A Year After The Disastrous Afghanistan Withdrawal – With Rudy Atallah: It is about one year since Biden created the Afghanistan debacle. What information did he receive beforehand? Who came in to rescue left-behind Americans and persecuted Christians–in spite of opposition from our own State Department? Today Rudy Atallah joins us as we look back on the catastrophe, the true heroes, and more.
Air Date: 09/07/2022
Guest: Rudy Atallah
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith and the Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. Good to have you with us today on WallBuilders Live. I’m Rick Green, America’s Constitution coach. And I’m here with David and Tim Barton; of course, David’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders, Tim National Speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders.
And you ought to check out just go to wallbuilders.com, go on to the speaker page and check out an opportunity to have one of these guys come to your hometown, speak at your church or at an event. I’m telling you, it will get people excited because there’s truth.
You know, when you hear the truth, when you see the truth, when you realize that all of these lies about who we are as a people can be easily debunked, when you look at America in the context of history and you can once again be proud to be an American and you and you can identify that founding formula that needs to be restored and in what and realize that there’s something you can do about it. I’m telling you, folks, there’s just nothing like it. It really does help.
Now if you can’t find an opportunity to bring one of us in to actually speak in person, then at least do one of our Constitution classes and host it in your home or at your church, because even then you create an environment. You’re the catalyst for bringing people together. And you create an environment where people find hope and they realize that it’s not all over. You know, this is no time to run for the hills.
Special Guest: Rudy Atallah
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Alright, David and Tim, we’ve got Rudy Atallah back with us today. Of course, we’re just a week or so past the one year anniversary of the Afghanistan withdrawal by the United States. That, of course, was an absolute debacle. And thankfully, Rudy and the Nazarene Fund stepped in and saved a lot of lives. So we’re going to get an update from him.
But would you guys just kind of remind us, you know, this was a year ago all of this happened. You all were already on the board and very plugged in with what Nazarene Fund had been doing for years, especially in the Middle East and so you had a lot of assets and a lot of folks in place ready to be of assistance. And really, it was God’s timing and just a perfect opportunity to do some good.
There’s no doubt a lot of what you’re saying, Rick, we want to come back. I want to point out for everybody listening. We just want to tell the veterans, man, we sure appreciate you guys that are in the military right now, because certainly as we look at the anniversary of something as egregious as the failure of leadership, the failure of strategy from what the Biden administration did, from what some of the military operatives may be encouraged. And, of course, we can look back and point out that several the military commanders said that they had briefed President Biden and said, if you do this, there’s going to be some incredibly negative consequences and outcomes.
The True Heroes
Not to dwell on that right now, other than just we wouldn’t want our veterans know, active duty, man, we sure appreciate you guys. We’re praying for you. We do not think what you did was in vain. We think that you saved a lot of lives. There was a lot of freedom, a lot of opportunity. The world was safer because of what you did.
And just because of the failure of a president and the failure of his leadership, his terrible decision does not discount the good that was done, the lives that were sacrificed, both from those who lost their lives there, and even individuals who gave up pieces of their body, so to speak.
And we’re so grateful for our military veterans, the active duty, the military community as a whole, I have cousins and brothers and all kinds of friends who both are active duty and a retired. And we just so appreciate the military. So I want to start there first because this is certainly something as we look back on what happened under the Biden administration, the failure of leadership with this debacle of an Afghan pullout and where we are now, it’s not a good situation. And this can be a topic that can be very frustrating for veterans.
And so we just want to start off saying, hey, guys, we love you, we appreciate you. What you did mattered. It was important. And if you’re somewhere that you need somebody to talk to, you need a hug, you need an ice cream, man, get connected with a local church. There are people that want to help you, that want to encourage you, love on you. So many Americans that are grateful and appreciative for what you did. Don’t let mind games come in and take away from the contribution that you did.
