What In The World Is Going On – With Rudy Atallah: Why are places erupting into dangerous areas around the world? Is Biden following any Biblical, historical, or Constitutional ways in his foreign policy? Why is the Ukraine so important to Russia? What about the situation in Afghanistan? Do you want to be a part of dismantling terrorist organization in Nigeria? How did Reagan bring down the Soviet Union? Tune in to hear Rudy Atallah open our eyes to what is actually going on around the world.
Air Date: 01/19/2022
Guest: Rudy Atallah
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith and the Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live. Thank you for joining us today. Look, it’s a great place to learn, not just to be entertained or just to have something on the radio as you’re driving. I mean, this is all about diving into a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective on whatever the hot issues of the day are.
If you want to learn, if you want to be a good student of freedom, and you’re looking for a way to take action, and to make a difference, you have found the right place. Thanks so much for coming and listening to WallBuilders Live.
My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And it’s my great honor to work here with David Barton. He is America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders, and also Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. You can learn more about all three of us at the website, wallbuilderslive.com.
That’s wallbuilderslive.com. You can also get archives of the program there. You can get all kinds of information about our organization, and you can make that one-time or monthly contribution. Thank you so much for considering doing that as well.
David and Tim, later in the program, Rudy Atallah will be with us. And it’s a good thing it is because the world seems to be going more and more crazy as we enter into 2022. And President Biden and America is got a lot of things to deal with, a lot of the problems created by President Biden. But bottom line is lots of things to deal with. And Rudy’s maybe the best guy we could have on to take a lay of the land as we go into 2022 and where those hotspots are going to be.
Welcome Rudy Atallah
Yeah, we’re blessed to know Rudy, he’s very close with us. Tim and I are engaged in what’s called the Nazarene Fund. And that saves persecuted Christians around the world and those that are in danger. And we’re very engaged in Afghanistan. Before that back when Obama was in office, in the last year’s Obama is that caliphate started to arise in the Middle East and they started just slaughtering Christians. And so we’ve been very engaged. And Rudy has been the guy who’s run that.
And Rudy has the background to know what’s going on in the world more than anybody else I know. He was the Chief Intelligence Officer for Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld. Then he was the Chief Intelligence Officer for Secretary of Defense, Gates. He spent 14 years as the Chief Intelligence Officer knowing what’s going on in the world. When Trump came into office, Rudy was rated number one in the world and intelligence in North Africa and the Muslim areas there in North Africa, Middle East, etc, part of National Security Council stuff under Trump.
So, this is a guy, intelligence is his world. He spent 21 years in the Air Force. He’s a Lebanese Christian, went through the Lebanese civil war, has been attacked for his faith physically, not just rhetorically. Strong Christian guy, loves America and his great defense.
And we thought alright, with all the turmoil that’s going on in the world right now and we’re seeing all these articles about is the next danger coming from China, is it coming from Russia, is it coming from wherever? Thought Rudy would be a good voice to give us a nice balanced approach and tell us literally what’s happening around the world right now.
Well, we’ll go ahead and jump into our break real quick. And then when we come back, we got Rudy Atallah with us. Stay with us, folks, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
A Moment From AMERICAN HISTORY
This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. America has a history of great patriots who loved and sacrificed much for their country. One of these was John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. While President at Princeton, he personally trained many who became important leaders in American government, including James Madison.
How could John Witherspoon tell if someone really loved America? He explained, “He is the best friend to American liberty who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sits himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I hesitate not to call him an enemy to his country.”
Founding Father, John Witherspoon believed that a true American patriot opposed profanity and immorality, and promoted true and undefiled religion.
For more information on God’s hand in American history, contact WallBuilders at 1808REBUILD.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. Rudy Atallah back with us. Always good to have you, Rudy, going into 2022, I thought we make sure we’re headed into the new year with our heads on straight, not just thinking about US, but the rest of the world too. And David said, man, nobody better to get for that than Rudy. So appreciate you coming on, man.
