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BREAKING: US Embassy in Afghanistan Urges Americans to Leave Immediately

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
August 12, 2021 1:00 pm

BREAKING: US Embassy in Afghanistan Urges Americans to Leave Immediately

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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August 12, 2021 1:00 pm

The Taliban is rapidly advancing in Afghanistan, already having captured many strategic locations. In light of the Islamist militia's maneuvers, the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan is urging Americans to vacate the country immediately. Logan and the rest of the Sekulow team discuss this developing conflict and what it means for the United States, Israel, and the world. This and more today on Sekulow .

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This is Logan Sekulow with breaking news. The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan urges American citizens to leave immediately.

Welcome to Sekulow, filling in for my dad and brother today on Sekulow, joined in studio by Will Haynes and Colonel Wes Smith. We are going to be breaking down the breaking news, as well as other topics, but the breaking news that the U.S. Embassy, just minutes before we went on air, has urged all U.S. citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately if you're not following. This is big news and sad news in many different ways. It's been 20 years, roughly, almost 20 years since the start of the war in Afghanistan. And relatively over the last decade, there's been a lot of calls to withdraw troops.

We know that under President Trump and under President Biden, there's been that conversation starting to happen, but we are seeing what that means. And even if it's inevitable, it's a sad day. It is, you know, very, very deservedly so. For several hundred years, Afghanistan has been looked at as the graveyard of empires. It is a mission that really, you know, we accomplished the mission that we went there initially to start. We went there, if people would remember, simply to defeat al-Qaeda, get rid of the terrorist training camps, and to find and kill Osama bin Laden. That mission was accomplished years ago. And the mission that's actually ending now and over the next few weeks is not that mission. That mission was successful.

But there was mission creep. We got into nation building and trying to defeat the Taliban, which in some ways was a fool's errand. Although it's controversial, there are some military leaders and some conservative politicians who think this is a colossal mistake.

I disagree. I think the time had come for us to withdraw. The original mission was accomplished. This Afghanistan issue has dogged four US Presidents. It's cost us billions of dollars, which we can go into in a little bit, thousands of lives. At some point, you realize that the mission to eliminate the Taliban and to make that into a Western-style civilized nation was simply not going to happen. There was so much corruption.

There was so much tribalism and barbaric activity. I think the time had come for us to say, okay, we did what we came to do, and it's time to back away. I think that's at least somewhat of a hopeful way to look at it because you do look at it in the big 20-year span and say, wow, you think of it almost as a loss that the Taliban is back in power or potentially going to be back in power, that this is all happening once again. But when you brought up the initial reasons to go there, to kind of take out the terrorist training camps and to kill Osama bin Laden, those missions were accomplished, and sometimes it just takes time, sadly, for us to figure out an exit strategy, if you will. In the United States, we have a history of mission creep.

Never leaving. Yeah, the same thing happened in Iraq, and we need to avoid that where we can. I know there have been thousands of lives that have been lost there, and I have dealt with thousands of families in my military capacity who have lost loved ones there. And they often ask me, was it worth it?

Why did my son or my daughter or my husband or my wife die? And I reminded them that the original mission was we needed to do. America's security was at risk. We needed to find and kill Osama bin Laden. We needed to get rid of the terrorist training camps and drive out of Acada. And so their sacrifice is great. It was worth it if you look at that original mission.

I personally do not think it is worth one more American life to prop up a corrupt government in Afghanistan to the tune of billions of dollars and to try to defeat the Taliban, which is part of the warp and woof of Afghan society. Yeah, we'll talk about it more when we get back. And as people are calling in, I'd like to hear from you as well. As we are heading to the 20 year anniversary of September 11th, obviously, which then begins the 20 year anniversary of the war on terror. I'd love to hear your thoughts. 1-800-684-3110.

That's 1-800-684-3110. We'll also be talking about the work of the ACLJ and some of our legal wins that have happened recently and later on in the show. We'll be joined by former ambassador Rick Grenell, who obviously is a voice, you know, and love here at the on secular. So we're going to talk about that as well as still continuing our discussion.

There's a lot of people are curious who were these people? What are the American citizens there? We'll discuss that as well when we get back on secular. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith. I'm covering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress.

The ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support for that. We are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. Welcome back to Sekulow. This is Logan Sekulow joined in the studio by Will Haynes as well as Colonel Wes Smith, also a senior military analyst here at the ACLJ. We're discussing the breaking news that came out, Will, just a few minutes before we went on air.

This wasn't the show we were planning on discussing. We thought it was worth covering as we talk about the military. We've been talking about the war on terror for the last 20 years, and like Will said, our entire adult life plus a little for us.

We started when I was 15 years old is when that happened. The U.S. Embassy, though, has urged U.S. citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately. I think we also need to discuss not only that statement, but who are the U.S. citizens that are there right now? Because we're not talking about the military. The military is in a process of withdrawal.

