The John Batchelor Show

Monday 25 January 2021

Air Date: 
January 25, 2021

Colleague: Thaddeus McCotter, American Greatness
Hour One
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 1, Block A: Tom Joscelyn, @thomasjoscelyn, Long War Journal and FDD; and Bill Roggio, @billroggio, Long War Journal and FDD; in re: US Treasury says Taliban works with al Qaeda in a report to the Defense Department.  A slew of assassinations strikes Afghanistan, especially killing of women, intellectuals, and journalists. Forty people have been killed since the Biden installation.  Senior members of Taliban have discussed forming a new operating network, a new army — the first for the Islamic Emirate— to be funded by al Qaeda.  ISIS is still in Afghanistan, but a smaller scale of threat.  ISIS core is in Syria; also in Khorasan province.
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 1, Block B: Tom Joscelyn, @thomasjoscelyn, Long War Journal and FDD; and Bill Roggio, @billroggio, Long War Journal and FDD; in re: Biden administration is “reviewing” policy against Taliban—which shod take fifteen minutes.   A slew of assassinations strikes Afghanistan, especially killing of women, including women judges, and intellectuals and journalists. Reuters reports US forces will leave.   The press calls this a peace agreement—not a hint of peace. It’s a withdrawal agreement where the US agrees to leave by May 2021 in exchange for fewer Taliban attacks. Kabul and other places will then fall in the months to come.  The only thing that’s kept Kunduz and other cities from falling has been US forces.  The US government decided to lie on behalf of the Taliban.  Coming: a Taliban government.
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 1, Block C: Stephen Yates, former deputy national security advisor to Vice President Cheney and currently CEO of DC International Advisory, and Gordon Chang, @GordonGChang, Daily Beast, in re:  China tests new US presidents (not Trump, of whom they were afraid).  China thinks it’s their job to push,  and our job to show where the limits are. The harsh provocations today are greater than in the past. Psaki:  ”We’ll use strategic patience.”  Exactly the wrong strategy.   These are tense times. Taiwan is materially better armed than it was, but it hasn't kept pace with the challenges it faces, and the human part—no more mandatory military—is not good.  The military reserve is less prepared than it was 25 years ago. In the US, hypercharged politics may prevent holding on to gains made. Systemic erosion.  Things are as tense as any time since the Cultural Revolution.  Danger.  A unique moment when the US and allies must be strong together.
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 1, Block D: Gordon Chang, @GordonGChang, Daily Beast, in re:   Jonathan Bass, @jonsbass, CEO of PTM Images, and Gordon Chang, @GordonGChang, Daily Beast, in re: Onshoring and the formation of a new manufacturing advocacy group. Supply chains, US-made goods: need transparency in county-of-origin labelling. We need prohibitions against buying goods made by slave labor. If we find one case in one country, we need to prohibit all goods from that country. Chinese mfrs are transshipping via Vietnam and other nations. Counterfeiting and corruption in the auditing process.   ONSHORE AMERICAS.com
Hour Two
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 2, Block A:   David Drucker: @DavidMDrucker, Washington Examiner; in re: Michigan-6 has censured a local pol—and may primary him—for having voted with Trump. Same across the country in Republican parties. Arizona.  Wyoming. 
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 2, Block B:  John Fund, @johnfund, NRO, in re: Senator Bernie Sanders, the man behind the man behind the man: it was presumed that the overtly socalist Sanders was on his way to an easy in when there was an “intervention,” to put it politely. What does Biden, the ultimate transactional pol, owe Sanders? Biden is the broker for many factions (unions, interest gr0ups, etc.)
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 2, Block C:  Andrew C McCarthy, @AndrewCMcCarthy, Ball of Collusion; and Thaddeus McCotter, @ThadMcCotter, American Greatness, in re:  A shpw trial like no other.  Is it Constitutional?
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 2, Block D: Lorenzo Fiori: Direttore Generale Ansaldo Fondazione ; in re: Italian prime minister resigns on Tuesday. Need a new sort of Marshall Plan. We cannot continue with all these [dissonant] statements; we need a re-set.  We have funds from the EU, need to establish public education.  In Milan: was still red in lockdown on Saturday;  restaurant serve only takeaway. From Sunday: orange.  People feel the need to devise some sort of acceptable normality. A bit exhausted. In the south: orange.  Sicily is red. It’s been poor for two thousand years.  Hannibal.
Hour Three
