amour, Kathy Nolan, and Charles Santino


Co-hosts; Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents.

Hour One

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Mona Charen, NRO , in re: OBAMACARE & THE SHUTDOWN - Secret GOP Ally vs. O’care   It’s more effective than brinkmanship. ACA is remarkably nontransparent.  "The Obama Adm will be the most transparent and sharing in history" – campaign promise.  "All of the negotiations will be on C-SPAN" – but they changed the locks on Congress so no one could listen in. ObamaCare problems are called glitches – but digital cognoscenti sys it's much worse than that. Not volume – were it that, you'd just get more servers.  It’s the website design; "a cheesy operation from the beginning." The Obama Adm has known this $600-million website would be a disaster for the last three years.  Soon, as families lose healthcare coverage and can’t enroll in ACA, heads will roll in Washington. Millennials are disillusioned; why would they navigate a clunky website to buy something they don't want? "To be generous and good, so needy people can reap benefit." Premiums going up, not down; it’s a train wreck; and yes, you are losing the coverage you were comfortable with. Can the Democrats [wriggle] out of this before Christmas?  Yes, the GOP is laid low by its own follies.  Colorado has its own exchange need 800,000 people to make it work; they have 226 verified enrollee today. 

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 1, Block B:  Edward W Hayes, criminal defense attorney par excellence, in re: Cousin Arrested in ‘Baby Hope’ Killing.  A cooler by the side of Manhattan highway thirty years ago was opened then, and the corpse of a four-year-old girl was inside.  The cold-case squad of he NYPD worked n the case for three decades, have just recently found that her male cousin abused her and killed her. He'll now probably spend the rest of his life in prison. The NYPD is the most successful police department in the US.  One of my clients who's in the force is the fifth or sixth generation of cop in his family: his ancestor who got off the boat from Ireland joined, and each successive generation thereafter has fielded a member.   

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Jodi Schneider, Bloomberg, in re:  . . . the December deadlines are more like guidelines. The sequester.  Defense cuts. Running $987 billion of spending.  December, with Sen Patty Murray and Sen Paul Ryan. Debating spending levels, entitlement programs, et c. 

Congress Votes to End Fiscal Impasse as Obama Set to Sign Bill

Boehner’s Struggle Within Own Party Wounds House Leader

BlackRock, Pimco See Fed Taper Delay as Treasuries Hold Gain

Booker Bests Tea Party’s Lonegan in N.J. for Senate Seat

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Oanh Ha, Bloomberg Vietnam, in re: crackdown on bloggers; 4 October death and stately funeral of the legendary Võ Nguyên Giáp [pron: North Vietnam: ziap; South Vietnam: yap]; recent moves in US-Vietnam relations (they just signed a civilian nuke deal). Vietnamese people young and old have clung to Giap as representing a Vietnam that no longer exists; a clean revolutionary nation, contrasted to today's grave governmental corruption. China subjugated Vietnam for a thousand years; in view of today's relations between China and the US, this is a tricky balancing act.  Mourning period lasted through to the weekend,  ended on Sunday at noon.  The Chinese premier came to Vietnam on Sunday.

Hour Two

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 2, Block A: Matthew Levitt, senior Fellow, Washington Institute, in re: Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God. Brutal videos of Hezbollah soldiers boasting of executing captured Alawite soldiers.  Hezb has launched four or five thousand highly-trained fighters into Syria to defend the Assad regime. Existential crisis for Hezb, who long bragged they were Lebanese, first while they're fighting to the death to defend Assad. Killing fellow Muslims.  Book theme: it's a political movement and a global network not only of terror, but very much of crime.  Arc of structure  in Lebanon, Islamic Jihad reports to a committee that reports to a shura, then to Nasrallah. The intl criminal network s a different breed of cat.  No other terrorist organization in the world is as much involved in crime: from watered-down baby formula to massive drugs transfer. Get $200 mil a year from Iran, uses Iranian embassies, dip pouches, passports, dip cover.  In Bulgaria, had nothing to do with Hezb or Lebanon, was just Iran obliging Hezb to kick Israel. Thirty years since the Hezbollah bombing of US Marine barracks in Lebanon. They do some things for hire, some for themselves, some for Iran; they’re also now part of the Lebanese govt.

