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Roger Waters Defends Russia and China: ‘Who Have the Chinese Invaded and Slaughtered?’

The artist butted heads with journalist Michael Smerconish on CNN
Roger Waters
Credit: Steve Taylor/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Roger Waters has never been shy about his political stances, and his This Is Not a Drill tour begins with a blunt message on the big screens: “If you’re one of those ‘I love Pink Floyd, but I can’t stand Roger’s politics’ people, you might do well to fuck off to the bar.”

The former Pink Floyd member recently sat down with CNN’s Michael Smerconish (who notably loves Waters’ music but disagrees with some of his political views) to defend some of the extreme messages during his show, such as including president Joe Biden in a slideshow of “war criminals.”

“Well, he’s fuelling the fire in the Ukraine, for a start – that is a huge crime,” he answered when asked why he added Biden in the lineup. “Why won’t the United States of America encourage [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy, the [Ukrainian] president, to negotiate, obviating the need for this horrific, horrendous war that’s killing… We don’t know how many Russians.”

Smerconish told Waters he’s “got it reversed” by “blaming the party that got invaded” but Waters defended his stance: “Well, any war, when did it start? What you need to do is look at the history, and you can say, ‘Well it started on this day.’ You could say it started in 2008 – this war 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.”

He also dismissed Smerconish’s comment that Americans are “liberators.” “You got into World War 2 because of Pearl Harbor. You were completely isolationists [beforehand],” Waters argued. “Thank gGd the Russians had already won the bloody war by then. Twenty-three million Russians died, protecting you and me from the Nazi menace.”

“I would suggest that you… go away and read a bit more, and try to figure out what the US would do if the Chinese were putting nuclear armed missiles into Mexico and Canada,” he added.

When Smerconish then noted that the Chinese are “too busy encircling Taiwan as we speak,” Waters snapped back with this proclamation: “Taiwan is part of China. That has been absolutely accepted by the whole of international community since 1948. If you don’t know that you aren’t reading enough. You are believing your side’s propaganda. You can’t have a conversation about human rights and Taiwan without actually doing the reading.”

“The Chinese didn’t invade Iraq and kill a million people in 2013,” Waters added. “Who have the Chinese invaded and slaughtered?”

“Their own,” Smerconish answered. “Bullocks! That’s absolute nonsense! Absolute nonsense!” Waters responded

Watch the full, heated interview below.