The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 21 February 2013

Air Date: 
February 21, 2013

Photo, above:  Golan Druse start to turn against Syria's Assad; view from Golan Heights into Syria


Co-hosts: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board; Edward Hayes, Esq; Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents


Hour One

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Mary Kissel, Eddie Hays, in re: the huge diamond heist in Brussels; 1 of 2

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:  Mary Kissel, Eddie Hays, in re: the huge diamond heist in Brussels; 2 of 2

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and Lara M Brown, Villanova, in re: Republicans losing sequester blame game  THE FIX | Poll shows 49 percent say they would blame congressional Republicans for a failure to reach a deal, while 31 percent would blame President Obama.   Pentagon warns of sequester-related furloughs  How the sequester could impact national parks  Pentagon comptroller at center of the storm  Wonkblog: The essential sequester FAQ   The Fix: Why the House won’t win sequester fight

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  

Hour Two

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  .Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re:  

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  . . David Schenker, Program on Arab Politics dir at Washington Institute; formerly in SecDef ofc as Levant country director; in re:  Jordan: king has domestic and other problems; oddly, Syria stabilizes Jordan because as the king's opponents look northward they recoil from that sort of chaos and withhold their protest. GCC promised______ ; in 2011 Saudis gave over $1bil; have Kuwaiti project aid, but what Jordan needs is cash. Saudis showed up with 20% of what Jordan needs. IMF program bilges cutting subsidies on food and petrol, may have to do the same with electric.  Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood is not as influential as in Egypt. [??]    When sharia in Jordan goes more Islamic . . .  The problem is the economy and corruption; need to get house in order before Syria wholly falls apart.

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  . Chemi Shalev, US foreign correspondent for Haaretz; in re: Lapid, and Naftali Bennett, have formed a strong alliance; hard for PM to overcome – needs to bring in both en bloc, or cobble together a different coalition.   Netanyahu has not inspired confidence in recent weeks, while Lapid is now considerably more popular. Says that ultra-Orthodox students need to be in army; by not behaving like a pol, is gaining public credit.

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Clifford D. May, Foundation for Defense of Democracies president, in re: Pres Obama's visit to Israel; drones. Middle East Tour d’Horizon.  Peach process is dead right now, can’t be revived easily. Palestinians want more demands, but went to GA and violated the accords so Israel is not pleased. Abbas is 78, in bad health, and a heavy smoker.  In Cairo Israel is speaking with Hamas, for which Abbas in angry. HJBL:  Pres Obama goes to Israel for one purpose: to tell Netanyahu not to damage Iran.  Bibi will have to say that the State of Israel was established so the Jewish people will never again be mass-murdered as they were  in WWII, and which Iran repeatedly vows to do.  The lesson of North Korea to Iran is that if you have nukes, no one will mess with you. The US does nothing.  DPRK also threatens South Korea.  DPRK has nukes; the problem will not recede.  Obama has vowed that he won't let Iran get nukes – but if he changed his mind, no one could do anything about it.    Israelis believe that h fall of Assad is a useful thing, even if the Salafis take over, because the conflict will continue. Chem weapons in Syria? need collaborations US-Israel.  Does Iran already have the bomb?  Dunno; Israelis think it’s not too late yet. The big question is when Iran will no longer be susceptible to Israeli intervention.

Hour Three

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: coming up: Purm, commemorating Queen Ester's saving the Jew of old Persia despite the wicked Hamen. Eating Hamentaschen ("Hamen's pocket" pastries), dressing up, much celebration.   Iran & missiles.  Egypt fills 150 of 225 tunnels between Egypt and Gaza with water because the massive smuggling in from Sinai is destabilizing Egypt. Lebanon: Christians fleeing Syria take refuge in a convent in Lebanon. Christians, Druse, Ismailis and Jews for a millennium have been the glue holding the social fabric together, now in fear of death.   Alawites consolidating Latakia naval base.   Palestinians from refugee camps now in an all-out fight en route to Gaza.  Huge flows of populations. Bahrain: home to the Fifth Fleet, asked to leave as he king is in a pitched battle vs his relatives, Hawalis, which exacerbates problem engendered by the Iranians, who've been stirring trouble for several years. The ageing Abbas is embraced by foreign leader as part of the peace formula, which is dismissed by everyone in the region. He refuses to name a successor or even hold elections (his term expired years ago; he just sits there and sucks in Western money).

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  . Elhanan Miller, Arab affairs reporter for the Times of Israel, in re: Palestinian hunger strikes under administrative detentions; resonates with every Palestinian: 4 on hunger strike, 800 joined them in solidarity.  One became ill after 200 days; pressure from Arab League and the UN.  Third Intifadah threat. Jonathan Pollard's possible release? Druse abandon Assad, to whom they’ve long been loyal.  Syria has become the world's leading gathering place of jihadists, according to Wm Hague. 

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  . Michael Balter, Science magazine, in re: Ancient Foragers and Farmers Hit It Off, - 11 Feb 2013 | SCIENCENOW

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 3, Block D:   Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: FOUND! IRAN'S SECRET BALLISTIC MISSILE BASE - Weapons in silos armed with microbial warheads

Hour Four

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  Robert Zimmerman,, in re: asteroids, comets.  The competition heats up: There will be hot fire tests on Friday of both the Antares and Falcon 9 rockets.   Scientists have released some results, including video, from their look at asteroid 2012 DA14 during its fly-by last week. The asteroid’s path was perturbed by Earth’s gravitational field in such a way that it won’t come as close in the foreseeable future.

The video, embedded below the fold, was produced from radar data. It clearly shows the asteroid’s rotation. 1 of 2

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  Robert Zimmerman,, 2 of 2

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 4, Block C:  John Bolton, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, author of Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations, in re:   China dreads seeing its neighbor with nuclear arms. Time for Beijing to support reunification.

North Korea's third nuclear test, on Feb. 12, coming two months after firing a missile into orbit, brings the country perilously close to becoming a nuclear-weapons state in fact, not just in the regime's extravagant rhetoric. On Tuesday at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament, Pyongyang's representative threatened South Korea with "final destruction." Such bellicosity is nothing new, but North Korea has never been so close to being able to make good on its threats.  Persuading China to support reunification is the best answer. If China disagrees, nuclear-capable Japan and South Korea, ranking among China's worst fears, could become reality. A reunification strategy should have been pressed decades ago, but better late than never.  To read the article online, click here.

Thursday  21 Feb 2013 / Hour 4, Block D:   Andrew Higgins, NYTR, in re: Brazen Robbery at Brussels Airport Nets $50 Million in Diamonds...  They arrived at Brussels Airport armed with automatic weapons and dressed in police ...

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