But who's there? At the first of the year, there were 7,000 U.S. civilians there. Most of them are government contractors who work for different defense contractors and for the U.S. government building dam schools, you know, defense stuff and what have you. That number has decreased since the inauguration in January because when President Biden announced we were withdrawing, they began to scale back. But there were as many just a few months ago as 7,000. There's probably still several thousand, but mainly government contractors. And when we talk about troops leaving, there will be about 650 troops left there, but their mission is basically to guard our diplomats and our diplomatic missions. The force that trains and that used to go out on patrols in Afghanistan is what we are withdrawing. And that's interesting. There will be 650 troops left there in a process where it looks like the Taliban is taking back over.

What does that do for them? That's such a strange situation to be in. It is dicey. I think there's a good possibility that, well, I think we expect the government there to fall. When that falls, I think there's a distinct possibility we will close down the embassy there and all of our troops and our diplomatic personnel will come home. And to that point as well, right now the Taliban is controlling about 65% of Afghanistan. The latest intelligence assessments say that they could retake the capital within 90 days because of how quickly they're going. They think that they will have isolated the capital within 30.

I feel like based off a lot of the reports and how quickly this is moving, that 90 days could be a generous assessment that they are quickly moving. And as Wes was pointing out, there's a groundswell of support among the people of Afghanistan because of that corruption, that in a sense they're looking for a change that's in the way the status quo is operating of their own government. Yeah, you brought up the Taliban. You almost think of it in comic book form in your head of grand evil bad guys. But to the people there, they're often working with them, going to them when they need things because the government is such a mess. It's hard for us to get a mental picture of what life in Afghanistan is like. The government is often corrupt.

It is always inept. And so the Taliban, they took over Afghanistan in 1996. They ruled until we invaded in 2001. They've never completely gone away. They've always been there.

They're coming back in great numbers. They don't wear uniforms. So you don't know who is part of the Taliban, who's not, which is why it was so difficult to fight them militarily. But yeah, as I said earlier, they're part of the warp and move of Afghan society. Unfortunately, they are brutal. They're violent. They're cruel.

You know, for years, they did not allow little girls to go to school. They're brutal, especially to women. So they're not good people. But on the other hand, the government in Kabul is very, very corrupt. And so what happens, I'll give you an example why the Taliban, in spite of their brutality, the people, at the very least, they've acquiesced to their rule.

Perhaps some of them actually celebrate the rule because, for example, and they're really, they're a tribal system still. But the Taliban is part of that tribal system. Often when people had a grudge against the neighbors, say a property dispute or a financial dispute, if they went to an official judge appointed by the official Afghan government, they were so corrupt that their case wouldn't be heard for a long time or it would be heard if they would give the judge a bribe. Whereas they could go to a Taliban leader or to a tribal leader, plead their case, and there was instant action. Now it might be brutal action against whoever they were suing, but it was an instant action.

They could get justice that way without paying a bribe. When you have a government that is that corrupt and that inept, you can see why some of the people there, it's the devil they know versus this new devil that was propped up by the U.S. government. Yeah, it's really a shame. When you look at it in a big picture, it's hard not to be a little disheartened. As you brought up in the first segment, I think it's something we need to reiterate for people who are just starting to watch, is our initial goals in this war was not to change the government and control everything and nation-build. It was to take out strategically Osama bin Laden, terrorist training camps, al-Qaeda. That was a success, but it's been a decade since you say that final piece of the puzzle.

So in your example, we have a lot of people going back and forth that still, even with the change, the potentially Taliban takeover, this is still the right decision. It is. It's regrettable. It's sad that we can't go in and make that a peaceful, prosperous nation.

They have tremendous natural resources. That's simply not going to happen. And my heart truly goes out in breaks. As you all know, I worked in casualty affairs for a number of years. We have lost 2,442 U.S. troops in that country, and I knew some of their families personally. Over 20,000 have been wounded, some of them brutally wounded.

That is so sad, and I can understand some of their frustration and their disenchantment. But on the other hand, I think many of them have realized we accomplished the initial mission. At some point, you have to say, okay, what is our purpose there?

What do we need to do that's in the best U.S. interest? And some people in Congress are saying, well, terrorist training camps will come back. Right now in Afghanistan, there are ISIS cells, Al Qaeda cells, all that kind of thing. I mean, throughout our country.

Everywhere there are. Yeah, but I'm convinced, and I'm not a total expert on this, but I have some expertise. I'm convinced that we can, with air power and with special forces, we can continue to monitor and to attack and, if necessary, eliminate terrorist training camps in the country. Technology has changed a lot in 20 years.

