HomeArticlePentagon-Funded Think Tank Simulates War With China On NBC

Pentagon-Funded Think Tank Simulates War With China On NBC

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NBC’s Meet the Press just aired an absolutely freakish segment in which the influential narrative management firm Center for a New American Security (CNAS) ran war games simulating a direct US hot war with China.

CNAS is funded by the Pentagon and by military-industrial complex corporations Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin, as well as the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, which as Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp notes is the de facto Taiwanese embassy in the US.

The war game simulates a conflict over Taiwan which we are informed is set in the year 2027, in which China launches strikes on the US military in order to open the way to an invasion of the island. We are not told why there needs to be a specific year inserted into mainstream American consciousness about when we can expect such a conflict, but then we are also not told why NBC is platforming a war machine think tank’s simulation of a military conflict with China at all.

It happens that the Center for a New American Security was the home of the man assigned by the Biden administration to lead the Pentagon task force responsible for re-evaluating the administration’s posture toward China. That man, Ely Ratner, is on record saying that the Trump administration was insufficiently hawkish toward China. Ratner is now the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs in the Biden administration.

It also happens that the Center for a New American Security has openly boasted about the great many of its other “experts and alumni” who have assumed senior leadership positions within the Biden administration.

It also happens that CNAS co-founder Michele Flournoy, who appeared in the Meet the Press war games segment and was at one time a heavy favorite to become Biden’s Pentagon chief, wrote a Foreign Affairs op-ed in 2020 arguing that the US needed to develop “the capability to credibly threaten to sink all of China’s military vessels, submarines, and merchant ships in the South China Sea within 72 hours.”

It also happens that CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine has been featured all over the mass media pushing empire narratives about Russia and China, telling Bloomberg just the other day that the war in Ukraine could serve the empire’s long-term interests against China.

“The war in Ukraine could end up being bad for the pivot in the short-term, but good in the long-term,” Fontaine said. “If Russia emerges from this conflict as a weakened version of itself and Germany makes good on its defense spending pledges, both trends could allow the US to focus more on the Indo-Pacific in the long run.”

 

It also happens that CNAS is routinely cited by the mass media as an authoritative source on all things China and Russia, with no mention ever made of the conflict of interest arising from their war machine funding. Just in the last few days here’s a recent NPR interview about NATO expansion with CNAS senior fellow Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a Washington Post quote from CNAS fellow Jacob Stokes about the Chinese threat to Taiwan, a Financial Times quote from CNAS “Indo-Pacific expert” Lisa Curtis (who I’ve previously noted was cited by the mass media for her “expert” opposition to the US Afghanistan withdrawal), and a Foreign Policy citation of the aforementioned Richard Fontaine saying “The aim of U.S. policy toward China should be to ensure that Beijing is either unwilling or unable to overturn the regional and global order.”

As we’ve discussed previously, citing war machine-funded think tanks as expert analysis without even disclosing their financial conflict of interest is plainly journalistic malpractice. But it happens all the time in the mass media anyway, because the mass media exist to circulate propaganda, not journalism.

This is getting so, so crazy. That the mass media are now openly teaming up with war machine think tanks to begin seeding the normalization of a hot war with China into the minds of the public indicates that the propaganda campaign to manufacture consent for the US-centralized empire’s final Hail Mary grab at unipolar domination is escalating even further. The mass-scale psychological manipulation is getting more and more overt and more and more shameless.

This is headed somewhere very, very bad. Hopefully humanity wakes up in time to stop these lunatics from driving us off a precipice from which there is no return.

_________________

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Latest comments

  • peace is never an option is it? always prepping the paranoid military.

  • In the Shanghai Communique signed by both US and China, “China is one country,” and Taiwan is part of China. So that’s the most critical point, no other country can legally meddle in the affairs of any sovereign nation, according to UN Charter. So any US intervention is illegal and morally wrong. Only a fanatical Evil Empire would consider crossing that red line. Hence, the absurd NeoCon/NeoLib ruling cabal in Washington is crazy enough to start this New Cold/Hot War on China. And they’ll self-implode in the process!

