The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 3 August 2017

Air Date: 
August 03, 2017

Co-hosts: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents
Hour One
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 1, Block A: Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover; in re: The film Dunkirk.  Britain was  the only nation that fought for the principle of sovereignty of other nations; the only one that fought from the first to the last day of the war; the only nation left to defend against the Nazis; the only one ever to check German power, which Britain did over Dunkerque.   . . .  Today’s climate of moral relativism.  It would have taken one minute in the film to show a senior German plotting mass death, or to show Churchill in his office.   . . .
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 1, Block B: Mary Kissel, in re: Soupe du jour.  Mary is about to set sail (actually, get into an aircraft) to Australia, where she’ll give half a dozen speeches.   Australia grew rich and fat by selling unimaginably huge quantities of raw materials, esp minerals, to China. When China’s demand dwindled, Australia’s economy was reduced.  Australia is at heart a conservative country, so when it swings left it doesn’t fall off the cliff.
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 1, Block C: John Fund, NRO, and Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, the Great Voice of the  Great Lakes, in re: Leak inquiryMueller seeks to empanel a Congressional inquiry, esp on the mtg between Donald Trump, Jr., and other players.
Btw, cui bon?  Who benefits?  Those who wish to lead the resistance vs Pres Trump, think he’s a menace to America.  A Special Counsel winds up heading any direction he cares to for as long as he wishes.  Ask Ken Starr.
Do you need a grand jury to look into counterintelligence?  No. 
And having a grand jury with subpoena power doesn't mean anything illegal was done
We know that Fusion GPS worked with Christopher Steele and ___ and ____ and _____.  What is there to be investigated here?  What crime are they thinking was committed such that they need to collect more info to see if said crime was committed? The reason Mr Muller’s latitude is so wide is that there’s a political leak.
One document we can confirm: from Devin Nunes to Dan Coates.  . . . Susan Rice was implicated; now [McMaster?] has cleared her. How?
Leaks are worthless, but they have motives.
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 1, Block D: Charlie Pellegrino, science adventurer and explorer; author, To Hell and Back; Last Train from Hiroshima, on Japanese citizens who left the nuclear-bombed Hiroshima to to go Nagasaki; in re: Hiroshima.  In 1945, Truman had been president for __ months; was waiting to drop a new weapon to end World War Two. Paul Tibbets, pilot on Enola Gay, was one of few people who knew what was onboard. Japanese did not know that the US had only two bombs left.  Immediately after Hiroshima the emperor wanted to surrender and save the population; his generals imprisoned him in his palace and refused to allow t hat. Military coup was ended only after the bombing of Nagasaki. Previous to that, Tokyo had been massively firebombed, with more people dying here than in Hiroshima.  Black rain: Nuclear fallout, here, from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Most highly radioactive.
Twelve-year-old girl dying from radioactivity folded many paper cranes, each with a prayer; the first ones were of normal size; as she grew closer to death they grew smaller and smaller, until they were so tiny (and perfect) that they needed to be seen under a magnifying glass.
Hour Two
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 2, Block A:  Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations; in re: At long last, Congress has decided no longer to put up with the outrageous Palestinian Authority funding of outright killers: Taylor Force Act passed Senate Foreign Relations Committee 17-4. 
US lawmakers denounced on Thursday the Palestinian Authority’s “sick” policy of paying salaries to terrorists and their families after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Taylor Force Act — which conditions $300 million of annual aid from the US on the PA ending the policy.
Important to let Palestinian people know what this is about (Abbas does not).  Money is fungible; ‘twas probably an error for Congress to have created an escrow account. Recall that Pres Trump said explicitly that the US would cease pouring cash into his massive funding of terrorism, and Abbas yawned. Also no longer fund PA as it engages in continuous and significant incitement: names kindergartens, plazas, streets, after convicted killers. Britain was ahead of us: stopped giving cash. We may pay doctors and schoolteachers, but not to PA.  Some northern Europeans may also cease.  Note that enormous stipends go to the family of someone who committed an act of terror. The amount the family gets depends on the length of the prison sentence or the death of the killer. Jared Kushner: No path right now for a realistic path to a peace plan.  This makes sense in this environment. Glorifying people who commit acts of violence.
Elliott Abrams is senior Fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, D.C.. He served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor in the administration of President George W. Bush, where he supervised U.S. policy in the Middle East for the White House.
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 2, Block B:  Valerie Szybala, The Syria Institute, in re:  Syria during the Trump Administration.  Raqqah: along the river valley. Is the country already broken in pieces?  Raqqah hasn't been under Assad’s control for years – oppo took it, then in 2013-2014, ISIS took it over.  Interesting to see what happens in the wake of the fall of the city.  YPG is moving toward votes; also, Kurdish referendum in Iraq soon.  MH: We're allowing the creation of a new crisis— 50K refuges, and an agreement moving the refugees into a more dangerous situation in Syria.  More explosive?   VS: Hezbollah moving in, strongly. Al Q; Hebzbollah, al Nusrah: all moving around.  Refugees in a terrifying situation. Is Assad making a deal to leave the country?  VS: Willing to turn his country into rubble to stay in power. Will Russia acquiesce?  The dynamic to watch is US-Russia.
Valerie Szybala is Executive Director and co-founder of The Syria Institute (TSI), an independent, nonprofit research organization dedicated to advancing the public's understanding of the situation in Syria and informing smarter policy options. Valerie is an experienced conflict analyst and worked on Syria and Middle East issues at the Syrian American Medical Society, the Institute for the Study of War, and Chemonics. Valerie has written several influential reports on the conflict in Syria and is frequently interviewed as an authority on the subject in media outlets including Foreign Policy, the BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, NPR, and more.
