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Published: 2014/07/17

Eddie Vedder Posts Anti-War Statement

Eddie Vedder released a lengthy anti-war statement yesterday. The Pearl Jam posted the letter on his band’s website after taking flak for a speech he made at a show in Milton Keynes, UK, which many perceived as being directed toward Israel. The letter—titled “Imagine That — I’m Still Anti-War”—reads:

Most of us have heard John Lennon sing

“You may say I’m a dreamer… but I’m not the only one.”

And some of us, after another morning dose of news coverage full of death and destruction, feel the need to reach out to others to see if we are not alone in our outrage. With about a dozen assorted ongoing conflicts in the news everyday, and with the stories becoming more horrific, the level of sadness becomes unbearable. And what becomes of our planet when that sadness becomes apathy? Because we feel helpless. And we turn our heads and turn the page.

Currently, I’m full of hope. That hope springs from the multitudes of people that our band has been fortunate enough to play for night after night here in Europe. To see flags of so many different nations, and to have these huge crowds gathered peacefully and joyfully is the exact inspiration behind the words I felt the need to emphatically relay. When attempting to make a plea for more peace in the world at a rock concert, we are reflecting the feelings of all those we have come in contact with so we may all have a better understanding of each other.

That’s not something I’m going to stop anytime soon. Call me naïve. I’d rather be naïve, heartfelt and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution.

The majority of humans on this planet are more consumed by the pursuit of love, health, family, food and shelter than any kind of war.

War hurts. It hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on.

With all the global achievements in modern technology, enhanced communication and information devices, cracking the human genome, land rovers on Mars etc., do we really have to resign ourselves to the devastating reality that conflict will be resolved with bombs, murder and acts of barbarism?

We are such a remarkable species. Capable of creating beauty. Capable of awe-inspiring advancements. We must be capable of resolving conflicts without bloodshed.

I don’t know how to reconcile the peaceful rainbow of flags we see each night at our concerts with the daily news of a dozen global conflicts and their horrific consequences. I don’t know how to process the feeling of guilt and complicity when I hear about the deaths of a civilian family from a U.S. drone strike. But I know that we can’t let the sadness turn into apathy. And I do know we are better off when we reach out to each other.

“I hope someday you’ll join us…”

Won’t you listen to what the man said.

— Eddie Vedder


There are 9 comments associated with this post

Douglas McArthur July 17, 2014, 14:22:02

Nice statement Eddie.

solidrock July 17, 2014, 18:55:35

When was the last time pearl jam toured the middle east?

Calvin July 17, 2014, 23:58:28

Thank you, Eddie!

Jonathan July 18, 2014, 01:01:03

Nice sentiment Mr. Vedder, but unfortunately you are right, you are incredibly naive. Whether your assertion is true, in the end it doesn’t really matter because there is a very sizable(!) minority that is quite interested in war (and slaughtering/subjugating the losers). You are also correct that humans are capable of great beauty, and great technological achievements. But we are just as capable of incredibly great horror and evil (ie Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, Holocaust, among so many others past/present/future). Until those people who are capable of doing that are defeated, the rest of us will never be able to resolve conflict peacefully. Peace, like a great many things is a wonderful idea. But it takes two willing parties to make peace. It only takes one to make war.
War may not be the answer, but surrender certainly isn’t either. Sometimes you do have to actually fight (to win).
Freedom is something worth fighting for!

Well Eddie July 18, 2014, 09:00:30

It’s tough to take Eddie Vedder seriously. I’m an enormous fan of his music, but this is the same guy who blatantly and aggressively supported the election of this President and administration. The context Ed chose to do so was the hope and change with a little peace context. OBama is one of the more war friendly presidents we have had due to his inability to keep promises or lead effectively on any foreign affairs issue. Ed, release yourself from over overestimating your own intellect and diverging from your art. Weather it’s this or the Bush mask, it really isn’t becoming of a legend to look like such a sheep. If Eddie is displeased with war he should support some Republicans in the midterms. Obama didn’t do well for him and clearly he is losing sleep over it. Maybe if he put on an Obama mask, Ralph Nader would become president and sing Black with him!!!!!????

Shut up idiot July 18, 2014, 09:03:50

He needs to read more and watch the news. A damn near full scale war broke out in Europe yesterday and a Malaysian passenger plane was blown out of the sky over Eastern Europe going to Amsterdam. His hands across Europe flags flying brothers in arms line is hysterically ironic.

pearljamgoodin1992 July 18, 2014, 10:23:29

wow maybe they should start there next tour on the gaza strip! Call it the missle command tour!

pm July 18, 2014, 12:09:59

First the jagg off Well Eddie. You are a friggin idiot! support Republicans in the mid terms to end wars? Yeah , if we had a rethuglican in office the past 6 plus years we would be in Syria,Libya,Iraq,Iran,Egypt,Ukranie and Russia, so thank GOD Obama’s President and not some low IQ cowboy. As for Eddie V, I’m with him. Holy S , Well Eddie you are a stupid American, unbelievable, stop watching Fox

sandra g July 23, 2014, 14:45:21

You are a compassionate, beautiful, intelligent and well-versed person, Eddie!! You have the podium- your heart speaks volumes!! Thank you for your passion and courage and talent…I wish you nothing but the best. Keep it up brother; it’s all good! Peace and love, Sandra xo

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