Now, with that being said, let’s back up. And one of the reasons the Nazarene Fund and we connected with the Nazarene Fund and even Mercury One were we’re able to get very involved in what was going on over there because we had a lot of connections in the military and in that community and so we were pretty active in trying to help rescue people. Once President Biden acknowledged what was going on and certainly once he began pulling troops out, before he even got Americans and different individuals, Afghan allies out, at that point, we knew this was crisis full on and we had to get involved and do something.
The Arab Spring
Yeah, this actually goes back several years earlier, back into December of 2015, another failure of administration, the Obama administration, their terrible policies led to the Arab Spring, and that Arab Spring led to the rise of terrorist groups all over the Middle East. They went into Iraq and they intend to set up their global caliphate.
They started massacring Christians and Yazidis and Kurds and all these other religious minorities. And so at that point in time, Glenn Beck started what was called the Nazarene Fund, so we got to save these guys.
And so Tim and I are on the board of the Nazarene Fund. We run that with Glenn. And over that period of time, we saved tens of thousands of persecuted Christians, got them to safety. We put persecuted Christians in receiving countries all over the world. And the guy who was our chief of operations back then was really high in the intelligence community, 21 years in Air Force. And he served for two secretaries of defense, was part of the National Security Council and so he took over ran operations. He was considered the greatest intelligence asset on the Middle East and Northern Africa.
And so here we are running Nazarene Fund, doing really well, very successful. So with all the experience we’d had in all this other stuff, when Afghanistan started to fall, 20 different terrorist groups moved in. Rudy has these connections with all the military guys, and when they found out that, hey, Rudy is doing all these humanitarian evacuations, getting the civilians out of there again, getting these persecuted Christians and others out, Jay Sucks said, hey, would you just take over that humanitarian rescue stuff? Let us focus on the military things that we’re doing, try to get the military out.
And so literally, that’s when things got turned over in the Nazarene fund was given a lot of latitude to be able to get their civilian population out, persecuted Christians, the P1, P2, passport holders, the guys that had been allies for Americans, also a lot of other groups. There was a group of legislators there.
There was 170 female Judges, Taliban wanted them for sure. They had put about 6,000 Taliban members in jail and Taliban let all those members out of jail and they’re looking for those female Afghan Judges. So we got a lot of people moved out of there.
And so one year later, looking back at what happened over that period of time, which literally, Tim, as you said, was a debacle, it was terrible. While it was not a failure of the military, it was definitely a failure of the president of the United States in the way he handled this or mishandled it, given specifically the information he received from the military community.
And looking back over that, the guy who really helped run so much of that and was such an intelligence asset, Rudy Atallah, 21 years in Air Force, we thought it’d be good to interview him one year later and look back and kind of remember and see where we are and what happened.
Rudy is our special guest today. Stay with us, folks, Rudy Atallah here on WallBuilders Live when we return.
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. America is a special and unique nation. The average length for a Constitution in other countries is only 17 years. But we’ve had ours for over two centuries. And our 4% of the world’s population produces 24% of the world’s gross domestic product. And every year, we produce more inventions and technology than the other 96% of the world combined.
In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville of France came to America, travelled the country, and in his famous book, “Democracy in America” reported, “The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one.
This is the origin of the phrase ‘American Exceptionalism’ and affirms that America is unique because of the distinctive ideas on which we had been based, including inalienable rights, individualism, limited government, and the importance of religion and morality.”
For more information about American Exceptionalism, go to wallbuilders.com.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Always good to have our friend Rudy Atallah with us. Rudy, thanks for some time today, man. Appreciate you coming back on.
Absolutely. Thank you so much.
Well, we’re at a little over the one year mark since the disaster in Afghanistan that the Biden administration created. Had you been in the middle of that, after that, I mean, you guys were just doing all kinds of rescue missions, not just there, but all over the region as you guys continued to do. And we’re so thankful for what you do.
But David and Tim thought it would be great to get an update, just kind of what’s the status at this point? We still engaged over there and how much has the situation deteriorated since the United States pulled out a year ago?
