Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, Jr. (Ret.), the former commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said that President Barack Obama does have a strategy for dealing with Islamic radicals in the Middle East and it is an “anti-American” and “pro-Islamic” strategy,” as well as “pro-Iranian” and “pro-Muslim Brotherhood” strategy.
In his remarks at a recent Defeat Jihad Summit sponsored by the Center for Security Policy, Admiral Lyons spoke of a number of failed opportunities the United States had, since the late 1970s, to deal a crippling blow to Islamic jihadism and “change the course of history.”
Towards the end of his comments, Admiral Lyons, who commanded the U.S. Pacific Fleet under President Ronald Reagan in 1985-87, said, “You know, we all say we have to identify the threat. Well, I think the one who identified it the best was [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan from Turkey when he said, ‘Islam is Islam. There are no modifiers [e.g., Islamic extremism]. Democracy is the train we ride to our ultimate objective.’”
“He couldn’t have said it any plainer,” said Lyons. “And until you recognize that Islam is a political movement masquerading as a religion, you’re never going to come to grips with it. And as far as a strategy – let me just conclude one thing, as I just had in my latest op-ed -- the Obama Administration has a strategy.”
“It’s very simple, any thinking American should be able to grasp,” said the admiral. “It’s anti-American, anti-Western, it’s pro-Islamic, it’s pro-Iranian, and pro-Muslim Brotherhood!”
Lyons, a Naval Academy graduate who served 36 years in the U.S. Navy, currently is the president and CEO of Lion Associates, an international consulting firm that specializes in anti-terrorist security services.
Further commenting on the threat posed by Islamists, Admiral Lyons said, “We’ve had many opportunities to change the course of history. And it hasn’t mattered whether it’s been a Republican or a Democratic administration, we failed every one of them, starting with Carter and the takeover of our embassy [in Iran in 1979].”
“We could have cut off [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeni and Islamic fundamentalism at the knees,” said the admiral. “We were going to take Kharg Island [in the Persian Gulf], and he [Carter] rejected it. We could have walked in. The next time was the Marine barracks bombing [in Beiruit, Lebanon, 1983], and you all probably wonder why we never responded.”
“I won’t go into the long detail but the guy that sabotaged the strike – and I’m glad you’re all sitting down – was the Secretary of Defense [Caspar Weinberger],” said Lyons. “Not once, but twice. Reagan approved -- the French wanted to do a combined strike and Reagan approved it, and Weinberger wouldn’t issue the order.”
“I have personally talked to [former Secretary of State] George Schultz and [former National Security Adviser] Bud McFarlane,” said Lyons. “They told me they pleaded with him and he wouldn’t do it. You have to say, who the Hell got to him or what got to him? I’ve never been able to get an answer on that.”
Lyons continued, “In the Gulf tanker war, in ’87, we were going to bring down the Khomeini regime. … The one who undercut us the most was our own chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, [Admiral James] Crowe at the time.
“If you go forward, you know we shot down [on July 3, 1988] by accident that Iranian civilian airliner [Iran Air Flight 655], a few months later,” he said. “And what did Khomeini do? He said, ‘I’m drinking from the chalice of poison.’ And he said I have to make a truce with Saddam Hussein because the Americans have shown they’re coming in on Iraq’s side. Well, think of what the Hell we could have done had we executed the strike we wanted to do in August of ‘87.”
Speaking at the National Press Club back in January, Admiral Lyons said that “the fundamental transformation of America,” espoused by Obama, “has been in full swing ever since 2008.”
“President Obama’s no-show in Paris,” after the Islamist attack on the Charlie Hebdo office and personnel, “was an embarrassment for all Americans,” said Admiral Lyons. “But it also was a signal to the Islamic jihadis. It’s one of many signals he’s sent over the years while he’s in office.”