The World and Everything in It: August 17, 2022
On Washington Wednesday, analysis of the Afghanistan withdrawal one year later; on World Tour, the latest international news; and a Bible camp in Tennessee started during segregation. Plus: commentary from Joel Belz, and the Wednesday morning news.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
The United States withdrew from Afghanistan one year ago. What have we learned?
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Washington Wednesday.
Also today, World Tour.
Plus a visit to a Tennessee Bible camp with a rich history.
And the consequence of delusion.
REICHARD: It’s Wednesday, August 17th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: It’s time for the news. Here’s Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Biden signs climate/spending bill » President Biden held a signing ceremony at the White House Tuesday, putting his signature to a massive climate change and health care bill…
AUDIO: There ya go, it’s now law!
Democratic lawmakers cheered the signing of the bill, which passed both chambers on straight party line votes.
President Biden said the new law…
BIDEN: … invests $369 billion to take the most aggressive action ever - ever, ever, ever in confronting the climate crisis.
That’s roughly half of the total $740 billion price tag.
For Medicare recipients, the new law will cap prescription drug costs at $2,000 out-of-pocket annually. It also extends certain healthcare subsidies.
The measure is paid for by new taxes on large companies and stepped-up IRS taxpayer enforcement.
The bill is called the Inflation Reduction Act. But GOP Congressman Kevin Brady said …
BRADY: It doesn’t lower inflation. It doesn’t lower budget deficits. It doesn’t even lower global temperatures. In fact, inflation will go up more next year than global temperatures will go down through the next century.
Republicans say it’s a bad idea to spend more amid high inflation and to raise taxes amid a recession.
Jill Biden has COVID » First Lady Jill Biden is isolating today after testing positive for COVID-19 while on vacation in South Carolina. She started experiencing mild symptoms on Monday.
The 71-year-old is fully vaccinated and boosted. She’s now receiving a course of the anti-viral drug, Paxlovid.
Following CDC guidelines, the first lady will continue to isolate for at least another 8 days.
President Biden recovered from COVID two weeks ago.
U.S. missile test » The Pentagon has confirmed the successful test of a long-range nuclear missile. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The U.S. Air Force launched the unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
It traveled more than 4,000 miles, landing at a test range near the Marshall Islands.
The Air Force said it’s intended to—quote—“demonstrate the readiness of U.S. nuclear forces and provide confidence in the lethality … of the nation’s nuclear deterrent.”
The military says it was a regularly scheduled test and is in no way related to current world events.
The launch comes a week before the United States begins joint drills with the South Korean military next week.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Operation rescues 200+ trafficking victims » Authorities have rescued more than 200 human trafficking victims as part of a coordinated, nationwide operation.
FBI Denver Special Agent Michael Schneider on Tuesday said in his area …
SCHNEIDER: During the operation, FBI Denver and our partners recovered and provided serves to 11 child victims of sexual exploitation.
He said authorities also located 27 missing or endangered children.
John Kellner is a district attorney from Colorado.
KELLNER: The average age of the children recovered—the victims recovered—during this operation was 13 years old.
In total, law enforcement officers rescued 84 children and either identified or arrested 85 trafficking suspects.
Ukraine-Crimea » Explosions ripped through a Russian ammunition depot in Crimea on Tuesday. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has that story.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: The blasts hit a Russian-occupied air base, sending thick columns of smoke into the sky. And they forced about 3,000 people in the surrounding area to evacuate.
Russian authorities said the blasts were—quote—sabotage but offered no further details.
The explosions marked the second suspected recent Ukrainian attack on Russian military targets in Crimea.
Russia said an attack last week that destroyed nine warplanes was an accident. But military analysts say evidence points to a Ukrainian missile.
Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and has used it to launch attacks against Ukraine.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: what we’ve learned a year after the Afghanistan withdrawal.
Plus, Bible camp during the years of segregation.
This is The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s August 17th, 2022. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. It’s time for Washington Wednesday. Up first: Afghanistan, a year later.
This week marked the one-year anniversary of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan’s government as U.S. forces withdrew.
Republicans in the U.S. House put together a scathing report about the chaotic U.S. pullout. It says the Biden administration ignored intelligence warnings and badly mishandled the situation.
EICHER: The administration has fired back, saying the report is riddled with inaccuracies and that the United States is better off one year later because President Biden gave the order to leave.
And State Department spokesman Ned Price said the recent strike against al-Qaeda’s leader in Afghanistan shows that America can still battle terrorists in the country from afar.