Biden Got it Wrong
Yeah. Well, the situation has gotten really bad. I mean, obviously, the Biden administration got it completely wrong on the withdrawal, starting with the fact that they made very poor assumptions on what President Trump had negotiated in 2020 in Qatar, the agreement with the Taliban. And Trump was going to follow up between with a carrot and stick if the Taliban then break any ties with Al Qaeda and ISIS, he would not, he would follow up with a big stick.
And Trump was going to keep troops behind primarily in Bagram and in Kabul; it was going to be a minimum number of people. But that wasn’t followed by the Biden administration. That rapid pullout essentially put the whole country and the region into a tailspin. We extracted over 9,500 Afghans to include 4,000 persecuted Christians, plus we helped other friends extract another 3,000 Afghans.
So total, a little over 12,000 of these people met, the bulk of them all went to Gulf countries, primarily the United Arab Emirates. We were responsible for them. So what we did is we stayed on the ground, kept teams on the ground, and worked very closely with the Emirati government to make sure that they were not only taken care of, but also we had to put together portfolios on each individual, medical background, all that stuff, so we can get them moved to final destination countries.
Some countries have stepped forward saying they would take them; that included Canada, Australia, Brazil and obviously the United States. And we were trying to work with the State Department, who has been insanely slow at even helping after the administration screwed up the whole pullout from Afghanistan.
Yeah, you’d think they’d put in some extra effort after messing things up so bad. So that hasn’t happened. They continue to make it difficult, it sounds like.
The Nazarene Fund
Oh, totally. Well, what happened was initially State Department knew 4.5 months and the White House knew 4.5 months before they were going to pull out that they were going to do this. They didn’t tell really anybody. And when they did, they only had 36 US Consular officers on the ground in Afghanistan, the process, over 100,000 people. 36 people was not going to happen. So clearly, it was left up to us, NGOs like the Nazarene Fund and other NGOs with veterans to actually do the heavy lifting.
And out of all the people that we extracted, we’re down to less than 2,800 that we still need to get out of the UAE. After that, we’re done. We’re still focused on helping people in-country. It’s been far more challenging, a lot more difficult now that the Taliban are in control. And right now we’re just going to focus on finishing up the remainder that we pulled out.
But again, a year later, the State Department has not been very helpful at all; it’s like pulling teeth. We had 13 US soldiers die over a year ago and the president didn’t even come up and make a statement about it or anything. I mean, that’s how careless and how little they care about what really took place over there.
So, we continue to operate in the region, albeit a lot more carefully. It’s a lot more difficult when you start having sanctions and you have now countries like China coming into Afghanistan. And of course, Pakistan is in political turmoil. So the region is amok and we are trying to operate through all of that.
Well, I was just curious about the American citizens that were left behind and for a while there was talk of how many and different discussions about how many were actually there and whether there was concentrated effort to get them out. I mean, did that pretty well get resolved or are there still some of them trapped over there?
An Incredible Question
Yeah, it’s an incredible question because the State Department didn’t even know how many Americans were in there. And obviously, we did our best. After President Biden came out and said, no, we pulled out all Americans, we, us alone as one NGO, still extracted close to 700 Americans that were left behind. So, there may be some more that are left behind, but we don’t know about them. I mean, if we do, obviously, we be working around the clock.
And what’s interesting is we’re one of the few NGOs that remain behind in the region that is still working to get the refugees that we pull out of Afghanistan get them to final destination countries. So everybody else pull chalks and left. Now, they went after the next shiny object, which was Ukraine, but we stayed behind and continue to work because we always keep our promise to the people that we support.
So, ongoing efforts, if we find any more Americans, obviously, we’re going to help them. We extract that out of all the folks that we pulled out, we pulled over 4,000 persecuted Christians as well. And there are still some more Christians left behind in Afghanistan that we still have to help.
I hadn’t even thought about that, just the whole shiny object thing and everybody’s focus, money, everything shifting over to Ukraine and how that would have probably exacerbated the problem because now you don’t have as many NGOs, and for our listeners, non-government organizations.
