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The Terrifying Parts Are True

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
May 21, 2022 12:07 pm

The Terrifying Parts Are True

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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May 21, 2022 12:07 pm

I like to talk with fellow caregivers who keep working and doing what brings oxygen to their souls - while caregiving. Such is the case with award-winning novelist Ethan Burroughs. Back with another geopolitical thriller, Burroughs draws upon his extensive career in the middle east to reveal things that will astonish and captivate readers from the West - particularly those struggling to understand today's headlines and the extensive turmoil in the Middle East.

Lifelong friend and a fellow South Carolinian, I asked Ethan to join me on the program and share his incredible books and his extensive grasp of Middle Eastern history and culture. Captivated by his books, I asked him, "Which parts are fiction and which are true?" 

His frank answer, "The Terrifying Parts Are True!" 

Ethan T. Burroughs has dedicated much of the last two decades to exploring the Middle East and slowly unraveling its mysteries. His encounters have taken him to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Israel, and the Palestinian Territories. He has studied the history, faith, cuisine, language, and culture of the lands which continue to grab our headlines as we search for an elusive peace. He has enjoyed spending significant time with characters similar to those depicted in this account, including our unsung patriots in the Departments of State and Defense. He is a U.S. Army veteran, former teacher, healthcare, business, political consultant, and aspiring storyteller.


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Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. We're so glad that you're with us. If you want to learn more about the program, be on the program.

Send us a note through the website and we'll call you if you want to from the program. Whatever's on your heart, send it to us. Let us know what you're thinking about, what's going on with you. You know, you've heard me on this program a lot talk about the importance of doing things as you care give, that you don't put your life on hold, that you're constantly advancing who you are as a person, whether it's whatever you love, music, gardening, your work, whatever. You don't put your life on hold. You may have to be creative and you may have to suspend a few things, and that's okay.

But you don't put you on hold. And I'm always encouraging people to find out what makes their heart sing, what they enjoy, what they enjoy doing. And then I like to find interesting stories of people who have done just that and are living it and just doing it. And that brings me to my guest today. He is an award-winning author named Ethan Burrows, and he's got a book that he published in 2021 called Messianic Reveal. And the second one has just come out.

It's called RIT Reveal. He's got a third one that's going to come out next year. It's part of a trilogy. So I thought I'd invite him on. It's a little bit of a departure from what I normally do, but I've read the books.

They're fascinating books. And so I wanted to have him on the program. Since we both are from South Carolina, we can understand each other and we don't need subtitles for each other.

No. But I am glad to have him here with us. Ethan, welcome to the program. Peter, it's good to be here.

I'm really delighted to be on your show. Well, this book, you sent me copies of this book and I poured through them and read them just gripping stories. And they're nonfiction books. They're novels.

They're thriller, action, spy, all of the above. But you have a different twist on this. And this is why I felt like it was interesting and I like to read and I love books like this and I like history. This book brings something different. You have a very extensive background overseas in the Middle East. Well, some things we can't talk about, so we won't talk about them, but a very extensive background. And you decided to use that background and write a story more than just a fun story and tale and a spy novel. You also had some things you wanted to accomplish in this. So give us a little bit of the background of what brought you to even write this book, these series of books. Well, thank you, Peter.

That's a great intro. And I'm really excited to be here. As you reference, you know, some people, you know, have their lives on hold.

My life has been on hold on for 25 years. I've spent, you know, I'm former military. I worked in military intelligence as an Arabic linguist back in the 90s. And then and that opened up a lot of doors for me as a civilian. And I spent some serious time living, traveling and raising my family in the Middle East from countries ranging from Saudi Arabia to Jordan to Tunisia, Kuwait. And then also spent a lot of time in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Syria before the war broke out there, and even even some some tough time in Iraq.

