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What’s Really Going On With Rescue Efforts In Afghanistan – With Rudy Atallah: Do you wish there was some practical way you could help save a life in Afghanistan? What is the biggest obstacle to rescuing people? How many people still need safe passage out? Today we bring you a very sobering boots-on-the-ground interview from Afghanistan. Tune in for this critical update with Rudy Atallah from The Nazarene Fund.

Air Date: 08/23/2021

Guest: Rudy Atallah

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  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

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live. So glad you’re with us today to talk about the hot topics of the day, from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. We’re here with David Barton. 

He’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders and Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders, and my name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach.

Check us out at wallbuilderslive.com for more information, and also where you can get the archives of our program. That means you can go back weeks, in the past if you missed some shows, if you want to enjoy some of those Good News Fridays, or Foundations of Freedom Thursdays or some of the interviews that we do, all available for you right now at wallbuilderslive.com.

Also, I want to encourage you to visit biblicalcitizens.com this week, because we’re starting a new Monday night national class for Biblical Citizenship. Now this is an opportunity for you to dial in and join us. We have 30,000 people typically in this class, you get to be with all those folks from across the nation, and you get to ask questions directly to me or to David or Tim or whoever’s on that night taking the live questions. 

So we do the class, the videos of the class, you get a workbook for free. I mean, look, it’s a digital workbook, which you get the digital workbook for free, you get access to all of this totally for free, so go get signed up today at biblicalcitizens.com, biblical citizens.com. You got to sign up now because we start the class next Monday night, and we’d love to have you as a part of this new national class.

Alright, David, and Tim, here we got Rudy Atallah with us after the break. And man, you’re talking about boots on the ground, he is literally right on the line dealing with all this stuff in Afghanistan right now.

David:

Yeah, Afghanistan is right in the middle of his wheelhouse, and will be for coming weeks, it looks like. He’s not getting much sleep. We’re talking to him multiple times today. 

The Nazarene Fund

Let me kind of give background on it. Rudy runs what’s called the Nazarene Fund. I’m on the board of Nazarene Fund as well as WallBuilders. But Nazarene Fund, we started through Glenn Beck about five or six years ago when we saw ISIS killing Christians publicly in their new Caliphate over in the Middle East and in Syria, in Iraq, in Afghanistan.

And so at that point in time, we set it up, and Rudy was our field operator. Rudy was the guy who was, I think it was a top intelligence guy for Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld and then for Secretary of Defense, Gates. I think for 14.5 years, he was our top intelligence guy. When Trump came into office in 2017, Rudy was rated the number one intelligence guy for Africa, North Africa, Middle East kind of area. So he’s the guy who’s running stuff on the ground for us.

And we were able to get several 100,000 Christians out of the hands of ISIS. Australia has been so good. They take any that we send them, any sex slaves we can rescue and send to Australia, is so good. But we also send them to Brazil, into Canada, and Slovakia, and so many other countries.

So here, we are now trying to get Christians out of Afghanistan again, they are targeted by ISIS. We’ve got all these Afghanis who were allies with American soldiers for all the 20 years that we’ve been over in that region, and so trying to get them all out of there.

So what happened was last week, Glenn Beck talking about the Nazarene Fund, this is the time that we really need to get thousands of Christians out of Afghanistan. The reports we’re getting is that the Taliban are looking for Christians, looking for Afghanis who have helped the Americans. Some of the early reports we saw that the Taliban has circulated the word that if you’re a Christian, look forward to either beheading or burning alive; if you help the Americans, then you’re going to be hung.

And so we’ve heard from some Afghanis already that there’s been house to house things where a number of Afghanis have been hung because they help the Americans. So it’s a very desperate situation.

The Government Doesn’t Know

So Glenn Beck went on air last Wednesday and said, okay, guys, we got to get the Christians out of there. We got to help these guys. And we need you to give need you to give, need you to give till it hurts. And he said, by Friday, we need $20 million, because it looks like it’s costing us about $4,000 to get an Afghan Christian out of there, get them to a different country, and then get them to a new located country, wherever that’s going to be.

And again, Australia has been really good saying send them to us, and even the UK has said that. So we’ve got locations we can send them.