Well, joining us now to talk about it is James Carafano. He is a retired Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army. He formerly served on the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
REICHARD: Colonel, good morning!
JAMES CARAFANO, GUEST: Hey, it’s good to be with you.
REICHARD: Michael McCaul is the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. And he said that the intelligence community and that military told lawmakers that Kabul could fall to the Taliban sooner rather than later, but the White House continued to paint a rosy picture.
Colonel, take us back to August a year ago. What is your understanding of what warnings were issued ahead of the Taliban’s takeover?
CARAFANO: Well, look, I can absolutely testify that the entire U.S. response was chaotic and ad-hoc. I was emailing with people in real time as this was all going down. For example, if it wasn’t for the Qataris, we would have had no place to take anybody. I mean, essentially the Qataris gave us an air base or let us use the air base to fly people in there. That was actually run by the U.S. embassy because there was no staff to run that. So they actually took the people out of the embassy who had a day job and they threw them down there to do this. That wasn’t planned. Then they basically went and recruited retired State Department people and flew them over to run this thing so the embassy people could go back to the embassy. They ran the entire op on some cell phones that they borrowed from the embassy and they used WhatsApp. So the entire U.S. operation in Qatar was run off a commercial app. So the notion that somehow this was planned or well-executed or we really thought through all the contingencies, that’s just nonsense. It’s just not true.
REICHARD: It’s almost overwhelming to think about.
CARAFANO: No, it is. I mean, Look, I’ve been doing this business for 20 years. I have never been engaged in a crisis like this since I retired from the military in real time. So, literally I’m telling the people, for example, I would say hey, we’ve got a plane on the ground in Kabul and we are evacuating our people. We’ve got a couple empty seats, anybody need them? And then connecting them by email with people from the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul saying, “Yeah, we’ve got people we’ve desperately got to get out of here, being hunted by the Taliban, who are hiding in safe houses.” And then talking to other people saying, “Does anybody have security that can get these people through the Taliban checkpoints to the airfield?” and then, “Does anybody know which gate is open?” And literally having these people run from gate to gate and then couldn’t get in through the gate, the plane had to leave because they didn’t want to lose their place in the flight schedule.
And I was watching this unfold across my email. This was a disaster that our government created because they wanted to bug out.
REICHARD: Colonel, do we have a clearer picture now of how many American citizens and US-allied Afghans were left behind last year?
CARAFANO: Well, the official U.S. stat is like 800 people considered Americans were left behind. I don't think there was any verification of that number or any accounting of their fate. We know the number of Afghan allies that we work with, interpreters, etcetera, are in the many thousands. Some of them are still in Afghanistan. Some of them are in other places around the world. They're offered to come to the United States, they haven't been permitted to do that. So the human misery of the evacuation is not over. The suffering inside Afghanistan is literally catastrophic.
Women are back to the situation that they were. Children cannot go to school. There's estimates of upward of 20 million people who are in famine or the like conditions. I think a lot of people don't realize the U..S government continues to dump money into Afghanistan in humanitarian assistance. We have no idea where it goes. It goes into an absolute black hole. There's no accountability, no transparency, to think that it isn't winding up in the hands of the Taliban is just foolish.
REICHARD: Well as we mentioned, State Dept. spokesman Ned Price said that the recent strike against al-Qaeda’s leader shows that we can still fight terrorism in Afghanistan. And there’s a new intelligence report suggesting that al-Qaeda “has not reconstituted its presence in Afghanistan.” So is Mr. Price correct?
CARAFANO: I have a different read on that. I mean, look at what we have here. We have the most hunted terrorist in the world living virtually openly in the capital of Afghanistan against an explicit agreement that the Taliban made, being hosted by the Haqqani Network, which is the group that originally brought al Qaeda to Afghanistan.
It took the U.S. government four months to find this guy and take him out. Now, that's an operation of when the U.S. had a footprint in Afghanistan that we could have done in a day and the cost of it would have been virtually negligible. At a time under the former president, President Trump, we were spending in Afghanistan in a year about what we spent under President Obama in a week. And we were taking zero U.S. casualties. So he had a firm footprint. We definitely were keeping al Qaeda at bay. Now we have virtually no visibility of what's going on inside the country. It takes us months to find and kill one terrorist at great expense and a lot of effort. It reminds me so much of the Clinton years when we just used to lob cruise missiles at Osama bin Laden and say we were keeping the terrorists at bay.
REICHARD: Colonel, the Biden administration says it’s still better we’re out of Afghanistan and has put America in a better situation to address other concerns and priorities around the world. Do you agree or disagree and why?