And that's really fed a sense of wonder in me, kind of a wondering, like, what is the connection? What is the connection that we as Americans have to the region, the region that gave us our faith? The reason the region that we've invested so much political capital in over the last 70, 80 years, and in the last few decades, a lot of blood and treasure has gone into this region through wars and and through, you know, our engagement. And I've had the great, great pleasure of being in the region and meeting with emirs and kings and influential businessmen and women and entrepreneurs and Islamic clerics, Christian clerics, Jewish clerics, and even some refugees. I spent time in refugee refugee camps and things like that, you know, they change your heart, they change your mind, they change who you are, once you've seen how the other side lives, and when you've seen how seen what the impact, whether it's positive or negative, I've had the pleasure of US policy on on people in, in various parts, hotspots in the world. And, and I've even have I have the distinction of having met a terrorist. I didn't know it at the time, if I, if I'd known that three days later, the young man killed, I think, four Iraqi soldiers, I, you know, I would have loved to go back in time and say something to him to change his mind.

I didn't. But all of that, my experiences, my expertise, my my engagements, my interviews that are with hundreds of people, the people I've had in my homes are people with whom I've dined within their homes, you know, breaking bread is is a real thing in the Middle East. And, and all that fed into kind of, again, a sense of wonder, and I really wanted to kind of understand this, this, you know, the political dynamic dynamic that we that we have in the Middle East, but also where the intersection of faith and politics is with religion, and where we're, you know, religion and politics actually, you know, cause the greatest friction. Well, one of the things is I got it dug through your books, as I was stunned by the the scope of history that you covered in these books, and I haven't read your third one yet that comes out. When does that come out? I'm hoping it'll be released in the spring, early spring of next year of 2023. It's called Babylon Reveal and got a surprise for you. There's prophecy reveal is nearly complete as well. So there's a fourth one from trilogy two, we have four books in progress now.

That's astonishing. Well, it opened my eyes a lot to the historical scope of what you're bringing to this. This is not just a spy novel that we see kind of compiled from the outside looking in, you're from the inside looking out and looking in and all at the same time.

You've actually lived it. I asked you one point, I said, what is true and not true in this book? Because it's a novel and it's meant to be entertaining. It's meant to be a fun story to tell. You wanted to tell a story, but you had some things you wanted to accomplish in this. And I said, well, what's true and what's not?

I couldn't figure out which part was fiction. And I remember, do you remember what you told me? Yep.

What did you say? It's the true parts that are the most terrifying. And they are. I mean, it's like, wow. And I didn't know this, but you dug into stuff that nobody's ever written about.

Not anybody from the West. And I think that was kind of your point, wasn't it? That's exactly right. I mean, I do, you know, my protagonist in the book, Clayton Haley, I write him with a sense of wonder that like the Connecticut Yankee must have had in the proverbial, you know, court of King Arthur. But what I do is I take Clayton Haley back through some history in the first book, some fairly recent history in the second book, some ancient history. And the third book, even more ancient history.

That's another conversation for another day. But one of the things that came to me as I started doing some research, and I did not intend to sit down and write a novel, I'd never written a novel before. What I intended to do is kind of build a chronology that I could share with my children about, you know, the the very region that they grew up in. But as I started with dates, I studied history, I went to the University of South Carolina, I studied history, I love history. And I just started kind of keeping a track of dates, dates that people are familiar with, you know, 1917 1918, roughly the end of World War One, the fall of the Ottoman Empire and their grip on on the, the, the greater region for 400 years. And then you fast forward to 1948, the establishment of the state of Israel, then you go to 1967, the six day war, you know, the Munich Olympics in 72 73. You know, and then you go up to 1979. And then, and you have the the ransacking of our, our embassy in Tehran, by a bunch of, well, and let me, let me stop you out there because this is what gripped me is that, you know, we, we tend to have a very short memory here in our country.

I mean, it's, it's hard for us to remember two years ago, much less 200 years ago. But in the Middle East, the memory is long, and you've connected the dots from all of these events in a novel, in a fictional work, but all the events are real, and you connected the dots, historically accurate. I mean, it's not like you just made all these things up, all of these things are connected all of this leads us to where we are as a country and why this is still on the front page of every paper and on the evening news of every evening news is something to do with the Middle East Is that a fair assessment.

