Caitlin Johnstone: Facebook Says It’s OK to Kill Russians

Normally when the U.S. and its allies are involved in a war they’ll at least pay lip service to the notion that they have nothing but good will for the people of the enemy nation.

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to a reading of this article.

Reuters reports that Facebook and Instagram are now allowing calls for the death of Russians and Russian leaders in exemption from the platforms’ hate speech terms of service due to the war in Ukraine:

“Meta Platforms will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy.” 

[In response, Russia has launched a criminal investigation of Meta, CNN reports.]

Twitter has also altered its rules against incitement and death threats in the case of Russian leaders and military personnel, as Ben Norton explains here for Multipolarista.

Last month we also learned that Facebook is now allowing users to praise the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Azov Battalion because of the war, a move that is arguably the most liberal thing that has ever happened.

Western institutions everywhere are rejecting all things Russia with such a savage degree of xenophobia it really ought to shock anyone who was born after the 1800s. Everything from Russian athletes to Russian musicians to Russian-made films to Russian composers to Russian Netflix shows to lectures about Russian authors to Russian restaurants to Russian vodka to Russian-bred cats to Russian trees to dishes that sound a little too much like “Putin” have been cancelled to varying degrees around the Western world.

Normally when the U.S. and its allies are involved in a war they’ll at least pay lip service to the notion that they have nothing but good will for the people of the enemy nation, claiming they only oppose their oppressive rulers. With Russia it’s just a complete rejection of the entire culture, the entire ethnicity. It’s a widespread promotion of hatred for the actual people because of who they are.

These are the people who are being smashed with crushing economic sanctions while Western pundits proclaim that “There are no more ‘innocent’ ‘neutral’ Russians anymore” and ask “At what point do you hold a people responsible for putting an evil despot in power?” This even as the Russian people are being arrested by the thousands in anti-war protests, putting to shame our own Western society that has generally slept through war after war in the years since 9/11 while our militaries have been killing of millions of people.

And this is all over a war that the Western empire knowingly provokedalmost certainly planned in advance and appears to be doing everything possible to ensure that it continues.

Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp reportsthat Washington is still to this day not engaging in any serious diplomacy with Moscow over this conflict, preferring to strangle Russia economically and pour weapons into Ukraine to make the war as painful and costly as possible. Both of these preferences just so happen to nicely complement the U.S. empire’s goal of unipolar planetary hegemony.

Meanwhile the entire Western political/media class seems to be doing everything it can to turn this from a regional proxy war into a very fast and radioactive World War III.

Calls for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which would require directly attacking the Russian military and risking a nuclear exchange in the resulting escalations, are now ubiquitous. Claims that more directly confrontational military aggressions against Russia won’t start a nuclear war (or that it’s worth the risk anyway) are becoming more and more common in Western punditry.


Democrats are braying for Russian blood while Republicans like Tom Cottonand Mitt Romney are attacking Democrats for being insufficiently hawkish and escalatory in this conflict, creating a horrifying dynamic where both parties are trying to out-hawk each other to score political points and nobody is calling for de-escalation and detente.

As luck would have it, U.S. officials have also selected this precarious nuclear tightrope walk as the perfect time to begin hurling accusations that Russia is preparing a biological attack, potentially as a false flag blamed on Ukraine or the United States. This coincides with Victoria Nuland’s admission before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Ukraine has “biological research facilities” that the U.S. is “quite concerned” might end up “falling into the hands of Russian forces.”

All of this on top of the unprecedented wave of authoritarian censorship that has been tearing through the U.S.-centralized empire as our rulers work to quash dissident voices around the world. It certainly is interesting that the fight for freedom and democracy requires so much censorship, warmongering, xenophobia, propaganda and bloodlust.

It’s almost enough to make you wonder: are we the baddies?

I am of course only trying to make a point here. Geopolitical power struggles are not contested by opposing sides of heroes and baddies like a Marvel superhero movie, though you’d never know it from all the hero worship of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and the self-righteous posturing of mainstream Westerners over this war. Vladimir Putin is no Peter Parker, but neither is Zelensky or Biden or any of the other empire managers overseeing this campaign to overwhelm all challengers to U.S. global domination.

The power structure loosely centralized around the United States is without question the single most depraved and destructive on earth. No one else has spent the 21st century waging wars that have killed millions and displaced tens of millions. No one else is circling the planet with military bases and working to destroy any nation on earth which disobeys it. Not Russia. Not China. Nobody.