So we said alright, to get 5,000 Christians out there, we need about $20 million. Well, as of Saturday morning, we had $24 million had to come in. And so all this money has come in and we started trying to move these guys out of there, Rudy, actually…

Tim:

And let’s clarify too. That was for a designated a number which is much smaller than the total number that is still over in Afghanistan. So reports out right now, there’s approximately 10,000 Americans and that’s an unknown number.

The federal government doesn’t really know how many people are in country that have American passports. They don’t know how many Americans are actually in Afghanistan. It’s estimated there’s about 80,000 Afghan allies that actually worked with American forces that are there.

And so this 24 million that was raised, you’re talking about it, that’s less than 10,000 people that that will relocate. So this is not, hey, we’ve raised enough money, we’ve solved the problem, that’s not where we are. But for some of the people that we have on list, some of the Christians who have been doing things underground, some of the Afghan allies etc, for some of those individuals that are on the list, some of them that are already at the airport, money has been raised on some level to help some of them. But there still are many more people that need help and they need to get out.

Getting the Christians to the Airport

David:

So Rudy has been able to identify Christians across the city and the problem is getting them to the airport. Because Taliban surrounded the airport, they’re looking to make sure Christians, even Americans don’t get in. And so we’ve been having to find kind of backdoor ways to get them in.

So there’s still a lot of Christians who need to get to the airport, still a lot that need to be flown out. There’s still a lot of Christians we can save and save their lives.

So if you’re interested in contributing to this, so this is still ongoing. Over the weekend, we’ve raised millions more, you can go to wallbuilders.com and the contribute button there wallbuilders.com/contribute, down on the page, you’ll see the Middle East Afghanistan, and you can give there. And anything you give, 100% goes to helping the Christians. This is not overhead stuff. This is not our staff. This is not what it takes for bookkeeping. This all goes to saving Christians.

Tim:

And this is whether it’s $1, $5, $10, or $100,000, anything you can do, this is a real life, real world crisis scenario situation that we are working with. We have guys on the ground at the Kabul airport that are working to try to save and rescue people. This is definitely something worth being a part of. But we had a chance to talk with Rudy over the weekend, and he was giving us some updates on stuff that was going on. And we definitely want to share with you things firsthand from people that are there. Here’s some information coming from Rudy Atallah.

Rick:

Alright. Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back with Rudy Atallah here are WallBuilders Live.

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.

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Really honored Rudy Atallah back with us and literally right in the middle of rescuing folks in Afghanistan, and always thrilled to have you on Rudy, thanks for some time today.

Rudy:

Hey, thank you so much for your time, Rick.

The Biggest Obstacle

Rick:

Man, I am thrilled to see what Nazarene Fund has been able to do in the last couple of days in terms of raising funds, in terms of the rescue missions, you guys are boots on the ground. You do incredible work year round. But at this moment in time, with the debacle in Afghanistan for such a time as this God has positioned you guys.

So I just want to say thank you for being prepared for a moment like this, and just really appreciate you coming on to give us an update. So tell us what’s your assessment of the situation?

Rudy:

Well, the situation is extremely fluid. Believe it or not, our biggest obstacle is not our capabilities on the ground or the assets that we currently have. Our biggest obstacle is unfortunately our current administration.

This administration has been nothing but backwards on everything. Because I’ve done a ton of noncombatant evacuations, we call them NEO in the military in various parts of the world over the years. And generally, what you do is you give the Department of Defense gets full rein on executing it and the State Department from the US Embassy in country normally has a list of people and where they are staying across the country.

And then the military gets that list and they figure out ways to go get them and bring them in to the airport safely and then fly them out. That’s normally how it works.

But this administration and its lack of wisdom has decided to flip everything around and make the State Department in charge of this noncombatant evacuation and put the Department of Defense on the back burner, which is completely backwards. So what we’re having right now is the Taliban has made a perimeter around the airport, and they will not take anybody but people with Western passports, so Americans, British, Italians, those are the only ones that are passing the perimeter checkpoints through the Taliban checkpoint.

Absolute Chaos

But when they get close of the gate to the airport, you’ve got thousands of people crowding the gates trying to get in. And every time they hear an aircraft landing, they all start to make a push towards the gate and people are getting crushed, suffocated, women throwing their babies over Concertina wire. Our folks on the other side are trying to get people that are vetted on the list through the list.