And that means you’re private, but you work with the government very often to be able to get into some of these places. Of course, you guys often work without the government to get to places they’re not willing to help you go rescue Christians and other things that you do. But I hadn’t even thought about that, how everybody would have just shifted over there because that’s what everybody’s thinking about. So, most people working, we go raise money for and that sort of thing, you guys stayed in the region and kept rescuing folks.
That’s correct. Yeah. We always honor our pledge. Whenever we say we’re going to do something, we see it through 100%. And not to boast for any reason, but that’s what separates us from a lot of NGOs out there. The sad part is, is the State Department is always pointing fingers and looking for scapegoats, essentially trying to blame others for the whole mess in Afghanistan that they created.
So, even after the fact, there are some folks out there associate with the State Department trying to figure out which NGOs were involved to see if they can blame them for something. And so many of the NGOs that were involved in Afghanistan shifted to Ukraine, like you said correctly, is to raise money, like shiny object and to get away from any stigma or anything associated with what happened in Afghanistan. But we remained and we stayed focused and we’re almost done with at least the refugees that we extracted.
While we got you, Rudy, what’s next for Nazarene that we can talk about? What would be some things that you could tell folks about this coming up that they can help with? I mean, we always tell everybody, listen, we know, for most people, we can’t go over there and physically help. But you can donate, you can pray, you can encourage. And so, we want people to kind of know what you’re up to. So what more can you tell us about other missions?
Yeah. So we’re going to remain focused in the Afghan-Pakistan region. There are a lot of persecuted Christians in Pakistan in the area that we’re trying to help. We are continuing to operate in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon and primarily still working on persecuted Christians here. There’s an uptick of movement despite what you hear of the news of ISIS and Al Qaeda movements still out in the region and they’re still going after people. So we continue to operate there.
We are now operating also in in West Africa, in Nigeria. We’ve shut down two baby factories and we’ve been rescuing kids that are being sold for organ harvesting, sex trafficking and ritual killings, which you find primarily in West Africa. And then, of course, we have our capabilities in Ukraine. So we focus on all the major hotspots. The most important thing is to try to make a dent in the human trafficking in the disaster areas.
Whenever you have war torn areas or whenever you have rogue countries or countries with governments that are not capable, you always have bad actors that are in there taking advantage. And organ harvesting, sex trafficking and ritual killings is one big one that’s out there that we are laser beams on. And we’ve made some major inroads in West Africa and we’re going to continue to do so.
Wow! Rudy, I know you deal with this every day so you’re immersed in it all day. But when you say those things, I mean, for most people, we don’t even realize those kind of things happen today in this world, I mean, organ harvesting, ritual killings. When you talk about shutting down those baby factories, I mean, you’re saving tons of lives, let alone the horror of what they’re doing. I mean, what you’re doing is so, so important. That’s why we want to bring attention to it. And it’s a travesty that we have a hard time even comprehending when we live in our spoiled state here in America.
Yeah, absolutely. The baby factories it’s beyond disgusting. I mean, they’ll take young women, they’ll hit them on the back of the head, put them in a vegetative state, get them pregnant, and then let them go to full term, have the baby and then take the baby out and then go sell it on the black market. So this is the type of stuff that’s actually ongoing.
Sadly, a lot of people ask us, why aren’t you involved in working in the United States? Well, we try to prevent the movement or the selling of a lot of these infants and whatnot, they’ll end up on our borders and then smuggled into the US. So we try to do that in that portion of it. But there’s so much we can do around the world. We focus on the biggest hotspots and we try to take care of it.
Best place for us to keep up and donate and help you guys continue your mission.
Yeah. The Nazarenefund.org is the place to go. That will help us continue our focus and our mission. And then I’ll continue to give you updates as we go forward. We’re certainly not going to give up. Our focus is try to do as much good in the world as we can. So we will keep you posted.
Rudy, we appreciate you so much, man. Thanks for all that you do. Please pass that on to the team. The Nazarenefund.org is the website and look forward to having you back again soon, brother.
Absolutely, deeply honored. Thank you.
Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
The AMERICAN STORY
Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have at WallBuilders called The American Story. For so many years, people have asked us to do a history book to help tell more of the story that’s just not known or not told today.
And we would say very providentially in the midst of all of the new attacks coming out against America, whether it be from things like the 1619 project that say America is evil, and everything in America was built off slavery, which is certainly not true or things, like even the Black Lives Matter movement, the organization itself, not out the statement Black Lives Matter, but the organization that says we’re against everything that America was built on, and this is part of the Marxist ideology. There’s so many things attacking America.
Well, is America worth defending? What is the true story of America? We actually have written and told that story starting with Christopher Columbus, going roughly through Abraham Lincoln, we tell the story of America not as the story of a perfect nation of a perfect people. But the story of how God used these imperfect people and did great things through this nation. It’s a story you want to check out, wallbuilders.com, The American Story.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. And thanks once again to Rudy Atallah and the good work they do over at the Nazarene Fund. And guys, of course, people can help by donating, praying for these folks, just again keep it in mind that these types of operations are ongoing in terms of rescuing persecuted Christians and so many other things the Nazarene Fund does.
So Rudy gave us a really good overview of what happened a year later. And I’ve got to point out that this was a massive failure of political leadership in so many ways and with 20 different terrorist groups that Rudy was having to deal with to get these guys out and get them inside the wire and then get them flown out, the biggest problem we had was not the terrorist groups so much as the State Department.
The State Department
The State Department impeded more of what was going on than even the terrorist groups in some areas, turning our planes back from countries that were receiving them. And as Rudy pointed out, the State Department’s not even there in the lily pad countries now. We’re on the ground trying to get them out of the lily pad countries.
And by the way, that meant at the time there was an agreement, State Department got the agreement, hey, we can fly them into like UAE, Abu Dhabi there, and we’ll just leave them there for a few weeks and we’ll have them in some other country and the State Department is going to find all these countries to send them to. And they didn’t they didn’t find those countries. They’re still on the ground there. And so as Rudy said, there’s just a few couple thousand left now. But it’s a still an ongoing failure of the State Department and the administration.
And this is something too that we’ve seen in more recent weeks with some of the corruption in the FBI. We’ve seen so much failure in government bureaucracy, administration. And this is something when we see government without accountability, when there’s not checks and balance, the Founding Fathers so brilliantly, strategically worked to set up checks and balances for our government, for our nation, knowing that if you don’t have checks and balances, you’re going to tend toward tyranny, you’re going to tend toward depression.
And when President Trump was early in his presidency elected and he pointed out the swamp in DC, we’ve talked about, we don’t even think he knew how great the swamp was. And Afghanistan debacle was just one more example. We got to see the swamp on a deeper level and oftentimes in this government bureaucracy and agencies it’s just so much corruption and problems.
A Year After The Disastrous Afghanistan Withdrawal – With Rudy Atallah
Now, fortunately, as we mentioned, there’s still Rudy, the Nazarene Fund, still very involved, doing a lot of things, helping rescue people, all around the world, we’re still very involved trying to help correct and make things right.
And with this being said, again, we’re still so grateful for all of the men and women who serve; veterans, active duty military, so grateful for them. Certainly, though, this is an indication of why we need the right kind of leadership because when you have a bad leader, they can make some devastating decisions that have terrible impact, not just on the nation, but on the world.
Alright, folks, we’re out of time for today. Special thanks to Rudy Atallah for joining us and for all the good work that they do at the Nazarene Fund, of course, you can make contributions today. Go to wallbuilders.com to find out more about how to do that. And thanks so much for listening.
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You don’t have to know anything about any of this stuff, you just learn with your friends and family. You become the lead learner just by getting them in the room, hit and play, play in the videos and then talking about it. When the video is over, that’s when the magic begins and there’s something special about it. We’re at 15,000, almost right under 15,000 constitution coaches across the country. You can sign up today and help get us over that 15k mark, that be kind of cool.
Anyway, thanks so much for listening today. I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to WallBuilders Live.
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