Roger Waters Faces Backlash Over Ukraine, Taiwan Remarks

Ex-Pink Floyd member says Biden is a 'war criminal'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2022 5:55 PM CDT
Roger Waters Slams Biden as 'War Criminal' Over Ukraine
Roger Waters performs at the United Center on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in Chicago.   (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)

In remarks unlikely to endear him to his former Pink Floyd bandmates, Roger Waters has branded President Biden a "war criminal" for supporting Ukraine after the Russian invasion. Waters, asked during a CNN interview why he includes Biden in a montage of "war criminals" displayed during his concert tour, slammed the president for "fueling the fire in Ukraine." He said the US should be encouraging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "to negotiate, obviating the need for this horrific, horrendous war."

When host Michael Smerconish pushed back against Waters' remarks, saying Vladimir Putin was the one at fault and Waters was "blaming the party that got invaded," Waters told him the war had actually started in 2008, the Hill reports. "This war is basically about the action and reaction of NATO pushing right up to the Russian border," Waters said. He told Smerconish he should "read a bit more" and figure out what the US would do "if the Chinese were putting nuclear-armed missiles into Mexico and Canada." He bristled when the host told him China was "encircling Taiwan."

"Taiwan is part of China," Waters said. "That’s been absolutely accepted by the whole of the international community since 1948 and if you don’t know that, you’re not reading enough," he said. Critics said Waters is the one who needs to read more, Newsweek reports. "What the Division Bell is Roger Waters on? He's clearly been living on The Dark Side of the Moon," said Alex Bristow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Others noted that a week before Russia invaded Ukraine, Waters said "anybody with an IQ above room temperature" knew warnings of an invasion were "nonsense." Waters left Pink Floyd in 1985. In April, the band released its first new song in decades to benefit Ukraine. (Read more Roger Waters stories.)

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