I think so. I think that we tend to come up with convenient answers and silos where we keep this silo for this issue this silo for this issue this silo for another issue, and we don't naturally connect them. And I wanted to connect them in this book, especially messianic reveal I wanted to understand them I you know I I'm writing the book but I felt like I was in the front seat, watching this this happen.

And, you know, as we get to 19 I'll give you a perfect example. You know we, you know, I think people have a rough understanding of the Sunni world versus the Shia world when it comes to Islam. I think people have a general understanding that, you know, when you talk about the era of Muslim world you're talking about 300 million people, we're talking about the greater Muslim Muslim world you're talking about 1.5 billion, you know, there are more Muslims outside of the Arab world than there are in the Arab world. And, and, and I wanted to connect some things really surrounding to signature events, you know, I just mentioned the the ransacking of our embassy in Tehran 1979 traumatic event for the Americans, and we have neatly package that it's you know and we've had this grudge match with the Iranians ever since 1979, they held our people for 444 days. Well, do what people don't know, is it two weeks late two weeks after they ransacked our embassy in Tehran. There was a messianic cult and this is where I get the name, the name of my book messianic reveal comes from the arrival of a messianic cult, led by a guy by the name of Muhammad Abdullah Qahtani and his cousin slash brother in law, Juhayman al-Otaibi, and they led a cult of former National Guardsmen from Saudi Arabia, and they took over the holiest site of Islam, they took over the Grand Mosque in Mecca. And again, this is important, one and a half billion people prostrate themselves every single day, five times a day, and pray to this place is part of the tenants or the pillars of Islam.

Okay. And it was bloody I mean, they held this for two weeks. The Saudi National Guard had to, you know, rip them out of there with the help of Pakistani commandos and French commandos who had to hastily convert to Islam because you could not have non-believers on the holiest ground of Islam. So they went in, they roused them out of the Vatican of the Muslim world. It was brutal. You had gunfire, machine gun fire, sniper fire, grenades, you had chemical warfare used against this group. Some 500 to 1500 people died in this melee, this chaos.

Well hold that thought because we're up against a heartbreak. And this is what set the table for your first book. Correct?

And these are all real events that happened. And so we're going to talk some more about this. We'll talk with Ethan Burrows.

He is the author of Messianic Reveal, Rip Reveal, and soon more to come. We'll be right back. This is Hope for the Caregiver. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

I am Peter Rosenberger and we're glad that you're with us. You can go out to There's a little form there if you want to be a part of the program.

Just fill it out. Send me a note. Tell me what's on your mind and what's on your heart. And we'd love to hear from you. That is my wife, Gracie and Russ Tapp from her CD Resilient. And you can go out to and learn more about that.

Get a hold of that CD for yourself. Again, you've heard me say this often about how important it is to not put your life on hold as a caregiver. And we tend to do this at various times thinking that, no, we'll do this later. We'll do this later. But sometimes we get a moment of clarity. We realize, you know what? Later is not promised to us.

Let's do what we need to do today, right now. And whether it's being a musician or pursuing this or whatever, within reason as you navigate your journey. My guest today is Ethan Burrows. He is a novelist. He's an award-winning novelist. His first two books are already out.

The third was coming out next year and the fourth will be out several years after that. He and I went from the same town, same high school. And he also has parents that are aging and dealing with some very serious realities. I don't share a whole lot of his background simply because I don't think we can. And you'll know more about that as we listen to him talk about these books. And so I'm being a little bit vague on that.

But these books bring a great scope of history and a lot of the things that we see plastered in our media every day, but we don't know how to connect those dots. That's what he does. And he's one of the very, very few who've done the kind of work he's done for as long as he's done. And now he's actually taken time to write about it.

And I don't know anybody that's done like you've done and written from somebody who's actually lived it. And he was sharing before we went to the break about what was going on in the connecting the dots with the Tehran. And then they had the cult that followed. So take us back into this and then share a little bit more about how you get into this.

