The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Air Date: 
September 13, 2017

Co-hosts: Gordon Chang, and David Livingston, The Space Show
Hour One
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 1, Block A:  Stephen Yates, CEO of D.C. International Advisory, former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, and candidate for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Idaho, in re: Adm Stavrides proposes a blockade against North Korea, but of course that’s an act of war and could easily lead to harsh reciprocity by North Korea.  . . . Safest near-term option is strong financial restraints on China.  Currently, DPRK is merchandising the most saleable (and destructive) parts of its armamentarium. It has long ago abrogated the armistice; we need to say, “It no longer exists.”
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 1, Block B: Cleo Paskal, visiting Trudeau Fellow, University of Montreal, and associate Fellow, Chatham House, in re:   Modi and Abe are collaborating. Good partnership ‘twixt Tokyo and Delhi. Naval work with Australia.  Doklam Plateau. Chinese and Indian troops are 150 meters apart. The Chinese road isn't being built, so a partial success.   India created a huge hit against Chinese products sold in India; Beijing had to acknowledge economic necessities.
Can he US and Japan Philippines and Vietnam all withdraw purchasing from China?  There’s no Walmart in India, so they aren't so heavily dependent on Chinese manufacturing . “Let’s not let them use our money to attack us.”
Rohingya are victims of Burmese ethnic cleansing. Aung San Suu Kyi is doing nothing to protect this minority She’s just decided not to go to New York to UN General Assembly, as she’s become hugely unpopular worldwide.
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 1, Block C: Anthony Ruggiero, FDD, in re:  “Toughest-ever sanctions” against North Korea. Chinese respond only to pressure; we’d better do that soon.  Chinese bank is laundering North Korean money; violation of US law, Secy Mnuchin could sanction that with one stroke of his pen. Hearings last week and today were on secondary sanctions. Could freeze assets or cut off  . . .   Once you start going after Chinese banks Western banks will ask, What re you doing, while Chinese banks will go to the leadership and say, We can’t sustain this.
Even if we think it'll harm our economy, we need to follow US laws. President has an obligation to do that.  The horizon is very short-term – DPRK is very close to having an ICBM.  Tillerson said, “Sanctions are a dial; we’re at 5.”  But we could go to 20 tomorrow. Since Feb 2016, sanctions  have multiplied.    . . .  Kuwaitis employ 6,00 North Koreans; Libya runs a munitions plant with them; dozens of examples.  Everyone tsk-tsks and does nothing.  I fear that we’ll hear, “We’re secretly negotiating another freeze.”  End-game in this hemming and hawing?  Unh, denuclearization in the short term, but deterrence; Washington make the decision to go after Chinese banks and hope that’ll lead to some kind of negotiated settlement, but that might take several rounds. Waiting for a miracle? Not exactly, but optimistic.  Quite unrealistic.  After the Party Congress in October?  It'll be worse.  Xi’s instincts are all the wrong ones.
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 1, Block D:  Claudia Rosett, Independent Women’s Forum, and London Center for Policy Research, in re:  Do we want North Korean back at he bargaining tanle? NO, not at all. Decades of that have led to their having an H-bomb and ICBMS. Uses bargaining as a pit stop for its nuclear program.   Gordon: We do want them at he table, but only after they see they have no choice but to accede.  . . . recall that we dignify them by making them a negotiating partner; they love the attention. Imagine if the deal is cut, then they immediately begin to renegotiate. Plays well in Washington, doesn’t solve the problem, just covers it over and makes it worse.
Qaddafy and Saddam.  It's not just Kim; it's the large gang around him wh think that if they leave nukes, they’re dead.  True – they need to be dead.    Only two things have ended nuclear programs: regime change, and the Israeli air force.  This regime is terrible and festering. They will not give up their nukes, or bioweapons, or chem weapons. It's the regime itself that’s the problem. How do we get rid of the regime with the least danger?  Were Pres Trump to ask me. I’d say the most vulnerable part of the regime is Kim’s distrust of those around him.   Why aren't we raising suspicions in Kim’s mind that his associates are cheating him?
