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Roger Waters refutes US war propaganda in CNN interview and World Beyond War webinar

On Saturday and Monday, English-born musician-composer and activist Roger Waters denounced the role of the US government in the war between Russia and Ukraine and discussed other contemporary political issues in two public appearances.

Waters, currently on a 38-date concert tour in North America entitled “This is Not a Drill,” appeared on Saturday morning in a short interview on CNN with Michael Smerconish and was featured in a 90-minute webinar on Monday hosted by World Beyond War.

Roger Waters in the World Beyond War webinar

The appearances are noteworthy—and newsworthy—because the US media in general is as tightly censored and as submissive to the authorities as that existing under many authoritarian regimes. Opposition to the US-NATO war with Russia and/or the campaign to demonize China is simply not encountered on American television or in the pages of the daily newspapers.

In the course of the CNN interview, Waters took the opportunity to explain why, during his concerts, he includes President Joe Biden as a “war criminal” who is “just getting started” on a list along with every other US president since Ronald Reagan.

In reviewing the facts that prompted the characterization of Biden, Waters showed that Smerconish—who presents himself on his weekly CNN program and in other journalistic pursuits as a “balanced” commentator—is merely another mouthpiece for US propaganda.

Waters began to explain that Biden is “fueling the fire in Ukraine for a start. That is a huge crime.” When the musician observed that it was a “horrific and horrendous war” with Russia, Smerconish interjected, “But you’re blaming the party that got invaded. Come on, you’ve got it reversed.”

“This war,” Waters responded, “is basically about the action and reaction of NATO pushing right up to the Russian border, which they promised they wouldn’t do when [Mikhail] Gorbachev negotiated the withdrawal of the USSR from the whole of Eastern Europe.”

Significantly, when a transcript of the interview was posted online, it became clear that CNN producers had deleted a portion of Waters’ comments. Speaking of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Waters suggested that “somebody either whispered in his [Zelensky’s] ear or he completely changed his mind about making peace in the Donbas and about solidifying the Minsk agreement and making peace with their Russian neighbors” and obviating the need for the war.

Smerconish then asked, “What about our role as liberators?,” to which Waters replied, “You have no role as liberators.” When Smerconish pointed to the US intervention in World War II, Waters observed, “Thank God, the Russians had already won the bloody war almost by then. Don’t forget 23 million Russians died protecting you and me from the Nazi menace.”


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