The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 11 April 2013

Air Date: 
April 11, 2013

Photo, above: Azerbaijan; see: Hour 2, Block C:  Brenda Shaffer


Co-hosts: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board; Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents

Hour One

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Andrew Leigh,, Australia, Federal Member from Fraser; parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister; in re: upcoming Australian elections.  Also, Sri Lanka refugee boat sails into busy Australia port

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 1, Block B:  David M Drucker, Roll Call GOPpers, in re:  Marco Rubio's tweets. Natl leadership. Gun control bill in Senate. Newtown.

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . House investigating a nominee for labor Secretary: Mr Perez. St Paul, Minnesota, accused lenders of discrimination; unable to fight, they   gave him (the city) money. Mr Perez than convinced the city to withdraw the case in exchange for the federal  govt's dropping a case against hm. Ideological agenda, extortion, interpretation of the law to do something extralegal. See; WSJ Legal Diary.  Note: the Verizon account and Mr Perez's e-mail. DOJ: "We’ve given you access to many documents" (but not allowed to move them from a small room); HuffPo: the House is now so concerned that it's subpoenaed his private e-mail.   Also, in Phila the Black Panthers actually intimidated certain voters and Mr Perez elected not to investigate or prosecute. "I don’t know if  did or didn't [do something illegal]"; "I have no recollection of  [same]."  Also: Investors Business Daily/IBD.  HUD housing in Westchester: no public transport in these areas, no jobs. Isolating families in modestly-priced house?

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and Lara M Brown, Villanova, in re: Midterm election; in re:  Does Mrs Pelosi regard PA-8 as the key to 2014? It's held by Mike Fitzpatrick (R), a good fundraiser and well-liked as a House members.  Also see PA-12, once held by Jack Murtha, then by his chief of staff.  Marjorie Margolis Mezvinsky: was the 218th vote to pass the Clinton tax hikes in 1993. She's now the mother-in-law of Chelsea Clinton. Held her seat for one term. Her husband, from Iowa, was charged with fraud, alas.

Hour Two

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  . Congressman Eliot Engel, Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Energy & Commerce Committee incl the Subcommittee on Health and the Subcommittee on Energy and Power; founder of House Oil & Natl Security Caucus, in re: Pres Obama's visit to Israel; prospects for peace.  Rep Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and I accompanied Pres Oama on Air Force One to Israel;  he repeatedly said, "the Jewish State of Israel" and spoke of Jewish bonds to the land. He asserted that he would not permit Iran to have  a nuclear weapon. With Palestinians in the West Bank, the president said that settlement activity needed to be negotiated; that PA cd not use the UN to achieve statehood buy t wd have to sit face to face with Israelis to negotiate. Kerry embraces the 2002 Saudi proposal of Israel returning to 1967 borders: cannot, as those borders are specifically indefensible.  Venezuela: Chavez's second-in-command, Maduro, is winning in elections.  China, Russia, and other countries moving in – Iran and Hezbollah are deeply seated there; US needs to be involved – in South and Central America and the Caribbean. If we drop the ball, others have the right to pick it up.

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  .Sarkis Naoum, senior columnist and analysis for An Nahar newspaper, Lebanon; in re: al Qaeda announces that it’s incorporated al Nusrah into itself in Iraq and the Levant – al Nusrah is a few thousands, whereas the rebels are controlling 60% of the territory.  Islamism reigning in all the region.   Some Islamists are in fact more moderate than some of the radicals. We need to be wise in dealing with these issues.  Some Lebanese fights with Syrians because they're Sunni; others fight ___.  Inside Syria, there could be _. Ijn the long run, doubt that Assad can hold Damascus; probably retreat to his enclave; fear that a period of chaos could begin on border with Lebanon, with Jordan, with Israel.  The Arab League is already a dead body – expect nothing from her. They're relying n the US – but the US can’t police the whole world at once. US needs to c=gather all relevant countries, say: You have to do something! We'll protect you, but you need to do  your share.   Syria will be bloodier in future even than it is now. 

The crisis in Syria drags on with consequences that are already reshaping the neighborhood. What's the future of the Assads and of Syria, itself? Implications of the Syrian crisis for Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Iran?

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  Brenda Shaffer, American-Israeli scholar; Foreign Policy Section, American Political Science Association; Director of the Caspian Studies dept, Hvd Kennedy School; in re: Azerbaijan – the fossil-fuel explosion began here in 1he earliest 1900s; now it's a major energy exporter. Iran. Armenia.   Czarist Russia & Azeris. Treaty between Russia & Iran in early XIXeme; then back and forth many times, till today Iran announces that intends to re-establish control over the Caucasus. Iran also has overtly tried to destabilize/capsize the current Azerbaijani govt.  Azerbaijan welcomes churches and synagogues.  Azerbaijan doesn’t allow religious symbols in schools (hijabs and the like). Teheran constantly plots to destroy the US embassy in Baku, or any symbol of Azerbaijan's connection to the West or Israel, or its support of Armenia – actively hostile. If anything bad happened because of Iran, it'd have huge effect.

Israel's new natural gas discoveries and regional meaning; and Ethnic politics in Iran, Azerbaijan.

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: The Morsi govt is deeply troubled: can take steps to arrogate power but cannot govern, However, the army is removed from that, is a state within a state and has its own factories.  In Egypt, 82% wanted the army to take control of the govt!  Army is afraid that many of the younger ofcrs won’t support it. Demos in Port Said & elsewhere, incl in Cairo.  Food prices have risen massively, badly affecting the poor.  PA: clash between Abbas and Fayyad, who’s been saved repeatedly by the EU because outside parties dread the kleptocracy of the Abbas family – which in turn discredits Fayyad with the populace.   Abbas, who agreed to no preconditions, suddenly demands a lot of this and that.