CARAFANO: I don’t think there’s any evidence for that. In fact, I think it's the opposite. I mean, when you look at what are American interests in Afghanistan, why were we there? When the administration left, they really had no answer for any of those questions and I don't think we have any better answers today. One, of course, is terrorism and we've talked about that, that we have very little footprint, we have very little intelligence.
That we are essentially back to the situation where we were on September 10, 2001 with very limited capacity to stop planning and preparations for major terrorist assault. At the same time, by the way, we have a wide open border. And we are actually arresting people all the time on the terrorist watch list coming across the border. So I don't think we're better off on that account. Another concern was the U.S. was leaving the region, opening up to China. I think that's just as open as it was before. And then of course, regional stability, we wanted a stable region so our regional partner India could really focus on China, which is really our great strategic threat. Nobody's better off in the region. Afghanistan is a basket case. The Indians have to worry about that. So look, I'm not trying to be critical of our government. I would like them to be successful. I'm not being partisan. I don't even belong to a political party. I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm just an analyst. But to just say well we're better off leaving Afghanistan strange credulity, particularly when you think that I think a lot of people in the history has written will be able to draw a line between what happened in Afghanistan and what happened in Ukraine, that the Russians looked at what the U.S. did in Afghanistan and they said, “If the United States isn't going to meet its commitments there, they're probably going to do nothing if we attack Ukraine.”
I think because we were so feckless in Afghanistan, I think the Russians saw that. I did see that as another reason to greenlight the Ukraine operation.
REICHARD: We’ve been talking to James Carafano. He is Vice President of the Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation. Colonel, thanks so much! Appreciate your time.
CARAFANO: Hey, thanks for having me. I love the show and love what you guys do. So really always really appreciate it.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: WORLD Tour, with our reporter in Africa, Onize Ohikere.
Egypt church fire— We kick off today’s roundup in Egypt, where crowds gathered to mourn 41 people killed in a church fire.
AUDIO: [Mourners crying]
The blaze ripped through the Coptic Christian church during Sunday Mass. Worshippers jumped out of upper story windows while people nearby rushed to the church to rescue others. Authorities said the dead included at least 15 children. Fourteen other people sustained injuries.
Mourners cried and reached out their hands to the coffins as pall-bearers passed by during pre-burial prayers inside two nearby churches.
AUDIO: [Mourners praying]
Egypt’s Interior Ministry said the fire broke out in an air-conditioning unit on the second floor of the church building. Police said an initial investigation pointed to an electrical short-circuit.
Nicaragua church procession banned— We head over to Nicaragua, where authorities banned a church procession.
AUDIO: [Worshippers on Saturday]
Hundreds of Nicaraguans showed up at the Catholic cathedral in the capital on Saturday after authorities barred an annual church procession over concerns of quote - “internal security.”
President Daniel Ortega’s government shut down seven radio stations owned by the Church this month. Authorities also confined Bishop Rolando Álvarez to the church compound in the northeastern city of Matagalpa. The government accused Alvarez of inciting violence to destabilize the country.
AUDIO: [Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes speaking during Mass]
Despite the ban on Saturday's procession, the Church’s leadership called on worshippers to pray for the Nicaraguan church.
Relations between Ortega and the Catholic Church have been tense since the bloody suppression of anti-government protests in 2018 that left more than 350 people dead.
Ecuador crime killings— Next to South America, where an explosion killed at least five people in Ecuador.
AUDIO: [Police on explosion site]
Gunfire first rang out on the streets of the port city of Guayaquil, before the explosion. The blast destroyed eight houses and two cars. Authorities said 16 other people were injured, while several others are missing.
AUDIO: [Speaking in Spanish]
This resident said the explosion was strong, and she thought it was an earthquake.
Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo blamed organized crime gangs for the violence.
Guayaquil has seen frequent shootings and killings by members of rival gangs linked to national and international drug trafficking.
Ukraine grains for Africa— We end today at the Ukrainian Black Sea port.
AUDIO: [Grain loaded onto the ship]
A Lebanese-flagged ship named Brave Commander set sail for Africa on Tuesday, loaded with more than 23,000 metric tons of wheat.
The United Nations-chartered ship is heading for Djibouti, where the grains are set to be unloaded and sent on to Ethiopia. Ukraine’s Information Ministry said the Brave Commander should arrive in two weeks. The delivery would mark the first to Africa since a deal last month reopened Ukraine’s ports.
Frederick Kenny is the interim head of the U.N.’s Joint Coordination Center.
