- - Thursday, July 31, 2014


The United States has never experienced an administration like the Obama administration, whose leftist agenda has included embracing our enemies and confusing or, in some cases, discarding our allies.

With the world’s attention focused on Ukraine, where Russian separatists apparently shot down a Malaysian commercial airliner with the loss of 298 innocent lives, little attention has been paid to the unfriendly act China has taken, even though it was invited as a guest to participate in the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s 2014 RIMPAC exercises.

During this exercise, China deployed intelligence collection “spy” ships to gather information on exercise participants’ electronic signatures, tactics and tactical weakness that could be exploited in any future conflict. Clearly, China should never have been invited to participate, since the fundamental purpose of RIMPAC is to bring regional allies together to practice and refine operational tactics against a future threat. With its aggressive military actions in both the South and East China seas against our allies, Japan, the Philippines and others, China qualifies as the most likely future threat.

Nonetheless, the Pacific region is relatively calm compared with the Middle East. There is no administration clarity regarding our policy for this critical region. Perhaps the answer may be found in Presidential Study Directive 11, which reportedly was personally issued by President Obama prior to the Arab Spring in 2010, and still remains classified. According to reports, it assessed the Muslim Brotherhood and other “political Islamist” movements, including the AKP in Turkey (probably to use that as a model). It concluded that the United States should shift from its long-standing policy of supporting “stability,” i.e., secular authoritarian regimes, in the Middle East and North Africa to a policy of supporting “moderate” Islamic political movements.

This is naive, but it would explain why the United States supported the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies for positions of power in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Libya, resulting in the chaos and turmoil we see today. There is no difference between “moderate” or “radical” Islamic movements. They both have the same fundamental objective of establishing a supreme caliphate imposing Shariah law. Once this is understood, the Obama agenda becomes clear.

For the past several decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has penetrated successive U.S. administrations, a condition that has worsened under Mr. Obama. Therefore, the influence of the organization on the conclusions of Presidential Study Directive 11 must be given considerable weight. For example, even though more than 30 million Egyptians took to the streets to force the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Obama administration still has not accepted it.

Libya today is a failed state, which led directly to the Benghazi tragedy that caused the death of four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador. Syria is broken, as is Iraq. A significant amount of turmoil can be traced to Mr. Obama’s policies that have emanated from Presidential Study Directive 11.

We now have a declared caliphate in the Islamic State-controlled parts of Iraq and Syria. Christians and other minority religions are being unmercifully pursued and killed unless they convert to Islam. Yet the Obama administration remains silent on these atrocities. However, the Obama administration is quick to express its great concern over civilian casualties in Gaza even though this was brought about as a result of Hamas terrorist missile strikes on Israeli civilian communities. The fact that Hamas uses civilians as human shields to protect its missile launches and military equipment storage sites receives scant mention.

The only ally we have in the area besides Israel are the Kurds, who are holding the line against the Islamic State radicals. We should be providing the Kurdish military Peshmerga force with updated military equipment and intelligence to help it maintain control of the Kurdish oil fields and major cities. Should the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan declare independence, we should immediately recognize it as a sovereign state.

The peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel were a figment of the Obama administration’s misplaced priorities. Further, the current Gaza conflict should not result in the Obama administration rescuing the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Hamas terrorist group from legitimate Israeli operations. It should be remembered that Israel accepted the Egyptian-proposed cease-fire. Hamas rejected it and continued to fire missiles into Israeli civilian communities.

Looming over all of this chaos is the unresolved Iranian nuclear-weapons program. The “serious” negotiation with Iran to terminate its nuclear-weapons programs has about as much chance of success as peace between Hamas and Israel.

Compounding the multiple international crises is the administration’s domestic debacle — the invasion of our southern border with Mexico. The Obama administration has facilitated a breach of American sovereignty that no foreign enemy has been able to do since our independence. Further, it has fostered the unilateral disarmament of our elite military forces, thereby jeopardizing our national security. The multiple scandals including the Internal Revenue Service, Obamacare, Fast and Furious, the National Security Agency and Benghazi only add to the debacle. Clearly, impeachable acts have been committed. Congress, as the sole representative of the American people, must put country before party loyalty and take those steps necessary to prevent further erosion of our credibility and sovereignty.

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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