The hypocrisy, dishonesty and phoniness of this whole song and dance about Ukraine is one of the most distasteful things that I have ever witnessed. Rather than engaging in click-friendly Instagram activism with blue and yellow profile pics making risk-free criticisms of a foreign leader in a far off country who has nothing to do with us, perhaps we would be better served by a bit more introspection, and by a somewhat more difficult stance: intense scrutiny of the corruption and abuses running rampant in our own society.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium.  Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative MatrixRogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

46 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: Facebook Says It’s OK to Kill Russians

  1. robert e williamson jr
    March 14, 2022 at 16:05

    As per usual when Catlin tells us exactly how she feels the experience is exhilarating and refreshing.

    The truth can do this like nothing else!

  2. peter tusinski
    March 13, 2022 at 19:09

    Caitlin hits it out of the park once again! There has always been hatred and resentment in the landof the free,but what is so astounding is the power and speed of the propaganda machine in creating such xenophobia towards Russia. Nearly all of MSM is guilty of this massive deceptlon.

    • Alfie O'Mega
      March 15, 2022 at 14:13

      Americans hate no one more than each other.

  3. Jeremy Bonington-Jagworth
    March 13, 2022 at 06:44

    What’s not to like?

    We can now officially hate people for where they were born.

    Which has been the unofficial “Progressive” Woke “liberal” policy for decades.

    Biden can sanction the UK for voting to break away from the EUkraine and preferring UKreign.

    And the evil Boris can sanction any pesky Celt that voted to break away from UKreign, as well as anyone in our Lower House who voted against maintaining the SovUKreignty of the UK, any judges who tried to support them, and any Remainiaks who voted for them.

    If this is the New World Order: bring it on.

    The collapse of Western Civilisation caused by the undermining of its foundational principles, like freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to travel, property rights, binding contracts, trust in money, banking, transactional, and transfer systems, right to work or run a business, even the right to buy food for your family or medicines for your child, might not be as much fun though!

  4. JMF
    March 12, 2022 at 17:05

    Some commendable, complementary history from an contributor:

    “A Decade of War Lies Crescendo Amid the New ‘Red Scare’”
    by Josh Everson March 12, 2022


  5. Mike
    March 12, 2022 at 15:26

    When the British army was given the tough task of taking Basra and the south of Iraq, on instruction from above, it took advantage of a certain enmity between the Shiite survivors of marsh draining and the Baathist military. From a safe distance, with comfortably embedded BBC reporters, it picked off Saddam’s pea-shooters of ancient tanks and then stood aside for the locals to exact their revenge. No one will ever know how many relatively innocent conscripts were killed but we do know that the British ‘good will for the people’ resulted in the total destruction and looting of the city.
    I can’t recall the ‘goodwill’ ever getting better.

  6. Realist
    March 12, 2022 at 14:19

    So how far will our society’s new embrace of barbarism go? The television drama called “the Purge” will become a real thing? The Unabomber in retrospect will become a folk hero to environmentalists and sundry Luddites? Hypocrisy just loves to make exceptions. Come to think of it, we do call ourselves the “exceptional” country… and now we know why!

  7. Susan Leslie
    March 12, 2022 at 10:46

    “The power structure loosely centralized around the United States is without question the single most depraved and destructive on earth. No one else has spent the 21st century waging wars that have killed millions and displaced tens of millions. No one else is circling the planet with military bases and working to destroy any nation on earth which disobeys it. Not Russia. Not China. Nobody.”

    The United States of Ameribots need to realize this FACT but are too lazy to engage themselves in any meaningful research. Instead, the apathetic masses want to be spoon-fed the baseless and meaningless tripe put forward by our so-called government and the completely useless mainstream media…I hate this country and what it stands (or doesn’t) for.

  8. mgr
    March 12, 2022 at 08:51

    So, who thought that facebook/meta was simply a benign social media platform for sharing family photos? It should be clear now that facebook is rather an important part of the social narrative dissemination wing of the US governments. It provides the infrastructure for large scale and international cognitive control. No doubt, Western “democracies” in particular have come to count quite heavily on this, and that will only increase as the price of this debacle come due. In any case, it’s the use of facebook, WhatsApp, etc. that in fact gives these platforms the power to abuse us. I guess there is something humorous in that somewhere…

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      March 12, 2022 at 14:07

      That is why we should post as many alternative news as possible on FB every single day. Bombard them with alternate points of view. Use their system to argue with them and expose the lies of the propaganda machine. Every single day.

      • mgr
        March 12, 2022 at 21:03

        Carolyn: A good and positive response. I don’t know if that is possible but much success!

