Roger Waters – The War-Profiteering Gangsters Will Kill Us All Unless We Unite Against Them

Western media simplifies the conflict in Ukraine in ways that divide us. But what if instead, we chose to unite against those who profit from all wars throughout the world?

Roger Waters is a musician and activist

This article was produced by Globetrotter

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Photo: Ліонкінг licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

I figured something out after tossing and turning all night. We on the left often make the mistake of still looking upon Russia as a somewhat socialist enterprise. Of course, it isn’t. The Soviet Union ended in 1991. Russia is an unadulterated neoliberal capitalist gangster’s paradise, modeled during the time of its horrific restructuring under Boris Yeltsin (1991-1999) on the United States of America. It should come as no surprise that its autocratic, and possibly unhinged leader, Vladimir Putin, has no more respect for the UN Charter and international law than recent presidents of the United States or prime ministers of England have had. (For example, remember George W. Bush and Tony Blair during the Iraq invasion.) I, on the other hand, do care about international law and the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and can unequivocally state that if I had been eligible to vote in the General Assembly on March 2, I would have voted with the 141 ambassadors who supported the resolution condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and demanding that it withdraw its armed forces.

Would that the General Assembly had a mandate to govern, sadly it doesn’t, which means it’s even more beholden on all us freedom-loving, law-abiding anti-war activists to stand shoulder to shoulder with all our brothers and sisters all over the world, irrespective of race, religion, or nationality, in pursuit of elusive peace. That of course means standing with the Russian people and the Ukrainian people, the Palestinian people, the Syrian people, the Lebanese people, the Kurds, African Americans, Mexicans, Ecuadorian rainforest dwellers, South African miners, Armenians, Greeks, the Inuit, the Mapuche and my neighbors the Shinnecock, to name but a few.

It has been monstrous to hear white Western news reporters (such as Charlie D’Agata of CBS News) bewailing the plight of Ukrainian refugees on the grounds that “they look like us” when addressing what they must assume are white Western audiences and that the conflict in Ukraine is exceptional because “this isn’t Afghanistan or Iraq.” That is outrageous. The implication is that it’s somehow more acceptable to make war on people whose skin is brown or black and drive them from their homes than people who “look like us.” It’s not. All refugees, all people who struggle are our brothers and sisters.

In these difficult days, we should resist the temptation to pour good guy/bad guy gasoline on the fire; demand a ceasefire in the name of humanity; support our brothers and sisters fighting for peace internationally, in Moscow and Santiago and Paris and Sao Paulo and New York, because we are everywhere; and stop pouring weapons of war into Eastern Europe, further destabilizing the region just to satisfy the insatiable appetite of the international armaments industry.

Maybe we should raise our voices to encourage the idea of a neutral Ukraine, as has been repeatedly suggested by wise individuals of good faith for many years. First things first, of course, Ukrainians should demand a ceasefire; but after that, maybe Ukrainians would welcome such an arrangement. Maybe someone should ask them. One thing’s for sure: It can’t be left up to the gangsters. Left to their own devices, the gangsters will kill us all.

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  1. So now Putin is psychopathic gangster Roger? This has been pretty self evident to anyone with eye’s for about 20 years now mate. The tactics he is using in the Ukraine are the exact same ones he used in Syria along with that other great bloke Assad. Tactics I might add that you were highly supportive of at the time if I remember correctly.

    As a huge fan of yours since I was a young naïve 12 yo kid I have to say I was mortified by your tacit support of Putin and Assad and what they were up to in Syria over the last few years. And then just a few weeks ago seeing you on RT trumpeting blatant Putin propaganda was just the end for me. What was it again you said “anyone with an IQ above room temperature knows these warnings if an invasion are rubbish.”

    Seriously mate, you need to take a good hard look at yourself. I was totally with you on the stand you made over Palestine but it seems you’ve totally lost the plot now. Very sad… least I still have DSOTM.

    • I don’t think you really read the oped. He is opposing and condemning Putin, but somehow you read the opposite. But you are right, he underestimated the Russian regime when he said that the invasion was improbable.