Technology has changed. We do not have to have thousands of troops in that country to fight terror in Afghanistan, and we certainly don't need thousands of troops there to fight the Taliban because that is not a winnable mission. It does seem to be that it was relatively quiet the last few years, not just war in general. I mean, it just feels like under the Trump administration, not to paint a picture of one or the other, we had a lot during the Obama administration, whether it was good things like taking out Osama bin Laden or whether it was some pretty controversial actions that happened or the deals with Iran, the Middle East kind of in chaos, things sort of settled down. Now we've had a year, six months, eight months now, of what feels very 20 years ago. It feels very much like it did when we were just teenagers and the world seemed to be headed into a bigger crisis. Is that indicative at all of the way that an administration handles these global scales, or is this just going to happen when we eventually say enough's enough? For Afghanistan specifically, it was just plain and simply time. I think you're exactly right.

I think simply the time had come. In addition to the loss of human life, and by the way, the Afghan people have suffered horribly. There were over a thousand Afghan civilians killed last month with the war with the Taliban that's going on.

It's a horrible place, but at some point we have to look at our U.S. troops and our U.S. personnel and the U.S. mission and our own national security and say what is in the best interest, what makes sense for the United States as the world's only remaining superpower, how do we handle this. Besides all of the human cost, the financial cost, we have spent $2.26 trillion over the last 20 years in Afghanistan, and that money, and a lot of people don't realize this, is borrowed. We have paid over $330 billion in interest for nation building in Afghanistan and for the military mission. And like I said earlier, there's $19 billion, according to the Pentagon inspector general who is in charge of Afghanistan, that we don't even know what happened. Unaccounted for. Unaccounted for. In addition, there are dams that were scheduled to be built that have never been put online.

There are schools that are sending empty. You know, it's a mission that really is, we're not ending the mission on September the 11th. The mission, I think, was lost other than the two things we did accomplish, Al Qaeda being driven out pretty much and Osama bin Laden being killed. It's sort of like a divorce. Divorces are horrible things, but I tell couples when they come to me for counseling, divorce is not what ends a marriage, just like a funeral doesn't kill someone. You have a funeral when someone dies.

You divorce when the marriage is already dead. And in this case, you pull out when the mission is accomplished and the other mission you were trying to do is lost. Well, and you brought up the previous administration as well. And I think where we started to see a turn in the public sentiment was kind of with President Trump on both sides of the aisle that the, as you pointed to, some of the core of the mission had been accomplished, but what was the endgame now? Where was the mission creep and the nation building had gone on so long? But also, you see, you mentioned $2.2 trillion. The bipartisan part of infrastructure is just over a trillion.

And that was almost the focus of reinvesting in the United States that had been overlooked for so long. And just to clarify, the reason they're saying U.S. citizens get out, it's because of safety, right? At this point, it's not, all right, we're out of here, let's go. This is purely a safety issue, which is concerning for sure. Look, we get back, we're going to talk about some of the other work at the ACLJ.

We have actually a big victory and a big win. We're going to talk about that with one of our attorneys and tell you how the ACLJ can help you in your legal situations that you may have. So, wait around on the next segment, we're going to keep discussing this as needed. We appreciate it, we wanted to break in with this breaking news for you. And again, Rick Grenell will be joining us in the segments following. If you do want to call in, I'd love to hear from you. 1-800-684-3110, again 1-800-684-3110.

We'll be right back. This is called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases. How we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists. The ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later. Play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry. And what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.

Welcome back to Sekulow. We're here to share a conversation, but also moving towards an ACLJ victory, which I wanted to share with you. And we have joining us here one of our legal experts, lawyers, senior counsels, Abigail Sutherland, who is in the studio with us. Abby, I wanted to go over this with you because this came across some of the work of the ACLJ that I want to showcase more.

I want to tell people more about it because we're doing amazing work for people and how it could affect them. We have a rabbi that wanted to essentially hold a prayer meeting in his house and chaos ensued. Why don't you give us a little brief story of what happened?

That's right. So the rabbi just wanted to hold a private meeting of approximately 10 individuals on a weekly basis. And no traffic, no parking, those were not issues. It was a private prayer gathering, just like a football watch party or a book club. He received a letter from the city informing him that he must cease and desist immediately all religious prayer gatherings and seek special permission from the city to continue those gatherings in the form of a special use zoning permit. So that's it in general. So he wanted to have 10 people over, you know, for whatever reason, but this reason was specifically for some sort of prayer meeting, Bible study, if you will, but this is a rabbi and a weekly gathering. Gets shut down while trying to do the right thing in some ways, right? Right, right.

He had not been secretive about this at all. And we're not sure where the cease and desist letter came from. Probably a complaining neighbor. So ACLJ stepped in, issued a letter to the city, outlined the various federal laws that apply, one being ARLUPA, the Religious Land Use Act, the other being the 14th Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause. And we outlined for the city why they can't single this rabbi out and require him to obtain special permission to continue holding private prayer gatherings in his home. And essentially this turned into a victory. That's right.