      • Lois Gagnon
        March 13, 2022 at 18:33

        I do as do many of my friends. I’ve lost friends over my posts, but gained new ones. Solidarity.

  9. rosemerry
    March 12, 2022 at 05:39

    Michael McFaul is probably king of the US ambassadors to Russia in his vitriolic hatred of Russia. It is probably the reason Obama chose him.
    Real people ,ambassadors in the true sense, like Jack Matlock, who had an understanding of Russia and even the USSR(!) has recently published balanced articles, which are probably banished by now along with any word from official or unofficial Russian channels to correct/counteract the lies and misrepresentations of ALL the Western mass media.

    • Rob Roy
      March 12, 2022 at 14:07

      Cancelling RT made me madder than any other thing cancelled. It was one place where the dominant narrative didn’t have to prevail to keep one’s job. Not a single person on that site was ever told what to say or not say. They had complete freedom of speech, unlike our MSM which will fire anyone who goes against that dominant narrative. When that happens, the other “reporters” know it and self-censor, a sorry state of affairs, to say the least. This country has no moral core, if it ever had one.
      Always thankful for Caitlin’s excellent reporting. It’s pure.

    • Realist
      March 12, 2022 at 15:16

      It is truly remarkable the amount of lasting damage that the Great Pretender and the Great Betrayer left behind in his wake. The man runs as a potentially transformative progressive reformer with poll numbers and election results not seen since Reagan or fellow-Democrat LBJ. His coattails even give him 60% majorities in both houses of Congress. Ready for that change you can count on? Ha! Merely the prelude to a subsequent “shellacking” after a single congressional term. Once in office he systematically abandons his entire platform (from health care to world peace) as unattainable and instead adopts a neoliberal (arch conservative) domestic policy and a bellicose Neo-con foreign policy. And, to cap it all, after his intended legacy of warmongering Killary is rejected in favor of “Anyone but Hillary,” aka Donald J. Trump, and four years of that disaster, he stumps for the very guy he memorably put down with “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f… things up.” So, basically, we’ve had four straight terms of escalating disasters each of which leaves the little guy worse off, the fat cats luxuriating and the world fearing that the exceptional country might start another war at any time. Thanks for again zeroing in on the cause of so much of our lingering troubles, Rosemerry. And, in the spirit of bipartisanship, I will give the Great Betrayer’s predecessor, the Grand Clown, Dubya Shrub, just as much credit for getting the bowling ball rolling through the middle of the china shop. Stay tuned for the coming over reaction to the certain four years of misrule by Doddering Joe, Cackling Kamala, and ?

      • Warand Buffet
        March 15, 2022 at 14:34

        All those you mention, that is the best that the US can do. The standards in the US are very low. The quality is very low. How did those people become your candidates? Even if they were qualified ( most were not), there is some other kind of system in place that prevents the US ever doing anything right or better. That system is capitalism of the cheapest and worst sort. Just as in the capitalism that produces commodities, it constantly works to produce that same product in an ever faster, cheaper way. It’s strange though; why do US elections take so awfully long? That must be to distract, and eliminate better people and truth. US capitalism has made politics and politicians of a cheap, commodified system. The people have no attention span, no patience, and demand instant results and gratification, and that is just what a cheap, capitalist, mass-produced commodity system provides.

  10. March 12, 2022 at 01:08

    “Meta Platforms will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy.”

    March 12, 2022 at 00:42

    A toilet room is always a crappy place to be, welcome to the new, new America. Where Obama left off with Ukraine.

  12. MD in Utah
    March 11, 2022 at 20:43

    You should know that you have a regular reader in the Beehive State and I have enjoyed your work for years. I encourage you to continue to be part of the sane discourse that is the only antidote to the dangerous folly and groupthink that arises in times like these. It is the Lord’s work. I fear and mourn for my country and pray for forgiveness for the havoc and misery we have caused in the world.

  13. JMF
    March 11, 2022 at 20:20

    As always, Caitlin, you rock!

    Thank you for yet another scathingly brilliant, irrepressibly spunky analysis.

  14. irina
    March 11, 2022 at 20:16

    One of the few remaining venues for Russians to interact with their peers has been
    shut down. The Arctic Council, comprised of the eight Arctic Countries — US (because
    Alaska), Canada, Iceland, Denmark (for Greenland), Norway, Sweden, Finland and
    Russia, has halted all meetings and communications with its Russian contributors,
    even though Russia is currently Chair of the Council (a position which rotates every
    two years). These people are scientists, not politicians. They work towards a greater
    understanding of many aspects of Arctic experience, in particular accelerating climate
    shift. This is an extremely unfortunate turn of events, especially considering that Russia
    occupies almost half of the Circumpolar World. And is partnering with China to further
    develop the Northern Sea Route . . .