KENNY: We’ve so far authorized 12 vessels to depart the Ukrainian ports carrying over 370,000 metric tons of grain and other foodstuffs. Those vessels had been stranded in the three ports covered by the initiative when the war started.
The U.N. said the wheat would go to the World Food Program’s operations in Ethiopia to support its drought response across the Horn of Africa. The region is currently battling its worst drought in four decades.
That’s it for this week’s World Tour. Reporting for WORLD, I’m Onize Ohikere in Abuja, Nigeria.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Wednesday, August 17th. You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we’re so glad you are! Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Bible Camp.
Perhaps you’ve sent a child or grandchild to bible camp this summer. Whatever challenges may have cropped up in those camps probably can’t compare to those of a Bible Camp down in Tennessee during the years of segregation.
Here’s WORLD’s Myrna Brown with the story.
DWIGHT ZIMMERMAN: I’m the oldest of five. Four still living…
MYRNA BROWN, REPORTER: At 87 years old, Dwight Zimmerman is recuperating from hip replacement surgery. Sitting on a swing on his front porch along the banks of Watts Bar Lake, the white-haired Zimmerman keeps one eye on speeding boats…
…and the other on my recorder.
ZIMMERMAN’S SON: Oh good night! I’m afraid of those things.
It’s hard to believe the outspoken Zimmerman is afraid of much. His fearlessness is a trait he likely inherited from the father he resembles—Michigan native and Moody Bible Institute graduate Paul Zimmerman.
ZIMMERMAN: He sought to go to Africa as a missionary, but was turned down. And dad apparently had a heart murmur of some sort.
Instead of Africa, Paul Zimmerman and his wife Ruth settled in Kentucky after seminary. They spent five years church planting when another health challenge emerged.
ZIMMERMAN: Of course in those days all they did was street preaching. They didn’t have microphones. But he ruined his voice in doing it and doctors said he’d have to quit. You didn’t tell my dad to quit preaching, so he moved us to Allegan, Michigan and he preached in a church there, the Allegan Bible Church.
Zimmerman says God not only restored his father’s voice but also brought a pastor from Detroit, Michigan into their lives. The year was 1942.
ZIMMERMAN: Brother B.M. Nottage was from the Bahamas, black brother. The way dad used to tell it, he had Brother B.M. come for a week of meetings at Allegan Bible Church and it was under that umbrella that I personally trusted the Lord as my personal Savior.
Pastor Nottage also encouraged Paul Zimmerman to trust God with his desire to share Jesus with people who didn’t look like him. A year later, the Zimmermans relocated to East Tennessee. Paul took a job at Bryan College in Dayton. While working at the college, Paul noticed a local children’s ministry.
ZIMMERMAN: And they went into the public schools in this area and offered the children a week free at their camp for learning 200 Bible verses and quoting them from memory.
His father also began visiting schools—challenging students to memorize scripture.
ZIMMERMAN: You could do that back then. It was part of the school system. Teachers would help the children learn their Bible verses and sometimes whole classes would stand and recite long passages of scripture.
As valuable as that was, Zimmerman says one aspect of the outreach was especially troublesome to his father.
ZIMMERMAN: Dad was going right by the colored schools in those days and the Lord reminded him of Brother B.M. Nottage and the burden that my dad had for the black communities.
Paul Zimmerman asked the camp leadership for permission to visit and present the scripture challenge to students in the segregated, colored schools as they were called back then. He got permission…but with one condition.
ZIMMERMAN: You need to understand that if any of the children learn the verses, they’ll not be able to come to our camp.
Zimmerman taught the students anyway.
ZIMMERMAN: I think it was 42 boys and girls learned their 200 Bible verses to come to a camp that didn’t exist.
In 1946 Zimmerman rented eight acres of land on the other side of Watts Bar Lake. He began his own camp—Cedine Bible Camp. He called it Cedine because of the abundance of cedar and pine trees on the property. Thirty-six of the 42 students who memorized verses participated in that first camp. They slept in leaky Army tents and sat on rugged, wooden benches under a tree-laced chapel. A then 12-year-old Dwight Zimmerman remembers how drinking water was hauled in from two miles away. Thirty-one campers made a profession of faith.
In 1950 the mission expanded after God provided a 100-acre farm on the other side of the lake. It’s the same land Dwight Zimmerman lives on today. But as the camp grew, the detractors became more vocal as well.
DWIGHT ZIMMERMAN: Not everyone in the white community understood or could understand what my dad and these Yankees coming south from Michigan… what were they doing down here anyway?
On April 21, 1957, a then 22-year-old Dwight Zimmerman was home from Bible college, preparing to be ordained.
