On Monday, the former Acting Director of the CIA, Michael Morrell, complained on American television about Russian actions in Syria. He remarked ‘We need to make the Russians pay a price.’ ‘Pay a price by killing Russians?’, asked TV host Charlie Rose. ‘Yes’, replied Morrell.
Morrell isn’t the only senior ex-US official to have said such a thing. In early 2015, retired General Robert H. Scales commented that the only way the United States could affect the outcome of the war in Ukraine was to ‘start killing Russians. … Killing so many Russians that even Putin’s media can’t hide the fact that Russians are returning to their motherland in body bags.’ ‘Sadly, that’s not likely to happen’, Scales added.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some blowhard like Vladimir Zhirinovsky hasn’t said something similar about Americans on Russian television, but there is a big difference between the ex-chief of the CIA and someone who has never held government office. If, say, a former chief of the FSB publicly suggested killing Americans, one would imagine that the outrage would be enormous. Perhaps some Russian officials do think in the same way, but at least they have the wit to keep quiet about it.