#127 Michael Hilliard – Crash course in Geopolitics 101 

Take an immersive deep dive into geopolitics with the host of The Redline Podcast Michael Hilliard. The Redline Podcast is a Perth based podcast that provides specific briefings on some of the most pressing geopolitical issues that aren’t be focused on by mainstream media.

Michael shares how the podcast is the product of his own experiences of actually travelling to unstable and war-torn countries to speak to the everyday people on the ground to understand their point of view.

Michael does an excellent job of condensing his extraordinary wealth of knowledge and information to provide a summary of the major forces in play in in geopolitics (US, Russia and China) as well as the three major faults lines across the world currently – you would be hard pressed to find such a focused insight anywhere else on the internet. He also provides a compelling argument as to why it is so important to understand these things on an individual level and how they effect your everyday life.

Michael also strongly recommends the key approach to further geopolitical knowledge for anyone is to move away from ‘the what’ to ‘the why’ to truly understand geopolitics in any situation.

What shines out for me in amongst what can be a wealth of anxiety provoking information, is that from his journeys Michael has seen and experienced how through our humanity we are all the same with the same basic needs and desires despite the country we live in – there is no ‘them’ and ‘us’ which the mainstream Orwellian type media would have us believe.

Read Full Transcript

Bryn 

This week taking immersive deep dive into the world of geopolitics with the host of the red line podcast, Michael Hilliard. The red line podcast is a Perth based podcast that provides specific briefings on some of the most pressing geopolitical issues that aren’t necessarily being focused on by mainstream media. This podcast has been hugely acclaimed by those in the know. Michael shares how the podcast is a product of his own experiences of actually travelling to unstable and war torn countries to speak to the everyday people on the ground to understand their point of view. Aqua does an excellent job of condensing is extra ordinary wealth of knowledge and information to provide a summary of the major forces at play in geopolitics today, that particularly around the US, Russia and China, as well as the three major fault lines across the world currently, I think you’d be hard pressed defined such a focused insight anywhere else on the internet currently, he also provides a compelling argument as to why it is so important to understand these geopolitical issues on an individual level and how they affect your everyday life. What shines out for me in amongst what can be a wealth of anxiety provoking information is from his journeys. Michael is seen and experienced out through our humanity. We are all the same with the same basic needs, desires, despite the country we live in. There is no real them or not with the mainstream Orwellian type media would have his belief. So enjoy, Michael. Hello, and welcome back to wi real. I’m your host Bryn Edwards. Today I am joined by fellow podcaster. Michael Hilliard, who started an exciting new podcast called red line that is from here in Perth is focused on giving you the real facts the Mainstream Media don’t necessarily. Michael, welcome to the show.

 

Michael Hilliard 

Thank you so much. It’s great to be here. Super.

 

Bryn 

One of the questions I always like to ask right at the start and because it’s called wi real Yep. Is people’s relationship to Western Australia. So you’re born and bred here. I am a data born Canadian parents, my

 

Michael Hilliard 

parents, Canadians, but I am born and bred here. I was born in ghazals. Of all places. Yeah, in a hospital is now a car park. Also, my mom tells me

 

Michael Hilliard 

that I was born in a car park and she’s just trying to pass it off that used to be a hospital vs born and ghazals and raising by foot of all places.

 

Bryn 

Tell me what was like growing up in Western Australia.

 

Michael Hilliard 

I actually grew up in a homeless breeding farm. Yeah, weirdly enough. So I grew up with lots and lots of horses and farmers and adjusters and all sorts of people and dad was always at sea for a long time. So yeah, it was a weird upbringing of horses and farm and building things. And we’re dad coming home with all these tremendous stories from overseas. Excellent and

 

Bryn 

is it home

 

Michael Hilliard 

but yes now birth is over me I travel quite a lot but I still base myself out of Perth I’m living up Maryland’s yeah and frankly, no matter where I travelled purchase has a certain quality you don’t see anywhere else I used to huge mess we’re going to go see sort of go to the east coast three, four times a month but there’s just something about Perth. The people are nice. The weather is usually pretty good. People are friendly. It’s cheaper to get out of Australia than it is from the east coast. It’s just generally a great place to live. Awesome.

 

Bryn 

Awesome. So we’ll get into the podcast in a second and and your story behind it. And as I looked at the whole story, there’s a strong focus on wanting to get real facts and what really is going on in the world. Where does that come from? Certainly Michael J.

 

Michael Hilliard 

So I always grew up knowing you know, being told that look, even dogs are smart enough to know that all Shades of Grey. Yeah. So when I see stories about well, he’s the good guy and he’s the bad guy. I told you that. But at the same time, you know, obviously being in the military one night he was very stanch staunch anti communist, you know, ever. Yeah. And I was okay. Well, obviously you know that we’re the good guys are the bad guys. That’s how it is. It’s a very simplistic, you know, Star Wars Empire vs jet I kind of narrative. And then the first time I got incredibly drunk and I actually booked some tickets to Russia with a good friend of mine and we went well, let’s go anyway, you know, we booked these tickets. how bad could it be? Let’s see what the other side’s like and realise that everyone’s pretty much the same. And inside looking into you know, that kind of shook me a bit going. These guys especially the evil bad guys, these guys, especially the terrorists of Europe, who apt to kill us all, but they were lovely. And that made me kind of okay, well, let’s start looking into the other side and talking with other people and starting to talk to both sides and you know, realising that everyone has a certain set of cards and geopolitical goals and everyone has, you know, everyone’s just chasing the same thing and often It’s not good versus bad. And sometimes we are the bad guys. And sometimes we are good guys, you know, sometimes it’s other way, sometimes the other way around, it’s very hard to pick without pairing both sides and chasing the side, you know, the other side of the story.

 

Bryn 

So quite confronting when that dropped, it’s usually confronting,

 

Michael Hilliard 

you know, to kind of have the entire basis of how you think, you know, I always grew up with, you know, communists bad and the come and get you. And, you know, certain races were bad and this and this and this. And it wasn’t till I got out there and went, ah, okay, it’s a little more complicated than that. Which was, even most geopolitical situations are I mean, the more you dig into a subject, and you scratch beneath the surface, it gets physically complicated directly under the surface. There’s so many things Oh, well, that’s just a breakaway. Republican is nothing to do. It’s just a frozen conflict doesn’t matter. And then you realise that the entire geopolitics of Eastern Europe hinges on this tiny little Republic. There are so many things that little just D in the surface, you realise that there’s way more to it than you ever thought possible.

 

Bryn 

So, the red line podcast

 

Michael Hilliard 

was you get the name, we end up writing like a gazillion names of just like, you know, lines and borders and geopolitics and just like running everything that we kind of the source kind of felt like, and there was different colours and also stuff. And we eventually, like 70. And we loved it. And obviously the name would be taken or it wasn’t appropriate. And then we end up just coming up with red line. That was the kind of okay, well, let’s give it to a few people and see, and I sent to a few journalists to work at the times and a friend of mine, he was the New York Times and said, What do you think? And they went, yep. redlines probably the best one of those. So yeah, it was kind of a committee decision of you know, had Michael, the producer, myself and a few friends who work in the industry going, yep, that’s one and that’s how I kind of got there’s no real huge story to it really.

 

Bryn 

Now, if anybody’s not heard it.

 

Michael Hilliard 

What’s the focus? So what we do is we do a fortnightly, deep dive, so Take one subject and really, really narrow down that subject for about 45 minutes with three expert witnesses. So we’ve had, you know, the CIA, EMI six, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Columbia, we’ve had authors, we’ve had directors with a BAFTA winners, you know, we take the biggest experts in that subject and really, really dive down. So rather than getting you know, you flip CHANNEL SEVEN news, and you get a quick 92nd Oh, and today there was fighting in this country, you know, we go on that country and focus just on that for 90 minutes. So you can effectively use the show as a crash course you know, you can go listen to the programme and go, okay, you walk out 90 minutes or 45 minutes later with Yep, I understand what’s going on in Yemen and why it’s happening and what the ramifications are and where it’s likely to lead or where the experts think it’s likely to lead.

 

Bryn 

What’s the impact you want to have with this?

 

Michael Hilliard 

That’s a tough one.