He was able to immediately begin holding those prayer meetings again. He has done so all summer long without further harassment from the city. That's great. And this is the kind of cases in the ACLJ, and sometimes they're handled with a letter, sometimes you get to full litigation, sometimes it could last years, you're going to battle, but a lot of these things happen. We get them every day. You know, I look at all the different cases that come in or potential cases, and every day, it seems like, or at least multiple times a week, people have these kind of problems. And I have a feeling there are a lot of you listening who do have these sort of issues and don't know where to turn. And we've been here fighting these battles for 30 plus years at this point.

And I know sometimes it could get a little heady when you're watching this show and you see people like Mike Pompeo on or Rick Grinnell on, and you think, well, these are unobtainable things at the ACLJ. But it is very easy and very simple to get free legal help with our organization by just going to our website, clicking the button that says get legal help, filling out your information. And if it's within our scope of what we do here, religious freedom and things like that, we're ready. And we have people ready, lawyers to be assigned.

That's right. We review hundreds of requests every week and help a lot of those people every single week. And as you said, many times it's as easy as picking up a phone call to a school official, a city official, explaining the matter, clearing up any misunderstanding, or making them aware sometimes of the law that applies that they're not aware of in this particular circumstance. In each one of these small situations, like this rabbi, you would think, okay, well, this is sort of an isolated thing. It helps out all of you who are watching and keeping your rights straight.

So you can then refer back to this. So all of these, you may think you have a little issue, like you said, like with this rabbi saying he's having some zoning issues. It's important for us to be on the front lines of this, not just for the rabbi, but for any church that wants to ever start in their house or even church or Bible study or anything like this.

That's right. There's actually a lot of discrimination that takes place on the zoning front that people are entirely unaware of. Sometimes the discrimination is very obvious.

For example, a zoning ordinance will just specifically identify religious organizations as a group excluded from a zoning area while permitting a host of other non-religious uses that are very similar to that of a church. Other times the discrimination is more subtle, more difficult to spot, and many times that's where we come in. Sometimes we'll receive a request for legal help. They're not sure.

They feel like it's wrong, but they're not sure, and that was specifically the case here with the rabbi. We'll help guide you through it or guide them through it and help you understand the law and often take up your case when necessary. We do our best to do that.

You can do that by just going to ACLJ.org slash help. I encourage you all to do it. Not all, but if you have any issues like this, to do it or give us a call too, 1-800-684-3110, and we can help direct you to the right place if you have any legal needs. But Will, this also ties in to a case we covered last week, which is still kind of ongoing, about a church that essentially wanted to start on a plot of land, build their facility to hold their services. We're told no because of some zoning issues and things like that, and they now have to...

The whole big sort of headline is they were asked to get a liquor license to open, and we're stepping into that as well. That's right, and we are able to do that because of the supporters of the ACLJ, the people that support us during times like this, a matching challenge, but also because people, like Abby was saying, sometimes it may feel subtle, but if there's something that doesn't feel right because you are trying to participate in a church activity or religious activity, that's a question maybe you should explore. Because if you're being told no, specifically because your activity pertains to your expression of faith, there's probably some sort of, even if it's not overt discrimination, but discrimination from the system against a religious institution or expression.

That's right. Many times where the discrimination takes place is in the subjective zoning process, and it's always a very subjective process. And where many of our clients find themselves is before a planning board or a board of commissioners, where they've submitted a request to open a church home in a certain district. And what follows is debate by these individuals as to whether this is really, do we really want the church here?

Is this the proper place for it? Many times the reasons for denying the church permission, zoning permission, is because they're not going to generate tax revenue. That's a very common one.

And in fact, one of the very reasons that Congress enacted our loop in the first place is because that was sweeping the country, and churches were being excluded from cities altogether because they weren't going to generate tax revenue for the city. Other times, it's unsupported reasons such as, well, we just think traffic might be an issue, parking might be an issue. Annoyance.

Yes, an annoyance. That doesn't matter. And here at the ACLJ, we're here to help you. That specific case we were talking about with the liquor license church, essentially, we're taking them on, taking them to federal court, right?

That's the next step? That's right, yeah, and essentially what took place here is the church checked all the boxes except that it did not sell a liquor license. And so the city, the only reason for denying the church permission to continue operations and expand its operations was that it wouldn't get a liquor license. Yeah, they wouldn't want to obtain a liquor license.

Right, right. They said, get a liquor license and you'll be fine, which is, again, an illogical reason for denying a zoning permit to a church. And it sounds funny and ridiculous, and it is, but they wouldn't be able to operate if we didn't have the resources and the legal experts like yourself to take on these cases absolutely free of charge. And because of the supporters of the ACLJ, who obviously get to help on that, at ACLJ.org, there's a big button that says get legal help or directly, ACLJ.org slash help. I look forward to hearing from a lot of you. You can call in as well.

