Earlier this year, Glenn Beck emphatically punctuated his steep descent from cable news superstar to conservative pariah with a website when he birthed the hopelessly paranoid notion of the coming socialist-Islamic "caliphate." As uprisings in Egypt challenged Hosni Mubarak's authoritarian government, Beck took to the airwaves to declare that we were witnessing the beginnings of carefully coordinated plan hatched by communists and Islamic radicals to bring about a new “caliphate” that would stretch across Asia and Europe.
After being denounced by conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between for his hysterical and apocalyptic fearmongering, Beck dug in and insisted not only that he was right, but that he could prove it. For months now has been rooting out the people and groups that, in his view, are complicit in the scheme to install the caliphate and destroy Israel. And now, it seems, the Israelis themselves are in on the conspiracy.
On August 10, Beck went on an extended riff about the demonstrations in Tel Aviv, in which hundreds of thousands of Israelis protested against high rents and the unavailability of housing. According to Beck, the massive throng of protesters was “a leftist group” with “leftist global financing,” and it is entirely likely that an “Islamist movement” had joined them. As Beck mockingly put it: “Socialists and Islamacists, they never get together.”
The Israeli element to the caliphate conspiracy to destroy Israel stands proudly alongside these actors, all of whom Beck has pegged as subversives working to bring about an Islamic-communist New World Order:
Barack Obama. Piggybacking on Dinesh D'Souza's crackpot theory that “anti-colonialism” (a bad thing, apparently) is what secretly motivates all of Barack Obama's actions, Beck linked the president to the pro-caliphate party Hizb-Ut-Tahrir, which released a video decrying Western “colonialism.” Said Beck: “Hey, wait a minute. Colonialism? Isn't that what the president and all his friends are always saying they're against?”
Google. This past February, as Beck was struggling to keep up with the ballooning insanity of his own theory, he looped Google executive Wael Ghonim into the caliphate after Ghonim met with a minister of the Egyptian government. Beck lacked any real explanation for why this was at all nefarious, but he was nonetheless convinced that the alleged architects of the caliphate have “help from Google” and even warned his audience against using the search engine because it is “pretty deeply in bed with the government.”
The Bush State Department. Even more surprising than Google's (undefined) role in the caliphate is that of the State Department under George W. Bush. According to Beck, since the Bush State Department helped form the Alliance for Youth Movements, a non-profit group that supports youth activists using new technologies to implement “social change,” they were therefore “in bed” with communists and Islamic radicals.
George Soros. No Glenn Beck conspiracy would be complete without a nod to billionaire philanthropist George Soros, who, in the Beck universe, has been a primary actor in just about every calamitous global event over the past few decades. Employing his trademark strategy of imagining close linkages between groups and people that employ similar-sounding words, Beck declared that a statement from a former Muslim Brotherhood official calling for the removal of borders between Arab countries was identical to Soros' Open Society Institute calling for “a borderless world.” Beck went on to ask, mockingly, “that's crazy, isn't it?”
Yes. Yes it is.