 

Michael Hilliard 

In fact, if it was I kind of just want to keep you know, inform people. I did some political work, some of the parties and You know even going into bars and travelling and you know seeing and meeting people around the amount of who have no idea what’s going on. Like you bump into someone you say oh well obviously you know what’s going on and popular at the moment ago, what’s popular and you realise that you know this is horrible genocide that’s you know any 70 k from Australia that people just don’t talk about you know, and I went looking for it you know and looking for you know, YouTube clips or other podcasts to try and get you know, deep dives on a subject you know, I’d love to know it Yemen but I don’t want to cycle through 1,000,003 minute clips from Al Jazeera and BBC where they just give you a very short there was fighting it was bad and the story people died, I don’t want to go looking at you know, have to read 400 books on the subject to get to the level that we actually understand it properly. So it was kind of fun. Looking at that middle ground, you know, not quite surface but not quite so academic where you’re watching a 16 hour lecture, which I do enjoy at times, but some people just don’t have the time to watch 16 hours of You know what it is and that’s what redline game is like, man let’s do a show that actually is exactly what I’m looking for. And obviously you know being I was kind of in this world anyway I have most of my friends a journalist or intelligence guys or you know people I met on the road. And you know, they were all saying like when this do something no enough will forgot he this giant black book of Russian, Intel, Romanian tail, German guys, French guys, British guys, American guys, and I went, I should probably be using this for something rather than just drinking buddies and free accommodation in odd countries. Hmm. So when

 

Bryn 

when did you tell me about the point of when you decided to do a podcast? And now you brought people in? Was it your idea or was it friends?

 

Michael Hilliard 

So it was originally my idea to do the show? Because I was kind of I was sitting in a bar in was Becca, Stan. Yes, it’s Pakistan. It was it was a long time ago, and chatting with a few guys there. And we’re chatting the geopolitics Like, Oh, you know what you’re talking about? Cool. And we’re chatting about some of the implications of the Afghanistan war. And I was like, Oh, I should really do something with this knowledge and do something with it and had some friends who work for one of the political parties and look, you know, there’s there’s a lot of support out there for this. You know, if you want to go for it, I’m sure that would be a thing. I went well, okay, like, I didn’t have degree in audio engineering. I know what how to make audio stuff was like, I’ll do it. I’ll do an episode. I’ll see how it goes. I’ll do one episode, put it out there and see if we get any attention if it gets 20 views or ditchin thrown in the bin, and we’ll never talk about it again. But we did the first episode, and it came out quite well. We got like 3000 hits on the first episode, and we’re like, oh, okay, there is a demand for this. And then from then on, it’s just been panning out and the OC Morning Herald picked it up. The times in London’s picked it up. We’re getting a lot of mentions on tweets and you know, it’s going fairly well. So we’re pretty happy so far.

 

Bryn 

So you’ve alluded to it that you have this Background In that started, we’re going to Russia, and then went from there give me a potted history of, of where Mark was paying to get to this point. And some of the epiphanies along the way.

 

Michael Hilliard 

So there’s so many different things. It’s a click your head. Yeah, like, you know, the first time I went into a war zone like a real what would people classify as a dangerous country was Russia and a new place? It was a huge culture shock. It was, you know, I’d been to Paris and I’d been to London and I’ve been to those sort of places, but in Russia was something different. You know, the first place I’d have a sample economy, it’s the first by side almost been arrested crossing a border. You know, it was just a huge culture shock, but it was so invigorating, it was so interesting. And the people you meet, there are just fascinating people. You know, when you go to a bar in downtown London, it’s usually just, you know, some guy who works in finance and it’s fine, but when you go to a bar in downtown Moscow, it’s an arms dealer who fought in the Vietnam War and has these great stories and Okay, wow that way that way. I was like, Oh wow, this is you know, I really enjoy it and I really enjoyed meeting lots of people and then, you know, thinking I was just pro Russian Yep. Cool. And then when I got into Latvia directly after that, I started seeing Latvians and I’ve met some lovely lesbians there I bobsledding with their Olympic team after a few drinks was a long story that one but yeah, trading with Latvians in the hell were bug out bags. There was a bug out bag. Now a bug out bag is effectively a duffel bag you keep under your bed or in the trunk of your car that has passports, money, cash, a couple of changes of clothes, effectively, if you have 30 minutes to leave the country. You pick up this bag and you go, yeah, and that shocked me obviously being Australia were very secured strategically. But Latvians all had these bug out bags, and I kind of went What’s that about? And I asked Austin Austin. Well, it’s when the Russians come in, and I went, Oh, I just come from Russia and I made all these Russian friends and I got along with them. And I was, you know, walking out of this thing. And Russia is a great country, and then go send the border into Latvia and seeing that they are old, terrified of Russia. And they knew that Russia can come across the border almost at any time. That was a huge epiphany for me that hope that every situation has a has a winner or a loser and every situation has two sides to a story, and that that’s what first triggered me to go. Okay. Well, let’s look into both sides. Let’s travel both sides of this disputed border and get to talk to people and fully understand, because we so particularly Western media, and Eastern media does that as well. But we do it quite dramatically as we tend to focus on one side, you know, this guy, bad, this guy good. And we focus on that, and we never hear the other side. And when you talk to the other side of the world, we’re fighting because of this, and this and this, and this is what’s happening to us. And that kind of makes sense. I, you know, I would probably do the same if I was in your position. And that’s kind of what sparked a lot of this off is knowing that the every story has to completely polls, and usually the truth is somewhere in the middle.

 

Bryn 

It’s interesting what you said about Eastern Western media and we’ll dive into it more. But you know, it’s almost like the Orwellian 1994 where we have to have an enemy. Yes. galvanises in net.

 

Michael Hilliard 

The phrase willing is thrown out a lot of the mind, but it is fairly apt. I mean, we are the phrase Orwellian. Yeah, it’s thrown around a lot. And I think it’s very apt for a lot of what’s happening in the moment. You know, the US particularly is such a weirdly aggressive nation for a country that was isolationist less than 100 years ago. You know, when they’re created as a nation, they have this, you know, the British have the enemy, the British, British, British, and then they kind of move to the French to the enemy, and then it makes the natives of the enemy and then it moved to the Spanish of the enemy, and then it moved to the Mexicans of the enemy, and the Germans are the enemy. And then the Soviets were the enemy, and now it’s the Muslim in Vietnam, but that was mostly a Soviet kind of thing. Yeah. And now it’s, you know, the Muslims of the enemy. You know, there’s almost never been a period in American history where they haven’t had this big external unifying force. And if you read sunsoo, you read any of the, you know, particularly clever generals, they all tell you that the best way to unite a populace is against somebody, you know, nothing unites the tribes of Iraq, then someone invading Iraq. And I think the West does that quite a lot. You know, we tend to don’t talk about these issues that are actually hurting, you know, working class people and hurting a lot of people. Let’s talk about this one. And that’s the Western media. The old doesn’t relate

 

Bryn 

to everyday human life

 

Michael Hilliard 

know, and the very classic and I say this all the time in almost every interview. The thing that always rings in my mind is a very famous naval phrase, which is if you park a battleship in front of someone, they don’t notice the aircraft carrier behind them. So you know, in Australia, the media was pretty bad for it. For instance, the when we did the gay marriage debate in a couple of years, but a year and a half ago. Now, the apparent anti worker laws and the really bad it’s when the banking stuff they pass rural pass because we were all distracted with the plebiscite. Look at this look at this over here don’t look over here. Yes and this is what a William it’s it’s look at the war look at this look at this don’t look over here. And this happens more and more and more. Yeah, I

 

Bryn 

mean the civil rights getting eroded Of course our civil rights get eroded

 

Michael Hilliard 

day by day by day because they focus on little things like the other day when Angus Taylor got done for you know, trying to fake documents to get clever more removed from Sydney man. We all kind of were focusing on that and then Scott Morrison shocked at a bathroom bill and everyone just diverted their attention away. It’s it’s it were pretty bad for Australia the Americans are almost worse than we are but the Australian media particularly tends to just focusing on a spotlight and just focus on one thing and not the best thing I can phrase.

 

Bryn 

This is in magic. Magic. Put your attention over here while I pull

 

Michael Hilliard 

down exactly.

 

Bryn 

The rabbit from the heart of course.

 

Michael Hilliard 

And that’s the very exactly what magicians do and people in Australia we also tend to focus on the what not the Why yes, that’s what really gets me you know why why what’s happened today? Not why are they doing that all he wants to pass this this bill that will do this all that doesn’t seem so bad. Why is he doing all because it will do damage down here. You know, it’s everything is usually deeper than it is. But people tend to have the 92nd clip saying you know, Scott Carson passed a bill today that you know, gives the two workers in HUD in in up a merchant or a better life. So okay, what is actually in that bill? And that’s a huge amount of what actually happens when you look into things. So

 

Bryn 

that’s a bit of a challenge for you here is if our attention is been distracted by you know, goodbyes good guys versus bad guys and stuff. And then when really there’s some serious stuff going on. Yes. Right our doorstep. Then why? Why? Why should we? Why should we be bothered with geopolitical geopolitics? When? Yeah, when there’s stuff happening that’s affecting us. We’re right on the doorstep.

 

Michael Hilliard 

So, because geopolitics, we don’t notice how much the world is connected now. We are a very very globalised economy in a very globalised world. So, two months ago, an Iranian Iranian funded militia shot a pilot a drone, sorry, into Saudi Arabia and shot a missile at a Saudi Aramco facility. So that’s an Iranian funding again, money to fire a missile at Saudi Arabia. And that put our petrol price up by 15 cents overnight, even though the majority of Australian petrol comes from Malaysia. Yeah. So people don’t geopolitics together. Yeah. geopolitics doesn’t affect me, but it does when the fuel prices go up. Yeah, it does. When if Saudi Arabia was lose this war, our fuel prices would double. It doesn’t affect us when for instance, the Strait of Malacca, which almost all that gas and oil comes through, yes, could be closed off. And if it gets closed off, boom, we go through an old shortage, particularly this country. Australia has the smallest petrol and fossil fuel reserves of any developed nation in the world we’re seeing in 21 days. So if let’s say the close the Strait of Malacca, which is between Malaysia and Indonesia, boom, we have three weeks of fuel left, and then we’re completely out. geopolitics is incredibly important because you know, being in a globalised world if someone catches a cold, or sorry, if someone sneezes we catch a cold. Yeah, and you can usually see what’s coming up, you know, before it happens. So for instance, you know, just to bring it back to a real world scenario, I’ve watched that the strike happening in Saudi Arabia I went, I’m going to feel my car right now because I know this is going to put petrol price up, and lo and behold, in the morning up 15 cents, you know, and this is putting more instability in the market. And again, to put it back together How to fix you remember the global financial crisis started in the US? Yes. You know, it didn’t start here, but it affected us. And in there is another one coming. Oh, yeah. Huge amounts. We’re seeing so many warning signs.

 

Bryn 

Last time we bailed out the banks. We did bandwidth bailed out the banks by the central manager with the federal banks, yes. gonna bail out the federal banks.

 

Michael Hilliard 

The Federal Reserve has it as a decent amount of money. And we did do a big episode on this for the show. So we talked to Harvard’s economists and we talked to the guys predicted last GFC. And we talked to the housing guys, we talked to government ministers about this. What worries me is last time when the when the whole financial system was collapsed, and it would have collapsed had the Chinese really going for it. So the talks between at the time, China’s leadership and Russia’s leadership saying we should go for the jugular, we should sell all our US bonds right now and flood the US market and that will destroy the bond market and that will push the US even further into ground. It was only the China You said no, let’s not do that because I think it may actually hurt the Chinese Stock Exchange too much that stop that happening. We got through it because we had large cash reserves. You know, we had a decent strike Australia did but the world generally got through it because we went through a unified monetary policy. You know, we had Angela Merkel, we had Gordon Brown at the time we had a Barack Obama, you know, we had internationalists, politicians who were very Okay, well, let’s unify our policies together and we can weather the storm. And we did, we got through it, the skin of our teeth, and we bailed out the banks, which I don’t fully agree with, but it made some fiscal sense. This time, if it happens, for instance, Australia, when we went into the last one, there is the interest rate is very high. And we had lots of money in reserve and we had a good amount of surplus going. This time. We don’t, we have no cash reserves were far more in debt than we were back then. And interest rate is already at 0.25%, which means that we have effectively over The ammunition we would use to fight off a recession we no longer have. Yes. So we going into rather than going into battle with, you know, artillery and horses and men and guns and bullets, we’re now walking in with a backpack and hope in a, you know, roll of gaff tape. So, yes, it’s, it’s worrying and this is what geopolitics is going to do. Because if China coughs particularly that’s Australia, what would downfall

 

Bryn 

So what? So someone’s listening to this, and they’re all sudden, like, holy crap, I need to start paying more attention to geopolitics. What is some of the you started starting from standing style? Yeah, what is what are some of the like the top three or five things? You need to know?

 

Michael Hilliard 

I think,

 

Bryn 

obviously, that you are well into,

 

Michael Hilliard 

I’m very well into I’m willing to I’m obviously I don’t expect people to be looking at the couragous 90 elections coming. No, no.

 

Bryn 

But also you’re putting content out Yes. The view to enable, yes, some sort of thing. And, you know, there’s another question I have, which is what you want people to do with the information.

 

Michael Hilliard 

So I think people being better formed always, you know, always helps, because people can either help out, you know, they can either with NGOs or they can help out or they even can just, you know, influence other people saying it’s really interesting when you read some of the work from Marshall ganz, who has done a lot of the work in the Obama campaign. And some of these really, really good campaign guys, particularly in Cambridge analytical stuff, is if you can convince one person who’s an influencer in the family or influence in the friends, they often go on to influence lots of other people. So for instance, if you have a family that doesn’t play politics, because you know, we don’t talk about politics at the dinner table. But you know, the younger the older son goes off, and he learns about what’s going in Afghanistan, and they come to a family barbecue and he chats, then you’ve just made 10 people aware of the situation and it expands from there, you know, they go on to a book club or whatever. Yeah, and expanse You know, a lot of the big Things You know, we, you know, a lot of even the banking commission stuff that surely wasn’t talked about a lot outside of a very few circles of people who were informed, but that spread and that actually became a national issue very quickly, because people were informed and they were informing their friends and by having a crash course not only can you go this is bad, but when your dad or whatever follows up and goes, why is it bad you go because of this because of this run seeing the 92nd BBC clip where you got all Afghanistan is bad. Well, why is it bad? I don’t know. It just is and that doesn’t influence anyone you know, you’re gonna be able to have your argument and back it up to it runs. It runs dry very quickly.

 

Bryn 

So back to my other question. Someone’s hitting it from a standing style was top five things really to understand.

 

Michael Hilliard 

So the top five things I think, the world I always look at the world a bit like a Christmas party. Yeah, there are three as a kids table and there’s an adults table and there’s a sitting at the back in the paddling pool. So at the adults table is the big powerplays. Yeah That would be China, Russia and the US effect that almost every single country in the world reports to one of those three, yeah, in some way or another. Then there’s the smaller kids table, we get regional powers and your Iran you get your Saudi Arabia, your Brazil’s India’s the kind of powerful but outside the region. I mean, India doesn’t have a particularly big influence on Guatemala, for instance, it’s very much regional. Australia is kind of in that bracket as well. Yeah. You know, if you understand the general way, and what the general goals of what those big three the adults table is, that’s a great place to start. Yeah. So when something happens in the world, let’s say who’s in the paddling in the paddling pool, you’re, you know, they don’t really affect anything, you know, Neru doesn’t really affect much New Zealand doesn’t really affect too much. I’m sorry, to my Kiwi friends and listeners, but um, you know, countries like, you know, really small ones like Zambia, for instance, New Zealand Neru They’re very small countries, and they don’t make a big wave. I mean, yeah, no, no one really, if New Zealand was to panic, it wouldn’t affect too much outside of it’s very, very small area of influence. So if you understand what the three big players So China, Russia and America are trying to go, and you can then look through that through every situation, you know, Venezuela, let’s take that, for instance, who gains if Venezuela gets booted out of town? Well, that’s the Americans. And then from there, you can start to sort of unravel all the Americans in Venezuela as well. It’s really interesting because Venezuela holds the largest oil reserves on the planet, like not even realise that and it’s right now it’s in right in the Americas backyard. Yeah, you know, and effectively, they have these huge oil reserves. And America as well. Come on. It’s not that stable at the moment, and it’s the old Well, if I kick the rotting door, will the whole house come down? If a house comes down, then they can they can buy out pet avetis which is the payroll company over there. And a Effectively, you know, have this huge oil reserve that would make them you know, you know, very, very, very rich in that field with the Petro

 

Bryn 

dollar along with the

 

Michael Hilliard 

Petro dollar, but at the same time, it’s not only just about what they want, it’s about keeping the others out. You know, if the US if, let’s say it does collapse, you know, China and Russia are already moving in on that. So do you really want a huge oil exporter, right on your doorstep who will likely supply most of South America and in decrease their dependence on the US, not us a desperate to make sure that doesn’t happen? And that’s kind of what it is you got to make sure you gotta look at it from that what those big three are doing and go oh, who but who gains from that? And who would gain from that if it went the other way?