We'll take some of those calls on the air. If you do have a legal issue, we'd like to hear from you. A legal issue specifically in our scope, so obviously within ACLJ work.

That is at ACLJ.org, or give us a call in the next segment. In the next segment or two, we'll be joined by Rick Grenell, so we're going to have that coming up in just a moment. So stay tuned. Again, if you want to call in 1-800-684-3110, thank you for coming on. Thank you for all of you for coming on and having this conversation. I think it's very important to showcase the work of the ACLJ.

We'll be right back. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Call a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Keeping you informed and engaged, now more than ever, this is Sekulow. And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. That's Logan Sekulow, but it's okay.

Voiceover announcer. It's all right. I won't be offended. It's not the first time, it certainly will not be the last time that I'm called Jordan today.

I'm sure that will happen by people who call in, by guests, by maybe you will. I don't typically call you the wrong name. I've known you long enough. My mom does it all the time.

Every once in a while it may be an incident. It's like when you call your child like the name of your dog. You don't mean to. You don't mean to, it just happens.

I have twins who have very similar names and that just is just another level of that. Look, we're taking your calls right now, 1-800-684-3110. We had Wes Smith on, he's on, he's still here. We had Abby Sutherland who was on. We're both discussing the work of the ACLJ, what we're doing as well as what's going on, the breaking news that came out right before we went on air that essentially US citizens were told to get out of Afghanistan as soon as possible.

Go back and watch the first half of the show. We did a pretty in-depth analysis with the colonel here about specifically why this is important, why this is necessary right now, even if it sometimes can feel like a loss of a war, there were things that came out of it, obviously were major successes, including the end of Osama bin Laden and the terror training camps. And we spent a good half an hour, 25 minutes on that. So I encourage you to go take a listen. Then the second segment we had, or just last time we had on Abigail Sutherland, one of our lawyers here, about specifically a rabbi who was trying to hold prayer meetings at home and got shut down or tried to get shut down, but the ACLJ stepped in and took on that case and was able to get a handle.

It's a big victory. And what I want to keep encouraging is, I know you'll see Rick Grenell is going to come on in the next segment. He's talking about being in Serbia and these big picture ideas.

We're talking about the war in Afghanistan. You hear us have guests on that are major political figures, but remember the core of the ACLJ is you, whether you're a supporter of the ACLJ financially, or if you need legal help, we are there for you. Now legal help that is within our scope. I want to make sure that's clear.

You know, we're getting a lot of people right now who are chiming in and are asking about, you know, COVID related things. That's not really within the scope of our organization. So I'm just going to clear that up. If you're calling in and you're interested in, you know, your employer has mandates or masks or whatever, that is not, I mean, we were able to do the no singing in churches when they did a church band because that's a religious freedom discussion. If it's within our scope, you know, we don't handle your personal issues or anything like that, but be in your scope and personal being like, you know, marital law or anything like that. And it says that on the website as well. A lot of times, like I get the whole report, some people skip that.

Well, I encourage you to do, if you have these specific issues, you start a Bible study and you're getting shut down or you're getting, you're trying to set up a nativity scene around Christmas. Guess what? That may sound small, but we are still there ready to fight for you. And you can go to ACLJ.org slash help fill out a simple document and very quickly you'll be assigned an attorney or told whether it's within our scope, but if it's within our scope, you'll be assigned attorney and we will be there fighting for you. And we can only do that because we have some of the best legal minds on the planet with support from our ACLJ members and donors. And you can do that by going to ACLJ.org and also giving, and I appreciate, encourage people to do that as well.

Specifically here in this month of August, you know, back to school, we did a whole thing about school choice last year and thousands of people were helped with the chaos that was last year's and sadly going into this year's last year's school programs, whether that was getting people computers, getting people access to the internet when they didn't have it, though they were, they were demanded to be on virtual schools. We're there to make sure that your rights are not being trampled upon. So what I encourage you to do is for right now, as we head into this next segment with Rick Grenell, go to ACLJ.org, check out the website. I mean, what we're going to talk about actually in the next segment is based on what Rick just did, but also a blog he just wrote, believe it's up on our website, right? And it's up right now. It's called the view from Belgrade and it's available right now on ACLJ.org. You got two minutes until we get back from the segment. I'd go read it.

It's a quick read. Get yourself informed before we get back, but also support the work of the ACLJ. And if you do need legal help, you can go to the website and you can call in too.

And we can, we can take some of those questions on the air. 1-800-684-3110. That's 1-800-684-3110. We are in a matching challenge in the month of August, which means your donation is doubled. If you give $10 gets someone on the other end matches, it makes it 20. We'll be right back. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes 100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected, is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, the play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. Welcome back to Sekulow. We are joined now by senior advisor for national security and foreign policy, Rick Grinnell. Rick, welcome back to the show, but I wanted to first talk about, we were going to bring this up earlier this week, but as you were coming on the air, the breaking news happened that Governor Cuomo of New York was stepping down, was resigning.