  15. March 11, 2022 at 20:06

    “The assertion has been frequently voiced that the CIA carries out its dirty tricks largely in reaction to operations of the KGB which have been ‘even dirtier.’ This is a lie made out of whole cloth. There may be an isolated incident of such in the course of the CIA’s life, but it has kept itself well hidden. The relationship between the two sinister agencies is marked by fraternization and respect for fellow professionals more than by hand-to-hand combat. Former CIA officer John Stockwell has written:

    ‘Actually, at least in more routine operations, case officers most fear the US ambassador and his staff, then restrictive headquarters cables, then curious, gossipy neighbors in the local community, as potential threats to operations. Next would come the local police, then the press. Last of all is the KGB—in my twelve years of case officering I never saw or heard of a situation in which the KGB attacked or obstructed a CIA operation.’

    Stockwell adds that the various intelligence services do not want their world to be ‘complicated’ by murdering each other.

    ‘It isn’t done. If a CIA case officer has a flat tire in the dark of night on a lonely road, he will not hesitate to accept a ride from a KGB officer—likely the two would detour to some bar for a drink together. In fact CIA and KGB officers entertain each other frequently in their homes. The CIA’s files are full of mention of such relationships in every African station.’

    Proponents of ‘fighting fire with fire’ come perilously close at times to arguing that if the KGB, for example, had a hand in the overthrow of the Czechoslovak government in 1968, it is OK for the CIA to have a hand in the overthrow of the Chilean government in 1973. It’s as if the destruction of democracy by the KGB deposits funds in a bank account from which the CIA is then justified in making withdrawals.”

    William Blum, “Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II” (London: Zed Books, 2003), pp. 10-11

    • James Simpson
      March 12, 2022 at 06:13

      Thanks for that extract. It seems a rather different world than that portrayed by the late John le Carre.

      • Nowt
        March 15, 2022 at 15:07

        No, not John le Carre. The US is more like a John Waters film. Ugh.

  16. ks
    March 11, 2022 at 19:45

    I feel like I’m trapped in All Quiet on the Western Front. Or in Georg Grosz’s Pillars of Society.

  17. Sam F
    March 11, 2022 at 19:20

    Economic power controls all branches of the US government and mass media, profits by “dishonesty and phoniness,” and prevents that “introspection, and … scrutiny of the corruption and abuses running rampant in our own society.”
    This failure of government structure requires reforms to eliminate economic influence upon the US government and mass media, and to promote balanced public debate of all viewpoints. See CongressOfDebate dot org for the solution.

  18. Spike
    March 11, 2022 at 19:11

    Caitlin, You hit the nail on the head….. now to get some of these people to read it. Thank you.

  19. charles
    March 11, 2022 at 19:05

    I can’t wait for the day of “HATE the Russians.” Its been so boring with sound bites of disgust.

  20. Drew Hunkins
    March 11, 2022 at 18:06

    Imagine if in the middle of another grotesque bombing campaign Israel was waging against the citizens of Gaza some, say, Chinese social media company said it was A-OK to advocate violence against Jews. To just speculate on this for two seconds is to point up the absurdity of the double-standard.

    (And I hate to equate Shoigu’s masterful demilitarization campaign with Israeli brutality and sadism.)

  21. Art
    March 11, 2022 at 17:59

    I wish that I could have been brave enough to voice such opinions publicly.
    So I moved out. You do it a lot better than i could’ve anyway.
    Have you been attacked for doing this and are you afraid?

    • Danny Miskinis
      March 12, 2022 at 16:51

      I personally am very afraid. It does appear that much of the so-called free world is behaving in the same manner as a certain European nation did 85-90 years ago. Their axis was considerably smaller.

  22. Morton Brussel
    March 11, 2022 at 17:54

    Yes, but unfortunately your kind of reflections cannot be delivered to the denizens of “the west”., undergoing a propaganda war of unlimited toxicity.

  23. Donald Duck
    March 11, 2022 at 17:46

    There are bigger stakes in what appears to be the stakes at this time. I note that the covid episode has been forgotten almost overnight. That’s the plague episode. Next we have a humdinger of a war, everyone’s seem to have forgotten about the deadly virus. That’s the war episode. Next up the famine episode with the finale of the death episode. Very Biblical. The four horses of the apocalypse. 2 down, 2 to go. The new ‘civilization’ beckons. Government of lunatics by lunatics

  24. Jim W
    March 11, 2022 at 16:08

    This a brilliant, inspiring essay. Thank you Caitlin.