ZIMMERMAN: We didn’t live on the property we live in now. We lived 15 miles from here, phone rang… camp’s on fire! Well that sort of stirred my dad up pretty quick. My brother and I jumped in the car and raced out here. Two of the three buildings that had been set by arsonists to burn were gone. One building was spared.
Friends rallied to re-build bigger and better, just in time for June campers. In the sixties, culture began to change. Segregation ended and so did Bibles in the classroom. So, students began gathering in homes and churches to recite their verses. Out of that movement came Bible quizzing tournaments.
INSTRUCTOR: Alright, question number six… the sun is a (ringer) Yes, Ma’am. The sun is the radiance of God’s glory. (applause)
In the summer of 1966 Paul Zimmerman appointed his son Dwight director of Cedine Bible camp. For the next 35 years, Dwight served as director.
WOMEN SINGING: [How great is our God…]
Today, Cedine Bible Camp hosts women’s and men’s retreats. In the Spring, Cedine held a Bible quiz tournament. Churches use the property to host their own camps. And this summer, Cedine’s staff, all missionaries, served students in three different youth camps as well as a family camp. Still sitting and watching the boats zoom by, Zimmerman says in the camp’s 76-year-existence, he can’t remember a time he’s been more prayerful.
ZIMMERMAN: I cannot tell you how burdened I am right now. We’re in a critical, critical, critical part of Cedine’s ministry. As we sit here. All of the developments that you see around us now, there was none of this. God has been gracious and we cry out for him, Lord stay the hand of the enemy.
MEN SINGING: I can’t thank Him enough… what He’s done for me…
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Myrna Brown in Spring City, Tennessee.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Wednesday, August 17th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.
Truth and consequence. Your truth, my truth. It matters. WORLD commentator Janie B. Cheaney now on the nature of our culture’s delusional thinking.
JANIE CHEANEY, COMMENTATOR: George Berkeley, Anglican Bishop of Cloyne, is credited with developing philosophical idealism. This is the notion that, since humans can only comprehend reality through immaterial reason and the senses, the material world doesn’t exist in any meaningful way.
Idealism was the talk of 18th-century European coffee shops and salons. In his biography of Samuel Johnson, England’s best-known public intellectual, James
Boswell, recalled a conversation on the topic. Boswell knew idealism couldn’t be true but didn’t know how to refute it. Johnson immediately kicked a rock so hard his foot bounced off, saying, "I refute it thus."
Sore toes can make a point, but not destroy a doctrine. After retreating from the 19th century materialism that brought us Darwin and Freud, idealism sneaked into the university in the 1960s dressed up as Constructivism. Think of the word “construct” and you have the gist: knowledge is constructed by individuals reacting to information they receive. Information means nothing in itself.
As a good Anglican, Berkeley believed in the ultimate Mind of God, to which all human minds should conform. Constructivism believes not in Mind but in minds: millions of them, all busily creating knowledge for themselves. What was once considered objectively true, constructivism calls a social construct–especially if it doesn’t fit into your individual worldview.
It’s easy to see the short-term advantages here. Imagine yourself back in algebra class, struggling with quadratic equations. Objectively, you’re earning a C. But if your teacher is a constructivist, your solutions are as valid as those of the aspiring engineer next to you, especially if you belong to some marginalized minority. You just have a different way of knowing.
If your education continues along this path, neither you nor the future engineer are likely to acquire deep knowledge of anything, because constructivism makes knowledge all about you.
No one is equipped to make up meaning for themselves. By definition, meaning is found outside the self. If people don’t find it in tradition and faith, they “construct” a grab bag of the latest sociological fads. And because societies don’t function well without some prevailing notion of virtue, fads become dogma, such as the current obsession with gender ideology.
We’re hearing how instructors in medical school are dodging the use of terms like “man” and “woman.” And how anthropology professors have called for archaeologists to stop labeling human remains as male and female, because we don’t know how our hunting-and-gathering ancestors identified. This isn’t just silly; it’s delusional.
There will always be a conflict between objective reality and subjective perception. But like Samuel Johnson, all of us will kick the rock of truth--in death, if not before. Individually, if not culturally. The only alternative to kicking the rock is standing on it. “And the rock,” said Paul in I Corinthians 10, “is Christ”: He knows the truth–inside us and out–and gives wisdom to those who ask.
I’m Janie B. Cheaney.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: Negative online reviews of pro-life business owners. Reader, beware.
And, a step closer to landing back on the moon. Yesterday was the final test of NASA’s Artemis 1 rocket.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
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