Thank you so much.
I mean, obviously, the world’s got its hotspots and a lot of turmoil here in our own country to deal with as well. But we are the superpower and we have to pay attention to what’s going on out there. And it’s important for us to stay on top of these things. As we kind of enter the fray in 2022, what do you say are the spots we need to be keeping an eye on?
Oh, boy! Well, I would say, not necessarily in chronological order, but Ukraine for sure, Syria, Afghanistan, and China. Those are, I think, the big ticket items that we really have to focus on.
Yeah. I guess the one really in the news, going into the holidays, and lately is Ukraine. I guess, give us a 101 on that, like former Soviet block country, why Russia wants to go back in there, what’s kind of going on there for those of us that aren’t well schooled on these things?
Sure. Well, Ukraine and Russia have a lot of shared history. Ukraine was part of the old Soviet Union until 1991 when the USSR collapsed. The Ukraine holds a lot of importance to Russia, both strategically and culturally. Putin considers Ukraine as part of the old Soviet state. Now, the one thing that you have in Ukraine is 17% of their population identifies still as Russian, 78% identifies as Ukrainian, and 65% don’t want the return of the Soviet Union.
So now, it’s not just about identity politics. Ukraine has access as geographically to the Black Sea, which is very important to the Russians. It also has a lot of strategic resources and an important trade routes. So the Russians see that as an important piece of real estate to get their hands on.
But more importantly, Ukraine, also, the way it’s geographically situated, is a buffer between Russia and Europe or members of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. And Russia thinks of NATO as their biggest threat. And the US is part of NATO.
NATO charter basically says, an attack on one member state of NATO is an attack on the collective. So Russian stance on NATO is they do not want NATO to allow you Ukraine to join NATO. And they want to make sure that NATO does not have a permanent troop or equipment presence in Ukraine. So this is where it’s getting a little bit dicey.
In 2014, there was an uprising in Ukraine because the former President of Ukraine was pro-Russian, so the people kind of revolted on him. And when they did, the Russians came in at that time and took over a section in the southeast called Crimea. And then in the North East, a place called Luhansk and Donetsk, those three areas are predominantly areas where you find most of the ethnic Russians there. And so this has created a lot of tension. And this is where it continues to fester.
Now, members of NATO have an issue also facing with Russia. For example, Germany relies on natural gas coming from Russia to Germany. And if there’s a war between Russia and member states of NATO and Ukraine, Russia can turn off the spigot on gas going to Germany, and that would kill a lot of businesses, and it would freeze them in the winter.
So the problem that the West is having, and especially the US is Biden said no, we will not enter a war, we will not be involved in all of this, but diplomatically, we can do economic sanctions against Russia and whatnot. The issue is if NATO and the US are too weak against Russia, then the chances of Russia going further into Ukraine, and creating more tensions increases significantly. I don’t think Russia will invade Ukraine at this time. I think the chances are less than 20%. But if we don’t play our cards right with the Russians, that can change the whole dynamic there.
Well, speaking to those cards, you mentioned the desire on Russia’s part to not allow them to join NATO. I was curious, I think it was like two major demands that Putin put on the table and that was one of them, like not just join now, like never, like NATO would never allow them to join. That seemed really weird to me, that was such a big deal that it would literally be from now on, we want your guarantee of this, which is I mean how to world leaders of today make that promise for world leaders of tomorrow. But that was one of his demands.
Yeah. Geographically, real Ukraine is a buffer between Russia and the rest of Europe. So in a way making sure that it’s not a member of NATO gives them at least keeps that buffer there. But I think the big thing is also Putin does not want to return Crimea, and then the two territories in the Northeast. The last issue, I will say, as part of it also is you got the Baltic States that used to be part of the old Soviet Union. And they’re watching this very carefully, and nobody wants the old Soviets to come back.
So these Baltic States also may want to take an aggressive stance, not wanting the Russians to have any control inside Ukraine. I mean, like if Ukraine falls, that means they’re going to fall too, so.
