Kristol on Beck on Egypt

Commenting on the same Glenn Beck riff on Egypt that I was discussing the other day, Bill Kristol writes

When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s.

FILED UNDER: Africa, Middle East, US Politics, World Politics, , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Lgbpop says:

    Bill Kristol isn’t exactly the ultimate judge of who’s right or wrong anywhere on any given subject. I must admit, for him to be a Sunday-morning gabfest mainstay on TV just tells me he’s one of the token non-leftists the leftists regard as conservative. Republican he may be, but his track record as an analyst is mediocre at best. While Beck may get a bit bumptuous himself, his take is based on solid fact….the goal of Islam as expressed in the Koran is to convert or kill all non-Muslims and make Islam the one true religion. All means are accepted if they aid in achieving the goal. Recruiting willing dupes in the West through subterfuge is OK, because they will be discarded once their usefulness has ended.

    When it comes to what the goals of Islam are, I tend to believe Muslims before I believe Bill Kristol.

  2. Well, it certainly seems like you have figured it out.

  3. BTW, I agree that Kristol is a mediocre analyst at best. I just thought the Beck statement was interesting because Kristol’s POV is, often, quite different than mine but, yet, he also notices Beck inventions.

    On the Islam stuff, I think you are in the range of Islamophobia, as in irrational fear of Islam. I don’t know how else to categorize it. As such, I can’t go along with the notion that “his take is based on solid fact”–especially in regards to the rant in question, which attempts to draw a whole host of specious connections.

  4. dunce says:

    The communists own stated goal like the muslim was for all the world to converted to their ideology. The birchers were somewhat paranoid about the reds but the reds were dedicated to our destruction.(kruchevs “we will bury you” was more than hyperbole.Marx, lenin, and engels all spelled out their goals and how they planned to achieve them in extensive literature. Papers released since the fall of the ussr identified many spys working in the highest levels of our govt.. The muslim brotherhood has also clearly states their goals and the methods the will use to achieve them as guided by the koran. All muslim clerics demand that all muslims work toward establishing sharia all over the world as a religious duty.Any muslim cleric who disputed that would face death as an apostate.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    What’s more fun than watching un-deservedly smug ninnies like Kristol take on rambling psychos like Beck? Isn’t that what the GOP is all about?

  6. Terrye says:

    I don’t think Kristol is mediocre. He is simply making the point that this particular situation in Egypt is not about some world wide caliphate. No doubt there are elements that would like to exploit the situation for their own political gain but that does not change the fact that this is a broad based revolt against the Mubarak regime.

    Beck is one of those guys that everyone can get annoyed with. I think Beck is wrong for calling Theodore Roosevelt a thug for the way he treated Latinos in this hemisphere. Silly.

    So, people can call Kristol smug if they want, but Obama did not see this coming. None of those enlightened liberals at the State Department seem to have been any more on the ball here than Kristol or any one on the other side. They all got caught flat footed here.

    And Kristol is actually saying a lot of the same sorts of things that Saint Hillary is saying.

  7. john personna says:

    Terrye, this is a prime example of how no one can predict the future.

    Well, beyond “higher food prices bring civil unrest worldwide ”

    (We could help that by cancelling ethanol subsidies.)

  8. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    “On the Islam stuff, I think you are in the range of Islamophobia, as in irrational fear of Islam.”

    At what point does a fear of being killed by Muslims not become irrational?

  9. anjin-san says:

    > At what point does a fear of being killed by Muslims not become irrational?

    Well, Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan certainly know that the fear of being killed by Americans is rational.

    You are a pretty typical right wing idiot Patrick. If a few (or a few thousand, or a hundred thousand) Muslims are killed in far away lands, no biggie. But if there is even a tiny chance your precious ass might get a scratch on it, you live in abject terror.

  10. An Interested Party says:

    Patrick T. McGuire’s words showcase the true victory that Osama bin Laden achieved (well, among some people, anyway) on 9/11…

  11. Matt says:

    > At what point does a fear of being killed by Muslims not become irrational?

    Although anjin has pretty much said it all, the problem is that by and large, the “fear of being killed by Muslims” is much like the fear of being killed by every other “other” (typically of the darker skinned persuasion). It’s based in a deep irrationality that ignores the actual statistics of daily life.

    Simply put, if you live and operate within the US (and adjusting for socio-economic status), you are far more likely to be killed by a member of your own race, and in fact a member of your own community and social circle (typically someone you know, all too often a part of your family), than you are to by a random stranger. (Drawn from far too many sources for me to quickly site, but start at the FBI uniform crime statistics –

    Facts, in general, have a non ideological bias. Sadly they also rarely stop people from believing what they want to.

    ps. Dunce – trying to equate Marx and Engles writing to the early Soviets is also a huge leap. Ditto suggesting that the writings themselves were about “conversion” in the way that you suggest – and before accusations start, I’m not a marxist or communist (just I’ve actually read them). Likewise, as has been said may times before, if you are going to interpret the Koran literally, then you need to interpret all other religious texts in the same fashion which means that the Bible (New Testament) makes it the expressed job of Christians to covert the entire world to their religion, and it also means that they are still largely covered by the law of the Torah including the ability to take slave and to never tattoo themselves.

  12. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    “You are a pretty typical right wing idiot Patrick.”

    “Patrick T. McGuire’s words showcase the true victory that Osama bin Laden achieved (well, among some people, anyway) on 9/11…”

    I ask a legitimate question and get ad hominem attacks in response. Typical from a liberal weenie I suppose.

  13. anjin-san says:

    Pssssst. Patrick. Abject cowardice is not an American value.