    • Hey Steve, what USA did in Syria, Who asked them to go there, Who asked them to go in Lybia, Aphganistan, kill Iraq people???
      May be it is USA who is gangster more than others and they have no right to teaching other world, may be Yugoslavia kids asked them to bomb? How about USA propaganda, or it is too dangerous to your democracy? , Look at the mirror Steve, reflection is not always beauty. Monster on the other side. And monster is USA.

    • Well thought out lol? He just admitted to previously believing (until the last week or so) that the Putin regime was actually a communist one. I mean I didn’t think that there was anyone left on the planet that actually thought that. Clearly I was wrong.

      The trouble with people like Roger is that they see everything in black or white. They think that because the Americans happen to be a bunch of b***ards that there arch enemy must logically be great bloke’s. The truth is that the Putin regime is just a bigger bunch of b***ards than the Americans.

      I find it fascinating the Roger has been all but silent on Putin’s war crimes in the Ukraine. For someone who touts himself as a defender of human rights his silence is very telling. Maybe its because if he did address it he would have to admit he’s been wrong about Putin all along?

      • When and where does he say that the Putin regime are communists?

        I really can’t find anything in the article that supports the black/white statement of yours either.

  2. As someone who was born in the Middle East (Iran) and lived there for 25 years (growing up while listening to Pink Floyd/Roger Waters) and lived through a brutal war followed by deliberating sanctions before immigrating to the US, I hope I can have a more balanced look at it all.
    There is no question that what is happening in Ukraine today is unacceptable and I doubt anyone would hesitate to join us in calling Putin to bring the boys back home. I can also understand (and appreciate) Roger’s view when he questions how the Western media have been largely silent on all the sufferings in the rest of the world (most recently in Yemen) while pouring all the tears for the current invasion of Ukraine. The same goes for the horrifying yet de facto assertion that the value of the life of a human being somehow depends on their skin color or ethnicity or where they were born or live.
    At the end of the day, while there is no justification for this senseless act of war and crime against civilians, we should also be brave enough to ask ourselves and our leaders what we could have done to prevent this from happening. On the morning after the collapse of the Soviet Union, did we try to extend an olive branch to our old broken-down enemy and help them out to foster a free and prosperous society, or did we demean and belittle them while expanding NATO eastward toward their homeland? Funny we are all taught the Newton’s laws of motion in school but never learn the 3rd one.
    I have lived long enough to learn one thing: there is nothing in this world, no thought, no ideology, no religion, and no piece of land that is worth more than the life of a human being. When the Soviets dropped the Tsar Bomba on Severny Island, they managed to scrape a tiny bit of its surface but the land stands there today. Do the same to a city – as we did with much smaller devices back in 1945 – and thousands lives (each one, an irreplaceable world) perish in flash. A home, a land, a country is nothing without the people who live there. I fully agree with Roger. Stop this flag waving BS and come sit down and talk together and end the bloodshed right away.

  3. It is hard to believe how people like Roger Waters play into Russia’s hands… He seems to be missing a key point – if Russia stops fighting, there will be no more war, but if Ukraine stops fighting, there will be no more Ukraine… Also, he conveniently ignores the sad fact that absolute majority of Russians are supportive of Putin and comparatively very few are actually protesting against the war, so he is very wrong in putting the Russian people on the same shelf as those whom they oppress… Last, but not least, he seems to imply that Ukraine hasn’t even been asked what it wants and that it might want neutrality, but the reality is that Ukraine has expressed very clearly that it wants to integrate into the West, so he’s just conveniently ignoring that and acting as if the large countries like Russia or USA should be allowed to dictate to other countries what to want… Very disappointing, Mr. Waters…

  4. Thanks Mr Waters. You expressed a rational, reasonable and sincere view that I must agree with. I am finished being herded into supporting people’s agendas that do not reflect my core values. As you have repeatedly said, in your own way, let me steal from the UK anarcho-punk band Crass – FIGHT WAR, NOT WARS!

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