So that kind of moved everything as we had to cover the breaking news. But you just got back from the Balkans. There's a story up or blog up on ACLJ.org. They've got to give people a bigger picture here of why you were there and let's get started.

Yeah, look, I encourage everybody to go to ACLJ.org and look up this piece. I did, as you say, spend the last 11 days in the Balkans and I was really able to hear from the people and from the leaders and it's quite clear that they miss US leadership. You know, if you remember that the Trump administration had negotiated a historic agreement for historic agreements that were really moving the region towards economic normalization and we put in the last negotiation agreement a one year reprieve on both sides fighting to de-recognize each other. And the way that this goes is that the Serbs try to get other countries to not recognize Kosovo. Kosovo, in turn, tries to go to other countries and they're doing a recognition campaign. This recognition and de-recognition campaign is really causing a lot of problems because it means they're fighting and not trying to move forward with some sort of agreement.

And so we got a one year reprieve. That one year hold to not recognize or seek recognition or de-recognition runs out on September 4th. So we're looking at dialing back this whole progress after September 4th simply because the Biden team hasn't paid attention, hasn't been able to negotiate with either side. They've turned it over to the Europeans and no progress has been made. We're about to go backwards on September 4th and I think what we'll see is a recognition and de-recognition campaign on both sides that immediately inflames the progress that we had been moving towards.

Sure. And Rick, I remember when you were in the White House announcing a lot of these measures were moving forward and the historic nature of it. And some of the press just wanted to get into petty Washington politics instead of focusing on the truly historic nature of what this does. But do you think that now because of the Biden administration's lack of interest or turning it over to the Europeans, it's just a continuation of that political gamesmanship by the administration of not wanting to give what is a truly historic victory for the world and for the region. Another win for the Trump administration by carrying on the legacy.

Yeah, it's such a great question because, you know, look, I think that if you're an Albanian American, a Serbian American, a Croatian American, anywhere in the Balkans, I think you've got to be really upset at the Biden administration missing out for the last six, seven months, doing nothing to further this opening. And remember that it was Donald Trump's team that decided to go for the economic normalization, not the political dialogue. We had spent 20 years sitting at the table trying to talk about political issues going nowhere.

And we suddenly made historic progress for agreements once we just concentrated on the economic aspect. But I think your point is right in that the Biden team is disinterested. The media, certainly in Washington, as you pointed out when I went to brief on the issue, oh, it was so sad. So many reporters, they have no idea where the Balkans were. They didn't know the history. They didn't understand the issue. They literally just wanted to talk about politics. And I think that's indicative of the problem we see in Washington. The hard issues, the black and white discussions are the only things that they understand. The hard issues, the gray area are largely dismissed.

Yeah, they probably don't even want to read two pages to see really what these stories are, what's going on. And I mean, that's why we at the ACLJ even have people like you, Rick, and writing these great stories and blogs, if you will, on our website, because you need to be informed of what's happening all around the world. Because all of this can be very helpful or hurtful to you as an American citizen as well.

But Wes, you had something. Well, one of the things I think is so significant that you pointed out, Rick, that this neglecting what's going on over there where you were is a reaction by the Biden administration to the Trump administration. Instead of taking action on behalf of U.S. strategic interest or on behalf of the American people, those kinds of things, rather than an action like that, it is a reaction against a former President.

And it's not just the Balkans. You look at the Keystone pipeline that was canceled and yet they will allow the Russians to complete their pipeline. You look at the reversal in border policies and the crisis on the border, tax cuts for corporations to bring companies back to America. The list goes on and on of things that the Biden administration either reversed or neglects simply as a reaction against the Trump administration.

Yeah. And look, let me let me really boil it down for Americans who are listening to us right now and saying, why should I care or so what? A couple of points. One, there are 600 plus Americans, mostly from Iowa, that serve in Kosovo in the NATO force. And that is American dollars, American men and women who go and serve to try to figure out how to how to keep peace. Now, after 20 years, the Trump administration's position on the Balkans was, you know, we haven't seen military fighting. So let's try to move beyond this perceived conflict and let's try to do economic development. If you can do economic development, then you can bring our troops home and you don't have to add additional troops. We're looking at what's going on in Afghanistan, right, where the Taliban is now taking over.

This is a completely failed state. But if you if you look at areas like the Balkans and you bring in Western investment and you bring in American companies, you suddenly move beyond just a perceived conflict into growth, economic development, which benefit Americans because the area is safe, safer and American ingenuity, American jobs are created because you partner with those in the Balkans. And it's a really win win long term. Again, the hard work that needs to be done.

