The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 21 March 2013

Air Date: 
March 21, 2013

Photo, above:  Pres Obama visits Israel; the  first sight he's taken to see on his tour, moments after he sets foot on the tarmac, is an Iron Dome battery.


Hour One

Co-hosts: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board; Edward Hayes, criminal defense attorney par excellence; Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Satyajit Das, author, economist; Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial, in re: Europe Weighs Cyprus’s Fate After Lawmakers Reject Deal  European policy makers are weighing how far to push Cyprus after lawmakers in the Mediterranean nation rejected an unprecedented levy on bank deposits, throwing into limbo a rescue package designed to keep it in the euro. Stocks and the euro gained as investors speculated that the European Central Bank, whose Governing Council meets today in Frankfurt, will continue to support the country’s banks. Luxembourg Finance Minister Luc Frieden called for the 17 euro finance ministers to reconvene as soon as possible to forge a new bailout.

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:   Mary Kissel, in re: There Was More To GOP’s Woes In 2012 Than Poor Advice And Advisors by Bill Whalen, Hoover, in Advancing a Free Society

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . Edward Hayes, criminal defense attorney par excellence, in re: Jailed for 2 Decades in Rabbi’s Death, Unjustly, Prosecutors Say  In the wintry darkness 23 years ago on a back street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a jewelry thief fleeing a botched robbery panicked and shot a Hasidic rabbi in the head.

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Tim Wilson, Selling out press for a bit of pork - The Australian; MAry Kissel on the intrigue in the Australian Labor Government; Tony Abbott and the Liberals are well ahead in the pols for the next General Election; why Gillard has failed to hold her success; carbon tax as inadequate policy for growth.

Hour Two

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  .Malcolm Hoenlein, in re: President Obama in Israel; the significance of the trip; the US aspiration for the dialogue; the measure of the Palestinian governance; the lack of legitimacy for Abbas; the rockets fired from Gaza by Islamic Johad (Hamas stooges); the Arab Spring changes everything for the Palestinian aspirations.

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  . Amb Dennis Ross, Washington Institute, in re: Pres Obama's visit to the Holy Land.

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  . Malcolm Hoenlein, in re:  scan of readjustment of power across the Middle East; Pres Obama's attention to polls; the Arab Spring has rendered moot many old concerns. Arab leader, met this week, now see Israel as a source of stability, not instability.  All of them concerned about Iran. Ido Aharoni, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, on Israel's aspiration for peace, on favorable reception of Pres Obama in Israel. Some yeas go, Palestinians decided to cease negotiating with Israel; rather , to apply pressure through third parties. Hasn’t worked out too well.

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Chemi Shalev, US foreign correspondent for Haaretz, in re: Pres Obama's all-guns-blazing charm offensive in Israel. Using every schtick, an effective charm offensive; even his critics start to like him, although he had some content in his speech today that did not please.  US and Israeli media similar coverage.  In Ramallah today, he said Secy Kerry would devote a lot of effort to bridge the gap between Palestinians and Israel. An opening shot for Kerry to work on bldg peace process. Pres Obama's Jerusalem speech today was directed to Israeli public, soften their stance vs peace process. If he'd gone to Jerusalem directly after Cairo four years go, would history have taken a different course? This will somewhat melt the frosty relations; why did he not do this years ago? He told Abbas: Time to climb down the tree. Kerry's job will be to have him climb down while maintaining some dignity.

Hour Three

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Malcolm Hoenlein, in re: [JB] Malcolm – last Thursday you promised that there will be a govt formed in Israel by Monday. PM Netanyahu probably tweeted, "Yessir, Malcolm" – and now one has been formed, although its stability is in question.  Defense Min went to Gen Alon, was chief of staff and Min for Strategic Affairs. Finance to Lapid;  Foreign Ministry being held for Min Lieberman, who's enmeshed in transitory problems. Anent Pres Obama, even Bennett (rightist) was quite positive toward  he visit, although objected to "occupy" after two thousand years.  Hamas fired five rockets from the Gaza Strip at civilians to remind everyone that Abbas doesn’t speak for Hamas. Pres Obama seems to see Israel very differently today from what he thought four years ago, as do many Arab leader: it's the stablest entity for many long miles every direction. King Abdullah of Jordan is under one or another form of attack from all quarters – internal opposition, Syrian physical attack; and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is actively fomenting revolution in Jordan. The king speaks of their [reactionary] policies. Egypt unstable, Muslim Brothers are aggressive; if Jordan falls, it will rattle the region in an unparalleled way – give Iran direct access to Israel; huge military, social, economic consequences. The Palestinian-Israeli dispute is by far no longer the fulcrum of he Middle East.

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  Brig.-Gen. (Ret.) Dr. Daniel Gold, CEO & founder of Gold R&D Technology and Innovation Ltd; former Head of Research and Development at the Ministry of Defense and Israel Defense Forces – and the inventor and progenitor of Iron Dome; in re: Iron Dome. This project went from concept to reality in just three years.
 Iron Dome, the rocket defense system revolutionizing Israel’s defense capabilities, almost did not get built. While it has proved to be highly effective in shooting down rockets fired by Hamas, the initial idea by Brig. Gen. Dr. Danny Gold faced much skepticism, bureaucratic opposition and lack of funding. Refusing to take no for an answer, Gen. Gold assembled a team of top engineers who made the concept a reality in just five years.

Brains Behind Israel’s Iron Dome ‘Not Putting All the Eggs in One System’  From Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted nearly 400 Gaza rockets last November alone, with an 85 percent success rate, amid the Israel Defense Forces’ Operation Pillar of Defense. But the brains behind the system isn’t resting on his laurels.  “I’m realistic, so I’m not putting all the eggs in one system, [even though] it had much success,” IDF Brig. Gen. Dr. Danny Gold, who had the initial idea for the Iron Dome, said in an interview with at the 2013 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference. “I did my job, I developed many other systems. So [the Iron Dome] helped Israel to probably prevent a massive ground operation and war, but it’s not alone.”

