Glenn Beck falls back on the racist failure condition of the neoconservative
by David Atkins
Glenn Beck has come to the conclusion that liberals were right about Iraq because those damned Iraqi savages just don't want freedom, after all:
“In spite of the things I felt at the time when we went into war, liberals said, ‘We shouldn’t get involved, we shouldn’t nation-build and there was no indication the people of Iraq had the will to be free,’” Beck said. “I thought that was insulting at the time. Everybody wants to be free.”As Naomi Klein discussed at length in the Shock Doctrine, this is the standard modern imperial playbook: smash and grab for resources and corporate gain, pretend it's about freedom, and then when the locals get angry and everything turns to chaos, claim that there's something culturally wrong with the people that they just don't understand freedom. The same playbook was run after American corporate-backed intervention led to fascist juntas in South America. The same rhetorical games were played after the fall of the Soviet Union--those Ruskies just didn't appreciate freedom, it was said. And now we see the same game in Iraq.
On Tuesday, Beck admitted, “You cannot force democracy on the Iraqis or anybody else, it doesn’t work. They don’t understand it or even really want it.”
The reality is that people around the world are all the same. We have the same physiology, the same neurology, the same almost everything. We have the same natural inclinations toward violence and greed and prejudice. Every society has sociopaths in its midst who try to take advantage of people. And yes, we all do yearn for freedom: freedom from want, from pain, from sickness, from forced ignorance, and from oppression.
Also, there are things we can do to help people achieve those freedoms. Not supporting and propping up dictatorial regimes would be a good start. Not using corporate power to exploit people would be helpful. Not attempting to foist evil economic libertarian regimes on countries with strong safety nets would be useful, too. Creating stronger institutions of international law and more strident international enforcement of conventions on human rights would be another.
And when corrupt, brutal dictators exploit their people in spite of it all, truly international pressure to remove those dictators peacefully can be applied sparingly. Under the very worst case scenarios, regime change may be necessary--but there's no reason anyone but the dictator's immediate friends and family be endangered by that in those very rare cases.
What you cannot do is bomb an entire country to smithereens, brutalize its people, break down all its institutions to create an Objectivist experiment, conduct mass profiteering, and install a corrupt puppet regime and hope to "succeed." That will not work. That will certainly engender hatred and encourage extremism.