It’s absolute chaos. We’ve had elderly people literally die of dehydration inside that terminal. They made it through the gate and everything, they died inside the terminal because there’s not enough water for them to drink. So it’s complete chaos.

Our biggest problem right now is we have the assets, we have the air assets. You know, thank God for people like Glenn Beck and David Barton who are out there raising funds. We can fly people.

I’ve got planes ready to go right now. I’ve got assets boots on the ground right now. The problem is getting people that are scattered across Kabul, the onesies and twosies that are in different locations, is getting them across the Taliban checkpoints to the gate and then through the thousands of people across into the terminal and then on the aircraft. That’s number one.

Number two is the slow process that the State Department is with the diplomatic clearances of getting aircraft diplomatically cleared to fly into Kabul and out. You know, yesterday, general Milley was on air saying thumbs up, you know, commercial aircraft can come in. By the afternoon, we had gotten word that the DOD is stopping all commercial air flights coming in for 48 hours, because we’ve had multiple gunfights in different places.

So since Sunday till now, over 12 civilians have been killed. Taliban are shooting at people, our guys shooting back. You know, there’s just been absolute chaos.

And we’ve got people scattered all over the place. If you put expats, American expats with SIVs, those are Afghanis with especial visas, and then you also add other Western countries that are there, we’re talking about over 90,000 people that need to be extracted.

The Department of Defense

And now our Department of Defense is sitting at the airport, we are capable of going past the airport perimeter and securing parts of the city to make safe passage for people, but the White House won’t let that happen. So this United States government with one of the best Department of Defense militaries on planet earth that can literally take over the city overnight is not allowed to do anything right now, except sit at the airport. So we’ve got people struggling everywhere.

Rick:

I cannot imagine your frustration level. For those of us that aren’t in the middle of that fight, just watching, it seems like I mean, you could not write a plan for failure on purpose any better than what they have done, I mean, it just seems. And I know they that we keep hearing from major media saying now, this was going to happen no matter when you did it.

I just don’t buy that. I can’t imagine that this could not have been done better.

Rudy:

Right, exactly. I mean, look, the problem is the Biden administration just decided to pull chalks and pull out. First of all, the first mistake is you don’t pull out the military first, and you say, goodbye, see you later, and then oh, we need to bring the military back. And now the vacuum is filled by the Taliban.

You don’t do that. Military stays last. You get everybody out of the country safely, you get everything coordinated safely, and then when everything’s done and the dust is settled, then the military goes, okay, we’re going to exit now. And then you leave military contractors behind to work with the Afghan military to continue to do the work that they need to do.

The Afghan military collapsed because they have no logistics capabilities. We were the ones that were providing that. We’ve spent $2.26 trillion in Afghanistan over the last 20 years.

And literally, one decision from the White House, everything is literally vanished overnight. It’s just disappeared overnight, and all we have is chaos and one of the biggest disasters in modern history. And they’re all executed by this White House for their lack of capabilities and incompetence in making decisions. It’s sad.

Virtue Signalling

Rick:

It seems like they care more about the virtue signaling. They thought it was going to look great that hey, yeah, we’re finally getting out and not about what’s really happening on the ground and what’s best for the country overall. I mean, even things like, you know, given a background, I mean, here’s a billion dollar base that we built and earned.

Why would we give that up? I mean, even if you pull everybody else out, why not keep that as a beachhead? You know, that that just doesn’t mix. I mean, again, I’m a civilian. I haven’t had military training or knowledge. But that just seems foolish.

Rudy:

It’s extremely foolish. And here’s the other part that most people miss. Okay, so everybody talks about nation building, whatnot. First of all, the only reason why we went into Afghanistan was simply for counterterrorism because of 9/11. And, yes, we were trying to build and do all these wonderful things, but…

Rick:

But we’re there to kill terrorists. I mean, let’s be blunt. That’s why we went in, to take out the terrorists before they could come over here. Right?

Rudy:

Correct. And Afghanistan is home to at least 20 terror cells, if not more. The chief of them is Al Qaeda. The head leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri is ailing, but he currently lives there.

He swore blood oath to the Emir of the Taliban that he would always be by his side. Well guess what, the Emir of the Taliban number two guy Hirashadeen Al-Qarni, that individual is a card carrying member of Al Qaeda, which means that Al Qaeda is now 3.0, is going to go ramp up very rapidly with the Taliban in control.

Terrorist Cells

And in fact, I’m hearing that we’re already having Taliban fighters are pouring in from neighboring countries, from different places going to Afghanistan, because they know this is going to be the place where they’re going to step fast, train, regroup, And oh, by the way, the Biden administration left them a beautiful package of all types of weapons, 11 ScanEagle drones, helicopters, airlift capabilities, and a night vision goggles, you name it, they have it.

And now they’re also getting a hold of biometrics capabilities, and whatnot. So now, we’ve not only failed Afghanistan, we’ve not only collapse this place, but now we’ve also given free hands all these tools to these bad guys that are now going to ramp up. And this is going to be a beachhead from where they launch capabilities all over the world.

That means they’re going to prop up terrorist cells inside Syria, inside Iraq, all these places where we’re also helping, rescuing Christians as we speak. And we’re going to see in the next couple of years an uptick of kabooms happening all over the place. Thanks to the Biden administration.

Rick:

I can’t even comprehend, it’s almost like it’s not just incompetence, it’s like you really want to hurt the nation, I mean, and the world to do it this portly.

Rudy:

Yeah. Yeah. Right now, oh, by the way, Hamas congratulated the Taliban on their victory saying, hey, we are so proud of you. We’re going to model ourselves after you.

Hamas is attacking Israel. Can you imagine, now all of a sudden Hamas is talking about Iran, Iran is already sending messages, clear messages to people saying, hey, look, the Americans are going to abandon you, look what’s happened in Afghanistan.

You know, you come rely on us. We’re the ones that are going to protect you. We’re the ones going to save you.

Asking Who for Help?

Every rogue nation and rogue group out there is using this to recruit and to discredit the United States. And what is this administration doing? They’re turning around and asking the Chinese and the Russians for help.

It’s basically it’s not only like an abysmal failure, but we’re telling these countries that are technically not our friends, that oh, by the way, here’s this campaign, you can now campaign off just to show you that the Americans are now weak, they’re not capable, and now you’re in charge and we’re just going to rely on you to help us out.

Rick:

Yeah, talk about how America last plan. I mean, it’s…

Rudy:

Oh, my God! Every military person that is served with me and all my friends are calling. I can’t tell you people are crying on the phone. It’s like a gut punch.

You spend all these years, you sacrifice everything. We’ve had many guys that have died on the battlefield. We’ve sacrificed everything and this gets tossed.

I mean, everything just, we’re thrown under the bus and then we’re left with all these people that we worked with, basically left to the four winds and we’re trying to get them out. Civilians should not be doing noncombatant evacuations. Department of Defense should be doing it.

But we are doing it. Thanks to people like Glenn Beck and David Barton were raising funds and were putting together this noncombatant evacuation to get these people out on our own because we have a government that’s not there to help.

Left-Wing Minds

Rick:

The Nazarenefund.org, the Nazarenefund.org, we’ll have a link today at wallbuilderslive.com. Help with this cause. Lives are at stake.

Rudy, before I let you go, I can’t help but think about, you know, I realize this administration is left wing minded and there’s a lot of reasons for the things that they do. But it also feels like there’s just the incompetence is practical from the standpoint of they have been so focused on ridiculous things. I mean, when I saw the picture of the Secretary of Defense with the mask, and the shield, and he looked like something out of Star Wars, and I’m thinking this is the image we’re giving to the world.

But their myopic focus on COVID, their LGBTQ parades and literally raising the rainbow flag at basis and just the silly stuff they’re doing, just from a practical perspective, you can only focus on so many things. And so if those are the things you’re focused on, no wonder you’re going to completely bundle, I mean, absolutely ruin all of these things and do such a terrible job. Am I wrong in that again from a nonmilitary perspective? I’m just thinking from a management perspective.

Rudy:

Yeah, no, of course. Well, the morale within the military is just something big time, because I mean, Nellis Air Force Base last month was doing a drag queen show, because they wanted to… I mean, our folks are there in uniform to fight. They’re not there to just hold people’s hands and sorry about people’s feelings. I mean, they’re going in harm’s way.

So, when our folks take a look and they see this kind of stuff, they’re demoralized. And we have a lot of people who have retired who, who were like top notch military people, good strategists, good tacticians, good soldiers, they’re like, we can’t deal with this anymore. We’re retiring. We’re just walking out. So you’re losing good people as well. And that’s a shameful thing in itself.

