The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Air Date: 
April 17, 2019

Co-hosts: Gordon Chang, Daily Beast, and David Livingston, The Space Show
Hour One
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 1, Block A:  Arthur Waldron, Lauder Professor of International Relations in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania, in re: the U.S. recognizing Taiwan as an independent country, the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act; two J11 jet fighters crossed the center line from China to Taiwan; threats.  Several days ago, fighters circled the island, as did military ships.  Aggression by Xi Jinping.  US finally discovers that China has a huge and capable military that targets the US as No 1.  If you start beating the drums of war, you may wind up in a war, which here would be catastrophic.
   Taiwan is a vibrant democracy, a lively culture.  This is the worst miscalculation in US foreign policy history. Mr Kissinger has never been to Taiwan!  The minute he approached China, Beijing assumed it was a trick – from 1969 to 1980, there was a secret communication between Chou En-lai and Chiang Kai-shek.  Chiang died having lifted martial law, leaving China no choice but to attack – which would be totally insane. This menacing merely strengthens; Taiwanese people’s determination. The Nixon-Kissinger-Carter policy is dangerous.  We have to start treating Taiwan as a reality, it needs to be re-incorporated into the intl community We can’t play this silly game for another forty years.
   Your iPhone is assembled thanks to the genius of a Taiwanese.  Assembled on the Mainland because Foxconn is owned and run by a Taiwanese.  PRC honestly thinks is can take Taiwan military and we need to be sure it can't.  Japan: the local superpower.   Without Taiwan Japan is cooked.   Merely the Japanese submarines are [major].
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 1, Block B: Rick Fisher, senior Fellow on Asian Military Affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, in re: China’s PLA, a state within a state that’s pledged total loyalty to Xi Jinping, has flown 24 military aircraft — AWACS, bombers, and fighters — around Taiwan several times recently, all coordinated with ships.  The island’s response to this show of force: not that impressed. It's reinforced the necessity for Taiwan to remain in preparation. Could China invade Taiwan? Yes. Cause great damage? Yes. But the Taiwanese are quite plucky, and Tsai Ing-wen of course doesn't back down.  US has found money to train Taiwan’s F16 pilots: $500 mil paid by Taiwan at a US AF base.  We should be selling Taiwan refueling tankers/aircraft so TW can follow the Chinese craft one by one.  Should the US do that, too? Yes, But that's a commitment. We need more tankers and fighters in Guam.
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 1, Block C: James Holmes, first holder of the Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the Naval War College and blogger at The Naval Diplomat (, in re: Warship — Arleigh-Burke class destroyer — engaged in chasing junk oil.  Can surveille a whole lot of area. WSJ said: 700,000 sq miles of sea to police. Chinese, Russian, and other vessels transferring oil illegally to North Korea. US tails them, gets lot of data. Sends it back to the UN Security Council.
   Arleigh-Burke class destroyer is powerful and very fast.  Sees three ships. One with bumpers on the side because it's been transferring oil.   Gas turbine engines, fast, can stop on a dime.
   Does the US have enough ships to dog all these oilers? That’s one of the takeaways-- piracy ops in the Indian Ocean, et al. Can surveille up to a point but it's thin.  There are eight nations contributing to the sanctions regime, but [not enough].  Actual interruptions, boarding, and confiscations depend on UN orders.  Blockade is an act of war so you have to be very, very careful. Suggest whack-a-mole at sea. . . . These ships turn their transponders off to prevent being found – called ghosting.   Chinese and North Koreans are indifferent to the US; however, the Trump Admin is going to pivot because this is much too blatant.  DPRK has abrogated the Korean War Armistice, which gives us the right to sink these ships.