    • To Danny Li,
      Danny, you don’t understand. The Empire of Lies has exempted itself from international law and put in its place the “Rules-Based International Order”, as the utterly incompetent, disrespectful and rude team of amateurs posing as US “diplomats” has explained (see the video of Blinkey’s attempt to lecture the very competent and professional team of Chinese diplomats last Spring for a cringe-worthy example). The US disregards international law, contracts, rules of normal respectful discourse and observes not even the most fundamental social graces. It acts as a rogue state. It observes only one “Rule” – Follow US Orders. There is one corollary to the rule – those who fail to follow US orders will be destroyed. I wish this were an overstatement of the problem, but it is not.

  • Only World where we freemen can exist is many-polar equilibrium.

  • Taiwan is China and Chinese are on both sides so it will be like it was in their long 5000 years of history. Taiwan will prolong tension as long as possible until last $ USA wish to send. Then they will just make deal with brothers to let them be with some internal autonomy.
    That will happen very same day when China become first World economy by all kind of measurement (by PPP-GDP they already surpass USA)

    • I would like to think that you are right. However, I think you underestimate the ability of the US to corrupt and undermine any government which has the misfortune to become a target of the US. The US has no integrity and is not constrained by the rule of law or any sense of morality. It is ruled by psychopaths and thieves. It knows only one “Rule”: The rest of the world must obey US orders. Does anyone believe that the majority of Ukrainians wanted to murder their fellow Ukrainian citizens who refused to recognize the illegitimate government installed by the US following its illegal overthrow of the democratically elected government? No, of course not. But that did not stop the US from arming and training the right wing thugs, including Nazis, which constituted a minority, from taking control and, following US orders, carrying out mass murder in furtherance of the US proxy war against Russia. The US is now doing the same thing in Taiwan. The US does not care what the people of Taiwan want or need. It is undermining those interests and promoting its own thuggish interests, enriching the compliant “leaders” who will follow US orders. If things go according to the way this rolling disaster has gone since the end of WWII, Taiwan will become another Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen – pick your own analogy. The guideline is clear – Anytime the US comes to “save” your Country, run like hell because it is about to be destroyed.

      • “Anytime the US comes to “save” your Country, run like hell because it is about to be destroyed.”
        Lmao … How true.

      • Russia and China might’ve been able to start a civil war in the US by refusing to recognise Biden as winner of the election in 2020. Trump and his followers would have felt empowered and claimed the office. But Russia has never meddled in our elections the way we impose ourselves on every other “democracy.” Everything is decided with spreading boatloads of cash and bullshit around in America–and then clawing back the cash. Everyone else in this whole sorry world must follow the orders of whichever crime family (Dems or GOPers) currently holds the upper hand.

        • It is obvious now, even for Elon Musk. They know everything about “guy” who control teleprompter:

          https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/elon-musk-biden-real-president-teleprompter

          Question is will those funds like Blackrock who owns USA debt put “push red button” on teleprompter if USA is #2 or they will just adapt and make factories in China swimming in Russian resources?
          “Patriotism” which they show by running away from IRS taxes is already legendary. So, according to that, like Elon, they will make factories but not in Germany where he made mistake because he thought that Germany will not be stupid again an cut herself out of resources like many time in history but in China.

      • You are 100% right. I can witness how they do it because I was a part of it in my own country. BUT this is China. They will no longer lend money to the US and will withdraw everything before the action. There are millions of Chinese in the world enough to enter almost every parliament. It is almost impossible to insert a spy deep into China because, for example, Obama or some capable CIA spy could not win even in a Chinese village with a million voters (Western politicians unaccustomed to real competition cannot even understand what “mastermind” is needed to become Xi / Putin) They will corrupt much more Taiwan then USA if needed. They will be #1 economy in that moment by all kind of measurement (they surpass USA by PPP-GDP 5 years ago) and G7 or better say Debt7 (G7 list is a list of World countries with biggest debt in same order) will start to repay/borrow in gold their debts not in “printer friendly $” etc… (Its like joke, when your spy asks to be paid in yuens not $ then game is over…)

        Military solution is even worse for USA. For example, for every pilot of the American “Top Gun”, there are 10 Chinese who follow his every movement, habit, thought. So, there will be no planes coming from the Philippines in that simulation of the war game. Only from the carrier if they are not already hit by hypersonic projectiles.
        (all UK according to NATO sources has only 40 pilots who can fly today because tomorrow is to late) War is not Hollywood or Tw or Fb…

  • I wonder if 30 years from now we find out that Chinese guy who shot up a church “Because of Hatred to Taiwanese People” was paid by the CIA or some nonsense. Like Oswald or something.
    ~
    Also, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2022-05-16/forget-burning-man-psychedelic-shamans-now-heading-to-davos
    ~
    Expecting everything to get weirder. Lots weirder.

