The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 3 May 2018

Air Date: 
May 03, 2018

Photo, above:
Co-host: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents
Hour One
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 1, Block A:  Sebastian Gorka, Fox News, in re: North Korea and Iran.
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 1, Block B:  Sebastian Gorka, Fox News, in re: Afghanistan, Yemen, and the US border.
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 1, Block C:  Dan Griswold, Mercatus, in re: US trade talks.
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 1, Block D:  Josh Rogin, WaPo, in re:  Three US hostages in North Korea, but many Japanese hostages there—some for 41 years. In the 1970s, a DPRK program of kidnapping Japanese civilians off the streets, carrying them to North Korea, torturing them and training them to be spies.  Also abductees from Thailand, __, and _____.  Trump is trying to minimize the offers to Kim in order to maximize the likelihood of some level of success.
  What does Abe want? For all this to go away, and then to keep up maximum pressure. Of course, in a post-summit envt, China will back off from any pressure campaign,
Hour Two
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 2, Block A:  Amb. Ron Dermer, in re: Iran. Abbas.  It’s obvious that the Iranian regime is one that can't be trusted, as they overtly lie. In a few years, the Iran deal removes all restrictions on Iranian nuclear dvpt. The recently-released files were stored in a vault not for museum purposes, but to be used to bld nuclear weapons. This ought to concern everybody.  Acquiring the files was perhaps the greatest achievement in the history of Israeli intell, perhaps in world intell.  Enormous amt of material. Pres Netanyahu presented to the world only the tip of the iceberg. Gave it to only one other agency: US; it’s all in Farsi, and one needs enormous technical knowledge to read it.
The problem is not only the violations, but that in a few short years all restrictions end and Iran is welcome to pursue its nuclear enrichment program.  Need the restrictions to be permanent. Need terms to the deal that are acceptable to the US, probably dismantlement of enrichment eqpt.
Ron Dermer, Israel's Ambassador to the United States, was born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida. He earned a degree in Finance and Management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) from Oxford University. For three years, he was a columnist for the Jerusalem Post. 
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 2, Block B:  Mike Doran: in re: Iran. . . . The IAF has launched air strikes vs Aleppo and Homs;  Iran in Syria, and with its ally Hezbollah in Bekaa: in a process of escalation.   . . . Last Sunday, the massive explosion: Iran was moving 100 or 200 anti-aircraft missiles into Syria to protect themselves from Israeli attack. With their being blown up plus the acquisition of the atomic files out of Teheran, Iran is profoundly embarrassed.  Won't take this lying down; will look for a way to retaliate. The scenario in my mind is a variation of the Marine barracks bombing in 1983.  They want to drive home to Americans the notion that Saudis and Israelis are driving the US into a war.  . . . Israelis are kind of out in front confronting the Russians; Bibi has to go to Moscow and say, “Here are our redlines.”  Israelis aren’t asking permission but show respect by not surprising Putin. Hope that Russia will restrain Iran somewhat, but Russians depend on Iranians to put ground troops in Syria to protect Assad so Russia can have two mil bases there.
Michael Doran is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. He specializes in Middle East security issues.  In the administration of President George W. Bush, Doran served in the White House as a senior director in the National Security Council, where he was responsible for helping to devise and coordinate United States strategies on a variety of Middle East issues, including Arab-Israeli relations and U.S. efforts to contain Iran and Syria. He also served in the Bush administration as a senior advisor in the State Department and a deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Pentagon.
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 2, Block C:  Richard Goldberg, in re: Atomic files.  . . . Macron is best-positioned to lead Europe in a post-Iran-deal world; not so Merkel.  . . . The Iranian rial, starting last last year, has lost one-third of its value. When John Bolton started, on his first day, the currency was in free fall.  (“Welcome to Venezuela.”)  A very Sovietskii-style regime. Internally, currency in free fall.  All their banks may be blacklisted again.  Key to Trump: don't back down. Max pressure till they agree to denuclearize.  . . .
Richard Goldberg is a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  From 2004-2014, he worked on Capitol Hill, serving as deputy chief of staff and senior foreign policy adviser to former U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois.  From 2015-2017, he served as deputy chief of staff for legislative affairs and later chief of staff for Illinois Gov Bruce Rauner.
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 2, Block D:  Malcolm Hoenlein, in re: Abbas . . . $150 mil in cash n pallets; do we get any of that back? . . . Regime tumble . . . Will Trump oblige Isr ael to relinquish pieces of territory?  Egad; our lose association with John Bolton over the past years renders that very, very unlikely 
Hour Three
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 3, Block A:  Anna Borshchevskaya, in re: Russia.  . . .   Certainly not explaining the full gravity of the situation to their public.   . . . The Russian Defense Ministry did not acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself.  . . .
Anna Borshchevskaya is the Ira Weiner Fellow at The Washington Institute, focusing on Russia's policy toward the Middle East. She also is a Ph.D. candidate at George Mason University. In addition, she is a Fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy. She was previously with the Atlantic Council and the Peterson Institute for International Economics. A former analyst for a U.S. military contractor in Afghanistan, she has served as communications director at the American Islamic Congress.
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 3, Block B:  Neri Zilber, in re:  Israel & Syria.  . . . The worry s that Abbas in an 83-year-old who declines to relinquish  power and [is making no beneficial progress].  Who comes after him? Is he setting a standard with his rambling, incoherent, hatred-filled speech?  Recall that he follows Arafat, a low bar; and he’s done a few good things, notably in security forces’ working with the Israelis. However, none of this is guaranteed to be sustainable after Abbas leaves the stage.  . . .  Iran’s options?  Destabilizing Jordan? At the moment their regional master plan is going well: Hezbollah is about to get a rubber stamp in Lebanon; Iran is taking over Iraq; doing well in Syria. Nobody wants a major “Northern War” – Syria, Lebanon, etc. Escalation is a possibility although neither side really wants it. 
Neri Zilber, a journalist and analyst on Middle East politics and culture, is an adjunct Fellow of The Washington Institute. He was previously a visiting scholar at the Institute in 2014-2015, where his research focussed on the Middle East peace process, with particular emphasis on Palestinian economics and state-building.
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 3, Block C:  Nine Days in May: The Battles of the 4th Infantry Division on the Cambodian Border, 1967, by Warren K. Wilkins
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 3, Block D:  Nine Days in May: The Battles of the 4th Infantry Division on the Cambodian Border, 1967, by Warren K. Wilkins
Hour Four
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 4, Block A:  Paul E Peterson, Professor of Government, Director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG), and Director of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University. He’s the author of Learning from School Choice and is an advocate of experimenting with voucher programs; in re: Education
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 4, Block B:  Michael Ledeen, FDD, in re: Iran
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 4, Block C:  Robert Zimmerman,, in re:  GAO report on big NASA project.
Thursday 2 May 2018 / Hour 4, Block D:  Robert Zimmerman,, in re: Multiple topics.
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