Hezbollah as a Criminal Organisation In July, the European Union officially designated the 'military wing' of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation. This was a long overdue step, making clear to Lebanon's Party of God that it will pay a political price for continued acts of terrorism, crime and militancy. For decades, Hezbollah felt a measure of immunity. Europe was hesitant to hold it accountable for its conduct due to its political position within the delicately balanced Lebanese political system. But the sheer weight of evidence about Hezbollah's activities on European soil, not least the bombing that killed five Israelis and their Bulgarian driver in Burgas in 2012, made the case for avoiding confrontation with Hezbollah untenable. The EU's decision to blacklist Hezbollah was made partly due to information revealed in March, when a Cypriot court convicted Hossam Yaccoub -- a dual Swedish-Lebanese citizen and Hezbollah operative -- and sentenced him to four years in prison. Among other charges, Yaccoub was convicted of participation in an organised crime group and the preparation of a criminal act. The head of the three-judge panel declared: 'It has been proven that Hezbollah is an organisation that operates under complete secrecy. There is no doubt that this group has multiple members and proceeds with various activities, including military training of its members. Therefore, the court rules that Hezbollah acts as a criminal organisation.' This is only the most recent and prominent case of Hezbollah being proven in court to be acting as an organised criminal group in Europe. In fact, Hezbollah has been acting as such for years, involved in criminal enterprises, including narcotics trafficking and counterfeiting  . . . [more]

Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God is the first thorough examination of Hezbollah’s covert activities beyond Lebanon’s borders, including its financial and logistical support networks and its criminal and terrorist operations worldwide.  Hezbollah—Lebanon’s "Party of God"—is a multifaceted organization: It is a powerful political party in Lebanon, a Shia Islam religious and social movement, Lebanon’s largest militia, a close ally of Iran, and a terrorist organization. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including recently declassified government documents, court records, and personal interviews with intelligence and law enforcement officials around the world, Matthew Levitt examines Hezbollah’s beginnings, its first violent forays in Lebanon, and then its terrorist activities and criminal enterprises abroad in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and finally in North America. Levitt also describes Hezbollah’s unit dedicated to supporting Palestinian militant groups and Hezbollah’s involvement in training and supporting insurgents who fought US troops in post-Saddam Iraq. The book concludes with a look at Hezbollah’s integral, ongoing role in Iran’s shadow war with Israel and the West, including plots targeting civilians around the world. Levitt shows convincingly that Hezbollah’s willingness to use violence at home and abroad, its global reach, and its proxy-patron relationship with the Iranian regime should be of serious concern. Hezbollah is an important book for scholars, policymakers, students, and the general public interested in international security, terrorism, international criminal organizations, and Middle East studies.

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Ryan Mauro, Clarion Project and Fellow with the Lawfare Project, in re: Muslim Brotherhood in the US. An interview with Mohamed Elibiary, a senior Dept. of Homeland Security advisor, and his shocking connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. The influence of the American branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. A summary of research on Elibiary: Disturbing Facts about a Senior Homeland Security Adviser - Mohamed Elibiary praises the Muslim Brotherhood and says the U.S. should support it.  

U.S. Taxpayers to Pay for Spread of Turkish, Qatar Islamism  Millions of American taxpayer dollars will be spent promoting the Muslim Brotherhood's band of Islamism to counter Al-Qaeda.

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York, in re: is the Brand Israel concept, a worldwide marketing campaign that aims to demonstrate to the world that, far from being the image it sees portrayed in the media, Israel is one of the most advanced and progressive nations on Earth. The ambassador is in Palo Alto advertising the creativity of Israelis, esp in digital. Randy Zuckerberg.  Gaza: 1.8 km of tunnels made with extremely high-grade concrete (must've taken over a year to mak).   Hamas: need it to say no to terrorism and yes to past agreements; is controlled by the Iran. Egypt is unhappy that the Sinai is a haven for terrorist groups, smugglers, human traffickers, deeply unsavory groups.  PM Netanyahu: No deal is better than a bad deal. We know what brought Iran to the table, an apparent shift in statements,: the effectiveness of sanctions. Danger is that we lower the sanctions before achieving success.  . . .  Iran: why  are they interested in enriching uranium if they’re producing it for civilian purposes, for which no enrichment is needed, Why underground bunkers, why are they sandbagging and stonewalling the UN IAEA?