  • I was hoping to retire in 2027, so that date does not work for me! Empire, take note, please oh please.
    More, I hope Empire delays its plans for starting massive wars, hot or hybrid, to after I die, because I am not willing to die for the bankers and their conjured up money.
    I don’t know why would anybody want to go fight for the global bankers and their usury. You may as well issue your own money and defend it! (Crypto maybe?)
    I heard today again from a sociologist that our whole economics and society is built on usury, which was considered a capital crime in the Middle Ages.
    It seems to me that our times are darker than the Middle Ages.

  • Dif not see the segment but I am sure the US wins. In truth pentagon war simulations have China crushing the US in short order. Logusticalky it is a non starter.

    • This is all an unknown. China has not such advanced weaponry, and you’re attacking an island (worse than a field == Ukraine). It might look good on paper, but Taiwan has been investing in mining the straight post haste and lots of supersonic anti-ship missiles. It might end up as a quagmire, or worse, for China (and this is without US involvement).
      ~
      Additionally, due to one child policy, China cannot sustain heavy losses for very long. Many Chinese soldier males who are killed are the sole hope and future of an entire family. 10k, 20k of losses and it’s going to get very very hard to sustain. The ideology is the past century is “century of shame” and that might get them somewhere, because shame can drive hatred pretty well, which is what you need for a war.
      ~
      But they have weaknesses and from one perspective are just another empire-type country struggling to hold it together against economic, social, and other forces as time goes on. Like UK, Russia, US, all of them.
      ~
      No country really has “fuck you, we do as we please” level power right now, at least not sustainably or in the face of a drawn out conflict, which is what you are hinting at. They all have a lot to lose. US, UK, NATO are trying to claw back to that level of power. Obviously it is existential for other countries not to allow this. It is seen as existential for them to do it.
      ~
      Jonathan

  • Most Americans don’t even know they live in an empire. Most barely pay attention to the news, but pick up the messaging almost through osmosis. Well-to-do friends have Maddow on in the background while fixing dinner. They may have an inkling that the military influences the news, but it really doesn’t affect their views on foreign policy. Any dissent or skepticism in the citizenry rarely reaches policy makers. The right wing lawmakers opposing the foreign aid to Ukraine are opportunist and would support the spending under a Republican administration. There was a progressive movement backing Sanders in ’16, so we know there are ten million or so people who are to the left of the war parties.

  • This is China speed.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FBn37NPUYAQ97HY.jpg:large
    40,000 kilometes of high speed rail line laid down in less than 15 years. From nothing to a moment in history where hundreds of millions of people can descend from their hyper-modern 40 story mega-city apartment buildings, take a short walk – or bike ride – through a stunningly beautiful park to a metro station which will take them to high speed rail terminal, that allows to hop on board a bullet train and go pretty much anywhere in the country at speeds of up 350 kph for no more than a couple of hundred bucks.
    For the long journeys, and only if they decide to ride in the luxury executive car. Otherwise, it’s cheaper.
    Although I wouldn’t label China’s high speed rail build-out as a side project, is does represent only a fraction of what they are doing as a nation-state to achieve greatness on a scale unthinkable.
    And what is my backward, privatized, neo-liberal country’s response to this “development?” We must go to war with them. We must destroy China before it’s too late.
    Can we beat the Chinese Navy in a conventional fight? Maybe. But even if we can, to what purpose? To then march in and occupy a nation of 1.4 billion, to impose our freedoms on them? Our better ways of doing things?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LUUk6wVNrY
    It has long been my contention the US will not go down without firing off its nukes first. And we are going down. Russia is out in my opinion as first strike candidate, for two reasons. One, the US never was able to set up shop Ukraine, which was paramount for any reasonable expectations of first strike success, and two, by 2008 the Russians were fully on to our intentions, and started to rebuild a highly credible nuclear deterrent, namely around the hypersonics and the Poseidons.
    China, on the other hand, may still be sitting in a first strike window. They’re building out their relatively small deterrent as fast as they can, learning to play the shell game with their siloed ICBMs and their mobile missile launchers, and they’re trying to get boomers in the water as fast as they can.
    Building them two at a time. Out of desperation.
    And then there is the Three Gorges Damn. The achilles heel of China. If it blows, by nuke or by conventional strike, that’s the end of China, and quite probably the rest of world as well.
    I’ll say it again, my country’s last chance, and probably humanity’s last chance to maintain it’s presence in this universe as well, is to sign up for the all-inclusive Belt and Road initiative, and become a well respected player in a world order where no nation-state is allowed to proclaim it is the dominant member.
    Time is running out, and the Great Filter waits for no life giving planet to get its shit together, it just does what it does.