Hour Two
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 2, Block A:  Bob Collins, 37-year veteran adviser to the Department of Defense and author of the just-released Pyongyang Republic: North Korea's Capital of Human Rights Denial, in re:  A decapitation unit (2,000 to 4,00 soldiers) is [a US plan] meant to target Kim Jong-eun; South Korea is trying to plan to do the same thing. Moon Jae-in, a dove, is speaking of these aggressive possibilities.   . .  If South Koreans are doing something this big, it’d have to be in conjunction with the US.  Yes; and US has other roles.  Intelligence: where Kim will be at any time will have to come predominantly from the US.  . . . Seeing a transformation of views in South Korea, which has always been divided down the middle. Now it's moving rightward very fast.  Moon’s ratings are now over 70%.   . Young people love Moon so will go along with him, but don’t understand.  It's like living in Key West and staying for the hurricane. North Koreans operate on ideology more than does any other country on Earth.
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 2, Block B:  Rick Fisher, senior Fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, in re: Long March 5 rocket failed once, then twice.  Bad news for Xi just before the XIX Party Congress. Expect no big missile launches between now and 18 October.  Embarrassing; this is the big lifter, they need it.  Dominant rumor is that the failure began in the booster in the first stage.  Did they not steal the right things? Long March 5 appears to be indigenous; China is acquire the Russian RD180.  Next Long March 5 launch in the middle or late next year.  Enormous pressure to have the next launch be a success. Opaque? It's China and they have no obligation to report to a Congress or anywhere.   East Germans successfully stole from the West Germans for generations – and had no need to be creative, so they wound  up with no capacity for innovation. Recall the Christopher Cox report: US corporations fixed problems with the early Long March rocket, and now it carries [devastating payloads].
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 2, Block C:  Joshua Stanton of the OneFreeKorea blog ( in re: North Korea sanctions. BBC report thereon.  Other news reports from around he country where DPRK does a lot of business, reports from FT and Reuters and others, quote bank staff, so its hard to know why Chinese banks are ___________.  Chinese bank compliance officers would likely be concerned.  [Does a Chinese bank  have a compliance officer?]  Need to watch to see if this is sustained.  We’ve seen Chinese banks close North Korean accounts, only to have them pop up again, All at he same time? Looks as though Beijing has decided to quite money laundering or a few weeks until after the Party Congress.  Ed Royce’s Committee hearing yesterday may have worried them for a moment.  Macau some years ago: we took action against Banco Delta Asia, a small bank, cut off its access to the global financial system Other banks watched, then top US Treasury officials travelled around the world to say You're dealing with a criminal enterprise.  Had a dramatic effect on Western banks’s willingness to move money for North Korea. Drew Kim Jong-il to lash out and eventually to agree (not sincerely) to disarm.  . . . “We have to be willing to, forgive me, break a little china.  Play whack-a-mole.” 
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 2, Block D:  Bill Whelan, Hoover, in re: California Democratic primaries.
Hour Three
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 3, Block A: John Tamny, Forbes and RealClearMarkets, in re: Business advantages.
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 3, Block B:  John Tamny, Forbes and RealClearMarkets, in re: Business advantages.
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 3, Block C:  Hotel Mars, episode n.  David Livingston, The Space Show, and ________; in re: Silicon Valley space center. 
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 3, Block D:  Ken Croswell, author, in re: Uranus. 
Hour Four
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 4, Block A: Richard A Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, and Hoover; in re: DACA (probably not Consttutional as an Executive Order).
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 4, Block B: Richard A Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, and Hoover; in re: DACA (probably not Consttutional as an Executive Order).
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 4, Block C:  Michael Neiberg,  Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe
Wednesday 13 September 2017 / Hour 4, Block D:  Michael Neiberg,  Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe