Thursday 23 August 2018
Photo: Samson Carries away the Gates of Gaza—exterior of the Duomo in Milan
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-hosts: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 1, Block A: John Fund, NRO, in re: President speaks not well of Jeff Sessions; why has he not resigned? Because he always wanted to be AG. Were Sessions to leave, the next in line wd be Rosenstein. To boot, GOP Senators say: Pls stay as we may not be able to confirm anyone after you. JB: Traditionally, when the president says “go,” a Cabinet member resigns. JF: Not until the president signs that piece of paper. . . . Sessions wants leave on his own terms, under his own steam.
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 1, Block B: Josh Rogin, Washington Post, in re: North Korea: the weight of negotiating with DPRK now falls on the shoulders of Mike Pompeo. Both Trump and Kim have reasons for wanting to stretch this out as long as possible, for opposite motives. IAEA much concerned abt DPRK nukes. Also, Russia & China helping to break past sanctions. Ex-Ford Motor Co specialist now Pompeo’s second-in-command on this [Stephen Biegun, Ford executive, to lead North Korea talks]. This week Treasury imposed sanctions on Russian entities that’ve helped DPRK avoid sanctions. “A small step in the right directions.” . . . Moon has been warmly cousining up to Kim – we need a special envoy to South Korea. Japan is depending on Pompeo – but by now, in the [current mess], Japanese support is weak. Pompeo is caught between two world leaders who have unrealistic expectations: Kim and Trump.
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 1, Block C: Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover, in re: Pres Trump & the “i” word — impeachment. With 3+% economic growth and all the other benefits across the board, it’ll be hard to convince Americans to get rid of this leader. . . . Must we say, “For every Manafort, there’ll be a Tony Podesta”? . . . The GOP never-Trumpers. . . . The 30% of Americans who support Trump wd be enraged. . . . Ask each Dem running for office: Will you endeavor to impeach Donald Trump? Each one should be asked that. Ocasio-Cortez. Will the GOP fight for their president? I think so – can hang together or hang separately.
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 1, Block D: Lisa Daftari, The Foreign Desk, in re: Iran: the two Iranian-American spies just arrested. Surprising to some, these two were arrested and openly taking pix and sending them back to Iran. Spies from Iran have been operating here for a very long time. Teherangeles: they go into stores, take photos. Same in Latin America. For many years, Teheran has done its homework, and applied much military energy to cyber. Kept close track of dissidents worldwide. Alphabet/Google has taken down several hundred accounts – a drop in the ocean. Americans don't usu think that these bad actors are among us; same for US govt. Obama Administration let the spying drift [euphemism].
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 2, Block A: Simon Henderson, in re: Gulf efforts for the peace plan; Saudi royal shake-up. Aramco: Saudis seeking loans for the first time. FT story, based on: Saudis had given up floating off 5% of Aramco to get $100 bil in cash for their economic transformation. MBS (crown prince) has transformative vision, of moving its economy away from its huge dependence on oil. But FT story said that Saudis denied the float had been cancelled; Energy Minister said it’d take place at a suitable time in the future. Now, looking for $12 bil from a consortium of sixteen banks. Embarrassment for MBS. . . . Saudis bldg. a port in Yemen? Houthis are supported by Iran, but not nearly as significantly as the rest of the world thinks. UN mediator, September. Houthi-Iranian nexus could be broken by giving Houthis cash! Saudi king is 82, not in great health, is the glue that holds the kingdom together, and so the populace accept his appointed son, MBS.
Simon Henderson is the Baker Fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Institute's Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy, specializing in energy matters and the conservative Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 2, Block B: Malc0lm Hoenlein, in re: Abbas is serving in the thirteenth year of his four-year term. He’s senior and in imperfect health. No such thing as a “peace partner” in Abbas; and no use at all to take the matter to the General Assembly, for Heaven’s sake. Iran: no coherent policy, but no capacity to engage militarily. They do like to threaten. The sanctions are biting: today, BA, KLM and Air France all withdrew from flying to Iran. . . . Shahbani’s comments in Yemen on the order to attack the oil tankers.
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 2, Block C: Aykan Erdemir, in re: Turkey. . . . Every time there’s a spat between Turkey and the US, threat to kick the US out of Incirlik [pron: in-jir-lik] air base – but Erdogan knows that it’s a one-time silver bullet, so he dasn’t really pull the trigger, so to speak. . . . Russia happy to see the rogue Erdogan create chaos. Syria: Erdogan wd like to see Assad go, but at the same time he’s working w Assad’s major backers, Russia and Iran. Beware of 150,000 jihadists’s fleeing into Turkey, plus another million refugees. Huge challenges from jihadis to Turkey and the EU. Seasoned fighters; once pushed into Turkey, some wd stay there and cause trouble while others wd go to Europe and Central Asia to create misery. Also, S400 sale: Russia enjoys creating disorder and chaos.
Dr. Aykan Erdemir is a former member of the Turkish Parliament (2011-2015) who served in the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, EU Harmonization Committee, and the Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee on the IT Sector and the Internet. As an outspoken defender of pluralism, minority rights, and religious freedoms in the Middle East, Dr. Erdemir has been at the forefront of the struggle against religious persecution, hate crimes, and hate speech in Turkey. He is a founding member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief, and a drafter of and signatory to the Oslo Charter for Freedom of Religion or Belief (2014) as well as a signatory legislator to the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism.
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 2, Block D: Tony Badran, in re: Syria and Iran. Border crossings to Lebanon are stalled . . . Heard that Putin said he can’t get Iran out of Syria by himself? Back to the origin of the 1979 Islamic revolution Iran vs. Assad pere. . . . Emiratis have ambiguous relations with Assad. One investor has been called to Damascus to explore investment possibilities. Regime cronies there are all sanctioned by the US; anyone who ventures in there invest is risking a lot. US needs to be very firm on this. Lavrov says anyone who's there without invitation shd leave (i.e., the US).
Tony Badran is a research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he focuses on Lebanon, Hezbollah, Syria, and the geopolitics of the Levant. Born and raised in Lebanon, Tony has testified to the House of Representatives on several occasions regarding U.S. policy toward Iran and Syria. His writings have appeared in publications including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and The Weekly Standard. He is a columnist and Levant analyst for Tablet magazine.
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, in re: BDS, SodaStream: Pepsi bought it for $3.2 billion. . . . The two Iranian-American spies just arrested. They took pix of us during demos, not trying to hide. Greek warship, Prometheus, visiting Israel today. Houthis meeting with Lebanese today.
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 3, Block B: Yossi Kuperwasser, in re: Gaza provocateurs. John Bolton’s recent visit to Israel. Israel has been “soft” on Gazan deeds, misleading Hamas to think it could continue to get away with lethal actions, but that was rectified. Hamas has understood. Israel would much refer to see Gazans flourishing, and have much investment and good infrastructure. Right now, Abu Mazen is sandbagging any possible Gaza progress. Hamas still using human shields. After Abbas leaves, what? . . . Two-state solution as Palestinians see it (no Jewish state) is infeasible; however, two states for two peoples is fine, but PA refuses that.
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser is an Israeli intelligence and security expert. Formerly, Kuperwasser served as the head of the research division in the Israel Defence Force Military Intelligence division and Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs. Kuperwasser is currently a Senior Project Manager at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs specializing in the security dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 3, Block C: Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist Management Editor & its 'Bagehot' columnist; formerly its 'Schumpeter' columnist; in re: Brexit.
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 3, Block D: Gregory Copley, President of the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA)’ also Editor-in-Chief of Defense & Foreign Affairs publications, and the Global Information System (GIS); in re: Australia.
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 4, Block A: Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back, by Janice P. Nimura
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 4, Block B: Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back, by Janice P. Nimura
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 4, Block C: Sebastian Gorka, Fox strategic director; in re: Policy tropes.
Thursday 23 August 2018 / Hour 4, Block D: Jeff Bliss, Pacific Watch, in re: San Francisco turns itself into an incipient disaster zone, to the increasing alarm of City residents – except, of course, the filthy rich, incl Mme Pelosi. Los Angeles. Sacramento.
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