“None of the distinguished members of the committee arrived at the seemingly obvious conclusion: that maybe the United States should not fight such a war”
Safe in the knowledge that its findings will never be seriously reported by the mass media, the authors of this report do not mince words about what such a war will mean. A war between the United States and China, which according to the report might break out within four years, will be “horrendous” and “devastating.” The military will “face greater losses than at any time in decades.” Such a war could lead to “rapid nuclear escalation,” and American civilians will be attacked and likely killed.
It is impossible to understand anything in American politics without recognizing one fundamental reality: the events and scandals that dominate political discourse, which make it onto the evening news and into headlines on news sites and social media feeds, have precious little to do with the considerations of those who actually make decisions. The media talking heads play their assigned roles, knowing that the most important topics can be discussed only within very circumscribed limits.
Those who actually make policy—a select group of high-ranking members of Congress, Pentagon officials, and think-tank staffers, as well as White House aides—speak an entirely different language among themselves, and in publications they know the general public will not read, and the media will not seriously report.
These people all accept as plain, self-evident fact, statements that, if they ever made the evening news, would be dismissed as “conspiracy theories.”
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