 

Bryn 

So what are the sort of primary drivers of the

 

Michael Hilliard 

three money almost always money and influence? So for instance, China will, how are they

 

Bryn 

going about?

 

Michael Hilliard 

Very, very, very, very, very differently goddess, so the US tends to do things by finding Financial, financial and hard power. So for instance, they’ll put bases in countries, they will supply a lot of the arms of the countries, or they’ll just straight up fund the opposition, like we’re seeing in Chile and Bolivia. You know, the US overthrowing governments all the time. It’s It’s just what they do. And effectively they can run gunboat diplomacy. So for instance, if let’s say a country like Panama Grenada goes, we’re going to have an anti US government come in the US will talk about a workout side Domingo, I don’t think so. The US has that power because they are the effect of the foremost ASEAN Navy power in the world. China is is kind of does things by money and also markets. So what China will do is usually to do with their Belt and Road initiative, which is effective, so their Belt and Road initiative was the big plan in China, it’s effectively their 20 year plan going forward. So and that is, that is effectively to build up Chinese influence through everything in in Asia in the Middle East Africa and buy up all these ports. So to go back to the classic example here is Tanzania. So in Tanzania, which is on the east coast of Africa, the US came in and they were like, oh, we’re going to spend $100 million in Tanzania. So they bought a heated swimming pool for some of the soldiers base there. And they bought a lot of nice cars for some of the leaders there. And then they bought, you know, I think it was something as ridiculous thing was a zoo or something, just a waste of money. But it made a few rich people in Tanzania very happy who those people will then vote for us. China, on the other hand, is going in and they bought railroads, schools, highways, and infrastructure repairs. And schools are the important one because those schools are funded by China. And China is now saying, well, maybe new textbooks maybe teach a bit more Chinese pro stuff. And because of it now China effectively has the entire undercurrent class in Tanzania, as pro China, not China then you know, can easy to win elections and those elections. And then open up mines for them ports for them, as well as the Chinese tend to do another thing that we’ve seen in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, particularly, where they will lease you a bunch of money and say, hey, look, you want to build this giant port has all the money you could ever want. And they do. And the money comes in and it loses a huge amount of corruption, because that’s kind of how it works, how it works. And then they go when we can’t pay back the money, China and Chinese Ah, well, I guess I’ll take that port then. And they they get the port least them for 99 years. Yeah. So effectively. Now China has this huge port in guada, which is in Pakistan, another huge one in Sri Lanka, where they have these amazingly huge military capable ports that effectively the Chinese have only paid about half for because they paid the money to get them built. And then the fact they got the Macron was free, because they got half their mind back and they got the poor little sneaking out these ports. Yes, yes. So if you go back and obviously this would take it back right to sort of 16th 17th century history. What the the Portuguese and the Spanish and the Dutch he used to is used to build all these little ports around the trading areas. So they could make what they called a string of pearls. You know, you go from one port to the next with safety and they can control the sea lines. China is doing that now. Remember, only what four or five years ago just for Trump came in. GG ping gave a press conference in Beijing where he says the US are imperialist for up. We would never put military outside the Chinese Republic. And I went okay, cool. But just in the last three years, they’ve made military base in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia’s and Zambia Mozambique, Philippines, the spratlys they’ve just opened up another one up in Djibouti. I mean, the Chinese are expanding like crazy at the moment

 

Bryn 

is that wherever that goes, I

 

Michael Hilliard 

see that was an interesting one because I got really interested in that because I got spammed with that Palmer ad as well. Funny enough, the airport that the palm was coming Plenty of it’s actually owned by a Palmer subsidiary, Science Centre tech Sonic tech, the company, they effectively got in this country because of Palmer. Palmer was lobbied for them when he was in Parliament to get the licences to start digging here. In fact, Palmer was one of the main guys who got the 457 visa programme through as well, which allowed Chinese to hire their own workers and their own geologists and their own guys to come in. Because obviously, the Chinese want their own geologists because then they can dig and go, Well, there’s nothing here but we’ll buy it for you know, buy for cheap when there’s actually Yeah, but veranda drinks and boom, there’s a bunch of uranium in the ground. We put Yeah, the app the airport up north is a red herring. It was not military capable at all. And even if you were to land a gentleman, it Why would you because if it says, Hey, a Chinese jet, for instance, I’m talking about that port up there, if a China was trying to, let’s say takes one of these Southern most airfields And then launches, this aeroplane has to make it over the whole Spratly Islands against the US Navy, which dwarfs the Chinese one. Yeah, it has to make it over Vietnam, which is a very us friendly ally. It has to make it over Malaysia, which is a US friendly ally, it has to make it a bit Indonesia where we give them a buttload of anti aircraft missiles to make sure that nothing makes it over there. But that point, it probably needs a refill to which the Chinese don’t have a good refuelling capability. Air Force. Yeah. And at the same time, it won’t make it even if it gets too Even if made it all the way to Australian, no territorial land, which it wouldn’t, but if it did, it runs out of fuel. And then you either pocket on the tarmac, and then you just have this free Chinese plane with no fuel in it. Or it’s going to just bomb and then go well, I can’t do any I can’t get back so it has to drop its payload and then stop. The airport was almost useless. It would be only useless if you followed up with an invasion force and the Chinese do not have an amphibious invasion force capable of it.

 

Bryn 

Go back to Russia in a minute. But we’re on the threat of things up north in Western Australia, Western Australia. hold any strategic advantage to any of those three? Yes, Australia In Australia?

 

Michael Hilliard 

Yes, we are Western Australia actually does hold a huge strategic value because effectively we are the most friendly us ally on the Indian Ocean. You know, Australia, particularly Perth x mouth graph, and you know, some of these big ports up there, you can use to normally stash huge amounts of supplies, but you can also bring in large deep water vessels. And you also have a capability to project power onto East Africa. You know, it’s what, what you find often with naval warfare, is it all it’s all about choke points. So for instance, Indonesia holds a huge amount of power because most of the time when you drive through Indonesian mortars or through the archipelago, you know, you’ll have, you know, let’s call it 10 k open water, with mountains on either side. And those mountains and jungles can hide anti tank and anti aircraft missiles and anti ship missiles particularly. So when you’re driving through you every time you put a tanker through. You risk the risk of someone blowing that tanker up. Yeah, and the insurance, you know, goes up exponentially because of that. Whereas if it’s beautiful open water, you know, if let’s say you drive from Perth to Madagascar, you have a million ways you can go because it’s just open water, and it’s much harder to find you and it’s much easier to skirt around things. You know, you know, when you let’s say, going through a tiny little choke point where everything has to go through this tiny little tank a wide area, you just park your satellite there or you park your, you know, your anti ship missiles there. Someone’s got to come through eventually. So Australia is this wonderful Australia has this wonderful large western coast, or we can get large amounts of resources out to strategically important France. We can also use it to project power onto East Africa and as well as the Middle East. And we have huge amounts of strategic resources for very important things like steel, as well as larger bases we can use to cause the Chinese some hell in in the Southeast Asia region.

 

Bryn 

So we were going through the three Yeah. America very much money and hardware. Yep. China very much finer money, markets and consumer goods as well, consumer goods, but also building these sneaky ports and stuff.

 

Michael Hilliard 

They build sneaky ports as well as they keep people it’s sneaky ports

 

Bryn 

in there, but

 

Michael Hilliard 

I’ve never heard a multibillion dollar port be called a sneaky port. Yeah, I like it.