    • This too is not a Chinese side project. It is something less than that. It’s Chinese architecs, engineers and road builders having fun, because they can, and because China has the time, money, and inclination to do such things. Seen dozens of these snaking mountain roads now that seemingly lead to nowhere in particular. Just there to take in the nature. This is my favorite. Has a Great Wall feel to it.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pho9CPbbuY
      This … is a Chinese side project.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5JO3pRC3Bw
      Working with four or five other European nations to jumpstart what will become a high speed rail network in the Balkans.
      The first line, which is almost ready for launch, will be in Serbia, a nation my beloved country bombed for 77 straight days not so long ago to no military purpose.

      • And that is the threat that China truly represents to the US. Yes, maintaining the lock grip on the world’s reserve currency, and the petro dollar arragement, are vital to our interests, but what really floats our boat is putting the boot on the neck of lesser nations at the behest of our bankers, and making them pay fealty to us for all eternity, or face the consequences.
        Warning: 10 minutes of Chinese propaganda ahead.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiuzNWjexxw
        The MAD Principle. Mutual Assured Development. Instead of bombing Cambodia back to the stone age, why not build them a sports stadium instead?
        And while you’re at it, why not link their capitol Phnom Penh via high speed rail with Vientiane and Bangcock, because if you have the money and the expertise and your not busy at the moment bombing, leveling sanctions and fighting proxy wars, why not?

    • I wish we had high speed rail to go anywhere in this vast country for a reasonable cost and without the risk of catching communicable respiratory diseases (not just covid) riding in those cramped, packed, sealed flying microbial incubators call planes. Plus the view out the window is nicer, and you can even rent a private sleeper module with its own shower for a cross country trip. What’s not to prefer over flying cattle cars, especially with all the manpads now on the open market courtesy of freedom-loving Ukrainian entrepreneurs.
      ~
      Definitely more sensible and affordable for America to join ’em rather than attempting to beat ’em in the BRI planetwide free market. Always contended this myself. Growth is still gonna have to wind down, stop and reverse to long-term sustainable levels at some point, unless we discover practical cold fusion technology, can squeeze zero point energy from the quantum field or something similar, but a planned soft landing is certainly preferable to the shock of world war, which, as rational beings, we *should* be able to control. Planet-wide pandemics, whether natural or anthropogenic, as we have seen are not yet always amenable to control even with mountains of history and hard won knowledge in our tool box. The elementary forces of nature, such as a supervolcano, an asteroid hit, or a solar mass ejection are also beyond our power to prevent or even mitigate presently. So we may not make it past the next population bottleneck even if the mean IQ of our species shifted two standard deviations to the right on the bell curve. Luck will remain an essential element in our long-term survival. We’ve only been here in our present form for a mere two hundred thousand years and have had many close calls, many of our own creation. The sundry dinosaur species persisted for multi-millions of years and it took an asteroid the size of New York City (well, 6.2 miles in diameter) to cap those suckers. We should be so lucky. Whereas everyone on Planet Musk will remain safe…unless the asteroid goes there instead.

