Then and now: Glenn takes a look at the evolution of his caliphate prediction

In June 2011, the George Soros-funded progressive stalwarts at Media Matters published an article entitled “Glenn Beck’s Top 5 Conspiracy Theories.” Number one on that list? Glenn’s assertion that the declaration of a caliphate was no longer a matter of if but when. Media Matters derided Glenn for saying the caliphate would begin coming to fruition in February 2011.

While Glenn has openly admitted his timeframes are often off, we now see those who scoffed at even the mention of the word ‘caliphate’ are being forced to backtrack. On radio this morning, Glenn took a deeper look at the situation in Iraq and Syria as ISIS attempts to seize more and more control.

“To put this fully in perspective, three year ago, Media Matters did a list of Glenn Beck's top five conspiracies,” Stu said. “Today, President Barack Obama is bombing Iraq to stop number one on that list: The caliphate… We're currently at war over it.”

In order to add some context to the current situation in the Middle East that has seen President Obama authorize airstrikes and humanitarian aide in Iraq, Glenn focused on the difference between the national values of the United States compared to the national interests of the country:

"Why are we in Iraq in the first place? Why were we there? Well, some would tell you it was for oil. It may have been. Some will tell you that it was political. May have been. May have been for vengeance. We were angry… and we wanted to change the Middle East. Not only did we want to get the bad guys, but we also wanted to change the Middle East. That’s the only one that served our values, I believe… But we botched it so badly.

I was for, if you remember, at the time, the stopping of the Islamic State of Iran because I believe that Iran was the poison in that area. We haven't been given all the information on Saudi Arabia, but Saudi Arabia is the other source of poison in that area. That's why they are holding back that 9/11 report that has the 28 redacted pages, because it's all about – this is my point of view – Saudi Arabia and how they were involved and who in our own government turned a blind eye. I don't believe anybody in our government knew about 9/11. But, in retrospect, it wouldn't be hard to put it all together. Hindsight is 20/20.

So the two sources of poison in the Middle East have been the state of Saudi Arabia and the state of Iran. The reason why I'm saying them as ‘states’ – I am saying them with small ‘S's’ – because the real goal is to have a caliphate again. That's something that was deemed ‘crazy’ a few years ago, when I was talking about it. It is not so crazy now, is it? In fact, all the things that I said would come with the caliphate, as you now have pictures of a 7-year-old boy holding up the head of somebody they disagreed with, you are starting to see how evil this really is."

The interests versus values comparison comes into play when you consider the actions of the Obama Administration over the last five and a half years. Glenn played a clip from Obama’s press conference over the weekend in which he made the point abundantly clear.

REPORTER: Mr. President, do you have any second thoughts about pulling all ground troops out of Iraq? And does it give you pause as the U.S. -- is it doing the same thing in Afghanistan?

OBAMA: What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision. Under the previous administration, we had turned over the country to a sovereign, democratically elected Iraqi government. In order for us to maintain troops in Iraq, we needed the invitation of the Iraqi government and we needed assurances that our personnel would be immune from prosecution if, for example, they were protecting themselves and ended up getting in a firefight with Iraqis, that they wouldn’t be hauled before an Iraqi judicial system.

“It is important to understand the difference between national values and political interests. When your political interests serve you to say, ‘It wasn't my decision now,’ you say that,” Glenn said. “But if your political interests tell you, yes, it is your decision, because it will work towards your political interests, then say that. That's a problem. There's no value system there because your political interests will tell you to say what he said this weekend.”

Meanwhile, just a couple of years ago, it was this President and his wife who were out on the campaign trail touting the fact that the war in Iraq ended during his administration:

“I am not going this to condemn the President,” Glenn said. “I am saying to you: You must be careful of what you are listening to because… they are all talking about their interests… But if we make moves based on our economic, political, or any other kind of interest, we will most likely be wrong because those things change day by day.”

Front page image courtesy of the AP

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!