 

 

I’m gonna give you

 

Bryn 

and then we have Russia,

 

Michael Hilliard 

Russia is a much harder power scenario. So if you look at the sort of the Stein to get off that now, but if you look at the days of the Soviet Union, like Russia had no influence on on, let’s say, a French election. Yeah. And they could bang their chest and go proper proper were very strong with the Soviet so we can evade you. We could be in Paris in 12 days. But they know that’s the end of the world. If they do that. So that no one did it. They can’t really influence anything outside their very, very limited sphere of influence. That’s what it used to be. Anyway. So for instance, Russia completely controls what happened in Belarus and Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, those kind of guys, but doesn’t have any influence we used to on France. These days a different Russia is ahead of the game of us on cyber warfare. What of what used to be called the KGB is now called the Gru. Yes. And they are very, very good at what they do. Yeah, so they can hack election booths. I mean, we all talked about that the Russians couldn’t hack the US election. But when they ran a competition in, in Russia, just, you know, annoy the Americans. They took an American voting booth. The Americans claim was unhackable, and they hacked in 12 minutes. Russia can do think they’ve already claimed proven they can turn power grids off, they can open dams, they can do a bunch of things as well as influence. So you find a lot of bots. So when a Twitter hashtag comes out, you know, like, for instance, let’s take Donald Trump Francis, you know, almost somewhere between a third and half of his Twitter followers. Not real, the bots, Russia makes the sock accounts and they just flood every hashtag with whatever they want this chick purpose to be, you never see quicker action then when Trump says or maybe we should pull out of NATO or maybe we should do stop helping Ukrainians and born the amount of bots that hit the left hemisphere in less than two hours. Talking about, you know, proven the Ukrainians, the Americans don’t care. I mean, I don’t think most farmers in Iowa care about what happens in eastern Ukraine. But the Kremlin, George does. You know, Russia is very good at influencing elections, with large amounts of bots, large amounts of fake political Money, money as well. So they’re also very good at pinpointing certain campaigns. So let’s take the British election, which is coming up the Brexit Party, which is they’re sort of close to our nation, but not really they’re just mostly focused on Brexit. Seven of the 10 biggest donors of the Brexit party are Russian oligarchs. The belief campaign as well was largely financed by Russian money. The Donald Trump at large amounts of Russian money and, you know, some of the left wing parties do as well. But the Russia pinpoints them to make whatever is going to be the best for Russia. They spend, they don’t have a lot of money the moment so they spend very, very wisely. So, you know, they’ll they’ll fund, you know, certain campaigns in Ukraine to make sure that there’s Alinsky got in who’s a comedian, cuz he knows his olinsky with easiest to bully around, he will be taking orders from, you know, he takes orders from oligarchs, not the US, he doesn’t take orders from Washington or Moscow. He takes orders from oligarchs, which are far easy to bribe. You know, Russia is very, very good at pinpointing little things and screaming them at two big things. So they were very good at for instance, targeting and the French election, Maria Penn, who is a very far right, you know, very anti immigrant campaign, and they gave her a huge megaphone. They got her onto every Russian thing they could, you know, teen all the subsidiaries of the they have, but also funded huge amounts of money into our campaigns. They funded us amounts of money against your opponents campaigns. Even some of these, you know, patriots of America kind of just got done for being completely based in Moscow. Russia is very, very clever what they do and they do it. We’re not as effective at it in Australia, we’re more affected by the Chinese election meddling. But Russia is very, very good in Europe. They know what they’re doing. And they’re moving very well. This very, like what they’re doing in particularly places like Romania, France, Germany, as well, is they will take whatever party they think because the most internal damage and they will fund that party, because they know that whilst we’re all focused on, you know, folks and their battleship, they can move the aircraft carrier. So while we’re all focused on, you know, Trump’s tweet of the day, the Russians have moved back in got their influence back into in the Middle East. They’ve got it back in Central Asia, and they’re coming they’re launching their hypersonic missile programme. They’ve got this their strategic cyber programme down as well. We’re not paying attention to that because we’re focused on Trump’s tweets, which I think is ridiculous. This is what Russia does. They’re very good at throwing, you know, you know, throwing a stink bomb in the room and while you’re cleaning up and arguing on whom who farted? They’ll be in the other room, you know, stealing your TV and the couch. Yeah, that’s what they do.

 

Bryn 

So where are the major fault lines?

 

Michael Hilliard 

This is a question in, in, in, in the world and the world. So the thing the three things I think could absolutely blow the world up. And the three things that keep me up at night. One, I’d say we’ll do it in order if the ones that scare me from from least to most. One is obviously the American economy. If the American economy goes, the Chinese economy goes and the Chinese economy goes, all of us go. China is having huge problems with the banks at the moment. You know, they’ve lied about what their GDP is worth. Yep. They’re buying up huge oodles of the smaller banks because the banks are so debt written that they’re about to fold and China can’t be seen. How about Folding of China, the Australia China goes Australia is gone. Like we now have 70% of our exports tied in with Chinese or Chinese subsidiary companies and countries. So we lose if they implode. And when China employs the input into like six different countries, for that’s our economy on almost overnight. That obviously terrifies me because the US one will go. And I don’t know if we can dig ourselves out of it again. You know, last time at least when the financial crash came, you know, we managed to do way out of it, because the Chinese was still strong, and it was still buying American goods. I don’t think they will be if they implode. The other big one is Yemen. We don’t talk about Yemen at all. But right now, the main reason humans fighting to Yemen is a five way war and it’s nonsense, and it’s a whole bunch of nonsense. But right now, the hoochies who control sort of the top left hand corner of Yemen, have you seen schooled Scud missiles now this is the first country to ever have Scud missiles this is not a state country. So they’re not a government. You know, they’re not the Government of Yemen. It’s just a rebel group.

 

Bryn 

Because we’re first put in the news during the first Gulf. Yes, I seem to remember this.

 

Michael Hilliard 

muskets are effectively they can you can launch them hundreds and hundreds of kilometres and they hit a target pretty dead on. Yeah, so Saudi Arabia is paranoid and really badly should be because Iran has a bunch of Scuds on the south coast of Iran, which is across from Saudi Arabia, it’s only a very short distance. And in the 70s, they built all the desalination plants. Saudi Arabia has no lakes, no water, no rivers. Yeah, they rely almost completely on desalination. Yeah, these things like six, seven years to build as well. The array going they started freaking out because the Iranians went well, we can shoot those desalination plants. And if the water goes, That’s Saudi Arabia gone. Now that the Scuds are based in West Yemen, if they they can hit all the West Coast ones as well. So Saudi Arabia, Iran, sorry was to make Could be Yep, let’s do it. And they launch all this God’s into get all the desalination plants in Saudi Arabia, the country only has a water supply of 12 days. Now, if you were to tell Australia even and say, yeah, we have no water 12 days, bone dry. What do you think people are going to do? They’re going to panic dramatically. And if that panics and we saw one facility attacked and the oil price went up by 15 cents, can you imagine if Saudi Arabia the Achilles heel of the world effectively wants to go, that is a nightmare scenario. And that’s why everyone is so desperate to sort Yemen out because that goes hot. And they get these deceleration plans, Saudi Arabians will flee because the country won’t have any water. And we will see Saudi Arabia collapse and it will take the oil market with it. The one that really worries me and absolutely terrifies me, is India, Pakistan. Iran is the big one. That is the one that when I speak to us, guys, you work in the White House, or I speak to guys who work at Bletchley Park or I speak to guys who are very, very clever. They all say India, Pakistan, about the other two about Yet way above the other to the other one in you,

 

Bryn 

sir. Been they’ve been simmering.