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 3, Block A:  Malcolm Hoenlein, @conf_of_pres, Conference of Presidents, in re:   Anniversary of International Holocaust Day: liberation of the concentration camps.   Auschwitz-Birkenau liberated by the Red Army, which didn't want to speak of it, didn’t want the truth to get out. Iran: major blackout.  Massive electricity being used to mine Bitcoin! China has transferred lots of technical ability to Iran. Each transaction uses the amount of electricity used by a small town.  The IRGC takes agricultural subsidy, leaves citizens broke and ill.   Azerbaijani and Turkmeni gas fields are to be [aligned]. Lucrative for both countries. A disturbing poll: majority of Egyptians did not favor Trump, prefer Beijing. Reject Abraham Accords. Favor reconciliation with Qatar; 96% negative on Hezbollah and Houthis.
UAE is looking for an embassy in Tel Aviv; Israel opened an embassy in UAE.
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 3, Block B:  Indiana Hoenlein, @conf_of_pres, Conference of Presidents, in re: In 1855, France and England in competition to ransack the ruins of ancient Mesopotamia.  A lot of excavation looking for Biblical sites; plunder. A Frenchman thought he’d found Ninevah; was Khorzabad, where he found 200 rooms.  Both trying to fill their museums, the Louvre and various London museums. Loaded vast treasures on a barge, 30 tons for antiquities.  Overcome by pirates, who took lumber, cash, and goods.  Much of the material was lost, great amounts in the river.  A 3,000-year-old sarcophagus.  
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 3, Block C:  Jerry Hendrix: @JerryHendrixII; in re:  Gauging level of American support for Taiwan:  two strike groups in the region, and a guided missile sub, and the Reaganin Japan right now. A lot of strategic conventional power in the region. Continuous presence is a good idea. Easier to bleed off the tensions between nations than if the [conflict] were episodic. Navy: 1. frigates, 2. attack boats, and 3. unmanned vehicles, underwater and airborne.  When highly-lethal subs surface, it makes [enemies] nervous. Frigates, however,  are very much seen.  Unmanned platform has presence, is known to be tied to a manned platform. The western Pacific is [the central concern just now].  Important to demonstrate a high-low capability.  China wants to absorb high seas into their own territorial waters, which the world rejects and the US prevents by keeping its Navy nearby.  We need 440-plus ships. 
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 3, Block D:  Brenda Shaffer: @ProfBShaffer  @FDD; Georgetown; in re:  Turkmeni-Azerbaijani interim agreement; gas to be sent across the Caspian to the world market. Agreement signed only after the Southern Gas Corridor was functioning. Russians may, possibly, not have disagreed.   Nagorno-Karabakh.  
Hour Four
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 4, Block A:  5/8 Sicily '43: The First Assault on Fortress Europe,by James Holland   (part 2)
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 4, Block B:  6/8 Sicily '43: The First Assault on Fortress Europe,by James Holland   (part 2)
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 4, Block C:  7/8 Sicily '43: The First Assault on Fortress Europe,by James Holland   (part 2)
Monday 25 January 2021 / Hour 4, Block D:  8/8 Sicily '43: The First Assault on Fortress Europe,by James Holland   (part 2)
On July 10, 1943, the largest amphibious invasion ever mounted took place, larger even than the Normandy invasion eleven months later: 160,000 American, British, and Canadian troops came ashore or were parachuted onto Sicily, signaling the start of the campaign to defeat Nazi Germany on European soil. Operation HUSKY, as it was known, was enormously complex, involving dramatic battles on land, in the air, and at sea. Yet, despite its paramount importance to ultimate Allied victory, and its drama, very little has been written about the 38-day Battle for Sicily.
Based on his own battlefield studies in Sicily and on much new research, James Holland’s Sicily ’43 offers a vital new perspective on a major turning point in World War II and a chronicle of a multi-pronged campaign in a uniquely diverse and contained geographical location. The characters involved―Generals George Patton and Bernard Montgomery among many―were as colorful as the air and naval battles and the fighting on the ground across the scorching plains and mountaintop of Sicily were brutal. But among Holland’s great skills is incorporating the experience of on-the-ground participants on all sides―from American privates Tom and Dee Bowles and the Tuskegee fighter pilot Charlie Dryden to the British major Hedley Verity and Canadian lieutenant Farley Mowat (later a celebrated author), to German and Italian participants such as Wilhelm Schmalz, brigade commander in the Hermann Göring Division, or Luftwaffe fighter pilot major Johannes “Macky” Steinhoff and to Italian combatants, civilians and mafiosi alike―which gives readers an intimate sense of what occurred in July and August 1943.
Emphasizing the significance of Allied air superiority, Holland overturns conventional narratives that have criticized the Sicily campaign for the vacillations over the plan, the slowness of the Allied advance and that so many German and Italian soldiers escaped to the mainland; rather, he shows that clearing the island in 38 days against geographical challenges and fierce resistance was an impressive achievement. A powerful and dramatic account by a master military historian, Sicily ’43 fills a major gap in the narrative history of World War II.