Dangerous for the Future

Rick:

And dangerous, right? I mean, because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy at some point. You’re going to end up with not the people we want it going into the military over the next 10, 15, 20 years.

Rudy:

Correct. Correct. Exactly, correct. Exactly. It’s very sad.

Rick:

Well, Rudy, we are so thankful for you, man. Thanks for the Nazarene Fund. Thanks for what you all are doing. You give me more time than then I asked for. So thank you very much. I know you got some live to save and we want to help every way that we can. So the Nazarenefund.org, folks, go there, donate, get on their email list, stay informed. Rudy, God bless you, man. Appreciate the time today.

Rudy:

God bless you too, brother. Thank you.

Rick:

We’re back with David and Tim now. Okay, guys, so as you guys are in on these conversations with Rudy, you know what’s happening. And of course, there’s been developments even over the weekend.

Tim:

Yeah, there definitely have been some updates even since this conversation with Rudy, and some stuff that is still not general public information. There’s a lot of things happening behind the scenes, some even from individuals in the US who are not wanting to help and actually are working to sabotage in some areas. We know that with ISIS and Al Qaeda and the Taliban, there’s issues going on as well. And so some of the plans are still not being released.

It’s Costing Our Reputation

But also we know that over the weekend, the Pentagon said they’re working with several different airlines, and they’re going to essentially commandeer some of those planes to use those commercial flights to help get people out of Afghanistan. And we know the president came out and said that all of our Afghan allies who they are able to get out, they’ll take them to US military bases around the world. But this is also contingent on, in my mind, a very arbitrary August 31st deadline, which doesn’t make sense why there has to be a deadline right there.

We have not heard good answers from that as well, other than it seems like we are negotiating with terrorists. And guys, I mean, bottom line, this is one of the worst failures of leadership of an American president when it comes to foreign policy, literally, in the history of our nation. I can’t think of a presidential decision that has a worse implication or worse repercussions not just for America, but for the world than what Joe Biden is doing with this Afghanistan situation. It’s an utter debacle.

David:

Yeah, I don’t know of any person who wants to be an ally with America in the future, if we’re going to hang our allies have to dry like this. I don’t know why you pull the military forces out before you pull the civilian forces out: you leave the military. And by the way, the Taliban was not wanting to take on the American military at the airport. 75,000 Taliban were standing outside, they were unwilling to come at the airport, because the American soldiers are there, just a few thousands.

Now after Joint Chief Milley has gotten with the Taliban and negotiated and said, well, we’ll stay inside the perimeter, suddenly 75,000 Taliban come in. So American forces are capable of holding these guys out, we’ve just tied their hands and said come beat us up. So this is a massive, massive embarrassing failure. It is costing American lives. It’s costing our allies lives.

What’s Really Going On With Rescue Efforts In Afghanistan – With Rudy Atallah

It’s costing our reputation. There’s just nothing good about this, except we got our guys on the ground over there. And Rudy has been given charge of all the commercial flights coming out of there. So we’re going to be able to get our guys out, we think, if we can get them to the airport.

And by the way, if you want to be part of this, this is going to be going for another week or two, you can go to wallbuilders.com/contribute, go to the Middle East Afghanistan fund contribute, 100% goes downrange to saving Christians.

Tim:

And let’s also point out. The most important thing we can do right now is pray. One of the things that we hear reported time and time again, is that the US military or the good guys have the Kabul airport. The problem is the Taliban have set up a perimeter around the airport. And so even though we have the airport, all of those Americans, all those Afghan allies have to get through Taliban and Taliban checkpoints to make it to the airport to find safety. There’s just so many issues, so much drama. We need to be praying. Pray desperately for this situation for what’s going on.

And then if you want to do something beyond prayer, if you want to get financially, again, wallbuilders.com/contribute and look for that Middle East fund. 100% of what you give will go down range to help rescue these people over in Kabul.

Rick:                                                                                                                  

What a disaster this President has created. Just it’s one of the greatest presidential failures in modern history, maybe in all of American history. You can do something about it though, go to that link today, make that contribution. Thanks so much for listening today. And thanks to Rudy Atallah for all he’s doing right now and for taking time to be with us here on WallBuilders Live.