Blackie Lawless has shared his thoughts on Ukraine:
With regards to any invading force, I am an American. I am an American first. I put my country first. I put my Nation’s People first. Whether we are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, Progressive, Liberal or Conservative, in moments of true crisis, any and ALL individual, selfish wants must be laid down for any nation to survive. A nation’s people must come first. Of the Americans that are alive now, regardless of modern sentiments and arrogance, we are not the first to have had to make the sacrifices that have made America THE Great beacon for freedom. Sadly, many Americans who are alive now know very little of America’s history, much less the historic, monumental sacrifices made by true Patriots and the ultimate prices that were paid by the selfless generations that came before us.
Most people live and operate in their immediate realities. Maybe they’re not totally oblivious to the agony or misfortune of others, but especially in affluent places, if it ain’t in their neighborhood, they won’t see it. Unfortunately, we are led by whatever the current news cycles may be and “If it bleeds, it leads” is what’s pumped through the airwaves and fiber optics. And if that’s not enough; many, many of us are dominated and even enslaved by our own selfishness.
When it comes to current world events, most times in free societies we will have varying ideas. The very First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly states, “Congress Shall Make No Law Prohibiting Freedom of Speech”. Sadly, that First Amendment is under attack in many forums today in America, but that’s another discussion for another time. Free Speech is usually not popular speech. As our Constitution states we’re free to say WHATEVER we want. I don’t care if you’re an insane religious group, hate group, fascists, or you think Lee Harvey Oswald did or did not act alone. IT DOES NOT MATTER! That First Amendment is not designed just to protect popular speech, it’s designed to protect unpopular speech! That one principal is what separates the United States from most other places in the world. Millions who came before us died to protect that sacred right, even for those who tread heavily over it now.
We are all entitled to our own opinions, but NO ONE is entitled to THEIR OWN FACTS. In the world we live in today we are flooded with false information, from ALL sides. It’s incredibly difficult to separate the “truth from the jive”. So we ask, ‘how do we determine what is real from what isn’t’? It’s more simple than you may think, just OPEN YOUR EYES!
As kids we’re told if we really want to know what’s going on, don’t just ask one or two people, get a number of varying opinions. In free societies, if you do that, you’ll start to get an idea of where the truth really is and the direction it’s going. But I emphasize the word “varying”. Like it or not, that’s the world we live in now. I came from a time when the world was not driven by social media so I personally don’t rely on that multi headed monster. I used to tell the Band not to read negative reviews of their live performances online. If 20 people don’t like you, when those people post on social media, it looks like a million people. I tell the guys, “do it the old fashioned way. If you really wanna know what going on with that audience, OPEN YOUR EYES and look at that crowd. They will tell you if they like you or not….. IMMEDIATELY!” Talk about your immediate gratification!
The situation in Ukraine is highly complex, more than most of us will ever know. Since the end of World War II, the United States and Russia (including the old Soviet Union) have been engaged in a proxy war. Going back and forth with the Sonny Corleone attitude of, “they hit us, so we hit them”. It’s been going on for almost 80 years. Does Russia, as a government have gripes with the U.S.? Having been there a number of times I can tell you they do. But overall the Russian people we have met are some of the warmest and best we’ve ever known, and my heart breaks for what they are going through now and will be enduring for years to come, by no fault of their own. They too are now, and will be, casualties of war. With the things I’m saying here you may ask, am I a pro Russian government sympathizer? NO I AM NOT! Ask anyone that question that knows me and they’ll laugh in your face.
Actually, for combined radio, downloads and ticket sales, Moscow is W.A.S.P.’s biggest market in the world. I remember many nights after shows there and I would stay up until dawn with the rock journalist and they would tell me stories about the old days when the Iron Curtain was still up. They told me they would smuggle in scratched up vinyl records into freezing cold basements of houses and listen to our first album there in secrecy. Knowing if they were caught they would be taken away to jail. The looks of fear still on their faces as they told these stories touched me greatly, and I’ll remember them and the people that told them the rest of my life. So with great sadness, to all our friends and fans there we say, with truly heavy hearts,
’Dasvidaniya old Friends….Dasvidaniya”
I realize as I write this, most likely, I will never be able to go back.
Regardless of individual political beliefs, or who did what to whom years ago for whatever disgusting reason, the images that are coming out of Ukraine scream for themselves. The total degradation of human beings. The word I keep gritting through my teeth is ‘Obscene’. NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING can justify this invasion and or occupation by Russia of the Sovereign Nation of Ukraine. Those ‘obscene’ images of watching children, babies, the elderly, the infirm and ordinary civilians, also by no fault of their own, being utterly destroyed, displaced and the lives of an entire nation uprooted and forever changed, for no other reason than simple, godless selfishness. By a bully. And why does the bully do it?
…..Because He CAN!
It’s reported Putin’s desire to annex Ukraine is because of historical significant to the old Russian Empire. I get that. But the world changes. I can tell you from being part Native American Indian (Blackfoot) that sometimes you lose your land. Period! It’s just the way it is. So you move on, or die.
I’ve written here about the sanctity of our First Amendment. Something both Ukraine and Russia have never known, and is dangerously close to vanishing in America. I hope one day the Ukrainian people will be able to embrace that one precious Freedom for themselves, in their own land. Because if they do, the other freedoms will follow. I do not know if anyone in the Ukraine will ever be able to read any of what is written here. But if any can, we want them to know, the world is with them.
Today, I am Ukrainian. I am a Ukrainian First. I put the Nation of Ukraine First. I put the people of Ukraine First.
“Godspeed”, meaning, “good fortune or, for a safe journey”.
Sincerely, Godspeed. Слава Україні!- Glory to Ukraine!
Vocalist –W. A. S. P.