Former US Ambassador Torn Apart for ‘Depraved’ Suggestion There Are No ‘Innocent’ Russians: ‘Truly Lost It’
Former U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul drew heavy criticism for declaring there are no more “innocent” or “neutral” Russians while the country continues to invade Ukraine.
McFaul, who was ambassador to Russia from 2012-2014, posted a series of tweets on Wednesday where he slammed Russia while raising the question of how many Russian citizens are truly in favor of their war with Ukraine.
Name one Russian, besides Putin, who genuinely supports this war? (Those who work directly for him and are terrified of him don’t count; we can’t know their true preferences)
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) March 2, 2022
McFaul’s rhetoric took a sharp turn, however, when he later stated “There are no more ‘innocent’ ‘neutral’ Russians anymore. Everyone has to make a choice — support or oppose this war. The only way to end this war is if 100,000s, not thousands, protest against this senseless war. Putin can’t arrest you all!”
There are no more “innocent” “neutral” Russians anymore. Everyone has to make a choice— support or oppose this war. The only way to end this war is if 100,000s, not thousands, protest against this senseless war. Putin can’t arrest you all!
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) March 2, 2022
Ever since the war began, there have been numerous examples of Russians protesting the invasion Ukraine. Many of whom did so at great personal risk from the government’s authoritarian tendency to crack down on political dissidents.
As news watchers took notice of McFaul’s tweet, many of them slammed the idea of collectively damning Russia’s citizens for the policies of Vladimir Putin, and they pointed out how his remarks have disturbing broader implications:
No such thing as an “innocent” Russia person any more, says Obama’s former Ambassador. Seems like that premise, if accepted, could lead to some extremely dark places. Regardless of the outcomes, the claim itself is noxious. https://t.co/cmfMmBxCAd
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 2, 2022
I know emotions are running high over Ukraine, but this is both a heinous insinuation and an appalling suggestion. https://t.co/PLWPXm1KES
— Bobby Ghosh (@ghoshworld) March 2, 2022
This guy has truly lost it. He’s supposed to be a diplomat, not an armchair general calling for escalating conflict and the mass immiseration of people living under a dictatorship. Put down the Twitter, dude, and take a walk. https://t.co/58lh2YuLtV
— Jacob Silverman (@SilvermanJacob) March 2, 2022
The notion that citizens of a state are collectively responsible for their government’s policies is the exact logic used to justify terrorism https://t.co/oEFtumI0eX
— Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp) March 2, 2022
This is a very dangerous narrative. I can’t tell you how many Jihadist leaders said the same about Americans for decades. They did so to justify what they wanted to do, which is to kill American civilians then claim they weren’t innocent. https://t.co/km23k1mtqv
— İyad el-Baghdadi | إياد البغدادي (@iyad_elbaghdadi) March 2, 2022
Blaming subjects of authoritarian rule for the actions of their rulers is shameful, morally repugnant, dehumanizing, and leads to further violence. Let’s abandon notions of collective guilt. https://t.co/ZhzkpoTLaT
— Aaron Ross Powell ☸️ (@ARossP) March 2, 2022
This is depraved. https://t.co/G2zmxeYiPy
— Jacob Siegel (@Jacob__Siegel) March 2, 2022
as a former obama administration official, current Stanford professor, and believe in human rights I demand all Russians – man woman and child – to recognize their collective blood guilt and overwhelm the Russian carceral system through human wave attacks of civil disobedience https://t.co/QQacgw86gy
— inverted vibe curve: burgertown must be defended (@PatBlanchfield) March 2, 2022
The vast majority of Russians are entirely innocent and have nothing to do with Putin’s criminal war. Russians risk a great deal by protesting and those who do certainly deserve our respect. That doesn’t mean that those who don’t resist are guilty. https://t.co/rPn5ODeOYK
— Marcel Dirsus (@marceldirsus) March 2, 2022
No, no, no, no, no. This is the hideous logic of Hiroshima, behind which one can hear the unmistakable voice of the Enemy, who whispers: “Justice is yours to decide. You are enlightened, superior, you hold lofty principles. They have it coming. They deserve it.” https://t.co/8nDoqAdQgA
— Matthew Walther (@matthewwalther) March 2, 2022
I take significant issue with putting this blame on people who are subjected to media blackouts and state-sponsored propaganda passing as news. Many don’t have the information we do and are frightened/confused by what’s happening. There are many innocent Russians. https://t.co/OLqWFkUvKJ
— Mx. Amanda Jetté Knox (@MavenOfMayhem) March 2, 2022
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