The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 9 January 2020

Air Date: 
January 09, 2020

Co-hosts: Sebastian Gorka, America First & Fox; and Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents
Hour One
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 1, Block A:  Sebastian Gorka, America First radio; in re: Peculiar conflict of narratives from both left and right: we’ve been told for three years that Trump is unreliable, aggressive and a captive of the neocons.  In his speech: “As long as I am president, Iran will never acquire nuclear weapons.”  Then he said good morning, and named nations that need to step up to the plate.  We used one missile to take out the deadliest terrorist in the world.
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 1, Block B:  Sebastian Gorka, America First radio; in re:  Democrats seem to be throwing away Western Pennsylvania.  Why?
      I’m totally flummoxed on this one. The man from Scranton is replaying word for word the Hillary trope, No more coal; and “Just learn to code.”
      These are good Democrats, children of Democrats.  No explanation. For the last three years, pandering to a rabid base. “If you became president, would you provide taxpayer-paid free health care to illegal immigrants?  To a man (woman), they said yes.
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 1, Block C:  Conrad Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour, NRO and other publications, in re:  US, Iran, and Middle East conflict: PM Justin Trudeau addressed the nation, pointing the finger at Iran, where a plane went down killing 63 Canadian citizens – apparently by a missile.  Iran says, “It’s not possible that it was a missile.” 
       When the shah left and the theocracy came in, we received a goodly number of excellent, highly-educated Iranians who became Canadian citizens.  Canadian authorities are en route to Turkey to get visas to enter Iran. Recall that the Canadian ambassador smuggled Americans out of Iran during the 444-day hostage siege; no smooth relations between Canada and Iran since then.
       If it’s the case that 63 Canadians perished because they were in a commercial airliner shot down by missiles, then any prime minister would be outraged. Every civilized person in the world wants to know what happened.  In 1988, the USS Vincennes fired a missile at an Iranian plane – a true error, thought that it was a military aircraft.  At that time Iranians re shooting at US craft, so a wartime situation obtained. Here, there’s no conceivable reason for Iran to shoot down a civil aviation craft filled with noncombattents who had every right to expect an uneventful trip. This week, the world’s premier terrorist has been [obliterated]. 
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 1, Block D:  Conrad Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour, NRO and other publications, in re: The sword of Damocles—no, the pin of Damocles—held over us: the helter-skelter impeachment endeavor. She’s been sitting on the articles for weeks, and now is trying to dictate the Senate’s conduct, which is completely unconstitutional, obviously.   The articles are [meaningless, irrelevant], a nonsensical proceeding.  The president is the commander-in-chief; there’s been a war against terrorism, and getting rid of the world’s leading terrorist is legally justified.
       Amazingly, the Financial Times has published a piece acknowledging that President Trump has done good things for the US economy, I was dumbfounded. The Democrats are obliged to be silent on the economy.   Soon, the same acknowledgement from the Economist, which has partial joint ownership of the FT and has been [intensely Never-Trump]. 
       Democrats have a group of completely unfeasible candidates.  None so far can get in the White House except possibly Bloomberg or Klobuchar. And the AG is apparently about to indict a lot of people; not an encouraging backdrop for the Dems. Trump has almost eliminated unemployment and has vastly reduced illegal border-crossings.   The lowest-earning 10% have had 9% income-growth—not seen since Roosevelt.  [Is there a Democratic strategy?—ed.]
Hour Two
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 2, Block A:  David Pollack, in re: Iran is not at the moment providing easy access to the black box. Says it was not a shoot-down – but it was, by a SAM15, called Gauntlet by NATO: a mobile ground-to-air system that sends out missiles that explode near the target and cause everything within reach to become only fragments. Iranians are in a tough spot, but they're clever and determined to wriggle out of it as well as they can; we musn’t underestimate them, or call them irrational, which they are not.  For the moment, Iran is afraid of us; at the same time, it still probably believes it can put enough pressure on the US to make us turn tail and leave, at least in Iraq.
Neighboring countries:  Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians, Israelis: all privately delighted that the US finally took strong action against Iran, particularly Qasem Soleimani, who mostly has killed Arabs, incl hundreds of thousands of Syrians. Yes Iran is under pressure, and surprised and unnerved, and there’s a lot of popular anger against the regime, but it has much support from some sectors of the population. It has immensely brutal pressures to place on its citizens in order to maintain power. Tonight, found a missile shipment on the Iranian border.   Iran now sees that the US will not sit idly by; an attack will incur a very sharp military response.
David Pollock, the Bernstein Fellow at The Washington Institute, focusses on the political dynamics of Middle East countries. He is the director of Project Fikra, a program of research, publication, and network-building designed to generate policy ideas for promoting positive change and countering the spread of extremism in the Middle East. At the forefront of this effort is Fikra Forum, a unique Arabic-English bilingual online platform that promotes exchanges between mainstream Muslims and Arab democrats and U.S. decision-makers and opinion leaders.