      • “Luck will remain an essential element in our long-term survival.”
        It sure will. If “luck is the residue of design,” then bad luck is what you’re gonna run into nearly every time when you are stupid.
        Like, why are we broadcasting our position to the aliens? Clearly, remaining silent for a few million years to better determine our status in the universe would be the prudent thing to do.
        But nope, it’s “Hi aliens! We have a really nice planet, but we are still in our prebubescent phase and would to become galaxy hoppers just like you. Won’t you come by for a visit, and teach us how it’s done?”

  • These clowns haven’t been right about a single thing since this admin stole the election… Trust them to ensure China wins absolutely.

    • All lies and jests, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest, la la lie…
      Paul Simon.

  • If there was only some way to get people to stop watching the news, the world would be in a much better place.

    https://johnmoffett.substack.com/p/the-corporate-owned-news-has-been

    • You’ve got to take it all with a grain of salt, otherwise you shoot yourself every morning out of despair :o)

  • Day by day, it is becoming clear why Joe Biden had to be installed by all means as president by the establishment. The Dems from the time of Clinton to Obama had their dangerous geopolitical plans stalled by Trump’s MAGA term of office. What they don’t grasp is the fact that the MAGA force is at the door of US political power and once it is in, the chicanery is going to run out of steam. Why would Europe not see the writing on the wall, it is baffling. I had thought Stoltenberg and his cohorts came across as intelligent and knowing what they were doing but not anymore.It is unthinkable that the GOP would starve their own babies in order to engage in proxy wars like in Ukraine. They have always regarded China, not Russia as the number 1 enemy.

    • Yes, the further along in the Biden administration, the more apparent it becomes. What’s happening now was originally planned for 2018 with Clinton in office.
      The hard 180 reversal on covid between Christmas and end of February had to happen to clear the media deck for Ukraine. Now we are being told hot war with China is in the line up. Since the exercise used 2027 as the date, something else is in the batter’s circle. I shudder to think what these psychopaths have planned next.

      • The Iranians are gonna sue. They’ve been promised a war for forty years and look! Everybody’s getting ahead of them in the line…

  • Well, the end of days is nigh it seems, Iam not sure if some in America and the west have a death wish or perhaps some truly mad christain fundamentalists wish to create a self fullfilling prophecy the American politicians and their masters in the military industrial complex seem bent on preventing their dominance on the world stage when the self same are resembling the communist government in Beijing, my, we do live in strange times perhaps if and when Biden is out of the white house we might see some change although I fear not .

  • WHY is there so much creditability given to a MSM site claiming to conduct war games that would have an outcome to their favor already programmed into it ? I have read countless reports, and filed them away of the Pentagon conducting similar games, for the uninitiated, the Pentagon is the center of all things military in the U.S. thus would have a lot more information at it’s disposal than a T.V. station. L.O.L. In these games the Pentagon has conducted, the Americans get their behinds thrashed every time, that’s why the U.S. Military is extremely reluctant to become involved in such a scenario. They are well aware of the outcome such a collision would bring.

    • A little dick-swinging keeps the sheeple in line, cheerleading for their team instead of asking questions about Hunter’s laptop and the ruling mafia :o)

  • “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”

    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

    Regarding NBC “An empty vessel makes the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest babblers.”

    ― Plato

  • Im reminded of the Country Joe and the Fish song about the Vietnam War: “WOOPEE!!! WERE ALL GONNA DIE!” or perhapes Doctor Strange Love only crazier

  • With the US’ inability to even remotely understand what is going on in Ukraine or the Russian strategy, I wouldn’t think it has any chance of getting a war simulation with China right. Its sanctions have failed, and its military assistance to Ukraine has failed to make any significant difference. It openly admits that Russia has an unbeatable air defence system, and unstoppable hypersonic missiles, and is desperately trying to catch up.

    It’s really not doing very well at anything right now, except perhaps its propaganda wars.

    And it has failed in all of its other wars over the last few decades, so it’s reasonable to expect that it would also fail in a war with China. It just isn’t used to fighting equals, only vastly inferior and less well equipped troops.
    It’s the schoolyard bully that always picks fights with smaller and weaker boys, never ones of its own size and strength.

    • Such truths are rare indeed in this climate of fear-mongering and government lies all across the globe.