You know, looking in Rudy’s crystal ball, and we’re going to do a book called ‘Rudy’s Crystal Ball’, but looking at your crystal ball, do you think that that’s Putin so desire? I mean, does he want to bring back the Soviet Union and restore, they want to once again become a superpower? I mean, is that kind of what he’s after? Or is it more regional tactical kind of decisions?
I think, in part, he sees that certain states that were used to be part of the old Soviet Union like Ukraine, potentially like Estonia or Latvia or Lithuania, those countries, but primarily Ukraine right now he believes that those are Russian territory, they are sovereign Russian territories. And for these countries to be independent, in his view is wrong. He thinks that it was a big failure in 1991 and in 2014 when they couldn’t do more on taking over Ukraine. So there’s a lot of pride here. And Putin has stated that publicly multiple times. And this is where his thinking is.
Yeah. Okay, let’s move over to Afghanistan. Now, let’s see is it been four months now, four and a half months since the complete debacle and horrific decisions from the President. What have you seen since then? Is it leveling out over there or just continuing to get worse? Are they collapsing as some people are saying? What’s your take on that?
Yeah. Unfortunately, you’ve got all the wrong characters in the mix. You’ve got Iran. You’ve got Russia. You’ve got China, now, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, all these countries are involved and everybody’s trying to get the attention of the Taliban. And the Taliban is although they’re trying to be cohesive and have an established government, unfortunately, they’re internally divided.
You’ve got the leadership of the Taliban trying to, for example, bring on board or at least tell the Shia, because the Taliban are primarily Sunni, 90% of Afghanistan is Sunni, 10% is Shia, those are the Hazaras. They’re trying to tell them that, hey, it’s okay. Under Taliban rule, everything’s going to be good between us. But you have radical elements, Sunni elements within the Taliban, and outside of the Taliban like ISIS-K that don’t want any Shia in the country and are willing to go aggressively against them, as in blow them up, kill them, do all these things.
So now Iran is trying to court some members of the Taliban in order to get some way in there. Well, of course, Iran and Saudi Arabia don’t see eye to eye. And Iran and Qatar are close. But so you have this huge massive regional dynamic, and I see potential fallout from this as things progress down the road.
Sadly, the UN does not recognize the Taliban, although they want to be involved in having discussions with them. Before this mess up with Joe Biden the way he approached Afghanistan, Afghanistan used to be a centerpiece in which we can come and discuss with all these other outside actors that we don’t agree with like Russia and China, whatever, on counterterrorism.
Now that we’ve lost that, China wants resources, Russia wants control. Everybody wants a piece of Afghanistan, and we have no allies in the region. So terrorism is going to expand. And then geopolitically, this area is just going to be a hot mess for us as the future progresses and we go down this road and there’s potential war on the horizon there.
The Nazarene Fund
That really does bring it in perspective, not just the short term debacle, loss of life and chaos and all those things, but man, how much those decisions last summer affect us going down the road for years to come.
Yeah. We were able to successfully extract 9,305 people, at least, us just the Nazarene Fund. We supported some of our veteran allies extract another 2,900 people. So over 12,000 people we got out of there.
Man, and you actually read my mind on my next question was for Nazarene Fund, what are the next hotspots and the missions you guys are involved in now that you can tell us about or just kind of update us on the fact that you’re still doing missions and where you see some of that going in 2022?
Yeah, so right now we’re extremely involved in Afghanistan, and we’re still extremely involved in Syria and Iraq. I don’t see Syria and Iraq going anywhere soon. I think, the problems are getting worse and worse, because the same Sunni-Shia rift that you see, between Iran and other countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, whatever, are not only playing out or going to play on Afghanistan, but they’re playing out in Syria.
And of course, the people that take the brunt end of the baseball bat are the Christians and small minority groups like Hazaras or Yazidis or whatnot. So we’re involved in all of that, so those two countries. And then also we’ve been doing operations, and I can say this here for the first time, in Nigeria, we are able to take out some of the groups that are doing a lot of kidnappings of children, young children, not only for organ harvesting, but sexual exploitation, and what they call ritual killings in West Africa.