  25. Mary Caldwell
    March 11, 2022 at 15:45

    Joe, Kamala, Tony and Jake have the situation “under control”…..nothing to worry about !

    • LarcoMarco
      March 11, 2022 at 19:47

      Big smear against Caitlin in today’s Counterpunch.

      • AKH
        March 11, 2022 at 23:40

        Counterpunch started sounding a little too much like Democrats to me a few years ago. I had to stop reading them. It’s too bad because they used to be pretty good. It sounds like I don’t need to bother looking to see if they have changed back to their old selves.

        • Vesa
          March 12, 2022 at 02:23

          Media after media falls in the laps of the powerful, is it money or is it fear ?

          • Tom G
            March 12, 2022 at 06:51

            Or is it getting that coveted invitation to the elites’ cocktail parties?

      • rosemerry
        March 12, 2022 at 05:33

        “Counterpunch” has become completely the same as the rest of the “free media” . I saw Matthew Stevenson had an article a few weeks ago and wrote to the editor to point out the lies. This was ignored, and he and some others eg Julian Barnes from the Guardian have infested the site, which still retains some good contributors.

      • Carolyn L Zaremba
        March 12, 2022 at 14:13

        Counterpunch is largely representative of the pseudo-left, that is, people who consider themselves progressive but who are really bourgeois liberals who support the Democratic Party and the capitalist system. I check out their page a couple of times a week for the occasional good bite of writing, but the rest is liberal pabulum.

      • Carolyn L Zaremba
        March 12, 2022 at 14:19

        The writer of the Counterpunch article, one Dan Hanrahan, only serves to prove that Caitlin is correct and that he himself is full of bullshit and reeks of America-firstism. I notice that there are no comments allowed, nor is his email address available, so that nobody can argue with him, supposedly. This is what I dislike about Counterpunch. Their writers too often weigh in on the side of American imperialism and pretend that they are critics of same. I would just like to take this opportunity to suggest to Mr. Hanrahan that he go fuck himself.

      • Realist
        March 12, 2022 at 14:31

        by some puerile pompous buffoon posing as a writer.

    • Frank Lambert
      March 12, 2022 at 11:39

      That’s funny, Mary! In these bizarre times, humor helps!

      Caitlin’s article is to me, outstanding and unfortunately, very true.

      A similar scenario was during the First World War, American banks lent millions of dollars to Britain and France for their war against Germany, and when it looked like the German side might win, the bankers were worried the money lent wouldn’t be repaid, and from what I read, decades ago, sent Bernard Buruch to Wash. D.C. pleading with Woodrow Wilson to declare war on Germany. With the help of William Randolph Hearst and other newspaper and magazine publishers, they demonized the Germans and all to get the American people to support going to Europe to fight “the good war.”

      Both France and Germany lost, if the figures are accurate, about 16% of their young men on the field of battle, which was going nowhere, after four years of heavy fighting.

      The Treat of Versaille afterwards was the catalyst which impoverished Germany even more, which led to the conservative and reactionary Nazi Party being formed and you know the rest. “2/27 was their 9/11 (February 27, 1933)

      • Mark Stanley
        March 13, 2022 at 12:33

        Yes, and don’t forget the U.S. media-concocted hysteria in 1916:
        Huns Bayoneting Belgian Babies!
        Gee, does that not resonate from the past to the present?

        • Frank Lambert
          March 15, 2022 at 13:55

          That’s correct! Plus, some people even killed German Shepard dogs because of the “G” word.
          Erich Von Stronheim, the German born actor who spent most of his movie career in Hollywood, was asked, to “prove his patriotism to the United States” was more or less “pressured” to make a movie during that war, acting as a German soldier throwing a baby out of a window (silent movies back then) for crying too much. Oh, those evil Germans! That’s all the American public had to see. Doesn’t take much to convince the wilful ignorant to follow what the ruling-class desires.

          By the way, “The Christmas Truce of 1914” four months after the started, was initiated by German soldiers. On Christmas Eve of that year, during the trench war, German soldiers were heard singing Christmas Carols by British troops. Then, a lone German soldier came out of the trench, holding a branch of a tree, as a symbol of a Christmas tree. He was unarmed, The Brits watched in amazement as he walked toward the British lines, and before you knew it, both sides came out of the trenches shaking hands and gesturing good will to each other (with the language barrier), and stated exchanging food and beverages. Look it up and see what happened afterwards and the next day and more.

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