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Reuel Marc Gerecht, FDD, in re:  Iran. . . .  Always possible that economic collapse to a barter economy might yield some result, conceivably even to regime change, but not likely to have Khamenei and IRGC will forsake all they believe in They've seen worse. Absent massive disturbances and riots, they'll hang on.  The US president established redlines, abandoned redlines, then was roped in by a somewhat surreal offer by Russia.   . . . If the traditional structure of Sunni society s destroyed, then radical young men will take over.  Casualty figures; Uniformed Alawis, Defense Committees, and all the others and add them up, the Syrian govt is losing more people than the rebels are. Therefore, Assad has t increase the kill rate – a recipe for massive radicalization.  Putin can live without Assad? Probably not.  Russia's relations with Iran are complicated; Russia values how the Iranian regime causes problems for the US but are much les worried by a nuclear weapon.   (Zarif, whose family, was Sunni and then he converted to Shia , is in fact personally a religious man and very considerate. )

Iran Wants the Bomb — and Sanctions Relief  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is lying when he says the Islamic Republic has never had any intention of building an atomic weapon. Defecting Iranian nuclear engineers told U.S. officials in the late 1980s that the mullahs’ program, then hidden, was designed exclusively for such arms. Everything Western intelligence services have tracked since then matches those early revelations. U.S. participation in the upcoming negotiations doesn’t appear to be premised on an expectation of Iranian veracity. If it were, President Obama wouldn’t send his secretary of state until Tehran had come clean about its past deceits. The exemplary behavior of South Africa’s often-mendacious apartheid government when it decided to go non-nuclear — total transparency about the militarization of its atomic program — isn’t expected from Iran. The clerical regime has already dropped the bar through its “facts on the ground” intransigence: more than 19,000 centrifuges built and a heavy-water plant nearing completion. Washington doesn’t want to go to war again in the Middle East, and the Iranians know it.  The administration and Congress are gambling that sanctions will be enough to overcome the regime’s chronic dishonesty. Economic pain will be so intense, the theory holds, that eventually Tehran will play by Western rules.  In other words, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Revolutionary Guards and Rouhani — who had a not-insignificant role in developing Iran’s nuclear program in the 1990s — would be willing to admit that “evil incarnate” (Khamenei’s update to the “Great Satan”), against which the Islamic Republic’s very identity has been built, has defeated their nuclear aspirations.  [more]

Hour Three

Photo, below: Pres George W. Bush clears cedar at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Friday, Aug. 9, 2002.

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents,  in re: The huge and gala celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Conference of Presidents of major American Jewish Organizations – 1200 people at the Waldorf Astoria.  The surprise guest of honor was Pres G W Bush – "I'm from Texas, the real promised land.  . . . You don’t hear from me because previous presidents shouldn’t go around bloviating . . . Iran is not trustworthy and the only way to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons is for something to change."  He quoted from his own speech to the Knesset in 2008 – a lucid presentation that's more relevant now than it as then. Iran thought that Bush was crazy enough to bomb out its nuclear weapons program, whereas now Teheran is confident that the US is toothless. The first moment that any sanction is lifted, Iran will have won: "We reject any demand to get rid of our nuclear work."

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents,  in re: Turkey. The very ill and now incoherent leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  Has many internal problems. Was very much set back by the US failure to act.  His statements have included overt lies, apparently irrational and contradictory. Has had to look inward both from huge demonstrations, immigrants on borders, ad – increasing numbers of young Turks  have gone to Syria, become radicalized and militarily trained, and may return to Turkey.  AL Nusrah groups to which Ergdogan has contributed, and his intelligence group is running the Syrian rebels.  Two years ago he was ill, probably had stomach cancer; he's now dying and irrational from chemo.  Domestically, must speech against him; he feels that he went out on a limb and then the US abandoned him, US Secy of State has now in effect endorsed Assad's staying in power.  Egypt: Cairo is the regional anchor. Since the US suspended aid to Egypt two weeks ago, not clear what the US wants to have happen. Why suspend aid to al Sisi when he's [preventing chaos]? The message of cutting helos and eqpt to the army . . .  interpreted by American friends and enemies . . . the US should be in there helping al Sisi, not punishing him. Hamas is weakened, having used 800 tons of concrete, thousands of slabs, to build a 1.8 km tunnel to Sinai, the source of vast amounts of ammunition, materiel, weaponry of ever variety, civilian goods, smuggled goods of every stripe. Many complain about Israel's preventing concrete shipments; see how they’re used.