 

Michael Hilliard 

They asked me they’re always simmering there. I was gonna say something for a long time. Yes. But there’s a difference of scenario coming up right now with climate change. The Pakistan has the Indus River. It’s effective this giant river that runs from the top to the bottom. It gives the entire country they were, they were like, almost completely on this river. Now it’s usually fed by the monsoon, the monsoon feeds it and it gives water to all of India and Pakistan sorry, but that monsoon is moving dozens of kilometres south, every single year at the moment, its expense potentially getting further away. There are bits of pockets are already starting to feel the drought. And this monster is now moving into the Indian desert, which is now flooding bits of you know, western India. So, there will come a point sometime in the next 20 to 30 years when Pakistan will run out of water. And they went now Pakistan always tends to have very nationalist governments in you know, effectively the biggest best way to elected Pakistan is running on a fucking dia platform. And the best way to get elected in India is run on a fuck Pakistan platform. So you’re bound to have almost always have a very, very anti the other governments in but in both Islamabad and de Delhi when that water moves out of Pakistan and those people will start to riot because there will be no water. The Indian Pakistani government will have one choice, they either have to invade into your intake their water fields because they’ve now have flooded flooded planes in the west of the country, or they let their people die of thirst. And I can tell you which one they’ll go with. Don’t make that quick bump and they’ll go for the water and in you will respond. Now Pakistan has a problem with geography that if India pushes and they get past the border, Pakistan has effectively this mountains that narrow into a choke point. And it’s very close to the border. But if you get through that choke point, it’s an open plane it was to the capital. So they Pakistan noise at the moment the tanks and the Indians in the We get through that little gap Islam about is going to fall. And they will not be kind to the Pakistanis when they get there. So there will be a bunch of generals going well, if we quickly Newcomb maybe we get away with this thing. And remember, both India and Pakistan have nukes. And the moment there’s an x y involved that because of the regional trade agreements and mutual alliances, China’s involved, Americans involved Russia’s involved. All three of the big guys come into the fight. And then both America and China we looked at each other going and having the same conversation, you know, some of the, you know, Truman had with his generals. Yeah, after the end of World War Two, well, he’s got all these nukes pointed at us. And if American nukes first maybe we can get 90% of the Chinese nukes while they’re on the ground still. But if we, you know, end up but what if we don’t maybe they launch first and they get 90% of ours. And then it’s a usable losing situation. You got a bunch of nukes flying between India, Pakistan, America, China and the whole world. Just into that point, all because the water drains in Pakistan, and that water is draining, that water’s getting worse. And the monsoon is moving south. And we’ve got 25 years to figure out this. Sorry, it sounds so alarmist. But yes, that, that were that really big. That’s the three big ones that I would look at. Right? That would, that’s good, but that’s the reason I drink.

 

Bryn 

Where do you see? Where do you see all this going?

 

Michael Hilliard 

The world tends to stick towards the status quo. And you know, I’m not I don’t have a crystal ball. You know, there are so many things that if you told me 20 years ago, this is what the world is. I would go, you know, but it does the world changes dramatically. And we it’s very hard to predict. I can see a financial crash coming. There’s so many warning signs on that one. I don’t know how bad it would be. Again, a lot of things in conferences next US election a hinge on with the China’s Belt and Road lasts. If they can get the Belton road off the ground before the Chinese Economy comes to a screeching halt. It depends if if Putin if when he dies or leaves, actually manages a transition account Moriarty before leave. That’s what they’re worried about. Because if Russia is so tied into Putin that effectively if he dies, you know, all of these companies were originated version after bunch of these guys are all just friends of booton. So if he dies, they lose all their power, and there will be a giant vacuum of power. And when there’s a vacuum of power, we see what happened to Russia in the 90s which is just all that anarchy nonsense. Yeah. So yeah, it there’s too many factors to kind of pick where the world’s going. But I think I have faith in humanity at times. I think we can probably try and figure it out. But at the same time, there’s a lot of clouds on the horizon that have very difficult questions to answer.

 

Bryn 

So

 

 

how

 

Bryn 

do you talk Can you talk people through absorbing all this? Because I’ve had somebody on the podcast before, who talked about he’s very passionate about the environment. Yes. And nature. And yet, when we it’s easy to, you know, in a world of virtue signalling, it’s easy to go Yeah, the environments really important to me, then the actual changes to make it happen. Yes. That start reality means that things get pushed to one side. And and because half of truly understanding what’s happening to me with the environment is that we have to reflect on our own behaviour and it comes home that we’re all part of it and then that can be very confronting and triggering, and, and all of that, and then that’s when it gets pretty fucking uncomfortable.

 

Michael Hilliard 

Yes.

 

Bryn 

So that would be the same here. You what you’re doing while you’re condensing into your 45 Minute. Yes, you know, briefings. You know, don’t get me wrong. I totally see why they’re necessary. Yeah, totally understand why you’re doing them having sat and listened to an episode that but to get this information, so somebody is able to fully Listen, absorb, let it settle as uncomfortable as that might be, then be okay with that being uncomfortable and then being confident enough to go and go and sit in the barbecue and hold the discussion. You know, I you go about 1015 years ago, I used to read a whole load of Noam Chomsky. Yeah. And that was that was incredibly enlightening in educating and what have you, but also it created a whole lot of panic, anger, depression, anxiety within me Same time, how would you suggest that somebody who listens to this and most importantly, your podcast? How do they manage their way through that journey. So what you produce actually lands so it can be useful.

 

Michael Hilliard 

So obviously, we always encourage people to go do more research into it. But, you know, we break up the show. So we make sure there’s three different guests. And we make sure that the first guest usually is a good table setup, as we call it, and someone who can give you you know, this is what the country is what they like, this is kind of a, you know, if I was to describe up on a plane ride, that’s how I would, and then I give you the problem, and then we give you the solution, you know, here’s what how this problem could technically probably be solved. And this is what I can do. So we tend to lay it out that way. Yeah. Intro problem solution. And again, if you have the solution to it when someone you know, get into the conversation was with your father, your uncle, your brother, your sister, you have can go Well, yeah, there is. It’s a Terrible, terrible situation. But if we do this, there might be an option of doing it. And again, the the idea is trying to spread that, because if we just bury ourselves and not talking about it, and being continuing the problem of just, you know, just having another podcast that reviews the gioco. You know, it doesn’t solve anything, at least this way. You know, we’re getting lots of listeners, we’re getting sort of 6700 listeners an episode of the moment, you know, and those people are probably going off and talking to their friends and talking to their family and talking to people. You know, and actually, when it comes up for debate, you know, we’re watching, for instance, in the US, and I’m not particularly fan of Andrew Yang, but that’s a guy who has one issue, it’s just universal, basic income. And he’s managed to get that on the mainstream platforms, because he’s just talking about it and talking about it and pushing it out. And people were, you know, telling their friends and, you know, that went from a what a what a pipe dream that may never work to now he’s on the main stage and chatting about it. This is, this is a real issue, and this is the point. This is what we’re trying to do with the podcast. You know, People don’t talk about Yemen, even though that it is, it could be the end of the world there. And we just want people to kind of keep bringing up, you know, when they meet the local politician ask, what’s your thing on Yemen? Yeah. You know, when they meet their family and friends, and they say, well, what’s the what’s this country? What’s our government’s policy on Yemen? Well, I might vote for him because he’s actually got a better policy than him. You know, it’s small, incremental things, and at least you is even if you make a small dent, you know, you’re still moving in the right direction. I’d rather be you know, even the guy who walks the laps is still laughing the guy on the couch.

 

Bryn 

Yes, yes. I mean, you must get a lot of this where, you know, just being around your I can feel your energy and passion for this topic and getting it out in there. And when you engage people in a conversation, you must get to the place where people just start glazing and you’re like, this is so important, but now you glazed Yes, down I’ve maxed you out. Yes and believe you me I get the same thing because I go down the rabbit hole and this is what I do yet on the podcast and actually part of the reason why I had to create the podcast was trying to have these conversations and people yeah you know that I knew in the pub and stuff like that and they got fed up with me I’m a lot calmer person because I get my fix and deep and meaningful conversation Yeah, but how do you deal with that?

 

Michael Hilliard 

I always try and bring it right home for them you know the classic you know wash I care about Yemen we get petrol price went up because of it. Yeah. Oh, it affects me. Yes, it does appear and bring it in and try and you know, and what would you do in this situation and what how would you react if this was your family and this is going to this could be do this to you this could put your double the petrol price. That’s usually really good one people it takes people’s attention off and goes, Oh, right. Yeah, there’s actually a lot it’s actually could affect me. You know, some issues when in fact, people obviously in that country and we have got listeners from all over the world. In fact, most Well isn’t as in the US really enough. But yeah, it’s one of these things that you don’t think it’ll affect. But sometimes it does. I mean, I just had a meeting with a federal senator from Australia who just went listen to the show I’ve got you recommended from a few people would love you to come and jump on the electoral interference commission based on the show, which I thought was really cool. Yeah, I mean, it’s it’s you don’t think ill effects of evil and then you realise it will? Because if you aren’t being aware of the situation why things are happening you just let it breeze over you. Oh, yeah, there’s no Saudi Arabia’s blowing up now. They probably don’t have some reason. Oh, that’s why they’re doing it. Okay. I can get it now. Now. I understand that. Yes. And yes, it going out and talking to people. This is you know, last week I got called a communist and a fascist and the same week. So you know, it’s always the fun people you meet. Yeah, particularly us panel shows. We’re so quick to jump to the aggression. It

 

Bryn 

that there is that our father What I do here in that you putting out it’s almost like you’re putting out a signal. Yes. When people are ready they’ll listen to Yes. And when they don’t, they won’t

 

Michael Hilliard 

look at us and that’s that’s kind of the point we make always in trade.