It's not always sexy. It's not always a crisis. But these are the types of initiatives that need to be done, that administrations need to work on. And sadly, the Biden strategy was to turn this over to the Europeans and what we know about Brussels, the capital for the EU.

It's it's a disaster. They're going to just talk and they're not going to make any progress. One thing I'm going to do, Rick, is it feels like in talking to you is one of the main things that just regular Americans who are watching this who want to get educated, obviously, then go read the blogs. They can go read about what's going on, but is to also share this content with people and really start to grow this. Get get get attention, get eyeballs on what's happening all around the world and how it affects you and actually tell our digital team right now to clip this out, make this a specific segment that we can release that people can share later in the day or later in the week to make sure that really they're like you said, they people don't even see why this is important. But to get eyeballs on it is probably we can do things legally. But also, as an American citizen, you can use your social media powers and how it is to share and make sure people even know about what's happening in these regions.

It's such a great idea, because when I was just in the Balkans and spent time in Serbia and Albania, I heard constantly from people a very big concern about what's going on in the United States. You know, they're they're watching us and they're they're making sure that they stay up to date on every detail in our political system. And they're very concerned about the wokeness that's arising in the United States. And mainly because this this area has seen its fair share of fascist leaders. And so they know what it's like when the media begins to work for the ruling party. And they're seeing that in the United States. They're seeing our media working for the ruling party and not holding the ruling party to account. And when the Balkan leaders are beginning to notice what's going on in America and what's going on in Washington, D.C., we have trouble. So I urge everyone to share this and to speak up and to to make your frustration known that Washington, D.C. is broken.

Absolutely. Thank you, Rick, for joining us today and discussing these important topics that look, sadly, you're probably not hearing about anywhere else, because these are the type of topics that that administrations in the news, like you said, they don't find fun or they want to silence. They want to keep it down. They don't want you really to know about.

These major international things that could turn into crisis is if we're not careful that it's happening around the world. So thank you, Rick, for always keeping our audience informed. I appreciate everyone who's listening right now and watching right now. If you want to call in 1-800-684-3110, support this important work of the ACLJ.

That's by going to ACLJ.org. Any donation made is doubled right now in the month of August matching challenge. What does that mean? That means there is somebody who another donor who has said, hey, if someone gives a certain money, I will be there and I will match it to any donation. There's a group of donors who are there.

So if you say I'm throwing in $20, that effectively becomes $40 in the work that we get to do. So we appreciate all that support. That's at ACLJ.org. Again, don't forget, we're here for your legal help.

ACLJ.org slash help directly or just find it on the website. We will be right back with the last segment of the Day of Secular. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, the play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there is an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.

Welcome back to Sekulow. I do want to take some calls on specifically what's going on in Afghanistan. Again, if you have legal help or need anything from the ACLJ, that's fine as well. 1-800-684-3110, we have lines open. If you want to get your voice on the air, this would be a great time to do it. I just have quick, concise comments to our phone screener. It's his birthday, so make sure you tell him happy birthday.

That's at 1-800-684-3110. We do a breaking news, not specifically just the fact the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has told American citizens to leave immediately, but even more recent news that happened while we were in the last segment, Will, which is essentially Afghanistan's third largest city has fallen to the Taliban. That's right. So Herat, which is the third largest city in Afghanistan, has reportedly now, we're getting it out of BBC, Associated Press, multiple international press operations are reporting this now, that it has now fallen to the Taliban, which shows that the situation is escalating and moving extremely quickly.

Right, Wes? Yeah, absolutely, which is predictable. I think everyone who's been following this expects this to happen. It's sad, especially for the Afghan people. It's regrettable. I think it is in the best interest of the United States that we adjust the mission there, that we do what we're doing as far as pulling out other than a small number of troops to guard diplomatic facilities. There are times and places and situations where the United States needs to be there in force. This is not one of those situations. Yeah, it's unfortunate, as we're seeing it very quick.

It feels like we're on air and things are breaking over the last hour. So when the US says, leave immediately, they mean it because this is happening. Yeah, exactly. They're talking about the security and safety of US citizens there. Most of them are contractors. In April, President Biden actually issued an order that all non-essential government employees start leaving in April, but still some contractors remain and some others. And this is a message to those people that we cannot guarantee your safety.

You need to leave immediately. That's a significant message. There's another angle to this as well. Wes had talked about earlier how the government and the corruption there had led some of the tribal areas and some of the citizens of Afghanistan to almost favor the Taliban because they could seek justice, they could find ways with disputes among their neighbors rather than going through the traditional route of the government, which was corrupt. The reality of that is that it shows how desperate they had become because what the Taliban will reinstitute, and this is coming from an anchor with BBC who spoke with people in the Taliban, reported on the ground that the Taliban told this reporter specifically that when they take back over, girls will not be allowed to go to school beyond the age of 12, stonings will be reintroduced, amputations for theft. The Sharia law that Afghanistan was known for becomes the law of the land again, and because of the corruption of their government, the people of Afghanistan felt more comfortable with that kind of oppression than with having to go to a corrupt government for help. And Wes, I'm sure that's why there are people on both sides who don't think this is the right decision because they are worried about that, but you do have to somewhat look at Americans' interests over the last 20 years and what it means now.

