There are a lot of parenthetical asides in this post. I apologize.
Of my musical influences, Pink Floyd is always at or near the top. I’ve discussed it before, but seriously, I do think of Roger Waters as one of the best lyricists of his time (during and after his time with Pink Floyd). And, while he is great at writing lyrics on social alienation leading to severe mental issues (and possibly totalitarian tendencies???), he is not so great at penning op-eds on the Israel/Gaza conflict (TRIGGER WARNING: Salon Dot Com).
Mr. Waters is no stranger to writing politically (like this somewhat political stalker-esque letter to Scarlett Johansson) and is certainly no stranger to attacking the U.S. and Israel in both performances and in online ramblings. But what strikes me as odd is that this time, he is attacking Rand Paul.
The U.S. could act to stop the senseless slaughter but it won’t. Instead, it’s cheerleading. Members of Congress are mindlessly parroting Israeli talking points without a thought given to the Palestinian perspective or to preserving human life. Brimming with righteousness, they argue for turning Israel loose – Sen. Rand Paul in particular – and invoke Israel’s right to self-defense, despite the fact that, as the occupying power, Israel has an obligation to protect the Palestinians it rules, not massacre them.
There’s also an excellent howler here:
Pressure on American politicians to conform to the party line is abetted by skewed media coverage. For instance, CNN, while purporting to be a news channel, relentlessly churns out Israeli propaganda.
I will give CNN credit for taking a stance in quite a few instances against Hamas’ propaganda (something Mr. Waters won’t do), but to call them pro-Israel propagandists shows a clear lack of understanding at how the American media has operated for years!
Mr. Waters, himself, is a victim of the “propaganda,” but it is certainly not Israel’s. He repeats the talking points of Hamas (Israel is attacking the Palestinians “asymmetrically”) and genuinely believes that Israel is attacking Hamas out of totalitarian tendencies rather than as a method of self-defense. It is incredibly odd to see a man who wrote an album that discussed, among other things, the terrors of totalitarianism (The Wall had a lot of themes, guys) while not seeing he’s applying it to the wrong group (Hamas wants to destroy Israel, and has the same totalitarian tendencies other extreme Islamist groups have, while Israel wants to defend its people and will do so at whatever cost).
What’s more, we’ve seen time and again that when the ceasefires have collapsed, it is Hamas who has caused it. They are the ones who are no more interested in peace than Mr. Waters is in hearing Israel’s side of the story. Israel is surrounded by enemies on all sides, and they must show themselves as being strong to keep hostile groups bigger than Hamas at bay. It is also worth noting, as has been noted before, that if the destruction of Gaza and the Palestinians were Israel’s goal, they would not be calling ahead to warn of incoming strikes. Those are not the actions of a hostile, totalitarian state.
I have a great deal of respect for the man, hence me referring to him as “Mr.”, even when he can be so wrong, politically. However, if he wants to be political, I would much prefer he writes wonderfully-constructed albums, rather than rambling pieces at Salon, of all places.