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President Obama and ‘I Dream of Jeannie’

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The success of the late 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie was attributed to the fantasy-oriented premise of a 2000-year old genie released into 20thcentury society.

What if fantasy were reality and such a genie, released into the 21st century, could replace, with the snap of the fingers, a totally incompetent, Peter Principle-defying U.S. president?

It’s fantasy, but let’s run with it.

Given three wishes—all focusing upon improving U.S. national security—we would need to devote the first to identifying a qualified replacement. Obviously, we would want a proven leader with skills necessary to navigate our ship-of-state through the treacherous waters in which it now finds itself. Sadly, few names from within America’s political ranks immediately jump to mind as possessing the “right stuff” to so qualify.

But if we could expand the presidential job search to include candidates born outside our borders—a precedent perhaps already set—some extraordinary talent exists.

Expanding our search internationally, several qualified candidates come to mind.

One is a man whose sole existence, both as a warfighter and politician, has been the survival of his country while those nations around him seek its destruction. Who could not admire Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his leadership skills and commitment to preserve his nation’s security regardless of political fallout either at home or abroad?

Another candidate to consider is Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The former general took a bold step in January—one not seen since the presidency of a predecessor, Anwar Sadat, who courageously signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.

Sisi does not hesitate to identify with specificity the cause of what Obama nebulously calls “violent extremism” plaguing the world today. Sisi knows the cause is Islamized terrorism. Speaking at the center of Sunni Islamic studies—Al-Azhar University in Cairo—Sisi told Islamized terrorism supporters face-to-face they need to reform the religion.

Sadat paid the ultimate price for his bold step. He was assassinated in 1981. Undoubtedly, Sisi will find himself similarly targeted by those viewing his push for a “kinder, gentler” Islam as apostasy.

Yet another potential Obama replacement is a warrior king—Jordan’s Abdullah Il Ibn al-Hussein. This no-nonsense leader, infuriated after Jordanian pilot Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh was burned alive, responded as a leader should, unleashing a devastating bombardment upon ISIS. Such leadership greatly contrasts with Obama who, after announcing U.S. citizen James Foley’s beheading, returned to playing golf and, later, as the last U.S. troops evacuated their refuge in Yemen as al-Qaeda forces advanced on them, attended a basketball game.

Any of these candidates—all with demonstrated leadership skills under fire—would prove a much more able American president than the one we now have.

Exercising our second wish, we could ask our genie to modify a birth certificate and other evidence, as needed, to eliminate our candidate’s foreign birth from becoming an issue. Our genie needs to understand this will also require an apathetic media unwilling to act responsibly to investigate our candidate’s credentials—fulfilling another precedent already set.

As to our third wish, we need ask the genie for an awakening. An apathetic American public is in need of such so as to understand the threat now endangering our national security.

Alas, we can but dream of genie.

Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of “Bare Feet, Iron Will–Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam’s Battlefields,” “Living the Juche Lie: North Korea’s Kim Dynasty” and “Doomsday: Iran–The Clock is Ticking.” He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.


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