We're going to talk about how you wove your faith into these books and everything else. But take us back to that place in Tehran. Okay, so yeah, in 1979, you had this this hostile takeover of our embassy by a student uprising led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who just had his this glorious triumphant return to to Iran from a year and a half where he lived in Paris doing he collecting political and financial support for his his return. But two weeks later, and this is the footnote that no one seems to know about, I spent a lot of time in the Middle East, I spent a lot of time talking to very smart people. And collectively, no one seems to know a whole lot about this siege of Mecca. It happened two weeks after the takeover in Iran of our embassy. But this is a brutal, hostile, bloody melee where somewhere between 500 and 1500 people died violently. And then the surviving militants, terrorists, messianic cult members call them what you will, they were taken out by the Saudi authorities to nine different cities in this country summarily beheaded, cover up.

That's it. Now, as I started exploring this story, and why no one seems to know much about it, I wondered if the two could be connected somehow. And Peter, I'm going to put you on the spot. You read my books, you know that Khomeini planned his return to Tehran from Paris, you know where he was before he was in before Paris. Do you recall? Before he was in Paris, I knew he was in Paris. Wasn't he in the United States? No, no, you're thinking of Teheranjalis where hundreds of thousands of Iranian exiles live.

No, he never came to the States. He was in southern Iraq. And this is what's important for Oh, that's right. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, you remember now? Yes, he was in southern Iraq and recently important. And I won't go into a lot of details because you know, this is what I want people to write, read the book. But the he was in southern Iraq, which is the holy has the holiest sites of Shia Islam. And, and this is where it connects to us intervention in the region. And I think it's very important for those of us who have served in the region, or who have family members who have gone over and and, you know, given up with their time, and in some cases, you know, paid the ultimate price.

For the intervention there. Ayatollah Khomeini spent 12 years in southern Iraq, he was there, cohort, you know, in cahoots with the the Shia religious establishment. Most people think the Shia are in Iran. Yes, Iran is a majority Shia country.

But so is Iraq. And Iraq has the holiest like the Vatican for the Shia faith is there. And Saddam Hussein could not, who was from the Sunni community could not have his arch-nemesis. In a powerful position next door in Iran, and, and taking with him the fealty and the loyalty of the Shia community in southern Iraq. And so what I think that, again, if you want to look at it from the military perspective, we kind of stepped into this, the sectarian conflict that was spread out from Saudi Arabia through Iraq and into Iran, without knowing a whole lot about that, and why that matters, and why the the stronghold of the Shia community. Why the the stronghold of Shia Islam is in southern Iraq. We bolstered up Saddam Hussein to push him against the Ayatollah Khomeini.

That's right, that's right. And that set the table for what happened 30 something years later. Well, let me rewind it a little bit. The very same things that the cult members, the messianic cult members, the claims that they that they were demanding when they took over the Vatican of the Islamic world in Mecca was repeated verbatim by a guy of the name Osama bin Laden in 1989. So the siege of Mecca happened in 1979, when Osama bin Laden starts his al Qaeda, the foundation, the terrorist group that we know as al Qaeda, or the south, we say al Qaeda. When he started that he was using the same terminology and verbiage and rhetoric that the messianic cult used 10 years before. And his older half brother was part of that cult. And that's 100% true. I told you it's a terrifying departure.

I know that's it. As I was reading this, I realized that is the foundation of where you start in this book with all of the stuff that none of us knew. The United States remained clueless about for the most part, except some people in the intelligence agency and nobody was really connecting those dots. Because intelligence during a lot of this time was kind of segmented, correct? Well, yeah, I use the word silo for a reason. And I'm not here to make, you know, to cast aspersions on, you know, how intelligence was collected.

But I do know that it's, it's more convenient to compartmentalize things. And I would argue that you need a fuller picture if you're going to understand the region and and why it matters to us. It matters to us because, you know, our interventions drum up a great deal of antagonism and antipathy toward the United States. And yet, you know, we kind of need some of these countries when it comes to our energy needs that we need some of these things about them. Go ahead. Well, you think about all the the blood and treasure that we have spilled into that region, and how many people really know nothing about what's going on. Yeah, and we're going because these people in Washington.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-15 22:11:41 / 2023-04-15 22:20:24 / 9

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