The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 20 November 2014

Air Date: 
November 20, 2014

Photo, above: US border with Mexico,  General Pershing's punitive expedition camp near the border, El Paso, Texas (postcard, circa 1916): Franklin Mountains, left to right (i.e., south to north) are: Ranger Peak, Sugarloaf Mountain, and part of South Franklin Mountain.


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

Hour One

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 1, Block A: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board & host of; in re: Pres Obama's speech tonight on immigration:

Steve Schmidt, on MSNBC, gave a wonderful example of what could go wrong if a president bypasses the political process:  Suppose a GOP president decides not to collect capital gains or income taxes.  The president is "like a small child looking for love, used to being lauded; says, 'I'll do what I want anyway.'"

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 1, Block B:  Edward W Hayes, criminal defense attorney par excellence, in re: Bill DeBlasio invited to White House by Valerie Jarrett to discuss – Mrs Clinton's policies? He's acting as a sophisticated political player in national and global affairs? As the homeless fill New York City streets?  He was elected by a small percentage, running against "wildly unpopular people." Rachel Nordlinger, mayoral chief of staff on leave, in a series of scandals.  Subway underground passageways now half-filled by homeless, deracinated people lying against walls indifferent to the passing throngs. As the mayor moves around the country speaking for progressive politics, he hasn’t enough time for us.  If you take these people off the streets, incl those who refuse to take their psychiatric medications, you'll have to fight a certain number of them. I have a Deputy Chief of Police here I n the room with me, and he's nodding his head.  I'm a Democrat – it’s the left end of the Democratic party and the right end of the GOP who’ve caused problems.  We don’t need politicians who'll change the world – let them manage the world as it is.

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 1, Block C: Tom Switzer,  Spectator Australia editor; & University of Sydney; in re:  Pres Obama in Brisbane, spoke on climate change:  Australia had a wrenching debate on the matter, fought several elections; Tony Abbott won saying he'd roll back the carbon taxes.  Conservatives spoke ill of Tony Abbott, while the greens praised him.  Pres Obama spoke in Queensland (cross between West Virginia and Florida), coal and gas center of Australia, but at a university, where students may have agreed with him. Speech followed a secret negotiation revealed in Beijing – nonbinding - on greenhouse gasses reduction.  China is bldg one new coal-fired plant every ten days. White House worked secretly with Beijing for months on this, then the president went to Australia and wholly dismissed the prime minister of one of our best allies over many years.   Abbott has supported the US in wars of the last decade, and in the bank that the US begged Australia to join. 

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 1, Block D:  S. Alan Stern, planetary scientist; Uwingu; New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Chief Scientist at Moon Express; in re: Comet 67P & Philae: first time in history that humans have sent a spacecraft to land on a comet.  This Rosetta mission is teaching s how complex comets are The lander was designed to last 24 hours on the surface – made three landings at different places, finally landing in a crevasse; it managed to drill, sample, photograph test surface.  Rosetta is nuclear-powered; the lander is solar-powered. Comet is mostly ice covered with two or three  inches of dust.  Sublimation of water ice; other constituents.  Mostly "pure dirt crust." Facet driven not by the surface but from deeper in the interior.  Orbiter is 100 feet long, suites of cameras, spectrometers, instrumentation – all working very well, so now we can map a comet for the first time, and stick with it as it moves around the Sun.  New Horizons is headed to Pluto; spectacular mission, out of the heyday of space exploration, will explore Pluto next summer, starting on Dec 6 as it awakens from hibernation. Third class of planets – not rocky or a gas giant, but ice dwarfs.  First time to a new type of planet since the 1970s. 

Hour Two

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 2, Block A:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Hamas has developed a cell that sends out members to (so far, to West Jeruusalem) commit terrorist acts and look like lone wolves. One goal: to assassinate Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman with an RPG. Immediately after the Monday attack on rabbis, four dead – butchered by attackers with meat cleavers and a gun.  The linking factor is that this is all a direct result of the astounding incitement by Abbas, PA, Hamas, with calls to avenge and kill in response to a genuine fabrication: the notion that Israel intended to damage the Temple Mount. These are all from  . . .  Murderers are claimed to be heroes, are extolled and have money paid to survivors. Man who tried to run people down at a bus stop, ran out and killed a woman there with a knife.  None of these is a "lone wolf" – there are always links discovered. Not just wanton acts.  Have just seized 18,000 firecrackers, 4,000 lasers, 5,000 tasers, 5200 knives, 1,000 swords - all shipped as Christmas decorations from China – cells instructed to aim these at the police.  Do a lot of damage, can kill. Found an enormous cache in a mosque. 

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 2, Block B:  Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; in re:  Iran: 24 Nov deadline for clarification and agreement on ceasing its nuclear-weapons program. Since not much progress has been made, there'll be an extension – as an accommodation to Iran, which then in turn will ask for special considerations. The US position is now so weak that  [not much can be hoped for].  Iran hasn't allowed IAEA to insect; no reason to think it will in the future. All the other side of the table has is sanctions and the timing of lifting the sanctions – Europe, of 28 countries, holds many views.  We know there are 19,000 centrifuges in Natanz and Fordo.  One supposes there are plenty more in other sites, other mfrg facilities.  "Verifiable dismantlement of elements related to nuclear" military – which IAEA has never been allowed to inspect?  -  In 2005 and 2005, had brief access to Parchin and ___, but inspections never were completed.  Lots of questions on missile re-entry vehicle and high explosives – Iran refused, citing "baseless allegations based on fabricated data."  Need to ensure that IAEA has access – must be reinforced by UN Security Council resolutions, which are legally binding.  pres Obama's secret letter to Ali Khamenei: "Not very healthy".