Gold was referring to other joint US-Israel missile interception systems such as the David’s Sling (still in development), Arrow 2 (operational) and Arrow 3 (still in development). Asked by an audience member during an AIPAC breakout session to compare and contrast David’s Sling to Iron Dome, Gold explained that the concept of protecting Israel comes in “layers”—with David’s Sling providing the second layer (after the first layer of Iron Dome) to protect against long-range rockets and cruise missiles. Arrow 3, considered to be the most innovative and revolutionary anti-missile system in the world, was successfully tested in central Israel on Feb. 25. The system is meant to bolster Israel’s ability to intercept long-range ballistic missiles, and is designed to  . . . [more]

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:   John Bolton, AEI, in re:  Administration bluster about “keeping all options on the table,” the chances of Obama actually using force against Iran’s nuclear program, are as close to absolute zero as one can get except in outer space. He wants to reduce Israel’s odds of using force to the same level, and that's his trip's highest priority. The real message to Israelis from Americans: Whatever our religious backgrounds, we do not agree with Obama’s views on Israel or the Middle East. So, be polite and respectful to the leader of the free world, but don’t confuse what Obama says with what the American people actually believe. Abbas has zero democratic legitimacy [his term expired years ago and he just sits there in that chair]. I think Gaza voted in Hamas not because Gazans are terrorists but because they were so tired of the old, corrupt, worn-out Palestinian Authority.

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block D:   Aaron Klein, author and WABC Radio, in re: Pres Obama shuns Knesset, the heart and symbol of Israeli democracy, in strea goes to the Jerusalem convention center, gives a rousing speech to a select group of specifically leftest students, freezing out students from Ariel University, for example. He chastized Israel, failed to mention Hamas, and actually quoted Saul Alinsky, anent the world as it is vs the world as it should be.  Pres Obama said that Israel as it is vs Israel as it should be requires Israelis to do an end-run around their elected leadership and just seize the day. [Pres Obama's Arab Spring recommendations to Israelis? How'd that Arab Spring work out in Algeria, Libya, and Egypt?  In Syria?] Hamas fired five rockets into Israel today to state that Abbas doesn’t represent Hamas.

Obama Lays Out Case for Israel to Revive Peace Talks  In a carefully crafted speech that was enthusiastically welcomed by a youthful audience of Israelis, President Obama advocated a vision of a future Israel at peace with the Palestinians                  The Lede: Highlights From Obama’s Speech   Miss Israel's Turn to Press Obama on Spy    This Time, No Call to Halt Settlements President Obama stopped short of insisting that Israel suspend settlement growth, as he did in his first term.

Hour Four

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  Cubanos in Wisconsin by Silvio Canto Jr. and Gabriel Canto; 1 of 2. From the quiet Cuban town of Ciego to the bustling city of Havana, no Cubans were unaffected by Fidel Castro’s rise to power in the late 1950’s. Fidel’s Revolución, which began with rallies, parades, and truckloads of hope, smothered the island of Cuba with oppressive public policies that gutted the small nation’s system of enterprise and muzzled the vibrant Cuban culture of the 1950s. Symbols of capitalism were torn down and private schools were replaced with “Revolutionary Schools” established to spread Castro’s message. The country’s religious leaders were excommunicated and proud Cuban traditions like the Cuban Winter Baseball League became Fidel’s props, instruments for social and economic control. As more and more dissenters were imprisoned or killed fighting shadow wars to overthrow the regime, it was clear that human rights had become a fairy tale that existed across the sea in America. Following the failed, US-led invasion at the Bay of Pigs, . . . [see below]

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  :  Cubanos in Wisconsin by Silvio Canto Jr. and Gabriel Canto; 2 of 2. . . Fidel’s death grip on the island grew unbearable. Like scores of other Cubans, Silvio Canto’s family fled their home country for the opportunity to lead a life of peace and freedom. The journey to freedom would not be easy. Before they left the island, the family faced boisterous Cuban officials and food shortages. Silvio watched in horror as his father’s attempt to maintain autonomy repeatedly ended in vain and his mother’s frustration with the new Cuba reached a tipping point. Leaving the island was only the first step toward their eventual resettling in a faraway land called Wisconsin. Along the way the family faced an earthquake in Mexico City, poverty and dismay in Jamaica, and culture shock in America. They lost their way of life, their country, and their dreams of a free Cuba but, with the support of family and friends, the family started a new life and formed a new identity. They became Cubanos in Wisconsin.

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block C:  Steve Moore, WSJ, in re:  A Senate Budget at Last 
Keep an eye on the red-state Democrats like Mark Begich of Alaska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

Thursday  21 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block D:   Robert Zimmerman,, in re: Curiosity is out of safe mode and will be resuming full science operations by next week. It's imperative that the engineers clear up these computer problems now, as communications with the rover will be limited in April because the sun will be in the way.  Transmissions from Earth to the orbiters [Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter] will be suspended while Mars and the sun are two degrees or less apart in the sky, from April 9 to 26, with restricted commanding during additional days before and after. Both orbiters will continue science observations on a reduced basis compared to usual operations. Both will receive and record data from the rovers. Odyssey will continue transmissions Earthward throughout April, although engineers anticipate some data dropouts, and the recorded data will be retransmitted later.

..  ..  ..


Hour 1: Knight & Day, House of Cards, Downton Abbey

Hour 2: Infamous

Hour 3: Infamous

Hour 4: Motorcycle Diaries, Game of Thrones, Star Trek