Glenn Greenwald joined Glenn Beck on The Blaze radio hour this morning to discuss the security apparatus of the United States, as well as other topics of current interest, including the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana and the administration’s negotiations with Iran.
“Why does Indiana need to be gassed,” Beck asked, “and yet our president is trying to find common ground with Iran?”
“Let me break that down,” Greenwald replied. “First of all, our closest allies are the most repressive regimes on the planet, like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. So the idea that we’re at the table with a repressive regime is nothing new. Iran is a more enlightened progressive regime than our other allies.”
“Of course we have higher expectations on political rights in the US than foreign countries,” he continued. “We shouldn’t demand that rights we have at home in Iran.”
Beck explained that this hypocrisy is why the rest of the world despises America. “Nobody knows what our principles are. Don’t tell me one thing and do another thing. That’s why people hate us.”
“People make a big deal of ‘Death to America!’ chants,” Greenwald said. “But most people understand that rhetoric and actions aren’t the same. Iran can’t impose death on America. The United States took down Iranian government in 1979 — of course they’d be hostile to foreign invading powers.”
“I agree,” Beck responded, before veering on a historical tangent. “When we entered the Progressive Era, we caused World War II. We caused a lot of the animosity in South America, because [we imposed an ethos that] what’s good for us is good for you.”
“What we’re talking about now,” he continued, “is sitting down with nuclear actors [like Iran], we have ISIS — they [both] have the same kind of mentality that ‘We’re just going to kill everyone to bring back the prophet.'”
“But I think that region, like most regions, is filled with extremists,” Greenwald explained. “In Iraq and Syria, we’re fighting with Iran against ISIS. Because they fear Sunni extremism. Yes, there’s lots of disturbing rhetoric that comes from Iranian mullahs, [but] there’s a basis of rationality that allows us to sit down. We can’t afford a war with a country three times the size of Iraq.”
“Part of the problem is that [we have embraced] this theory of endless war,” he added.
“It erodes our morals,” Beck replied. “The people who are pulling the trigger don’t even know what they’re pulling the trigger for anymore. We can become the darkest nation ever on the face of the Earth. We have the power to make the Nazis look like rookies.”
Greenwald agreed with the spirit of Beck’s remarks, if not the exact content. “Endless war,” he said, “has brought down every empire in history, and before it does that, it degrades the population. If you constantly find new people to kill and torture and invade and bomb, it starts to seep into your domestic life.”