Glenn Beck has acknowledged that Democratic doves were correct to oppose the 2003 U.S. military invasion of Iraq. Liberals “said we couldn’t force freedom on people,” the conservative political commentator said at the beginning of his June 17 radio show. “Let me lead with my mistakes. You were right. Liberals, you were right, we shouldn’t have.”
His new stance is a significant transition from the position he maintained in 2007, when he claimed that withdrawing from Iraq would be “America’s most shameful act of immorality since slavery.”
Ignoring his conclusion that Iraq did not become a democracy because its people “don’t understand” or “even really want” freedom, the surge in unrest in Iraq has caused Beck — like so many others — to change his opinion on what was one of the most important foreign policy issues the United States has faced in decades. In the end, Beck is a political pundit and not a politician, but commentators play a huge role in driving the national conversation and shaping public opinion.
The politicization of the Iraq war made it a mainstay of conservative radio talk shows like Beck’s. And there is no doubt that political commentary by pundits like Beck has played a role in informing the debate surrounding the invasion of Iraq, especially in the early days, when the successful exportation of American democracy seemed more reachable. His admission that the invasion was a mistake is a key moment in the political debate.