It’s certainly not the first time that a celebrity has made their opinion known when it comes to political matters, nor will it be the last. From the well-known hosts of late night television to the artists topping the charts in the world of music, their opinions are often polarizing and varied, making this already confusing world of opinions, agendas, and propaganda even more difficult to maneuver.
The best thing we can do is listen to what they have to say, and then assess the facts before us to reach our own opinions. At the end of the day, however, those speaking up and expressing opinions that differ from our mainstream media and news sources trigger important conversations, opening our eyes to the fact that we do need to think for ourselves rather than following our news reporters and politicians blindly.
On April 13th, 2018, Roger Waters, the frontman for Pink Floyd, took the opportunity to share his opinion with a large captive audience. Stopping his live concert in Barcelona, he spoke up the current situation in Syria and his concerns regarding the propaganda that is being pushed here in the United States.
Waters began by addressing the organization The White Helmets, a volunteer group operating in Syria. Also known as the ‘Syrian Civil Defense,’ the group was formed in 2012 and since that time have been credited with saving over 80,000 lives. With 3,300 volunteers operating out of 110 different locations across the country, the organization was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2017. However, Waters warned the audience that the group wasn’t all that it claimed to be.
He explained that a man named Pascal had wanted to come on stage to address the audience about the current situation in Syria. “He is one voice, I personally think he is entirely wrong,” Rogers stated. Rather than allowing the man to take the stage, Waters instead chose to take this opportunity to share his own views on the situation. From the stage, Waters said:
“The White Helmets is a fake organization that exists only to create propaganda for jihadists and terrorists, that’s my belief. We have opposing beliefs. If we were to listen to the propaganda of the White Helmets and others, we would be encouraged to encourage our governments to start dropping bombs on people in Syria. This would be a mistake of monumental proportions for us as human beings.”
“What we should do is go and persuade our governments not to go and drop bombs on people. And certainly not until we have done al the research that is necessary so that we would have a clear idea of what is really going on. Because we live in the world where propaganda seems to be more important than the reality of what is really going on.”
While some may disagree with Waters’ opinion of The White Hats, there is an important message to come out of his speech. Looking to our mainstream media and news sources, it is important that we take in all of the information being provided to us, comparing and assessing the evidence in order to determine what we believe to be the truth of what is actually happening in the world. While there are times this may match the stories that are gracing our television sets and computer screens, there are other times that we need to think for ourselves.
Looking to the music industry, Waters explained that it can be difficult for those like himself who do choose to speak up against the accepted ‘norm.’ He explained that there is a great deal of pressure from those who control the industry for artists to ‘fall in line’ rather than speak up and share their personal opinions. He explained:
“The only response to BDS is that it is anti-Semitic, I know this because I have been accused of being a Nazi and an anti-Semite for the past 10 years. My industry has been particularly recalcitrant in even raising a voice [against Israel]. There’s me and Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, Manic Street Preachers, one or two others, but there’s nobody in the United States where I live. I’ve talked to a lot of them, and they are scared shitless.”
“If they say something in public they will no longer have a career. They will be destroyed. I’m hoping to encourage some of them to stop being frightened and to stand up and be counted because we need them. We need them desperately in this conversation in the same way we needed musicians to join protesters over Vietnam.”
While some were quick to support the artist and his claims, many groups and individuals instead took to Twitter to denounce Waters’ accusations regarding the White Helmets being a ‘fake organization.’
Spanish crowd erupts in cheers as @rogerwaters calls the White Helmets a “fake organization” fronting for jihadist insurgents and denounces the Western bombing of Syria. Bricks in the wall of imperial deceptions are crumbling. https://t.co/B515yQUkKY
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) April 15, 2018
ROGER WATERS exposes #WhiteHelmets as a “FAKE organisation producing propaganda for terrorists” inside #Syria. At last a voice of sanity & truth is speaking out amidst the celebrity collective hypnosis re this Oscar winning #AlQaeda auxiliary. #Douma https://t.co/PhgUkJuDeD
— vanessa beeley (@VanessaBeeley) April 15, 2018
Pathetic, not only is Roger Waters an antisemite and BDS supporter, but he’s also a conspiracy nutter, and apologist for the Assad regime. There are no words to describe what a vile and hypocritical human being he is. https://t.co/htHaWyTutN pic.twitter.com/FFFn0tGuJd
— Act for Israel (@ActForIsrael) April 16, 2018
A once respected musician, @rogerwaters debuts new career as a conspiracist crank promoting racist slurs against Syrian first responders. Earlier he told an audience to read the ramblings of an alt-Right supporting Aussie loon. https://t.co/6lD9sAl5mt
— Idrees Ahmad (@im_PULSE) April 14, 2018
Retweeted @rogerwaters on #Gaza many times but shocked beyond words Roger u could slander #WhiteHelmets who I have met+put their lives on the line to save fellow Syrians – an attack without any basis whatsoever & only provides cover for civilian slaughter by #Assad #Russia #Iran
— Ronan L Tynan (@RonanLTynan) April 16, 2018
Interested in hearing Waters’ full speech? Check out this video:
Image via Collective-Evolution