- - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The latest strategy put forth by the Obama administration to combat the Islamic State jihadists not only changes weekly, but fails to address U.S. strategic core objectives in the Middle East. Most dubious is its reliance on so-called “moderate rebels” to provide a ground component to a U.S. air campaign. These rebel militias should not be viewed in the same context as Kurdistan’s loyal Peshmerga military, which has long been an ally of the United States.

The ranks of the Islamic State jihadists are already full of “moderate rebels” previously trained, equipped and funded by U.S. Special Forces and the CIA. So much for the State Department and CIA’s vetting process, particularly when these militias have shown a capability to shift allegiances on a daily, if not more frequent, basis. The fact of the matter is that the main beneficiaries of our attacks on the Islamic State will be the Iranian proxies in Damascus and Baghdad.

The jaded character of the Obama administration was on full display when Secretary of State John F. Kerry pleaded with Iran to join the U.S.-led coalition to combat the Islamic State. This was more than humiliating for every American given that Iran is the sworn enemy of the United States. They have been at war with the United States for more than 34 years and have caused the loss of thousands of American lives. We should never forget Iran’s direct support to the hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001, without which the attacks could not have been carried out.

What is being played out in the failed states of Syria and Iraq is the intra-Islamic sectarian struggle that has gone on for centuries. Nonetheless, it should be understood that the so-called “moderate” Islamists and “violent” jihadists are bound at the hip by the same draconian Shariah ideology. Terrorism and the barbarism we see being carried out by the Islamic State (also by many other Muslim nations; e.g., Saudi Arabia and Iran) are firmly rooted in Islamic scriptures and law.

Sixty-two percent of the Koran provides the justification for the atrocities being committed in furthering Islamic supremacism. There is no question that Islam breeds terrorism. Eighty percent of the mosques in the United States promote jihad and should be closed, and their radical preachers charged with sedition.

When President Obama says that the Islamic State is not representative of Islam, it is taqiyya (sanctioned deception to advance Islam). While the Carter administration helped launch Islamic jihad in the modern era, nothing has advanced the cause of Islam and Shariah more than the policies of the Obama administration. The Muslim Brotherhood penetration of all of our national security agencies undoubtedly has influenced the policies of the Obama administration.

The purging of all military training manuals of anything that links Islam to terrorism was initiated by the Muslim Brotherhood. For all practical purposes, every major U.S. Muslim organization is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood. So when Mr. Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, Imam Mohamed Magid, the president of the Islamic Society of North American, a Muslim Brotherhood front, argues that the Islamic State has no foundation in Islam, that is pure taqiyya (lying).

The Muslim Brotherhood creed says that “jihad is our way, and death for the glory of Allah is our greatest ambition.” Furthermore, its goal is to destroy the United States from within and replace our Constitution with Shariah. If Saudi Arabia could declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization in March 2014, there is no reason why we should not do the same, and expunge them from our country.

When you want to take down a country, the first thing you do is destroy its military. The unilateral disarmament of our military forces under the guise of sequestration is accomplishing that objective. It should not be forgotten that sequestration is an Obama administration initiative.

The first step that must be taken to form a new strategy for the Middle East and elsewhere is to stop the implementation of sequestration on our military forces. With regard to combating the threat of the Islamic State, the following should be implemented: Initiate a massive around-the-clock air campaign. Cut off all Islamic State funding, including their black market oil sales to Turkey. Bill Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE for the $500 million we are going to spend arming and training the “moderate rebels.”

The $500 million that the Obama administration had requested for the rebels can then be made available to U.S. military forces to help restore our readiness.

In addition, provide military equipment and support directly to Kurdistan’s Peshmerga military force. Establish a forward operating base in Kurdistan with a detachment of F-16’s and A-10’s close-air support aircraft. Irbil has the longest runway in the world. Bill Iraq for training and material support provided to Iraqi forces. Call on Saudi Arabia to take the lead in changing the “hate” curriculum that it funds in the 22,500 madrassas throughout the world.

Clearly, once the Islamic State is defeated, a U.S. residual force must be maintained in a modified Iraq. Kurdistan should be given its sovereignty.

With the implementation of the above strategy, we can then focus on the main threat we face in the Middle East, which is Iran. Total destruction of its nuclear facilities must be accomplished by every capability we possess. Finally, until we face the fact that Islam is a political movement masquerading as a religion, we will not be successful in combating this threat.

James A. Lyons, a retired U.S. Navy 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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