Well, and you have to be realistic about the mission. The Taliban has been gaining ground for several years now, and a lot of that is due, as Will indicated, to the fact that the Taliban has been there a long while. Some of the people support the Taliban, and then you've got a government that we established that is, on the one hand, inept as the day is long, and on the other hand, as corrupt as the day is long. It's just a sad, you know, a lot of consequences coming together.

The Afghan people, and this is very sad, they are going to suffer. Yeah, it's really unfortunate, and like Will said, we grew up with this war in a weird way. It's a sad way for it to end for a lot of us looking at it because we came out on 9-11, sort of the boom of patriotism again, and this was a mission we were all hoping for.

And like you said, I want to make sure that we reiterate that. The missions that you probably grew up with, a lot of those were accomplished. There was the removal of Osama bin Laden, the removal of a lot of the terrorist training camps. Will those get built back up? Will you have another Islamic State type of situation? Could happen.

Could happen, will happen potentially. But as you said, it's just sort of part and parcel of that whole area of the world. Yeah, and with satellite and overflight, Overwatch, special forces operation, cruise missiles, firepower, we can still attack and defeat terrorist training camps, and this time we will know where they are. And sometimes without a human being having to be at risk. Exactly. Well, and it brings up the point that a lot has happened in 20 years with the technology that has advanced drone warfare, things of that nature, that a terrorist training camp that's looking to do international terror attacks or things of that nature, our ability to respond to that doesn't go away because of the increases in technology, but the safety of American soldiers and troops having to be stationed there subjected to IEDs or attacks in the night, as you've heard of even recently, it takes that element away, which I think is definitely for the American soldier and for the country as a whole, that's something that is necessary. And the concept of something like the Space Force, which I know is openly mocked by a lot of people, regardless if you think the name was silly, we're using technology in very different ways. It's not going to always be boots on the ground in our ways our military can respond for better. Because sometimes we don't have – obviously there are times you have to do it to take out Osama bin Laden. Had to do it.

Had to get that crew in there to get them. But on a bigger scale, we are going to be able to utilize technology and make sure we are keeping up with other countries' use of technology with this kind of situation. Yeah, absolutely.

And thank God for all the advances we've made. The Taliban is a political group. They're also a radical Islamist group. And I think all of us have witnessed over the last 20 years what radical Islamists are capable of. You mentioned some of the things, Will, that are coming out now in the news.

It's going to be tragic and sad. We stand against that whenever and wherever we can. But at this point, I think the decision is a wise decision, that it was time to pull out the troops. We will continue to help where we can. The American nation is a generous, tender-hearted nation. We will do what we can. But that does not entail thousands of troops on the ground in Afghanistan propping up a corrupt government and trying to defend the Afghan people against a group that is woven into their society and into their tribes.

Well, I appreciate you coming on and spending the hour with us and talking about this. Because this is why we have senior military experts to go through these type of situations. Because they're sometimes hard to go through.

Or someone like Rick Grenell to go through what's going on in Serbia and the Balkans. And those aren't always number one stories. But they really should be. We need to discuss it. You need to be well informed and educated.

That's why it says that in the open. Keeping you informed and engaged here at the ACLJ more than ever. And I appreciate all of you who have supported our work at the ACLJ. As we wrap up this show, I want you to go to ACLJ.org as soon as we're done.

ACLJ.org. Not only support the work financially if you can or have the ability to, but if you can't, check out all the amazing content we're providing at Absolutely No Charge. Great blogs, stories, keeping you informed and engaged. Share the content. If you're on social media, share this right now if you're on Facebook. If you're on YouTube, like it. Subscribe to the channel. More people will see it. More eyeballs will get on it.

To get into the algorithm of all of these big tech social media content, you have to share and be engaged. And also, if you have issues, legal issues, the ACLJ is here for you. I want to talk about more of this and even the work that we're doing in small communities around the country and around the world. And if that's you and you didn't think to reach out to the ACLJ, I want you to do it right now. That's at ACLJ.org. And for that specifically, ACLJ.org slash help. If you need legal help, we are there for you.

If it's within our scope, that's at ACLJ.org slash help. I appreciate everyone who has tuned in today, everyone that's commented, and I get to read a lot of them. Thank you for listening. All donations are doubled this month. We'll be back tomorrow on Secular. The most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-15 23:30:42 / 2023-09-15 23:54:34 / 24

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