empire watch, latest, Syria

Barcelona, Roger Waters, White Helmets

by Phillip Roddis

A Pink Floyd fan for half a century, and neutral on the band’s acrimonious eighties divorce, I was thrilled by Roger Waters’ denunciation – an unequivocal exception to the rule that celebs are intimidated by the Western world’s most powerful lobby – of an Israel I recently described as:

[the] world’s premier ethnographic crime scene and, alongside the USA, its most serial breacher of international law. Also – a fact insufficiently appreciated by a pro-Palestinian lobby understandably focused on immediate injustices – up there with Saudi Arabia as regional enforcer, covert and overt, for the West.

Alas, many who support the Palestinian cause nevertheless buy the mainstream line on Syria. A vitriolic example is given by this comment from the pro-Palestinian Israeli – yes, there are more of them than Labour Friends of Israel would have us think – Dimi Reider, who took to FB to say:

If you think Assad is somehow an anti-imperialist actor, or if your basic assumption is that he COULDN’T POSSIBLY gas his own people and it MUST BE a western conspiracy (NB: as distinct from supporting calls for UN inspectors to be allowed IMMEDIATE access to sites of suspected attacks), you’re on the same page in my book as neo-Nazis, Stalinists and holocaust deniers. It also says a great deal about your intellectual capacity and about your propensity to readily fall for dubious journalism that adds to victim blaming and atrocity denials. And no, your progressive/radical positions on Palestine or any other issue don’t make up for that, just like pinkwashing doesn’t mitigate the Occupation. Feel free to unfriend me, because any comments to the above effect are unwelcome. There is a time and place for debates, but not while a genocide is being committed and the perpetrators are actively being provided cover under the flimsiest of guises that simply enable further atrocities.

Reider’s fact-free ad hominems are standard fare in my experience, but I mustn’t stray from my brief here. Being pro Palestinian may be cuddly and non controversial for you and me – akin to being anti-Apartheid in the seventies – but is riskier for celebrities who face the real possibility of blacklisting. So let’s hear it for Roger, a man of principle and courage – and at a stage in life and career where he can take the heat and shrug off any commercial repercussions.

(Back in 2015 I heard Keith Richards on Desert Island Discs – recommended listening for one of the best record selections I’ve heard on the programme. The warmth between Keef ‘n Kirsty is palpable, and when she asks him why the Stones still go on tour – “it can’t be that you need the money” – he says: “well we may be deluding ourselves but we actually think we’re getting better”. Priceless, and equally applicable to Mr Waters.)

My other point is that for every ten who’ll defend Palestine, you’ll be lucky to find a single one defending Damascus in the face of Syria’s seven year assault by those false and venal friends of a people that, not four years ago, gave Assad a deafening mandate. By false friends I mean, of course, governments in the West – and their friends, those elusive ‘moderate Islamists’.

So what does Roger Waters do on receiving, directly and via his agent, emails from doubly ill informed advocates for that trojan horse of Syrian regime change – the bogus, jihadi embedded and generously funded – by your taxes and mine – White Helmets?

Here’s what he does…


  1. Jon Strad Capro says

    Is this article no more than bitchy gossip ? Was Dr.David Kelly a “néo-nazi holocaust-denier” because of his natural scepticism about WMD in Iraq ?

    • Jon Strad Capro says

      … anyway, Waters “don’t need no education”, so presumably any education would be wasted on him.
      Wealth is no indication of talent.

  2. Steve says

    Man listen to all you bods, I’m a great follower of Mr Walters but what he on about has been said before by pop singers world leaders and war mongers hiding behind props that we have let them erect, this has been going on we are amusing ourselves to death the good people need to unite against the bad and stop it

  3. No Exception to the Rule says

    I have never been inspired by the music of Pink Floyd nevertheless I am very inspired by the courage and integrity of Roger Waters – so I am happy, like many others here, to share and endorse his views on the deceit that is being played out upon us by the likes of Nikki Haley, Boris Johnson and others who dress themselves whiter than the driven snow, and who should find better things to do with their time – again, it appears that there is too much time on their hands right now.

  4. “I’m a militant with the Syrian White Helmets.” A militant? Geez, Pascal, thanks for being brutally honest about yourself at least. These knobs can barely keep up the facade. Propagandists for war and evil used to be better than this.

    • Jen says

      Erm, I think Pascal might have been boasting about himself and he’s not really that militant, else he’d be in Syria already fighting with the White Helmets. He’s probably more deluded than a deliberate propagandist.

      • writerroddis says

        Yes, that’s how I read it too Jen.

  5. Roger should have invited Pascal to the stage. To spit in his face. And then played Careful With That Axe, Eugene as a tribute to the White Helmets.

  6. I hate the people who start cheering before Roger gets a couple of seconds into what he was saying. Of course what he was saying was right on the money, and this Pascal moron given authority would blow us all up because he would believe deluded it is for the best.

  7. flamingo says

    Nice one. Thank you Phillip.That inspired me to play some Pink songs for a week or more while I watch the arrival of the evil armada off the Lebanese and Syrian coast.

    • writerroddis says

      I did the same flamingo. Ummagumma then Atom Heart Mother, followed by selections from Dark Side and Wall – all on my phone with bluetooth earpiece hooked over my ear as I strolled beautiful countryside in fine weather, trying my damnedest to filter out, for an hour or so, the venal insanity of this sorry planet of ours.

  8. “Did you exchange
    A walk part in the war
    For a lead role in a cage?”

    No. Roger Waters integrity is all the more remarkable in its singularity. Were are the anti-war Dylan’s and Baez’s? To all the careerist artists who have sold their souls to capitalist imperialism: a message from Roger Waters: “Wake up and smell the fucking roses!”

  9. Jennifer Hor says

    Well … I guess this is why we don’t hear so much from musicians and singers from Roger Waters’ generation – they have lived and experienced long enough to form their own opinions and do their own questioning. Before he died, David Bowie (who supported the Donbass rebels) was another maverick.

  10. Seamus Padraig says

    Props to Roger Waters. Growing up, Pink Floyd was one of my favorite bands, so it’s really good to have Roger on our side now, when it counts. God bless him!

  11. Anandamide says

    Nice one Roger… Was looking forward to hearing a song as well, after his words.

  12. summitflyer says

    Well said Roger Waters ,very well said .We need more people , especially people like Roger Waters that have the respect of many , with the courage to speak out and tell the truth.
    Bravo Roger.

Comments are closed.