    • It has become apparent recently that the massive US assistance to Ukraine has had battlefield results that deflect Russia’s attempts to demilitarize the Ukraine. Time will tell, of course, but these losses might well prompt Russia to go to full on war, leaving the “special military operations” behind.
      My assessment is that Russia is in an existential fight and cannot allow the West to win. A loss would presage regime change and an end to the Russian Federation, a drastic weakening, maybe balkanization, of Russia, and leaving an open door to regime change in China. Whether such losses are worth an open nuclear war is the only question for US planners.

      • You’ve spelled out exactly what Washington wants and thinks it can get from this whole human catastrophe.
        ~
        Frankly, Washington, and its “planners” have no business “focusing,” (the way the text puts it) on either country–nor anywhere in the Indo-Pacific! Both are on the opposite side of the planet, embedded within highly different socio-political-economic environments, and have existed as independent sovereign nations, nay, huge powerful empires, hundreds or thousands of years longer than the arrogant Yankee state has even existed. It is absurd that a motley assemblage of avaricious boomer has-beens and ditzy zoomer never-weres with bizarre notions of how reality should reconfigure to their wills are suddenly entitled to restructure it all to their wack specifications. There’s gotta be some effective push-back to this madness. How it ever got this far astounds me. The discord within America seems even greater than America’s beef with and plans for the whole outside world.

  • I guess that we have to admit that these people are coherent, so we have to look for alternative descriptions – how about silly? I mean fantasies are silly, yes? Sink the Chinese navy 5 years from now. Sink the biggest navy in the world of a country with the biggest, most modern industrial base with the most engineers in the world… It’s just silly – and apparently doesn’t contemplate what the Chinese military will be doing during these 72 hours of ship sinking. We’re going to Ludicrous Speed, y’all…

    • They are simply blinkered careerists, convinced that what is right for their needs is also the best for everyone else. In short, they are sociopaths. Everything Hanna Arendt said about Eichmann applies to this bunch.

  • Whatever it’ll take…high time to put the US back in it’s place and stop terrorizing our world.

  • Considering what passes for reason & logic these days, I can see how a well-known war-planning club would televise ‘if/then’ to anyone on Sunday morning TV, even a foreign government, although I’m sorry I missed it because watching people play Risk reminds me of bong hits on snow days and listening to TheViolentFemmes.

  • The banality of evil.

  • It has been obvious since the beginning of the Clinton Administration that we are ruled by people with, to put it as kindly as possible, very bad judgment. It now appears that it is probable that these fools are really going to get us into a nuclear war. I guess it will make it unnecessary to suffer the long and slow death by climate change, if one takes the “optimistic” approach. I am glad I am an old guy so I do not have to suffer these fools much longer. I really cannot believe the stupidity of these “great leaders” – or the stupidity of the American people for that matter. They buy every lie churned out by the US Lie Machine. Now they are waving their Ukrainian flags, clueless that their “support” for this US criminal war of aggression is guaranteed to kill more and more Ukrainian citizens. It happens every time that the US comes to “save” a country – guaranteed total destruction. Will the American people every figure it out? I gave up on that a long time ago.

    • It is extremely discouraging. the US propaganda apparatus seems even less honest than Izvestia and Pravda in the old soviet union, but at least soviet citizens knew enough to be skeptical. the vast majority of my fellow americans swallow this crap whole, and compete with each other to demonstrate their support of Ukraine propaganda.

      • Hitting the nail right on the head!

      • Old Soviet saying: “There is no truth in Pravda, and there is no news in Izvestia.”
        I had to read both papers as part of a course requirement back in ’81 and I can attest, there was more truth in Pravda and more news in Izvestia than there is emanating from our main stream media.
        Far more.
        There was a wink, wink quality to the papers. “You know we are lying, and we know that you know we are lying, but we are all in this together, so let’s get on with it shall we?”
        And if the reader applied a simple cheater’s code, which was essentially, the little lies are mostly true and the big lies are mostly false, the average Soviet citizen was actually fairly well informed.
        Which is hardly a claim we all could make if we only got our news from Chuck Todd and the MSM.

    • Sad but true, especially when one thinks of the minority of charitable and well-meaning US citizens I have known.

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