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 1, Block D: Chuck Ross, Daily Caller, in re:  Richard Dearlove, former British spymaster/head of British intelligence. Stefan Halper worked closely with Dearlove; when Carter Page surfaced in 2016, reports that Dearlove advised Steele on the dossier. Dearlove hosted Michael Flynn. Looks as though we ought to focus on Sir Richard Dearlove. Photos of all of them shaking hands and looking happy; spooks and a master spook.  Was Sir Richard part of the genesis of the Russiagate matter?   Dearlove has laid low, endorsed Steele and Halper in interviews; also endorsed the dossier in 2017, but not been questioned on many related, critical matters.  We're told that Crossfire Hurricane started after Downer met with Papadopoulos.
Hour Two
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 2, Block A:  Charles Burton, professor at Brock University, in re: The matter of China’s active interference in the governance of many other countries – overt , and no longer much hidden.  While Australians struggle with Chinese bad actors, there’s something similar or worse in Canada.   This is also of much concern to the US.   China has arbitrarily imposed trade sanctions on Canada, banning canola and claiming must, contamination, and mold in seeds that aren't even grown in Canada. Canada isn't even adopting the [stringent] provisions of Australia’s new laws to protect it from China.
     Strong divergence between Canadian citizenry and the national elites:  a forum designed to manipulate the govt’s pro-China policies, which merely exacerbates the split. A serious problem. 
    National elections in October; China will be one of the most visible issues.  China works all political parties, so few are able to speak out strongly over Chinese interference in Canadian democracy.   My kinds of views are not consistent with those of the Canadian elite, which underestimates the degree of disaffection by the citizenry against compromising on human rights and predatory trade practices.  Trudeau tends to defer questions on China.
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 2, Block B:  Alan Tonelson, independent economic policy analyst who blogs at RealityChek and tweets at @AlanTonelson, in re:  The latest on the China trade talks. Enormous drop between Jan and Fed in US-trade; Chinese growth perked up in mid-March. China opening stimulant spigots, thus running its economy red-hot. Not healthy.  Li Kai-chung said, “The one thing we won't do is open up stimulus” – just as that was starting.
    Both the US and China are spinning like crazy; both seem to think it's important to get some sort of trade deal or truce.  Gordon: Xi cannot make significant concessions to the US, since he needs to blame problems on the US.   Trump thinking of 2020: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 2, Block C:  Monica Crowley, Fox N ews and Washington TImes, in re: political hot potatoes.  Mainstream press has finally given grudging acknowledgment that Trump’s tax cuts are redounding to benefit of citizens across the board. Concrete metrics: stunningly low unemployment (best since 1969).  Tremendous job growth, wage increases, and increase of confidence – esp for Blacks, Latinos and women.  . . . Tomorrow, Wm Barr and Rod Rosenstein will make a presentation, then field every question from the press.  Two parts: collusion case, and obstruction case.
Monica Crowley, a Fox News Fixture, Is Said to Get a Top Treasury Job . . .  Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plans to hire Monica Crowley, a longtime Fox News commentator, as his top communications official . . .
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 2, Block D:  Cliff May, president of FDD, in re: Problems within socialism. “Scientific socialism” in the USSR was a tremendous failure. Cliff May studied there. Bernie missed the fact that the only way anything was done there was using blat [pa Блатy ?], the method of acquiring what one needs by having a high, or suitable, connection .  The govt was extraordinarily authoritarian, with rough punishments. “As long as they pretend they're paying us, we’ll pretend we’re working.”  . . .  social justice warriors – they know what justice is and if you don't agree with them you're wrong.  Bernie is talking about a bunch of rights the fuonding fathers never thought of.  “Put me in power; I’ll take property from those we don't like and give it to you.” 
Hour Three
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 3, Block A: Salena Zito,  , in re: Pennsylvania politics; Beltway.
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 3, Block B: Michael Ledeen, FDD, in re: Iranian censorship.
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 3, Block C: Irina Tsukerman, intl human-rights lawyer, in re: the Notre Dame fire.
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 3, Block D:  Gregory Copley, in re: Egypt.
Hour Four
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 4, Block A: Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York, by Ted Steinberg |
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 4, Block B: Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York, by Ted Steinberg |
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 4, Block C: Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York, by Ted Steinberg |
Wednesday 17 April 2019 / Hour 4, Block D: Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York, by Ted Steinberg |
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