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 2, Block C:  Farzin Nadimi, security and defense affairs analyst, Iran and the Persian Gulf region; in re: Iran’s space program.  Reporters cannot find any Iranian satellite put into orbit.  What’s happening? Four satellites successfully into orbit; US intell says “catastrophic failure immed after liftoff.” However, some intell sources call it partially successful.  One Iranian space agy in March 2016: there were to have been two test launches.  Is this program a cover for the expansion of Iranian ICBM program?  Or what Ahmadinejad wrote up on launch of SLVs, etc?  If Iran wants to launch an ICBM, it has the experience to do dvpt of missile technology.  Iran’s missile and space program are run by its military.  Rockets based on North Korean Nodong. Four engines, from a Russian design.  It's a  North Korean space program; Iran is laughing at us.  DPRK recently testing a strong solid-rocket ICBM technology.  Is this a violation of JCPOA?  Unh, a violation of the spirit of the deal.   Iran has always seen its space program as prestigious.  Russia?  Hard to pinpoint actual Russian involvement other than Russian scientists involved in Iran s space program in 1990s.  Iran has been dvping its own mobile launchers.  How broad is intl opposition to Iranian mil space program – Europeans at all involved?  Possibly, but that could harden Iran’s stance, as it views the whole program as important to its prestige.
Farzin Nadimi is a Washington-based analyst specializing in security and defense affairs of Iran and the Persian Gulf region.
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 2, Block D: Michael Rubin, former Pentagon; in re:  the upcoming Kurdish referendum. Prospects of oil wealth.  The Kurdish narrative is that it’s the most pro-American and stablest group in the Middle East; has the Peshmerga, organized around a political party, which can lead to a sort of independence without unity and thus failure – think of Sudan and South Sudan, or Ethiopia and Eritrea. The Kurds have 17% of Iraqi oil profits by staying in Iraq, but most of the oil is in the south, Have no way to defend themselves against, e.g., Turkey or others, If they get heir own house in order, they’ll do much better. Emotionally, they deserve independence, but if you see yourself in a slo-mo train wreck, stop and regroup.
Mahsoud Barzani’s term ended three years ago and he hasn't allowed an election or stepped down.
Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia: Court decrees that Jews may not build a synagogue because jihadis may try to blow it up.  Ergo, only Jews are forbidden to build a structure, and that, because of heir religion. Astounding and outrageous.
Michael Rubin is a former Pentagon official whose major research areas are the Middle East, Turkey, Iran and diplomacy. Rubin instructs senior military officers deploying to the Middle East and Afghanistan on regional politics, and teaches classes regarding Iran, terrorism, and Arab politics on board deploying U.S. aircraft carriers. Rubin has lived in post-revolution Iran, Yemen, both pre- and post-war Iraq, and spent time with the Taliban before 9/11. 
Hour Three
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, in re: Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia: Jews intended to bld a synagogue  set back from the sidewalk, with a blast wall; community group objected, now are upheld in a court: concern that this might become a target for terrorists. They said in English: “Not in my back yard.”
Terrorists don’t need an excuse; to cave into Islamist extremism is scandalous.  TO block a house of worship is shocking. It's not about physical safety, its simply objecting to Jews.
Taylor Force was a US marine killed in a terrorist attack in Israel; the T F Act stops the US fom giving aid (of US tax dollars) to Palestinian Authority to reward terrorists who kill – the more they kill, the larger the reward.
King Abdullah of Jordan to Ramallah for the first time in years.  Javad Zarif met with the Saudi FM and shook hands.   . . . New route to get weapons to Yemen via waters near Kuwait.
A surprising increase in tourism of Chinese people to Israel: excited about Israeli high tech- biomed, pharma, et al. – up 75% over the same period last year. Coming: direct flights from Guangzhou to TLV; also flights from Beijing (currently) and from Hainan soon. Ariane Space launched three satellites: from_ and French Guyana (envtl sat);
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 3, Block B: Yossi Kuperwasser, IDF mil int; in re:  Syrian ceasefire: what the ceasefire in SW Syria looks like from the Israeli side of the border. What risks? On one hand, we’re pleased that fewer people get killed in Syria. On the other, this Russ0ia-US agreement is not clear once we move to more stability – Ira is staying in Syria, can bld a base close to Israel; and definitely will use their ongoing presence to deliver weapons to Hezbollah – bit three new concerns:  Can turn Syrian into an Iranian military base with naval bases, more and more ground troops, etc. Second, a threat to the stability of he entire Middle East, being success of Shia axis vs Sunni axis, First country threatened thereby is Jordan. Lastly, can be used by Iran or promote nuclear activities in an area that’s not monitored by the IAEA.  Syria turns into another Iran.
Note presence of Russian soldiers at checkpoints,  and pretty much ensures Assad’s survival as head of Syria. Russian presence – if anyone fires, might kill Russian troops – constitutes another danger.
From the Israeli side, the Syrian ceasefire under the new agreement lets Hezbollah position troops along the Israeli border. King Abdullah of Jordan is going to Ramallah on Monday:  after the Temple Mount issue was sort of settled, Jordan was said to be credited with Arab success.
Brig. Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser was chief of the research division in IDF Military Intelligence, and until recently, director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 3, Block C:  Hotel Mars, episode n, in re:
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 3, Block D:  Hotel Mars, episode n, in re:
Hour Four
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 4, Block A: Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president, in re:
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 4, Block B: Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president, in re:
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 4, Block C:  Jim Robbins, The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us about Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future
Thursday  3 August 2017  / Hour 4, Block D:  Jim Robbins, The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us about Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future