So we’ve been able to put several members, leaders of these organizations behind bars. And we’re slowly trying to dismantle some of these organizations so they don’t come back up. But it’s a long haul. But we’ve put so far, I think, 13 in jail, and we’re working through this whole process.
I mean, I’m so thankful for you and where you are with Nazarene Fund, and just all the experiences God’s given you over the decades of being engaged in these things for such a time as this, brother, we need you right where you are, and what a blessing. And so thankful that you can take time and come and help keep our audience up to date. It’s like an education. Every time I get my 10 minutes with you, so thank you very much for coming on, Rudy. Thanks for keeping us up to date. Let’s do it again in a few weeks.
Yes, sir. Yes, sir. God bless.
Hey, you too, Rudy. That’s Rudy Atallah. Folks, we’re getting back from Nazarene Fund. We have our links a day at wallbuilders.com where you can donate to Nazarene and help them continue these missions around the world. Stay with us, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
THIS PRECARIOUS MOMENT
Hi, this is David Barton. I want to let you know about a brand new book we have out called “This Precarious Moment: Six Urgent Steps That Will Save You, Your Family, and Our Country”. Jim Garlow and I have co-authored this book. And we take six issues that are hot in the culture right now, issues that we’re dealing with, issues such as immigration, and race relations, and our relationship with Israel and the rising generation millennials and the absence of the church and the culture wars, and where American heritage is our godly heritage.
We look at all six of those issues right now that are under attack and we give you both biblical and historical perspectives on those issues that provide solutions on what each of us can do right now to make a difference. These are all problems that are solvable if we’ll get involved. So you can grab the book, “This Precarious Moment” and find out what you can do to make a difference. “This Precarious Moment” is available at wallbuilders.com.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Thanks for Rudy Atallah joining us once again. Back with David and Tim. Alright, guys, so he went through a lot of hotspots very quickly. Could I just ask you guys just philosophy of foreign policy, Founding Fathers’ perspective, biblical, historical, constitutional, all those things? Do we have a president that’s following any of those three: biblical, historical or constitutional when it comes to how to deal with other countries?
We have precedents of bad presidents and what they did with dealing other countries. He’s following some of that. If you want to go to Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations and what he did with globalism, yeah, we got some of that going on. But if you want to go to strong leaders who put America first, no, we’re not heading the right direction, and we’re not standing in such a way that we’re opposing tyranny and taking down tyrants, which is what caused World War II to really take off the way it did. But fortunately, we got that contained because we had strong leaders.
The Need for Strong Leaders
Even Franklin Roosevelt, who was such a progressive was absolutely in the standpoint that you have to stop evil or it’s going to cost American lives. And we just seem to have this mentality that’s not biblical that says, everybody’s inherently good, and if you treat them nice, they’ll treat you nice. So I would say the answer to your question, Rick is no, not when you’re looking for good examples.
Well, so he’s following the examples that we would prefer had never happened, but certainly not repeat those mistakes. I mean, what would be better historical examples of the type of foreign policy that empowers America, and makes us a better leader for the rest of the world too?
You know, it’s interesting, how much impact a good leader can have. And I’ve been writing recently about Ronald Reagan because we’re coming through the end of World War II and the rise of communism, China becomes communist nation for years after World War II, had been one of our allies in World War II, and the rise of communism, the birth of the Soviet Union, where Stalin took it and then where it went with Khrushchev, and where it went with all those leaders.
And here comes Reagan into office at a time when the Soviet Union is vast. And here’s the stats on the Soviet Union. At the time Reagan went into office, the Soviet Union covered 1/6 of the Earth’s surface. There were 40 Different nations in the Soviet Union. There were 100 nationalities. The Soviet Union was so large that it spanned 11 of the world’s 24 timezones. And I mean, you just go through, it is vast.
