The John Batchelor Show

Monday 23 July 2018

Air Date: 
July 23, 2018

Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, Prussian polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer, and influential proponent of Romantic philosophy and science. See: Hour 4, Blocks A & B:  The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World, by Andrea Wulf.
Painting:  Humboldt and his fellow scientist Aimé Bonpland at the foot of the Chimborazo volcano, painting by Friedrich Georg Weitsch (1810)
Co-host: Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, the Great Voice of the Great Lakes
Hour One
Monday   23 July 2018 / Hour 1, Block A: Tom Joscelyn, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies; & Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal; and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; in re: “Irreconcilable Taliban” – those who can’t be integrated into US-led activities; hunh? Show me a reconcilable Talibat. After sixteen years, the Taliban are stronger than ever. It's disgraceful that Resolute Support is doing this; failed entirely even to compare what happened in Vietnam. “Vietnam failed at the command level.”   Fifty years from now when historians write on Afghanistan, it’ll [look similar.] This is a crime – US failure to understand our enemy in Afghanistan and what Pakistan is doing, as it [basically runs the Taliban]. 
Suicide bombing moments from when Afghan VP Dostum drove out of the airport. Missed Dostum, but had excellent information.   ISIS can still operate n the Afghan capital.  More than half of civilian casualties are the doing of the local branch of ISIS!  Suicide and “complex attacks” are occurring at an increasing pace.  
Monday   23 July 2018 / Hour 1, Block B: Tom Joscelyn, Long War Journal and FDD; and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; in re: Massive  attack by Shebaab – truckloads; enormous casualties.  Eight Shebaab fighters and four Somali soldiers?  Hard tob  get figures. 
Monday   23 July 2018 / Hour 1, Block C: Gordon Chang, Daily Beast, in re: Today it’s 6.729 yuan to  the dollar, could be going to 7. Some say it’s intentional but I doubt it; countries that try to get a trade advantage by weakening currency do so slowly.  China has been selling a lot of dollars — probably a massive dumping of dollars to defend the renminbi.
Larry Kudlow: My sense is that Xi advisors want to make a deal, settle this trade war. At midnight Wednesday, Qualcomm is supposed to be buying NXP if and only if China approves the purchase.  We’ll know a lot in the first minute of Thursday.  My guess is that Trump favored XTE in order to have China approve this sale.  . . .
Monday   23 July 2018 / Hour 1, Block D:  Henry I Miller, Hoover, in re: On RT, there’s a repeated message on GMO foods. Why is RT so excited by preaching against GMOs? Russians cant equal West in tech, so they endeavor to disrupt and dismay, St Petersburg is running a huge anti-fracking program. Similarly, genetic engineering comes mostly from the US, so Russia opposes, stymies, discredit =s it as Russia intends to become the world’s primary exporter of organic produce. Russia collaborates with US organizations.   
Foods called “organic” from Turkey or Russia are that in name, only.  Doesn't remotely approach US standards. USRTK – US right to know – is on the bandwagon, and also opposes vaccines and favors homeopathy.  See:  USRTK also practices character assassination. On TV: “The Americans” mimic the Internet Research Agency, an airplane-hangar-like room, whence the Russians practice global disinformation.
Hour Two
Monday   23 July 2018 / Hour 2, Block A:  John Fund, NRO, and David M Drucker, Washington Examiner, in re: Despite all the sandbags  in history having been thrown at the president, his approval ratings are going up. Republicans really really really like Donald Trump, ad Democrats really really really don't. . . .  The boy who cried Trump too much.  . . .  What can Trump do to [cork the complaints] of the independents?  Stop tweeting.
Exhaustion from all the fighting and controversy.   . . . Who turns out to vote?  Do the independents race out to vote or stay at home?   Philly collar county / suburban-exurban Philadelphia:  Salena Zito spoke to the women who voted for Hilary will vote for current Congressman “because he’s not like Trump.” In suburban Richmond last week, a closer Trump-Clinton margin;
Monday   23 July 2018 / Hour 2, Block B:  David M Drucker, Washington Examiner, and John Fund, NRO, in re: FOIA release: some glimpses of the FISA app, 2016—2017.  Carter Page on TV every whipstitch (does he look like a Russian spy to you?).  FISA apps depended on the Steele/Fusion GPS dossier, all of which is identified as hearsay. Issikoff was also based on Steele’s dossier; and Steele hadn’t been in Russia for two decades. 
We're now in a race between the Special Counsel’s office and _____; Trump-linked companies in Central Asia and all the revelations revealed one step at a time: whom were intell agencies colluding with?  Let's have the whole thing declassified (other than sources and methods). The only way out of this is to put all the facts on the table. All of us are disgusted and the delays throw everything off the rails.
Today, TVs dropped “collude” and replaced it with “meddle.”
Monday   23 July 2018 / Hour 2, Block C: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re:  Strange conduct by Rouhani— have they lost the script? Is somebody out of money?  It's  on script, relative to the sanctions, as Euros and Africans are pulling out of deals. Shutting down intl oil shipments through the Straits of Hormuz . . .  When Pompeo said that the wealth among Iranian leaders resembles the Mafia – an insult to the Mafia.  Creating a new channel to circumvent the regime’s Larijani has embezzled $300 mil; and Shirazi . . .   Pompeo sending a msg to the Iranian people: these creatures are why you’re broke and nothing is being done about the drought. Rial has lost half its value; can't get insurance on exports.  Like a wounded animal, the regime will take aggressive steps – cyber attacks on electric grids and infrastructure; also, Russia tried to let Iranians get 100 km from the Israeli border, which Israel rejected. 