 

Bryn 

Yes. And so for one podcast or to another who’s going to replace that mainstream media that most people enjoy, like chewing gum? Yes. Don’t doesn’t provide I’m always interested to have a discussion about how you always Chuck the red pill down people’s throat. Yes.

 

Michael Hilliard 

It’s you know, you obviously gonna start people with little bits of you know, the great question you always ask someone is who benefits from that? Yeah, why would they do that? Because no one does things by accident. Yeah, you know all these from LA you know, oh, China just happened to build an island he all must be doing a holiday resort. No, no, that is an airbase my friend full of sand missile I obsessed a missile sites. You know, everything happens for a reason. And there’s usually you can pick what so I’m just gonna pass this tiny little legislation. It doesn’t matter. Anyone only affects this one guy. But they’re going to use it to springboard into something way worse in six months. Yes. And a lot of these things can be stopped early. You know, it’s one of the going back to that airbase thing, you know, people like President Obama, if they had just stopped some of this Chinese expansion nipped in the butt when they first talked about it, we may not be in the situation today. If you let things snowball, they get worse. And I think the best thing you can do is inform enough people that, you know, when they go and call people, and this actually becomes an issue, it has to come on the electoral win, it has to come up as an issue. You know, it’s not terribly exciting for a lot of people. But, you know, I don’t expect everyone to listen to the show. But I know from you know, there are a lot of guys who are in journalism, listen to it, a lot of guys who are in politics, listen to it. And those are people who actually do make decisions a lot of the time. So yeah, it’s it’s been very interesting to kind of go hand political fundraisers, whatnot, and I watched your show and Greg I’m gonna be looking into that. So it’s, it’s, maybe it won’t get the biggest numbers in the world, but maybe it will be the more influential numbers in the world.

 

Bryn 

You mentioned earlier on but having faith in humanity because you could get yourself could get quite amped up with the distillation and the vastness of the information that you take on board. Yes. Where do you see signs of that?

 

Michael Hilliard 

Doubt like I The more you dig into things, the more you don’t understand and that’s why I have experts on my show rather than myself. I mean, I think I know a little bit but yeah, generally I go to the expo the tippy tippy top, the person who wrote you know the book on it, and go, what do you think? And I I’m not a smart person at all. I just regurgitate what smart people say.

 

Michael Hilliard 

I have faith that humanity will eventually go the same way.

 

Bryn 

You’re smart in a different way, in that you aggregating knowledge in a very expedient and accelerated

 

Michael Hilliard 

hopefully, that again, all I’m doing is listening to smart people.

 

Michael Hilliard 

Because that was You know, singing the words of a citavi?

 

Michael Hilliard 

Yeah, yeah, I think people will start to turn. There was a huge surge in the Brexit campaign. There was a famous moment where Michael Gove was like I think the public are sick of experts. And I think that was a moment for me as I Oh my god, really? I think we will start to turn back to our experts when things get more dire. I think we’re all very comfortable at the moment. But when things get really bad, that’s when people will start to turn to what to actually do and start to think about things. Because right now we’re in a comfy enough position, we don’t have to worry about it. You know, we don’t worry about what’s happening in Latvia, but the Latvians do.

 

Michael Hilliard 

Yeah, I have faith in humanity, that eventually we will come to a point where we have to start thinking quite dramatically about decisions by

 

Bryn 

Huh. Well, this is that probably frustrate us on an everyday level. We’ll get forced,

 

 

yes,

 

Bryn 

you know, you instead of the person around that essentially, you’re talking about Yes,

 

Michael Hilliard 

we possess this fight, we piss around the big

 

Bryn 

fucking game of risk.

 

Michael Hilliard 

Yes. Right now, you know, we’re all worried about who’s owning Australia when another country’s consolidating all the other continents in the game of risk. Yes. You know, that’s what boggles my mind is we should always we will come to that aircraft carrier because there’s too many battleships that we just keep focusing on us particularly bad for my phone, they love to focus on social issues. So like, I was on a US panel show the other day with one of the presidential candidates and I was chatting with him and they was, you know, they were chatting about US foreign policy in Afghanistan and the Middle East. And I pointed out very quickly that that’s not going to work because that’s going to immediately force Russia to do this and this and this. And then as soon as he came on the backfoot, he asked me about abortion. didn’t answer my question, just went straight to abortion. Now, what do you think about abortion? I went, ooh, interesting, because what you’ve tried, what they try to do quite often is go I’m not gonna win that fight. I’m gonna get fired. on something that, you know, it doesn’t matter it’s going to polarise and sit, you know, right there. I’m not going to change anyone’s mind. Yeah, I can talk till I’m blue about abortion, but I don’t think I’m going to change my mind on the subject. And that’s what a lot of people do. If they think they’re gonna lose something, they’ll force another social issue. Yeah, social issues are much harder to debate. You know, whether you were human

 

Bryn 

nature is that when you pin your friend down, about their behaviour, yes on something and then just when you think you’re going to see that dawning epiphany like Yeah, no, I forgot all that and talk about something else. Yes. And that’s essentially what you do

 

Michael Hilliard 

exactly shit. We’re not going anywhere with this which I’m not at a party Trust me. I’m not a party like we got to focus about Pakistan man but yeah, you know, when it comes to a politician, the people running for office and going for it these people need to be held accountable and upset. You know, these big we keep electing guys who are Thomas Brock’s because, you know, they, the best thing I can ever sum up politics, particularly in western countries is a lot of our policies and have the world Right answer but not the correct answer. So for instance, you can be, I don’t believe in climate change, or no, you know, I don’t believe in any of that. I don’t believe in that. That’s not the correct answer. It’s proven that it’s a thing. But it’s the right answer. If you want to get a bunch of money, money, and you want to get a friend and have friends on the mineral Council, yes. So that’s the right answer, and you get the right funding, and you get the right nominations. And this is what people tend to kind of focus on it is these little tiny little questions that have the right answer. So a lot of these for instance, publishers in the US are very anti abortion, but they’re the same guys who usually bang their mistress and then the mistress gets an abortion. It’s not because they have the correct answer. If they had the right one. They know that by harping on the abortion thing, it’s a dog whistle for I am religious, and I will find I will keep, you know, the catholic church or the Christian industry, church, very happy. And I would like some of that money place. Yeah. And unfortunately, we live in a world where money is directly affecting politics

 

Bryn 

on politics, Half Hour can’t talk about left or right. It’s costing and it’s just wasted.

 

 

And it’s also

 

Bryn 

also find it frustrating because again, it’s like, let’s talk about this over here. When part the time find. Let’s have a discussion about the political infrastructure system paradigm. system, it doesn’t seem to work.

 

Michael Hilliard 

The trouble is, we need that. I agree, like a democracy is fundamentally broken.

 

Bryn 

In its current format.

 

Michael Hilliard 

its current form, if you go back to the original idea is a democracy. You know, democritus, when it came in, in Greece was funded was decided by Rich people, because the rich people knew that they could, you know, in the very first elections, they would go around and they buy people, you know, meet in Bali and go, you know, here’s some meat. I hope that I have your vote coming up. And these Elections and the rich people managed to you know, you know, get their way and get into power without having to have royal and oval blood. You know, effectively the land owners and the rich people managed to hold power that way. I think this is not a symptom. This is the thing that’s baked into the cage. Yes, we are doubling down on one of those things you know, there’s a lot of thumbs that can be put on the scale with these things with most electoral systems including Australia’s but yes this democracy is fundamentally broken but what’s the alternative and that’s what I love to when I get stuck with you know, I don’t just find right wing guys I follow two left’s as well. And I stuck on these grainy panels all the time and they go man, we just need to have like a commune system in let me just get rid of democracy me in and I go, Okay, what would you replace it with? I don’t really know me in. That’s the problem. Yeah. What do you replace democracy with

 

Bryn 

the Curtis film hyper normalisation. Those things in fact, yes. But they don’t know what the alternative is. So just carry on regardless. Besides that, guys with this great sense of.