Poor Leadership and Foreign Policy
And so at the time, it was very intimidating to Jimmy Carter, we backed down on so many things. We would not stand up to the Soviet Union. And a matter of fact, he backed down for a lot of stuff, the economy was crazy and he said, you’re just going to get used to a lower standard of living. And Reagan came back and said, no, we’re America, we don’t do that. We don’t get used to lower standard of living. We’re the world’s leader.
And so Reagan started really putting pressure on the Soviets. He realized that they were trying to keep up with us militarily and so he introduced what was called the SDI, they called it Star Wars is what Senator Kennedy called it pejoratively and it stuck. But Gorbachev and others say that shifted the whole debate. We then suddenly put them on the defensive and Reagan brought down the Soviet Union. It’s interesting.
He retired from office in 89, and two years later, the Soviet Union has so fallen apart because of what he did an eight years, that maybe the greatest Christmas gift to the world outside of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day, but on December the 25th of 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev signed the death warrant of the Soviet Union, officially dissolved, it was no more.
So when Reagan comes in, you’ve got this massive, massive military force, it’s killed over 100 million people. It spans across the globe. And then here it is, Reagan takes it down. But what he did is just fascinating to see what a good leader can do when he exerts leadership. And he got the Soviet Union back down. He got the Allies together. They exerted the force. And that’s what a good leader does.
And I’m just disappointed how Woodrow Wilson or Jimmy Carter or Joe Biden, they let the world shape policy rather than them shaping the world in a positive direction. And when you let the Soviet Union or you let others tell you what your values are going to be, you’ve compromised everything America stands for. And you get these guys like an Eisenhower or Reagan or others that stand up say, now, here’s what America stands for and Liberty is what we’re going to preserve. And we’re going to protect America. And you’re not going to be a threat to us. I mean, we’re going to make sure that.
And that’s the kind of leadership we wish we could see across the world right now. Because with Biden, we’re seeing all these places erupt into dangerous areas where they were not dangerous areas just two or three years ago and that’s the difference leadership makes.
What In The World Is Going On – With Rudy Atallah
It’s huge. It’s huge. And I remember interviewing a lot of the members of Congress that were in the House or the Senate back in the 80s dealing with all that, and I mean, every one of them said Reagan brought down the Berlin Wall, Reagan, it was his leadership. And it was the coalition that it created with Margaret Thatcher from the UK and the Pope, frankly, that was kind of the three, I think Newt Gingrich has done books and movies on that. But I just remember hearing that over and over and over again, that without Reagan’s leadership without him being willing to call him and even an empire, without him being willing to implement the policies that would ultimately defeat that evil empire, it would have never happened.
So you’re spot on man, it rises and falls with leadership. And we need to all be praying that God will continue to raise up good men and women to run for office, the local level, the state level, the federal level.
And by the way, Rick, before we close, let me just throw one thing that really struck me from Reagan was in 87, he was invited to the Soviet Union, he stood under a big white bust of Lenin talking to the Soviets in the Soviet Union. He had such courage that he called on the Soviet Union to tear itself down. I mean, he literally goes on their turf and calls them out under the statue of the founder of communism for all practical purposes. That’s the kind of bold leadership he had. He was so confident in what he knew and what could be done. And I just see that speech that he gave in 87 as being kind of the final nail in the coffin for the Soviets.
So good. There’s a reason I got a kid named after him, another one born on his birthday, not that I planned that perfectly, and used to have a dog named Dutch. I mean, look, the guy was just a huge influence on the world and a president, not that he was perfect, I could point to several things I disagree with what he did. But man, when it came to foreign policy, he was an absolute master and God used him in a mighty way for our country. What a great example.
Let’s pray God will raise up more leaders like that. And what it takes is learning from history, from the Constitution, and from the Bible. When you have that historical, biblical, and constitutional perspective, you’re going to find the right policy, and it’s going to be good for everybody around you, and certainly for our country. Thanks so much for listening today, folks, you’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.