A Litmus Test for the Next President

White House lifts 40-year ban on photos during public tours

Under President Obama’s stated policy to fundamentally transform America, our influence on and leadership of the free world has not only been diminished but openly challenged by the likes of China, Russia and Iran. Our unilateral disarmament has only compounded the problem.  Furthermore, our allies don’t trust us, and our enemies don’t fear us. That is the worst possible combination.

President Obama’s “leading from behind” strategy has been a disaster, resulting in chaos throughout the Middle East with failed states in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. It has also provided the impetus for the rise of the Islamic State (IS) and its barbaric enforcement of the draconian seventh century Shariah (Islamic Law). Make no mistake, IS is Islam!

President al-Sisi of Egypt called for the reformation of Islam on January 1, 2015, in a speech before the leading Sunni clerics.  Not one Western leader has so far joined in his courageous call for Islam’s reformation. Nor, for that matter, has the Pope, who appears to be more focused on political “climate change” issues than on Christians being subjected to atrocious acts of barbarism in the name of Islam. The next President must support President al-Sisi’s call for the reformation of Islam, to bring it into the 21st century.

Our weak response to Russia’s blatant aggression in the Ukraine, which is not a member of the European Union or NATO, has tarnished that great defensive alliance’s image. Our failure to provide essential defensive equipment to Ukraine after they clearly aligned themselves with the West and NATO, was a travesty! Of course, this emasculation of NATO, which lessens America’s influence and image, is seen by the Obama administration as being objectively progressive. Our next president must press a clear “reset button” of his own by providing Ukraine with essential defensive equipment to protect its territorial integrity.

In the Western Pacific, China continues unchallenged with its bullying tactics to enforce its illegal claims in both the South and East China Seas. Regretfully, the Obama administration has not developed a coherent strategy to counter China’s aggression. As Rick Fisher and I proposed in a recent op-ed published in the Washington Times on June 14, an armed-peace strategy would serve to check China’s unopposed aggressive actions.

The current negotiations with Iran, supposedly intended to prevent them from achieving a nuclear weapon capability, are a sham. The core elements of its nuclear weapon infrastructure remain untouched. Iran is allowed to continue enriching uranium. The underground Fordow facility with 5,000 centrifuges is allowed to continue to operate. This was an “unbelievable” concession by the U.S. Iran today has sufficient enriched uranium to make at least eight warheads. Compounding the problem, Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program is not included in the agreement. As I have previously asked, what would an agreement with Iran really mean when you apply the Islamic principle of “taqiyya (lying)” to advance the cause of Islam?

As a matter of priority, whatever nuclear agreement is reached with the Iranian theocracy, it must be canceled. Unless Iran agrees to the original P5+1 requirements to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure, then the next President must be prepared to launch a devastating military strike that destroys not only Iran’s nuclear facilities but also denies it the ability to disrupt the free flow of oil.

Iran has been at war with the United States for over 35 years, and during that time has caused the loss of thousands of American lives, both civilian and military. We should never forget that it was Iran that provided the key material and training support to the 9/11 hijackers. Without that support, the terrorist attack could not have been carried out, and 3,000 innocent Americans would be alive today. There should be no question that we have sufficient justification to launch an attack to eliminate the Iranian threat.

To restore our conventional and nuclear military capability, sequestration, as it relates to our military forces, must be reversed as well as all budget caps on the military budgets removed. It is going to take the better part of a decade to reverse the effect of the unilateral disarmament of our military forces, but such action is key to restoring our national security. In the same context, the vulnerability of our electrical grid to an EMP attack must be addressed immediately as a national security vulnerability issue.

With regard to the Middle East, Iraq and Syria are fractured states beyond repair. The Sykes-Picot accord is dead. However, we should not get involved in the Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence that has gone on for 1,300 years. As I have previously stated, though, we should support a free, independent Kurdistan. Kurds are a proven staunch U.S. ally along with Israel. U.S. military equipment and support should be provided directly to the Kurd’s Peshmerga military force. Our strategy then should be focused on supporting our long-term allies.

Compounding the many challenges facing the next President is the fact that there is an intensifying global campaign to impose Islamic blasphemy law on all non-Muslim societies. This campaign is led by the 57 Muslim members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), which are trying to sponsor a UN resolution insisting that all counties “criminalize” what it calls “defamation of religion” (code for Islam). The OIC rejects our First Amendment rights of free speech and religion.

Under the 1990 Cairo Declaration, Muslim nations withdrew from the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and declared that the only human rights that would be recognized are those granted under Islam’s Shariah. They then submitted this declaration to the UN General Assembly in 1993 for a vote and it was accepted. Unbelievable! This is blatant “submission” to Islam.

Clearly, our next President must unequivocally embrace our First Amendment rights. It is the First Amendment that sets America apart from every other nation. Furthermore, the next President must reverse President Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of America, which is anti-American but pro-Islam, pro-Iran and pro-Muslim Brotherhood. In the same context, the Muslim Brotherhood must be purged from all government agencies.

As a key element of our national security, our borders must be secured. Illegal immigrants with criminal records must be deported. Other illegal immigrants must be addressed as part of a comprehensive immigration plan. Those Muslim immigrants who qualify and can be vetted, should be welcomed,  provided they accept our laws, customs, traditions, are willing to learn English, and  integrate into our society. Muslim no-go zones will not be tolerated. Mosques that preach sedition must be closed and their Imans deported or charged under the U.S. Criminal Code, as appropriate.

At some point, the next President must address last week’s Supreme Court decisions on Obamacare and the right to marry by same-sex couples. Clearly, the Supreme Court has become more of a Legislative than a Judicial third equal branch of government. How the next President addresses these issues will be challenging, but they all must be addressed as a matter of priority.

James A. Lyons, U.S. Navy retired Admiral, was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.



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