Dr. Pollock served previously as senior advisor for the Broader Middle East at the State Department, a post he assumed in 2002. In that capacity, he provided policy advice on issues of democracy and reform in the region, with a focus on women's rights. He also helped launch the department's $15 million Iraqi Women's Democracy Initiative and the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council, working directly with advocates across the Middle East.
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 2, Block B:   Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Zemidoon, a PFLP “charity” soliciting funds in the US via Mastercard and Visa.
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 2, Block C:   Dr. Shahriar Ahy in re: Iran’s asymmetric strategies. Ashura [ah-shur-a], liturgical meanings in Shi’a, a way of expiating malaise; [using?] lies. An ageing totalitarianism where the regime’s  opponents are the people.  We need to support them, or the asymmetric force will prevent freedom.  True that the militias are n disorder?  . . . The low-intensity warfare they've created is not jut regional. It extends to Venezuela, and drug cartels from the UK to Michigan, and it will become more active. If they want a nuclear weapon, it’s to keep the warfare simmering at a low range, which they can control.
Frustration to watch Europeans refuse to acknowledge the predation in Iran.  If the ageing totalitarians see the world standing together, it’ll help, but even that isn't necessary. This regime will end if the US, Israel, and neighboring countries talk to the Iranian people and support them. No point negotiating with these people; all you can get is what Obama got, which was seriously defective.
The VOA is a disaster; if you shut it down, it’d probably help things. VOA is working against the interests of the US. But there are other , excellent institutions in the US, in strategic messaging, finding ways of connecting people who want to fight for the cause of freedom.  NED, ARI, USAID, and private-sector broadcast networks.
Shahriar Ahy was CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee of AGI, a media holding company whose assets included MBC, the highest revenue radio and TV broadcaster in the Islamic World, as well as the prestigious US wire service, United Press International, 6 other media companies and a partnership with UPC, which was the largest cable TV and digital services company in Europe. Shortly after the Soviet collapse, Shahriar co-founded the Baltic Fund, the first equity investment fund for the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which rapidly rose to become economically successful members of the European Union. He was also a Director of the US-Baltic Foundation, a major force in rebuilding modern effective states on the ruins of a totalitarian past.
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 2, Block D:  Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats (see: in re: Higher education in Israel: over 50,000 STEM students this year, more than in the social sciences.  Over 50% women in undergrad, grad, and doctoral degrees, but in STEM it’s 1/3 women and 2/3 men.  We’re working on this. 
Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats is currently Chair of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Israeli Council of Higher Education. She served as the Deputy President of Bar-Ilan University from May 2010 until October 2015.  She previously served as Dean of the Faculty of Law at Bar-Ilan between 2004 –2007.
Hour Three
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 3, Block A:  Vanessa Neumann, in re: Guiado was reinvigorated, looked marvelous, and his supporters in the parliament—100 of the 165 — stood for democracy, refused to be intimidated by barbaric counter-practices.  The role of Iran: Nasrallah two years ago issued a statement that ______ would become the president of Venezuela one day.  Man whose wife is of Druse descent. Hugo Chavez and Nicholas Maduro travelled to Damascus &Teheran, signed mutual cooperation agreements for j/v banks and companies – people in central Venezuela where there are people who speak Farsi, not Spanish. IISS report on drugs smuggling among these people. Hezbollah is a military operation in the Middle East; also throughout South America.  Cuba with Chavez’s help, act as a counter-intell force inside the Venezuelan military; anyone who falls slightly out of line is tortured.
Dr. Neumann is a Venezuelan diplomat serving as Juan Guaido's official representative in the United Kingdom. She is also an Associate of the University Seminar on Latin America at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University, where she received her Ph.D. in political philosophy. Dr. Neumann runs her own political-risk consulting and research firm, Asymmetrica, where she consults for government and private industry. Previously, Dr. Neumann worked as a journalist on three continents. She has also worked in corporate planning and corporate finance in Caracas.
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 3, Block B: Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC), DailyCaller, in re:  Russiagate; the notorious dinner in Cambridge.
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 3, Block C: Gene Marks, columnist on bz, economy, public policy, tech, for The Guardian, The Hill, Philly Inquirer, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc.; CPA; in re:
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 3, Block D: Gene Marks, columnist on bz, economy, public policy, tech, for The Guardian, The Hill, Philly Inquirer, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc.; CPA; in re:  
Hour Four
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 4, Block A:  Gregory Copley, Defense and Foreign Affairs, in re:
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 4, Block B:  Gregory Copley, Defense and Foreign Affairs, in re:
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 4, Block C:  Bruce S. Thornton, American classicist at California State University, Fresno, and research Fellow at the Hoover Institution; in re:
Thursday 9 January 2020 / Hour 4, Block D:  Ken Croswell,  astronomer and author living in Berkeley, California; in re: