Scott interviews James Bradley about the growing threat of war with China, evinced by political rhetoric, public sentiment, and media coverage. The thing is, Scott and Bradley agree, this threat has no real basis in any bellicosity on China’s part. It is mainly the result of powerful interest groups who stand to gain from hostilities, and the rabble rousers who exploit a natural need in the American people to find a scapegoat for domestic problems. The problem, of course, is that an actual conflict with China would be nothing short of catastrophic for both countries, and likely for the rest of the world as well. Scott insists that there is simply no way to fight conventional wars between nuclear-armed countries. A small consolation is to be found in President Trump, who, despite his belligerent rhetoric, has actually not been as hawkish as his predecessors.
Discussed on the show:
- “War With China?” (Accuracy.Org)
- Wilson’s War: How Woodrow Wilson’s Great Blunder Led to Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, and World War II
- “What Happens to Hong Kong Now?” (The New York Times)
- “From Death Camp to Civilization” (LewRockwell)
- Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World
- “The Coming War on China (John Pilger)” (YouTube)
- The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
- “America’s Pacific Century” (Foreign Policy)
- Agreed Framework
James Bradley is the author of Flags of Our Fathers, Flyboys, The China Mirage, and many others. He hosts the podcast, Untold Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @jamesjbradley.
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.
Donate to the show through Patreon, PayPal, or Bitcoin: 1KGye7S3pk7XXJT6TzrbFephGDbdhYznTa.
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
All right, y’all welcome it’s Scott Horton Show. I am the director of the Libertarian Institute editorial director of antiwar.com, author of the book Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. And I’ve recorded more than 5000 interviews going back to 2003, all of which are available at ScottHorton.org. You can also sign up to the podcast feed. The full archive is also available at youtube.com/ScottHortonShow. All right, you guys introducing James Bradley. He wrote the movie and the book Flags of Our fathers. And yes, the sequel was just called Eva Jima wrote the book Imperial cruise, and also fly boys and his latest is called the China Mirage the hidden history. American disaster in Asia. Welcome back to the show, James, how you doing?
James Bradley 1:06
Hey, Scott, thank you for having me again,
Scott Horton 1:08
good to talk to you. It’s been a little while. And you know what, I am so busy fighting the last war in the Middle East all the time. I am way behind on our problems with China. But I gather we’ve got loads of them and that you would disagree about many of them being necessary conflicts. I have this great press release sent out by the Institute for Public accuracy. Talking about the danger of even real war with China and an unnecessary war, in your opinion. So what do you think about what’s going on here recently?
James Bradley 1:50
Well, I, you know, I’ve been watching the news and the Chinese navy is not in San Francisco Bay and they’re not in The Caribbean and they haven’t built a base in Canada or Mexico. And it’s a mirage and, you know, ridiculous to think they would. So what is the problem with China?
Scott Horton 2:15
Yeah, what is the problem with China?
James Bradley 2:18
Well, I’d like to add, I mean, you know what we’re really what militarily? What’s the big problem? Ray McGovern, ex CIA briefer to Ronald Reagan. His name is Ray McGovern. He’s at Ray McGovern calm. Ex CIA briefer to Ronald Reagan. George Herbert Walker Bush just told me in an interview that the pivot to Asia that President Obama announced in Australia in 2011 was all about Raytheon and Lockheed popping champagne bubbles, big bottles, because war in the Middle East, you know, we’ve destroyed almost every building there and chasing terrorists down alleys. You know, it’s it’s it’s not hard. profit, whereas China biggest country in the world, population wise, there’s a, you know, generations of of business to be done there. So that the preparation for war is the key. And then the American media is, you know, hyping that China is some danger. But, you know, I’ve been living on and off in Asia since 1974. And, again, I’m looking for this danger to be defined.
Scott Horton 3:28
Yeah. Well, I mean, you really hit the nail on the head there when you talk about business and all the business to be done building up a cold war against China. But of course, when most people think of China in business, they don’t think of militarism at all. They think about all the trade back and forth between China all the American investment in China and all the cheap plastic crap we get from them. And not only that, but other quality goods as well. And so it would seem like war, or even the threat of war Cold War with China, like we have, you know, beginning right now are really beginning back in Obama years, but continuing now, that that would be a huge detriment to American big business. If you’re not Lockheed or Raytheon. What about everybody else? All the auto manufacturers, all the blue jeans and all the soda pop and all the whatever, you know, equipment that people use to run their businesses and all the other trade back and forth.
James Bradley 4:29
Well, again, I’m quoting another expert here a guy by the name of Michael Claire KLE. If people want to look up his many articles, he’s uh, you know, he’s deep into Washington and is consulted by the Pentagon. And he says that the few you know that we are decoupling from China. And if if any of your listeners are ever looked at 1920s or 1930s maps of the various trading entities, you know, Indochina was French, so it was this color. And then you use the French franc within these three countries, Cambodia, Laos, you know, and then over here was the British Empire and Malaysia and Singapore and then you use the British pound. So he says we’re going back to less world trade, less of a large economy. It’s going to be smaller and more trading bloc’s like I’m in New Zealand, New Zealand’s working with Australia to form a healthy bubble from the virus and they’re cutting off all tourists and then they’re just going to intermingle among themselves that will go on forever. But the idea is smaller trade and trade within these, you know, decoupled blocks.
Scott Horton 5:50
Yeah, I mean, the virus really has changed everything as far as the entire globalist project goes. for better and for worse, but you know, a lot of what you say they’re reminding Me of Jim Powells book about World War One, where the whole first I guess introduction or chapter one to the thing or something is about the different trade bloc’s that became the Central Powers and Allied Powers alliances in war. And that, you know, there were these multinational trade bloc’s not entirely, you know, they weren’t entirely seeking autarky, but they weren’t seeking global free trade either. They just had them within these two kind of minor alliances that grew into war alliances, you know?
James Bradley 6:33
Yeah, that that’s, you know, one of the recurring things in history, another recurring thing specifically between American China and the reason I named my last book, The China Mirage, is there there’s been since you know, George Washington’s time all the way up to ours, this recurring thing where we don’t like China don’t pay attention to China and then China comes into fall. Because, and the key is that China’s going to become more like us. And in the 1930s this was typified by Franklin Roosevelt perot buck, the number one author of the 1930s, Henry Luce of Time Magazine. I document it all in my book. And we’d love to China, because China was going to be like us. They’re going to have white Christian churches on hilltops, and they had a Christian leader and Chiang Kai check. And he posed for pictures, you know, holding the Bible. And we supported this dictator because, you know, China wanted to be just like us. We’re, you know, once he took control of all of China, then it’s going to be christianized. And our missionaries are going to be happy. And God, do you know, after Pearl Harbor, they did a poll who’s the number one most popular ally in the world, and it wasn’t that it wasn’t with Churchill. It was. Check. I check in China, because China wanted to be just like us. perot buck told us this. Franklin Roosevelt told us China is the best example of American democracy in the world. This is when it was being run by a dictator. Then the second that Milo came to power in 1949. The Chinese people wanted Mao overtake. I checked, there was a civil war. They fought it out. Oh my god, China didn’t want to be like America. So we cut relations. I don’t know if you know, but we fired everyone who knew Chinese in the State Department. We fired anybody who knew Mao Zedong and cut off relations for a couple decades. Now then, oh, globalization, China. What we’re going to do back in the bush in the Obama administration’s is the same thing that FDR and Henry Luce and Pearl buck are doing, we’re going to work with China say we’re Americans and then we’re so democratic and, and we’re just extraordinary people. And then we’ll go over you know what these Chinese who we view as a third world nation rising, and then they’ll liberal liberalize, the more they work with us. the more they’ll liberalize the more, in other words be like us, they’re gonna want to eat apple pie, they’ll probably give up their chopsticks. And they’ll have potluck suppers across the country. Now, if you look at the American media, which I don’t much, but I studied, you know, what they’re saying about China. You see this on the it’s on the, you know, the liberal spectrum that the conservative spectrum the up and down left and right, every Americans agree now, gee, we got screwed. You know, we worked with China so well over the past 20 years, and they didn’t liberalize and they’re, they’re still Chinese, you know. And it’s the same China Mirage, the China is going to change. Oh, look at New York Times front page article today. Look what China’s doing in Hong Kong, they are restricting democratic rights. We got to get involved in this you know, China should be more like a I mean, you know, whatever. We’re going to give it up. China’s the largest thing in the world. It’s one fourth of the world. And I’m not arguing for China’s policies. I’m just saying, hey, for a few thousand years, they’ve had this system. It’s the same system. It’s the Emperor system right now the Emperor is committed. But it’s the same system. They are Chinese, there’s 1.4 billion, and they’re not bombing America, you know, there are no threat to America.
Scott Horton 10:28
And then what was the thing to I mean over when you talk about americanizing them and all of that kind of thing, I mean, they did abandon communism for fascism, which is still a totalitarian system, but at least they have prices. So now instead of laying down dying by the 10s of millions to get rich, this glorious and they have improved the standard of living created a massive middle class and even, you know, like a pretty well to do working class. You know, all things considered over there. As Lew Rockwell wants to wrote an article called from death camp to civilization, about how the mouse had just raised the entire society all the way down to the ground. And to and it just had to be started all over again kinda and so when people demonize China now, you got to take into account. This is probably, you know, because of the artificial constrictions against them. This is probably the greatest rags to riches story in the history of the world. And then on top of that, I’ll also add was you say whatever you want about that, but also, it seems to me like maybe if America wasn’t soaking in the blood of a million dead Iraqis, and we hadn’t blown the entire 21st century being the most bank robbed and destructive, blood soaked hypocrites going around talking about freedom when we obviously have no idea as a society, what that’s supposed to mean, or you know, have absolutely zero commitment whatsoever to living up to it, then maybe the Chinese and everybody else in the world would have taken the American brand of liberty a little bit more seriously. But instead it’s it’s not liberty, we’re exploiting its democracy. And that means whatever the republicans say, or something, you know, which Why would anyone take that seriously, and then surprise, they don’t?
James Bradley 12:15
Well, it’s the greatest rags to riches story and the Pew Research Foundation and American polling organization polls and tells us that like, 80% of the Chinese, but this is before COVID 80% that the Chinese are happy with their leadership. And why would they be the leadership of China has put like 50 million people a year into breaking into the middle class. I mean, it’s a I saw it. It’s just an economic success story. Yes. China has a lot of problems. Yes. I’m not saying you know, I agree with all our policies. My point is, we have bridges to build in America. I mean, I was living in New York about three years ago. And, you know, I don’t know how many tires I had to replace just driving to JFK Airport from Connecticut, you know, potholes. We we can take care of our own country and let’s do that. And but why are we, you know, pushing way across the Pacific to dig around with China. We’re not going to have a fight with with China, if we just withdrew a bit. We don’t need our military out there. We need to work on some world problems. And we’re not going to change China is my message. Yeah. Am I agreed with China and my arguing for China? No, what I’m saying is China’s China, United States is the United States, Mexico, you know, let’s invade Mexico and try to change them. Right. Well,
Scott Horton 13:51
so. So now do you discount the accusation that they have this more aggressive foreign policy now as signaled by their rising Navy in their calling Have all those little hotels in the South China Sea and all that stuff?
James Bradley 14:04
Well, those are a lot of words. And you know, there’s a lot of information out there about it. The way I look at it behind the scenes is the Emperor looks at the maps and says, Hey, this lane from Singapore, when the oil comes out of the Middle East, and it turns the corner down there on the bottom of Singapore, and then it sails up the Malaysian coast pass Vietnam in between Taiwan and brings oil to the Emperor’s people. That’s a lane that has to stay open. I mean, you have highway 95, in the United States on the east coast of America, you have to keep it open for national security. So everything else is a detail in the bumpers ready to wait a few hundred years to, you know, consolidate that highway. But the Emperor would say, Hey, we’re not in the Caribbean. You know, nobody is stopping your movement around San Francisco, San Diego. So get off our bags.
Scott Horton 15:04
Yeah. Hey guys, just real quick. If you listen to the interviews only feed at the institute or at Scott Horton. org. I just want to make sure you know that I do a q&a show from time to time at Scott Horton. org slash show the old whole show feed. And so if you like that kind of thing, check that out there. Hey, guys, here’s how to support this show. You can donate various amounts at Scott Horton. org slash donate. We’ve got some great kickbacks for you there. Shop amazon.com by way of my link at Scott horton.org. Leave a good review for the show and iTunes and Stitcher. Tell a friend. Oh, yeah, and buy my books. fool’s errand time to end the war in Afghanistan and the great Ron Paul. The Scott Horton show interviews 2004 through 2019. And thanks. Hey, guys, check out listen and think audio books. They’re listening think.com Calm, and of course on audible.com and they feature my book fool’s errand time to end the war in Afghanistan as well as brand new out inside Syria by our friend Rhys, Eric, and a lot of other great books, mostly by libertarians there. Reese might be one exception. But essentially, they’re all libertarian audiobooks. And here’s how you can get a lifetime subscription to listen and think audiobooks. just donate $100 to the Scott Horton show at Scott Horton. org slash donate, it seems like part of the problem might also be just kind of a matter of projection by the Americans against the Chinese that as our empire is falling apart and is being forced to retrench, at least in some ways, that Well, obviously they’re going to try to fill the vacuum and be the global hegemon in our place. And yet, I wonder if you think that that’s true. I mean, they do have, as you said, a very long tradition of just being China and not intervening around the world. All but then again, it’s been 100 years of chaos over there. So who knows what they want to do now? I don’t know.
James Bradley 17:07
Well, no, we have history what, you know what the Emperor wants. The Emperor in that was at the 11th or 12th century sent this unique Admiral out, he had the largest fleet of ships that were ever out in the sea, it was only equaled until World War Two. If you can imagine they had that like 700 doctors in the fleet. And they, they built this huge fleet of ships. And they went all over the world, Australia, South Africa, Indonesia. And they brought back you know, the artifacts and food from all over the world. And the mandarins and the Emperor said, What is this there’s all we you know, in the world, there’s only barbarians a bad food, and they burnt all the ships and they said we’re not going out to the rest of the world. You China could have been conquering countries for thousands of years. And they weren’t interested in it’s it’s more of an inward looking country, you know, the capitals in Beijing, in the middle of the country. This is a land country. This is not a project power outside and invade other countries country. I’m not saying, you know, there’s such wonderful people and I’m naive. No, I’m just looking at history who invaded China and World War Two, the Japanese. The Chinese didn’t invade. Others, the South China Sea. Okay, let’s worry about the South South China Sea. Let’s look at the last 66 in my lifetime. Let’s count up the deaths from China in the South China Sea. I don’t know if Are there any? Let’s see Americans. john mccain was flying off aircraft carriers in the South China Sea. I interviewed hundreds of Vietnamese who are bombed from you know, South China Sea Ships 3 million people died because of the American presence in the South China Sea. So I don’t see this argument that the world’s gonna fall apart if the Emperor keeps open the South China Sea is his lane.
Scott Horton 19:14
All right, but the big one is Taiwan. How many million people live in Taiwan now?
James Bradley 19:19
daughter lives there in the downtown Taipei. I go to Taipei an awful lot. That is a big one. And short term. It’s just an argument, you know. And long term, it’s part of China. I mean, if you look at back long term in I, let’s see, I document this in the Imperial cruise, and also the China mirage. You can see that yes, Taiwan was under Chinese influence. And it was an American general who got the Japanese to invade I think it was an 1878 and start to poke around Taiwan. So historic. It was Chinese and someday it will be Chinese. And it’ll probably be, you know, folded in peacefully. But the Emperor has got a few centuries to wait.
Scott Horton 20:10
Now, so you don’t think it’s an emergency that the Chinese might attack and try to take over Taiwan sometime soon?
James Bradley 20:16
Well, who knows, but they didn’t do it yesterday. And, you know, but that See, that’s their waters. It’s like, let’s it to the American public, I just say, Okay, put an enormous Chinese presence in Bermuda or in the Bahamas. And and China’s sell in the Bahamas, you know, aggressive weaponry that could hit Washington, DC. Yeah. We’re not talking. I’m not talking right or wrong. I’m just saying. I don’t think you know, like I question Why are Americans debating what China doing and what about the I mean, what’s going on here? debate about San Diego. I mean debate about Miami or something. I’m from Wisconsin. And if you had taken, let’s say some people from New Orleans who really were in New Orleans well, and brought them up to Wisconsin and tried to run Wisconsin, like they ran New Orleans, we’d go absolutely nuts. They can’t understand Wisconsin, they don’t know our traditions. You know, it’s, it’s just it that can’t be done. But we think we can take the American military and send them someplace and have a good outcome where they don’t even speak the language. Hmm. So I just asked America, America to pull back. I mean, I just interviewed David vine who wrote bass nation. And he said, you know, James, if he cut the American military budget by half, we’re still the largest military by far. Right. And I mean, if you eat Ray McGovern, who says we have to have China’s in enemy because That’s the only reason you can squeeze the American taxpayer for 50% of his taxes is to have a huge enemy. And Russia got boring in the Middle East isn’t profitable enough?
Scott Horton 22:10
Yeah, it does seem like the Air Force in the army prefer picking on Russia and the Navy in the Marine Corps prefer picking on China, which is sort of all you need to know. Right? This is just parochial interests of, you know, corrupt, self interested bureaucracies here doing what they do. But here’s the thing I want to ask you about. I noticed this all the time, in regards to Russia and China, and all the war plans, you know, they have the air sea battle plan and all of this stuff. And they have their various theories for fighting with the Russians as well. And I just hear this all the time discussions in DC and among military people and think tankers and what have you about fighting Russia and or China with conventional weapons. And it’s discussed in a way where the best I can tell The phenomenon works like this. It goes without saying that they got nukes, everybody knows they got nukes, they got h bombs, they could destroy all our biggest cities in one day. And we all know that and everybody knows that it’s not in dispute. It’s not controversial or in discussion. But so because it goes without saying, it literally goes unsaid. And then, for time after time, after time, they talk about, Hey, you know, it could really be a lot of fun, fighting a big naval battle against, you know, big Naval War against China. And this could be, you know, all we ever dreamed of, in the excitement as naval warriors, this kind of thing. And just ignoring the fact that if we ever do really have a fight with China, that it’s almost certain that we’ll lose San Francisco and LA, and possibly Denver and New York and DC and Houston and every, you know, major city in America, and they only need hundreds, and that’s how many they have. But I just wondered, I mean, do you notice that there’s there really is More talk all the time about, you know, this air sea battle strategy and this kind of thing where we could really get into a war if you listen to these guys.
James Bradley 24:10
Well, let’s talk about listening to these guys. I mean, America has said, we’re going to have a I mean, we have a war college. It’s called the War College. We have West Point what I think that what’s the official name of West Point, the United States Military Academy, and we’ve got the Air Force Academy, we have the Naval Academy, so what are they studying, you know, gardening or, you know, surfing or or, you know, hydroponics. They’re studying war. So, yeah, there’s a lot of war plans when you’ve got colleges turning out really bright people whose job it is to have war plans.
Scott Horton 24:53
Yeah, well, and you know, I was still a kid during the Cold War. I remember it, you know, pretty well, but You know, even at the height of the brinksmanship in the early 80s, the idea was that Yeah, but we’re not really gonna fight them, because we can’t. And everybody knows that ronald reagan don’t want to fight them anymore. And they want to fight us, and so kind of don’t worry about it. But things seem actually worse now than then it seemed like it was a more stable kind of a situation with the Soviet bloc there the way it was, and all that and where are the Americans? Even the Reaganites seem to be a lot more rational than the people who represent the centrist foreign policy consensus now.
James Bradley 25:39
Well, I don’t know what exactly what to say about that. I, Trump doesn’t want more. That’s kind of obvious, if you look, you know, globally, but the president is not in control of the entire situation. And let’s say there was a mistake. See, this is what the the real geniuses, and I’m not in that category. But john Pilcher, the Australian journalist who did the great documentary that’s online called the coming war with China. I’m in it. And Michael Claire, who I mentioned in this interview earlier, what they’re concerned about are accidents. Not you know, President g wanting to go to war President Trump wanting to go to war, but oh my god, something happened and there’s 70,000 dead Chinese and the something came from Okay. Now. What could the president of China do? Even if he doesn’t want to fight? You know what I mean? Oh, 4000 Americans are dead in a sunken aircraft carrier. Control prevent it. Could any president stop war at that point? Right. What they’re concerned about is an accident that I brought up john Pilger, in his documentary the coming war with China in there. He interviews the guy who got the order on Okinawa to nuke China and Russia. So it was in the 60s. It’s a true story documents. And so these accidents have happened.
Scott Horton 27:14
And you’re saying, This guy got an order? That was the mistaken order that he refused to carry out?
James Bradley 27:19
Yeah. Oh, yeah. It’s a it’s a famous story. And it’s documented in in pillagers. I mean, it’s documented many places, but he brings it out and actually interviews the people. So, you know, accidents happen. We’re humans. And that’s what these big thinkers are really concerned about is that there’s just so much movement, intention, and tit for tat going on right now, between China and America that an accident could happen. accident, flames, public opinion. And then we’re not talking about the decisions of presidents in Beijing or Washington. We’re talking talking about forced hands.
Scott Horton 27:56
Yep. And when you talk about those different war plans, I mean, Oftentimes, it seems like, you know, the blue binder on the shelf there essentially is written in stone. And so if the war plan says in the event of x, you do that, then they just do that. And it seems like, you know, so many governmental type things, thinking goes off. And the the previously provided structure kind of takes over, you know, back when, as Ellsberg talks about in his book, the doomsday machine, when when he took over nuclear war planning in the Kennedy administration, the plan was that if war had broken out over Berlin, that they were to nuke every city in the Soviet Union and China, you know, and just kill however many hundreds of millions of people, even on the very first day, and that there were no other plans, that if, in other words, if the Soviets had decided to conquer Western Berlin that That’s exactly what would have happened. And there wasn’t anyone in the chain of command to say no, no, just let’s implement page two, but not page three of the plan or anything like that. You know, it’s all just kind of automatic at that point.
James Bradley 29:12
You know, reading daniel ellsberg books, I mean, just when it’s nonfiction, he’s talking about, you know, the egghead, high national security situation he was in if your listeners don’t know, you know, he was an assistant to McNamara and Vietnam and nuclear policy, and he’s just a fantastic guy. But reading his books, you know, you don’t need science fiction. When you read what Ellsberg was talking about, at these meetings, what they’re actually thinking about,
Scott Horton 29:41
yep, yeah. He says when he and his buddy from the RAND Corporation went and saw Dr. Strangelove that they walked out of there saying, Man, that’s not a satire, that’s a documentary.
James Bradley 29:50
This is ya know, really how we do business. What are we doing? No, it’s true. And then he, you know, he knew And then when Kissinger got promoted to national security director, what national security director, Ellsberg went to him and said, You know, you’re going to get more stupid, because there’s all these classifications. So let’s say we have a team of 10 people, well, I got the lowest classification. So I don’t know what you know, and you have a little more classification. So you know, more than I know, but you don’t know as much as the other person up the line. And then if Henry Kissinger is on the top of the totem pole, and so he’s listening to his team of 30 people, but he has a higher classification. So he has information they don’t. And then as he says, you just become stupid in this highly classified secretive machine.
Scott Horton 30:42
Yep, that’s exactly it and had no regard whatsoever for anybody with open source information because what could they possibly know since they don’t have access to the secrets, even though a lot of times the real context that matters is you know, much broader and not secret, but Those kind of voices get completely ignored by essentially this cult of, you know, je s employment, right?
James Bradley 31:09
Yeah. And you know, you mentioned today’s present leadership and I don’t want to talk politically because I don’t care Trump Obama Bush, you know, Republican left, right. That’s not my game. I’m out in the Pacific. You’re just counting who’s doing what. And, oh my god, Trump is Trump is a peacenik compared to Obama who was bombing nine countries at one point, the pivot to Asia is is a brock obama, Hillary Clinton thing, the the Clarion, the South China Sea as a place that we that America would fight. That was that was from the mouth of Hillary Clinton.
Scott Horton 31:45
Right. So she wrote that article in foreign policy announcing the whole thing.
James Bradley 31:50
So people, you know, Trump and there’s going to be war and I mean, I heard from friends, you know, we’re going to go to war with Korea and the beginning of the administration, and then there’s a We’re here and there’s war here and and what are you talking about? This is all mythical. This idea that Donald Trump is going to go to war, where is it? Whereas with Obama, there was a lot of war and a lot of droning. And the movement, the reason we’re even talking about conflict with China that came out of the Obama administration with Secretary of State Clinton.
Scott Horton 32:21
Yep. Although in the aftermath of the virus and all of that it looks like things are getting pretty ugly. Trump was talking the other day about just cutting off all trade with China altogether.
James Bradley 32:31
Talking. No, I got the talk. Can I get it? Can I talk about talking? Yeah, Australia, here in Australia, they’re rabidly anti Chinese right now. And I mean, some of the some of the commentary is almost comical, but you know, anti Chinese. Well, then, the Australian media exploded because the Chinese said, you know, your Australia, your mouth and off so much. We don’t want Buy your wine. And I think it was wine and beef, some types of wine and some types of beef and oh my god that newspapers are full of this. Well, a friend of mine said, look at iron ore. So what he says the game between China and Australia is all about iron ore. You can’t make steel with iron ore and Australia has 65% of the world’s iron ore. And so at the same moment that the Australian newspapers are saying, oh, they’re not gonna buy our wine, the Chinese and Australians we’re negotiating import IRS regulations that become easier for iron ore, we want to buy more. In other words, China is upping the amount of imports that they will take into China. But with the other hand, they’re talking talking, yeah, so Trump talks and says this about China and whatever, you know, he didn’t bond Beijing. Obama didn’t say all those words and he bombed places. So I’ll take Trump’s talk. I like it. It’s nice and it’s it’s peace. He was beating up the North Korean leader and you know, what was it a missile man or something? And, you know, but there’s no war. He went mad. It’s the I it’s a Trump way. I don’t understand it, but I’m out in the Pacific. And I don’t see Trump, you know, or mon green out here.
Scott Horton 34:20
Right? Well, yeah, like you say, if he wants to talk tough, who cares? As long as he’s doing the right thing, as we saw on North Korea, he’s made more progress than any president since the end of the Cold War. Well, I don’t know Clinton had that pretty good Agreed Framework deal in 94. But never did live up to that. And
James Bradley 34:38
I really don’t. And I don’t mean to get political for Trump or against Trump.
Scott Horton 34:43
Yeah, no, I hear you. It’s just a matter of policy. No partisanship on this show anyway, so it’s fine.
James Bradley 34:49
You know, but um, it people really do ignore the eight years of Obama and the amount of warmaking that went on there. And Trump is building up the military, but you know, we haven’t broken out into war. So he’s a piece like compared to the last two presidents.
Scott Horton 35:09
That’s true. I mean, Bush and Obama, conservatively speaking, probably killed about a million people each. And Trump at most is in, you know, probably half a million. He certainly helped to wage a genocidal war in Yemen has been the very worst bit of it. He escalated start.
James Bradley 35:28
Again, no defense of Trump, but that was the machinery was in place with Obama. Obama started that.
Scott Horton 35:35
Yeah, no, he inherited all of those wars, and he’s actually doing everything he can to wrap up the one in Afghanistan.
James Bradley 35:41
Sorry. And, and again, I don’t want to Obama versus Trump, but right now. tough talk against China. Well, gee, there’s an election. Gee, the American people say no. document this in my book about World War Two. The American people, you know, we came from Europe generally, you know, especially at that time, and wow, they were the American people were debating, you know, you know, Northern Italy versus this place in France and should we move troops here and but in terms of in terms of Asia, they were just ready. It was like 90% ready to go to war with Japan. Lindenberg was saying, No, we shouldn’t fight Germany, America first and, you know, let’s stay peaceful. But you know, Japan was just bombed, you know, whatever out of them. And right now, it isn’t Trump beating up China. It’s Trump looking at the polls. 80 to 90% of Americans are upset with China, anti China. Well, guess what I’m running for president. I’m gonna say some anti China things. I need to get elected. You know, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a campaign speech slide and his eldest son sent to them after the speech, Dad, you lied. And Roosevelt said, you know, the job of the President, I gotta get elected first. That’s the only thing that matters.
Scott Horton 37:10
Yep. Well, of course, they rationalize everything that they do and say like that. And always, my
James Bradley 37:16
point is my point is Trump, you know, why is Trump gonna say something in the next few months? It’s to get elected?
Scott Horton 37:24
Well, you know, Biden also is talking it up against China and claim Yeah, that yeah, it’s Trump, who’s the one who’s rolling over for them all the time, etc.
James Bradley 37:34
But I mean, you know, and then I could sound cynical when I say that people might think that cynic No, no, this is the system we set up. This guy’s got to get elected, you know, and they look at what the American people want. And if the American people are all of a sudden polling 90% for Red Hats, or I don’t, I don’t mean to say that because that’s a trump hat. But if they’re pulling for you know, surfboards, Trump is going to To be talking about surfboards, and the American public, our polling anti China once again, you know what all this trade stuff about how China rip this off? Why don’t we do this? I’m in New Zealand, I’ll fly to America. Let’s go into an American home. And there’ll be a big screen TV now we’ll do some deep research. We’ll look at that TV. Oh my god that’s made in China. Okay, we’re getting close here. Now we’ll look at the receipt. Where’d that come from? We got to get them. It came from Walmart. You know what I mean? If we have a problem with trade with China, let’s talk to Walmart, which was the front for Chinese goods. That’s how Walmart grew. That television is in that American consumers house because it’s an excellent value because it’s high quality and kept American inflation down. So it’s a bigger story than this simple black and white China’s bad but If you keep it black and white, China’s bad 80 90% of Americans, Democrats, Republicans left right are polling with you.
Scott Horton 39:09
Yep. Well, I wonder if they’ll regret it for one, you know, half of a fraction of an instant as they’re being vaporized by hydrogen fusion one day not too soon over it, but hey, as long as it makes them feel better for now, I guess that’s all right.
James Bradley 39:29
Well, I don’t know that’s above my intelligence level, the hydrogen fuse. You’re gonna have to take us through that once again. I’ll just watch the
Scott Horton 39:38
nukes they burn real hot. I mean, that’s really all you need to know.
James Bradley 39:44
Yeah, it’s it’s, uh, I don’t know, there’s a lot of rhetoric and there’s a lot of tension. But I don’t. The guys I’m interviewing on I have a podcast channel called untold Pacific and I have a section called war. with China question mark, and I’m bringing experts on who really do know, deep knowledge. And they all say there’s, you know, the leadership has no intention on either side. But there’s a potential for accidents is kind of the bottom line, right? So all the anti American stuff in China and all the anti Chinese stuff in America, these political leaders have to maintain their power. And it’s, I’m saying it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s well enough from the people. I don’t look at Trump. And what he’s saying about China, I look at the American people saying 80 90% were mad with China, and then it comes out, of course, out of Biden’s and Trump’s mouth,
Scott Horton 40:42
yeah. necessarily translate into any specific policies against them. I mean, that much is up to the government to exploit that sentiment. But it is always regretful when the people are even worse than the politicians on their feelings toward foreign countries. That’s the last thing we need in the World.
James Bradley 41:01
Well, the, I mean, I wrote a whole book about this. When when Mao said, you know, the Christian leader Chiang Kai Shek, you get out of here and Chiang Kai Shek was flushed out to Taiwan. We just this this was unspeakable. I mean, we just couldn’t face it. And we stopped relations with the biggest country in the world. See, everybody says Nixon opened up China. No, I documented my book. Mao was right into Franklin Roosevelt, hey, you’ve got the capital. We’ve got the workers and we need to work together, you know, to have this globalization industrialization. Mao, Mao didn’t like Moscow. He wanted Wall Street. Right. So the globalization, the industrialization that’s taken place in the last 20 years, Mao was writing to FDR about that Mao wanted to come to the White House to explain the benefits of American Chinese friendship. America slapped his hand over He tried with trohman he tried with Eisenhower. He tried with Kennedy. He tried, you know, and then he
Scott Horton 42:06
tried communism. It was a disaster. It’s too bad. They didn’t take him up on his offer in the first place.
James Bradley 42:13
But I’m talking about relations between I’m talking about Nixon opening up China. Yeah. Mao had his hand out all that time, Nixon was the one who, who finally shook his head. Yep.
Scott Horton 42:26
All right, well, listen, I sorry, I didn’t have a chance to read this book. But I’m gonna get my hands on it. And and maybe this will be my first step on catching up on the, you know, China, part of the American Imperial story as it’s being written now. So Scott, really appreciate your time, James.
James Bradley 42:48
Yeah, and I appreciate it if you’re agreed my book, The China Mirage, but I also want to say take a look at the documentary that’s online. It’s called common war with China by john Pilger. brilliant guy. And then take a look at the writings of Michael Claire KLRE. Oh, yeah.
Scott Horton 43:06
James Bradley 43:08
so war with China is already happening in there. He talks about the motivations of both sides. And it’s brilliant.
Scott Horton 43:17
Great. Yeah, I was. I had that queued up to watch. But then I saw it was two hours and I just didn’t have the chance to get to it today, but I definitely will watch that. And I’m sorry, it’s john pillager is the director and then what is it called again?
James Bradley 43:29
the coming war with China coming to China.
Scott Horton 43:32
Okay, great. All right, you guys. So that is James Bradley. He is the author of the China Mirage and of course, Flags of Our fathers and imperial cruise. And, and, oh, you can find his own website at untold pacific.com as well. Thanks again.
James Bradley 43:53
Okay, Scott, thank you for having me.
Scott Horton 43:56
The Scott Horton show, Antiwar Radio can be heard on kpfk 90.7 FM in LA, APSradio.com antiwar.com ScottHorton.org and libertarianinstitute.org
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