Drivers and students have been protesting for months; now farmers are: 90% of he farming has ceased over the last few years because of he drought and zero govt help.  Sarin gas production in northern Syria; after a strike [?], several Hezb fighters were killed.  Instead of shipping things across Iraq, Iran is trying to mfr weapons in Syria. However, very good intell from multiple disaffected sources is helping plan air strikes. 
Kuneitra was an abandoned town near the Israeli border, then occupied by Iranian troops wearing Syrian uniforms; see: 1974 disengagement agreement.
Egypt and Fatah: can Egypt broker anything persuasive for Palestinians? Depends on what Palestinians want. Just declared that the ancient Western Wall is part of al Aqsa mosque.   . . .  Two hundred rockets in thirty days from Gaza into Israel; hundreds of acres and whole forests  have been destroyed by Hamas’s fire kites.   State Dept did a study under Obama and failed to release it; now we see that there are in fact 30,000 legitimate Palestinian refugees, ]not millions] – but UNRWA has 30,000 employees and a a$700 mil budget. PA looking for new ways to escalate the violence even as Egypt and Gulfies have been trying to calm it down with money. PA wants all the money to go directly to it.
Monday   23 July 2018 / Hour 2, Block D: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: New flotilla set sail from Palermo to “break the Gaza blockade” which is internationally approved legally. Decided to rename part of Palermo port after Yassir Arafat.   . . . .  BDS movement has PA behind it.
Ferrara, Italy: a new museum, $50 mil, abt a girl named Astor [?] who was sold as a slave in Jerusalem ; Roman Colosseum built by labor of enslaved Jews?  . . . Continuous Jewish presence in Ferrara for a thousand years.
Hour Three
Monday 23 July 2018  / Hour 3, Block A: Michel Ledeen, FDD, in re: History of Russia as villains according to the US.
Monday 23 July 2018  / Hour 3, Block B: Lisa Daftari, The Foreign Desk, in re:  Heated rhetoric ‘twixt the US and Iran.
Monday 23 July 2018  / Hour 3, Block C:  Andrew C. McCarthy III is an American columnist for National Review; served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; in re:  Russiagate
Monday 23 July 2018  / Hour 3, Block D: Andrew C. McCarthy III is an American columnist for National Review; served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; in re:  Russiagate
Hour Four
Monday 23 July 2018  / Hour 4, Block A:  The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World, by Andrea Wulf
Monday 23 July 2018  / Hour 4, Block B:  The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World, by Andrea Wulf
Monday 23 July 2018  / Hour 4, Block C:  Jonathan Wood, PERC Montana, in re: PERCreports, “The Endangered Species Two-Step” 
Threatened species could lose habitat protections under Department of the Interior proposal
The Department of the Interior announced Thursday controversial plans to roll back core provisions of the Endangered Species Act, a move aimed at reducing the burdens of such safeguards on landowners, industry and governments.
The proposal calls for rescinding U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service policies that automatically extend habitat protections granted to endangered species to threatened species as well. Instead, Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said the agency wants to decide on a case-by-case basis whether to protect habitats of threatened species — animals and plants that scientists believe could soon become endangered.
Monday 23 July 2018  / Hour 4, Block D:  Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, in re: Looking at NATO, esp in the Baltics – roads, tunnels, everything,  NATO is extremely not ready for any possible Russian incursion; if you can't get the eqpt to where it's needed, what's the use?  Tanks and heavy eqpt are too heavy for the roads and bridges, which also are too narrow; rely on railroads, which  in turn rely on inadequate roads.  
During the Cold War, had contingency plans, routes mapped out.  Thereafter, all that planning went by the wayside and, further, the Baltics were accepted into NATO. 
Stuff stuck in Romania for two months recently; cannot transport.
Heavy Eqpt Transports, HETs, were not able to be moved from the Carpathians.  NATO can defend neither the Baltics nor the Eastern European corridor to the Black Sea.
And imagine someone on the opposite side meddling with cyberinfo for logistics.  Now imagine the air:  Russian antiaircraft missiles are highly accurate – so NATO can’t do supply runs.
Patrick Tucker, DefenseOne, said that sat pix show the bldg of new railroads in Kaliningrad. Same thing occurred in Abkhazia in 2008. The Russians know that NATO is not ready.
There’s a railroad gap at the Suwalki Gap*. It takes time to degrade an air defense system: by the time the US succeeded,  it’s likely that things on the ground would be lost.
Brussels finally is talking about this; have a new logistics center in Germany.    Europeans seem to be willing to apply the missing part of the owed 2% to roads and bridges, as these are dual-use. Of course, Moscow would see all of it.
* The current Lithuania–Poland border has existed since the re-establishment of the independence of Lithuania on March 11, 1990. To the military planners of NATO, the border area is known as the Suwalki gap (named after the nearby town).