Hour Three

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: P5+1 – no progress, of course: Iran gums it up, then demands to set another meeting; the entire intent is to give Iran more time to enrich uranium. "A wide gulf" is how the parties described the Almaty talks – ten years of failure and balderdash. Even Amano, the head of the IAEA, agreed – sort of: "We have no hard evidence, but no transparency" – what?  The Bush administration also used doubts in order to continue talks.   Kerry and Biden are fully apprised  of Iran's incessant efforts to deceive the world about its nuclear dvpt.  Al Qaeda in Iraq has merged with the al Nusrah front. Golan Heights; Israel is now a neighbor with al Qaeda.  Israel & Jordan now vulnerable. We've been speaking of al Nusrah from the first days they emerged out of Iraq 0 very aggressive fighters, took over weapons, IEDs, suicide belts – so confident that they can announce they’re al Q.  It’s an extension of the Islamic State of Iraq; harbinger of Syria.  Israel treating wounded from Syria.   Fighters in Syria have access to Assad's chemical weapons: collapse of all order and arsenals of chem. weapons, filtering through the whole ummah; UN "investigating."  Rebels have taken control of 90% of Syria's economic infrastructure – they have a long-term goal.

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 3, Block B:   . Colonel Richard Justin Kemp CBE. British Army 1977 to 2005; frmer Commander, British Forces in Afghanistan.  Joint Intelligence Committee; and COBR ;  in re: Counterterrorism. Israel has the standing army with the highest morals to be found in the world. Committee  . Margaret Thatcher.  North Korea.  Mrs Thatcher:  a significant woman, called the most powerful woman since Catherine the Great.  I had the privilege of meeting her on a number of occasions; the country was the sick man of Europe, she put it back on a solid economic basis, threw a tin-pot dictator out of the Falklands (formed a war cabinet; declined to have the Finance Minister to  be a member of it in order to prevent finances from affecting decisions on the life and death of our soldiers); stood four-square behind Reagan in facing down the Soviet Union. Israel fought vs the terrorism of Hamas – cd protect its population with a pinpoint missile system, Immense intell effort that Israel put in to Gaza to avoid killing innocent civilians.   Even dvpd a missile to go to bldgs with civilians: exploded harmlessly to warn them to leave.  Each Israelis missile strike had to have the permission of a senior general, had to be present in the war room 24 hours. DPRK can’t carry out a war, but has raised tensions that can cause an accidental conflagration beyond the point of stopping it.

Colonel Richard Justin Kemp CBE. British Army 1977 to 2005; frmer Commander, British Forces in Afghanistan.  Joint Intelligence Committee; and COBR ;  in re: Coutrterrorism. Israel has the standing army with the highest morals to be found in the world. Committee  . Margaret Thatcher.  North Korea.

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  . The Long Road Home: The Aftermath of the Second World War by Ben Shephard  (1 of 2)   Publishers Weekl:   In the vast literature on WWII, scholars have largely ignored the 10 million to 15 million displaced persons who confronted the Allies in 1945. British writer and documentarian Shephard (After Daybreak: The Liberation of Bergen-Belsen, 1945) tells a fascinating story of their ordeal. Although concentration camp victims made headlines, their numbers were hugely augmented by millions of foreign workers and slave laborers later joined by millions of destitute Germans expelled from former conquered nations. Aid planners expected a typhus epidemic, but generous use of DDT prevented this. They expected to repatriate everyone only to discover that many objected to returning to Soviet rule; Shephard describes American soldiers dragging terrified Russians and Ukrainians to assembly points. Despite relief efforts, in 1947 a million refugees lingered in dreary camps; Germany remained devastated. Matters only improved after the Marshall Plan's massive infusion of money and supplies, sold to a reluctant Congress as an anticommunist program. Shephard reveals that however well planned, post-WWII relief also produced shambles. His masterful account mixes history, colorful personalities, and moving individual stories.

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 3, Block D:   The Long Road Home: The Aftermath of the Second World War by Ben Shephard  (2 of 2)

Hour Four

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  Dan Henninger WSJ, in re:  How the East Was Won  Because Thatcher and Reagan dissented from the orthodoxies of their time, the world's people are freer.

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re:  The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, in an unusual press conference, explains the secret site dubbed “Quds.”   At the press conference today, Abassi said, “Reports by some media and the produced video which claimed that Iran had an installation involved in its nuclear operation with the name ‘Quds’ 15 meters northeast of Fordow (are not true). … These claims are not accurate because Iran has no other nuclear enrichment facility but Fordow in the vicinity of the cities of Qom to Natanz, Tehran to Qom and Qom to Saveh. Our only enrichment facility is at Fordow, and that is under the supervision of the (International Atomic Energy Agency) and nothing else exists.” [more]

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 4, Block C:  Robert Zimmerman,, in re: Has Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter imaged the remains of a Soviet Mars lander from 1971?

The competition heats up: Boeing this week revealed a new line of small satellites, the smallest weighing less than 9 pounds, for both military and commercial operations. This decision tells me that my worries about Boeing’s competitiveness are unfounded. Moreover, the increasing shift to building smaller satellites will once again lower costs and therefore increase the number of customers who can afford the product. The result will be a larger aerospace industry.

Speaking of the cracks on the first Orion capsule, here’s a story on the capsule’s state of construction.

Thursday  11 April  2013 / Hour 4, Block D:   David Davenport, Hoover &, in re: As Jerry Brown Touts California In China, Its Citizens Pack Their Bags by David Davenport

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