 

Michael Hilliard 

It’s also it’s also the boiling frog principle. You know, if you want to boil the frog, if you throw the frog in the water when it’s hot, the frog jumps out. Yeah, but if you chop the frog in the water and then turn it up slowly, he doesn’t notice the frog will actually stay in the water until it boils to death. Yes, you know, we’re slowly amping up politics and soil eroding things. So it’s just a little bit. It’s just it’s just, it’s just a little bit in censorship. It’s just a little bit Internet censorship is just, it’s just a tiny little workers rights thing. I will just take that or maybe you don’t have that. And just a road and roads and it’s not to look back 30 years ago and go Hey, what we move pretty dramatically from this place to this place.

 

Bryn 

Yeah, that’s that’s the corner. And it’s not so common. No wonder that people have

 

Michael Hilliard 

mental problems, huge amounts, and we don’t fund it. No, it boggles my mind how little this country is for mental health. That’s a whole other debate to have. But yes, we are living in interesting times and all the history buffs, I do shows where they’re all like, this is pretty close to 1922 I’m like, Yeah, I know, I’ve seen 22 so right before, you know, where these 1920 was a very interesting point of history, we just come into the First World War, we kind of pieced the world semi back together, but not really. And then all these left wing, left wing parties came up, and then they all just imploded, they kept fighting amongst themselves and finding our dumb issues and the right just swept in unity in the 30s we had this right sweeping and it leads to World War Two and then pretty dramatic, you know, the also the depression as well. The depression came obviously beforehand, but all you know, at least right wing isolationist came in the economy collapsed, and when times get dark people tend to fling one side or the other. You know, when people are a stable so when the world was at its most stable with recent times would like to No one you know that kind of era they tend to go middle the road candidates, you know, they go for you Bill Clinton’s, Tony Blair’s those kind of guys. Yeah, when the world is rough kilter and everyone’s panicking and everyone’s worried and things are bad, that’s when you start getting you miscellanies you hit your Trump’s you start a normal style and obviously I wasn’t elected but you tend to go for well away from the centre candidates already signed to say that and as soon as you go away from the centre, then you start also putting the whole economy off balance as well and things can get out of hand pretty quickly.

 

Bryn 

from somebody who pissed up, bought a ticket to go to Russia. Yep. to somebody who’s now on, frequently on panel discussions, etc, etc, etc. What have you learned about yourself in the journey?

 

Michael Hilliard 

I can hold my vodka pretty well. That’s the main one.

 

Michael Hilliard 

I’ve learned that people are generally The same, we generally will have the same no matter what if I go to the desert was Pakistan or you know, the streets of Belarus or you know, Paris or even Perth, people are generally the same. We all want the same things we all want comfortable living, we all want our friends, we all want our family while girlfriend, we all want buddies. Most people like burgers, and most people like vodka. You know, I think wherever you go, I have that faith in humanity that generally people aren’t going to kill you. People are generally up actually happy to chat with you, you know, might cost you a few cigarettes for your life. But you know, General people are generally pretty nice wherever you go. And I think if we get to know the other side, and we get to know the other spectrum, we actually can solve a lot of problems. I mean, I have friends who work for both parties and I have friends who are ultra right now friends with ultra left and you know, I consider the dinner table to have good chats and we can debate stuff. And I think a lot of time, you know, these guys just need someone else to get out of their bubble. You know when you sit in a little bubble and you’re When you talk with other communists, you watch them just circle around and they just have further, you know, increasing ideas that are just and then, you know, when you have someone who actually chats them and gets him out of the bubble and goes, well, that might not work. But what about this, I like this video plan but don’t like this because that’ll make this that’s when you actually get things achieved. Sort of helping both sides realise the error of their ways.

 

Michael Hilliard 

I think we can do that. We just need to get people to chat more with the other side and get into the bubbles a bit.

 

Bryn 

Because otherwise, we’re going to let the small amount of people agitate the masses,

 

Michael Hilliard 

of course and we already saying that, I mean, every time you know, it’s like oh, there’s a Twitter hashtag. It’s like 30 people you know if you know we take things way too seriously, and we let Little People know me loud voices make big yes dumping my friends there’s this huge outcry Oh, we need a Danny we need to Danny but the actual people who are really pro Donnie are Very very small group of people that is very vocal and they’ve got very good advice you know, how is Donnie being open going to help someone living in in you know South birth to not it might hurt us with if climate change kicks in and does it does it was going to do but you know, small groups of people that can be very loud

 

Bryn 

what what’s your future view over the next several years for yourself and read one book?

 

Michael Hilliard 

I died don’t know. Again, I’m not a future reader. I know that the show is off to Moldova, Russia, Hong Kong, you know, next next week, I’m flying out next week to go do all those. So I think the show will will keep going and I’m sure it will probably, you know, every episode so far as we’re watching the listeners go exponentially, which is, you know, beyond belief. I didn’t think you know, we were Episode Five. Now we’re pulling like six k music to listen to that episode of the moment, which is didn’t think anything was gonna lie that was gonna happen. Today, I think it will get bigger and better and we’ll have better guests and obviously once you get better than you can get better guests and cover bigger stories and I can have more time to do it and yeah, I think that would be that would like to see I think no matter what even if the show doesn’t happen I’ll still travel to interesting places because the book is cheap.

 

Michael Hilliard 

And it’s always a good story out there

 

Bryn 

other than vodka What does Michael do to keep yourself sane?

 

Michael Hilliard 

I was playing as a touring musician for a very long time. You know, I played bass in a few bands. Also just tracking other people’s stuff. Music between for me So yeah, just generally bass between music and music and research. Also, I like learning languages.

 

Michael Hilliard 

So that’s always a good bit of fun for me as well but generally is music Music I

 

Michael Hilliard 

mostly going to rock music. That’s my my jam.

 

Bryn 

And the last question that I ask all my guests is everything that you’ve learned, and we’ve talked about etc. If you could type one little nugget of knowledge uploaded into the collective consciousness, so we’ll get it. What would that be?

 

Michael Hilliard 

It’s not about the what? It’s about the Y. If you figure out the Y influen, following the finger at the what? And that’s, that is the crux of everything I do. You know, the cool figuring out, you know, oh, they present a battleship here. That’s cool. That’s what why did they send that there is far more of a story and it’s far more interesting. You can learn a lot more from the wire than you ever can from the water.

 

Michael Hilliard 

So that would be if I could give anyone that statement. To go with that would be

 

Bryn 

awesome. People want to listen to the podcast, find out Reach out to you whether they do that

 

Michael Hilliard 

or on all the socials as read redline pod, so is the Instagram, Facebook, you know all those other ones? You can listen to us on Google, Apple, Spotify, all the places we’re always about otherwise we’ll be on panels and jumping on I’m sure you’ll see me jumping somewhere giving depressing talks about depressing subjects. At this point it could be called the red line or just things that make Michael sad for an hour. Sorry, Michael. I think it would be interesting name for the podcast as well. But generally you can find us on most major platforms.

 

Bryn 

Well, thank you very much for taking the time to come and talk to me. No has been everything to me to get such a condensed to listen to your story but also get such a condensed view of how things are playing out. And and I think even just listening to this, someone quite quickly go to get a whole lot stuff going on. And yes was it times it could be considered depressing at the same time it’s very empowering because you have the knowledge. So thank you very much for your time. I wish you very well with the red line podcast and I’d really like to come back at some point in future

 

Michael Hilliard 

I’d love to come back I’m always happy to help it on the Perth podcast because just there’s not enough podcast coming up. Indeed I think looking into it is a couple of movie reviews and some odd ones but yeah, mostly everyone’s a movie reviews it so it’s it’s

 

Bryn 

great yeah, we’re talking about digital marketing.

 

Michael Hilliard 

I’m a digital mokuba Oh Bitcoin bitcoins The other one is always a bunch of dudes in Bitcoin. Yes,

 

Bryn 

yes. Yes, sir. We need to we need more podcasts that talk about the real things

 

Michael Hilliard 

or even just an interview interview. Talk to other people like it’s just I like hearing from other people in Perth. I think it’s a fantastic city and and hearing what other people are doing is is interesting with your I like your show. But yeah, I just want to spend your time reviewing the Joker because I think I’ve been sent a million requests for that no movie review shows. That’s not in the

 

Bryn 

box. Thank you very much for your time.

 

Michael Hilliard 

Thank you so much.

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

russia, chinese, pakistan, china, australia, big, podcast, friends, instance, effectively, realise, people, world, yemen, talk, country, ports, saudi arabia, good, buy

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