The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Air Date: 
March 28, 2018

Photo: Screen shot of satellite picture capturing the unusual display where China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning sailed through the disputed waters off Hainan Island.
Image captured by Planet Labs Inc showed that the carrier group was taking part in combat drills in the South China Sea. The sea is at the center of a row between Washington and Beijing, with the Communist giant claiming ownership of the disputed waters despite a ruling to the counter by the UN.
Co-hosts: Gordon Chang, and David Livingston, The Space Show
Hour One
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 1, Block A:  Arthur Waldron, Lauder Professor of International Relations in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania, in re: America's foreign policy blunder: the engagement of China.  Note that North Korea would not be a threat were it not for Beijing. George W. Bush put Beijing at the center of the international community's efforts to disarm the Kim regime because he wanted to integrate China. So we got an arrogant Beijing and a nuked-up Pyongyang.
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 1, Block B:  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:
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 1, Block C: Captain Jerry Hendrix, USN [ret], CNAS, in re:  Chinese warships – frigates, aircraft carriers, subs  – forty ships line up neatly in a row in the South China Sea for aerial photography to see, and to display to Chinese neighbors. “Were here and we mean business!”   Someone in Beijing must’ve read Mahan and used tactics from a century ago.  Xi seems to be revealing a weakness: trying to announce that he’s the regional power even as other, lager events are occurring around him.  We learned that Chinese aren’t confident in a complex wargame formation.  They aren't as good at sailing their ships as they’d like to be, Have been operation in blue ocean/deep water for only about fifteen years. Still learning large-fleet formations.  A Party member has higher rank on every ship — in every military grouping —than does the ship’s captain or any designated military leader. 
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 1, Block D: Claudia Rosett, Independent Women’s Forum, in re:  The Kim-Xi meeting is part of a longer-term plan to sweep the US out of the entire East Asian region. Kim has usefully defied and mocked the US over and over with no retaliation beyond a few Washington-issued threats.  Kim wants money.  Does China hand it to him?  . . .
Hour Two
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 2, Block A:  David Maxwell, retired U.S. Army Special Forces colonel and Fellow at the Institute of Corean American Studies, in re: the Kim-Xi meeting. Restoration of Beijing-Pyongyang alliance? . . . In China’s dreams, the US would be gone from Asia and China would dominate the Korean peninsula.  For the moment, its main concern is to avoid a regime collapse in DPRK. 
Proposed changes in South Korean constitution being rammed through by Pres Moon swiftly; proposes eliminating “liberal” from “liberal democracy” – removing liberty and individual rights. Heading to a socialist form of govt, gov’t ownership of land.  A dangerous game.
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 2, Block B:  Dean Cheng, senior research Fellow of the Asia Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation, in re:  The Xi-Kim meeting may have been in fact Kim gaining control of the situation by flaunting his new possible allies – at least, discussants –being Moon Jae-in, Pres Trump, and “goodies “ offered by Russia (a fiber-optic line, a new bridge).  A year from now, we’ll look back on this meeting and say, “Another false start.”
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 2, Block C:  Troy Stangarone, Korea Economic Institute Senior Director of Congressional Affairs and Trade, in re:  US-South Korea trade:  a side agreement where Korea’s currency transactions become more transparent.  Ford has doubled the number of cars it sells there; might add $500 mil to $1 Bil in exports; maybe 500 jobs.  . . . South Korea got three benefits: 1______, 2 textiles,  3. Kept agriculture off the table.
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 2, Block D: Cliff May, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies founder and president, in re:  A worldwide diminution of democracies.  Authoritarianism is on the rise.  Can the US successfully freedom and democracy?  WE need to promote freedoms, but few of the autocracies will accept that. I’d rather push a liberal authoritarian than an illiberal democracy that’ll become a tyranny.
Ira?  The most democratic in the Arab world – damaged because we left it and our influence diminished as Iran’s interest accrued. Iran does not favor any democracy in Iraq.
Egypt: el Sisi led a coup against Morsi, who was doing awful things. El Sisi is actively fighting jihadism, cleaning out Sinai as well as he can, reforming the education system with a brilliant education minister.   Nonetheless, he’s very repressive. I say, fi rst establish democratic principles, habits, institutions, before pushing for elections. Recall the Gaza election: Hamas won, with the motto, “One man, one vote — one time.”
Ikhwan. Moslem Brothers, as =re stalking the Arab world and North Africa. MBS, Saudi crown prince: is a reformer, not a democratizer. And Jordan?  Turkey? I think it's more likely we can get el Sisi to ease up if he knows we’re not threatening his rule.
Hour Three
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 3, Block A: Monica Crowley,  London Institute for Policy Research; in re: Re-boot of Roseanne TV show, Roseanne Connor is openly a Trump supporter; last night’s debut had ratings through the roof. Blew the doors off.  Execs have little choice but to pick up on this and promote it and other shows like it. Producer: “I didn't know there were any Trump supporters who weren’t racist and misogynist.” 
Colbert and Kimmel are rough and sometimes brutal.   Audiences are pretty much limited to East and West Coasts.  Very samey every week; boring.  If Hollywood is smart, it’ll move to supply to/represent the over-half of Americans.
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 3, Block B:  Dr Lara M Brown, George Washington University, and Salena Zito, CNN, Washington Examiner, et al.; in re:  Domestic electoral politics. 
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 3, Block C:  Aaron Klein, Middle East bureau chief, Breitbart, in re: Last week of Dec 2016, McCain hand-delivers the Steele dossier to James Comey   FBI already had the document since July 2016. Comey knows that the dossier was created for FusionGPS, paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC.     . . .  And a great deal more on this complicated story.   . . . I’ve submitted at least twelve requests to Sen McCain to find out if he knew that . . .  [This is a rich segment; worth listening to on podcast]
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 3, Block D:  Aaron Klein, Middle East bureau chief, Breitbart, in re: They rented a room at the Tabard Inn, Christopher Steele gave over several days a series of briefings for media and others, on the Steele dossier. Also present: NYT, WaPo, CNN, Jane Meyer from New Yorker. Issakoff wrote it up, after checking with ___ Winer from Kerry’s State Dept.  Sidney Blumenthal had passed some of the writings on to Steele. Issakov’s article was “extensively cited” in the FISA court warrant. Highly circular deeds.   One of the reasons Simpson made these presentation was “to make the Bureau take these reports more seriously.”  Called : laundering.  Laundering through various reporters to add credibility to the dossier a each go-round. 
Hour Four
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 4, Block A: How to Die: An Ancient Guide to the End of Life, by Seneca and James S. Romm.  Nero tried to kill his mother, Agrippina, but failed; boat didn’t sink, mother was damaged but not dead. Nero demanded that Seneca, philosopher, and a soldier finish the job. Seneca had chosen to be Stoic, emphasizing the primacy of reason and virtue; living in poverty. A rival school: the Cynics.
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 4, Block B: How to Die: An Ancient Guide to the End of Life, by Seneca and James S. Romm. 
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 4, Block C:  Pax Romanum, Adrian Goldsworthy.
Wednesday 28 March 2018/ Hour 4, Block D: Pax Romanum, Adrian Goldsworthy.
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