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 2, Block C: Emanuele Ottolenghi, FDD, in re: the suspect Iranian nuclear negotiations:  The rush to it. All of a sudden without any transparency, no acknowledgement of military concerns, the president wasnts this deal. Ever since he took office, pres has been reaching out to Iran to change the dynamics; thinks the nuclear deal, even if far from idea, will somehow usher in a  era where the two countries can cease being adversaries and become pragmatic partners on Middle Eastern issues, He thinks that all that stands in the way of the nuclear impasse. He also thinks the Rouhani election facelift is more than skin-deep; that ergo the US can play kingmaker to Iranian politics by supporting a "reformist" leader. Convinced that somehow Iran will stop being what it’s been for the last three-and-a-half decades. Iranians have been around longer than us, will extract a maximum, and have the instruments to build a nuclear weapon.  Shia own four Arab capitals.  This US administration looks at this through a Western eye where you cannot be an arsonist and a firefighter at once – but this is the game that Irn is playing, has been for ten years.  US must stop projecting its own hopes and desires on that regime, which aspires to be regional hegemon and has no compunction about engaging in terrible actions. Over 200,000 people killed, 13, million displaced – and Iran still supports Bashar al Assad. We must no pretend that the devil has become the altar-b. US signed an interim agreement with Iran a year ago: suspension of some Iranian nuclear activities in exchange for some sanctions relief, to last for no more than a year.  The credibility of he US is on the line. Recall, "Pres Assad must go" – and of course he's here. Same with the Iranian discussions: to go no farther than 24 Nov, but it'll take another four months.   Some Euro allies, esp France, may be countering Iranian sweet nothings to say, "Don’t be deceived." Whatever the US allows Iran to have, Iran's neighbors will also demand: Saudis, Iraqis, Turks. This will not go down in history very well. 

Dr. Ottolenghi is a leader for his work on Iran; has advised several foreign ministries in Europe, and testified before the Canadian and European parliaments.  Dr. Ottolenghi's extensive research exposed the connections between Iran's energy companies and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the paramilitary organization responsible for the regime's political repression and international terrorism activities.

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 2, Block D:  Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs & Orient Research Group Ltd; in re: Hamas is trying to overthrow the Palestinian Authority in the West Back; operations orchestrated by Hamas leadership in Turkey.  In the last few months have made tremendous efforts to ignite a third intifada against both Israel and to get rid of the Fatah administration, as it did in 2007 in Gaza.  ISIS mentality has penetrated into West Bank and farther, Baghdadi has instructed Muslins worldwide to use all means to kill.  In Toronto, Palestinian leaders support the Jerusalem murderers- one called them "models" and exemplary.  Terrorism and killing of Jews – become more common with ISIS.  Hamas thinks that after Protective Edge, Israel is deterred from taking any more action against Hamas, so Hamas can act freely.   Hamas sees the West Bank as central, wants to liberate Palestine when it controls the West Bank.  Wants to crate chaos there, force Israel to react militarily in the WB against the PA – which will weaken the PA and let Hamas take over.  Hamas has just got promises of $5.4 billion, feels that it has impunity.  Annihilate Israel, be rewarded; nothing to worry about, he main problem is the international community: even Spain rewards the terrorists.  Of course, Spain is still a target.

Hour Three

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 3, Block A: Raheel Raza, journalist & filmmaker, Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow; in re: radical Islam; treatment of women in Muslim society; extremism. Malala represents the right of every girl, every woman, to have an education. She's our role model. I'm a practicing Muslim woman, need reforms against people who have twisted our faith. Boko Haram: had 300 white girls been kidnapped in the US, can you imagine the reaction? In Honor Diaries, we focus on abuse of woman worldwide; the govt of Pakistan doesn't have institutions n place adequate to protect women. Honor killings: colossal numbers of women being killed by their own families – including the US. Tribal, culture-based practice, where women care killed purportedly to reserve family honor, Twenty –two in Canada since 1999. Also female genital mutilation.  We must break the barriers of silence. Forced underage marriage is child abuse – including within the US.  People hold back out of fear of being called racist – but that's [bogus]. – can download or arrange a screening. 

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 3, Block B: Dr. Martin Kramer, president of Shalem College & author, Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America; in re:  Events of the summer raised the standing of Hamas in the eyes of many Palestinians, created a bidding war of who’s most fervent; PA thus shows a desire to heat u the situation in Jerusalem to keep it in headlines and enhance the PA as defender of the Temple Mount/al Aqsa mosque – a fabricated tale, has created a climate of religious hostility and extremis actions.  Once these forces are unleashed, no one controls them. The murder of the rabbis is an example of that – like the Syrian beheadings, ruthlessness on display, a ritual zeal.   . . . If you used to get 90% acceptance to conferences in Israel, now get 20%, you see that a  stealth boycott is under way. 

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 3, Block C: Daniel Henninger, WSJ, in re:

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 3, Block D: Bing West, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs\, in re:

Hour Four

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 4, Block A: Richard A Epstein, Hoover Institution, Chicago Law, in re:

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 4, Block B: Richard A Epstein, Hoover Institution, Chicago Law, in re:

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 4, Block C:  Philip Terzian, , in re:

Thursday 20 November  2014 / Hour 4, Block D:  LouAnn Hammond,, in re:

..  ..  ..