Hezbollah has captured an eagle with Israeli banding – has announced that the eagle is an Israeli spy.  

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  James Taranto, Wall Street Journal, in re: Best of the Web Today: In Defense of Kathleen Sebelius   The ObamaCare disaster isn't just a management failure. "Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, has no intention of bowing to Republican demands that she resign," the New York Times reports. And amid what even the Times admits is ObamaCare's "troubled rollout," White House press secretary Jay Carney "said Ms. Sebelius had 'the full confidence of the president.' "

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Alireza Jafarzadeh, Strategic Policy Consulting:  in re: Iranian officials optimistic after Geneva talks  Talks between Iran and six world powers over Tehran's nuclear ambitions ended Wednesday on a promising note when they released their first . . .

Hour Four

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  John Bolton, AEI, in re: In al-Libi's case, it might now be too late to undo all the damage that the Obama administration's rigid ideological shackles have caused. But there is still ample time for the general public to understand once more that al-Qaida and other terrorists are waging war against us. It is not in our power to end this war by pretending it doesn't exist: that will simply encourage the terrorists to strike with more ferocity.

Instead, the Somalia and Libya raids demonstrate that we can cripple the terrorists if Washington exercises strong and decisive leadership, prepared to act on a sustained basis. That is what American voters should demand.  click to read this online.

Last weekend's daring anti-terrorist raids in Somalia and Libya demonstrated once again the extraordinary capabilities of America's special operations forces and intelligence services. Launched almost simultaneously against distant, unrelated targets, these two assaults also showed conclusively that the global war on terror is far from over.  Capturing Abu Anas al-Libi, a key al-Qaida perpetrator of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, after 15 years of diligent effort, was, ironically, a form of “rendition,” once harshly criticized by presidential candidate Barack Obama. The operation recalled Osama bin Laden's 2011 death in Pakistan, after a similar decade of preparation and pursuit. And the Somalia raid against a top al-Shabab operative — retaliating for September's Nairobi shopping mall attack — exemplified what our response should be to terrorist attacks on us or an ally: swift and deadly.  Yet even as our front-line defenders proved their resourcefulness and bravery in the most difficult circumstances, President Obama was making a grave error. Al-Libi, indicted and with a $5 million price on his head, had been on the FBI's most-wanted list since the embassy attacks. So it was entirely appropriate that the FBI's famed Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) participated in seizing him in Tripoli, Libya, where he had been living openly since Moammar Gadhafi's fall.  But at that point, Obama's ideological blinders took over. The HRT's real mission, it seems, was to be present primarily to take al-Libi into custody, at some point read him his Miranda rights and then transport him to the United States for trial under the pending indictment.  This is like traveling in a time machine back to 1998, before al-Qaida's massive Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, when Americans came to the tragic realization that Islamicist terrorists were waging war against the United States, a war we grasped only when it struck our homeland.  Terrorist incidents in earlier years had also been met with law-enforcement responses, from numerous . . .  [more]

[John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. His exclusive column to the Trib appears the second Sunday of every month.]

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  John Tamny, Real Clear Markets, in re: Niall Ferguson Gets It Backwards, the Budget Deficit 'Threat' Is An Opportunity  Niall Ferguson is the latest in a long line of pundits going back at least 8 decades to be blinded by budget deficits.  He misses that the growth necessary to pay them off is easy. As for those who say a 'default' that will never happen as is would cause a Great Depression, that's the same crowd who said regular bailout recipient Citigroup's failure would lead to the 'Mother of All Great Depressions.' These people have no credibility on the matter.

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Law of the Desert Born (Graphic Novel): A Graphic Novel by Louis L'Amour, Beau L'Amour, Kathy Nolan, and Charles Santino (Oct 8, 2013) (1 of  2)

Thursday  17 October  2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Law of the Desert Born (Graphic Novel): A Graphic Novel by Louis L'Amour, Beau L'Amour, Kathy Nolan, and Charles Santino (Oct 8, 2013) (2 of  2)

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Hour 1:  Snow Flower & The Secret Fan.  There Will Be Blood. Green Zone.

Hour 2:  Invasion

Hour 3:  John Carter. Infamous.

Hour 4:  Infamous. Appaloosa .