Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, March 24, 2015:
The Presidential race for 2016 is gearing up and candidates are preparing themselves for the upcoming campaign. Senator Ted Cruz is the first to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
As each candidate announces their intention to run, Clarion Project will provide a summary of each candidate’s positions on issues relating to Islamic extremism, in order to help our readers make the most informed possible choice come voting day. Should there be any significant changes, we intend to update our readers on the positions of any given candidate.
As Clarion is a bipartisan organization, we will not be endorsing any party or any candidate. All information provided is intended as informative only and should not be taken as evidence of Clarion’s preference for any given candidate.
As Senator Ted Cruz is the first candidate to announce, a summary of his record on Islamic extremism is what follows:
Senator Ted Cruz announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on March 23, 2015.
The following is the Clarion Project’s compilation of Senator Cruz’s positions on Islamist extremism. It will be updated as the campaign develops.
Single-term Republican Senator from Texas (2012-Current)
- Serves on Senate Committee on Armed Services:
- Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
- Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
- Subcommittee on Seapower
Islamist Groups in America
- A nuclear-armed Iran is “the single greatest national security threat” today.
- Current nuclear talks with Iran are the “worst negotiation in the history of mankind.”
- The U.S. should have “vigorously” supported the Green Revolution in 2009.
- The U.S. should not partner with Iran or its proxies in fighting ISIS.
- Sanctions on Iran and North Korea will “ideally overthrow their current regimes.”
Iraq and ISIS
- The U.S. should not deploy ground troops to Iraq to fight ISIS if they must rely on the Iraqi government or Iran-linked militias for security.
- The U.S. should first increase support for the Kurdish Peshmerga instead of sending additional ground troops to Iraq.
- The citizenships of Americans that have joined terrorist groups like ISIS overseas should be revoked so they cannot reenter the country or receive constitutional protections.
Muslim Brotherhood & Egypt
- The U.S. should have successfully pressured Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to oversee a democratic transition but should not have supported his removal because he was an ally.
- Criticism of his human rights abuses was acceptable but “[President Obama] went further than that to topple him and replace him with the Muslim Brotherhood, whose interest and animus was rabidly anti-American.”
- The U.S. should have demanded concessions from the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Egypt in return for pledges of additional foreign aid.
- The U.S. “failed to support those calling for more inclusive and tolerant leadership” during the reign of the elected Muslim Brotherhood government. He said, “One of the saddest things to see was posters among the people that said: ‘Obama supports the Muslim Brotherhood,’ ‘America supports terrorists.’”
- He said the U.S. should have severed aid to Egypt once the protests against the Muslim Brotherhood began. The lack of support for the opposition made the U.S. “in both perception and reality — entrenched as the partner of a repressive, Islamist regime and the enemy of the secular, pro-democracy opposition,” he wrote.
- The Egyptian military’s popularly-supported overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood is a “coup” and all U.S. aid to Egypt should have been suspended. Sen. Cruz’s position was even more hostile to the new Egyptian military’s overthrow of the Brotherhood than that of the Obama Administration.
- The Egyptian military’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhoodis responsible for provoking the Islamist group into violence and attacking Coptic Christians.
- The U.S. should only provide aid to Egypt if it advances the creation of a secular and inclusive government that honors the peace treaty with Israel.
- He praised Egyptian President El-Sisi for calling on the Muslim world to stand against terrorists who act in the name of Islam.
- The U.S. should have swiftly called for the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2011 “when there was a unified, peaceful and secular opposition to him.” However, on March 24, 2015, Cruz appeared to disavow a policy supporting Assad’s removal by saying he’s a “monster” but does not “pose a clear and present danger to America.”
- The U.S. must not arm Syrian rebels because of the inability to determine which rebels are a threat to the West and the likelihood that U.S. supplies will fall into the hands of terrorists.
- The U.S. must take the lead in developing a plan to “go in” and eliminate Syrian stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists. This was stated in June 2013.
- In September 2013, he opposed the Obama Administration’s proposal for airstrikes on Syrian WMD capabilities and other regime targets after it ignored U.S. warnings against using chemical weapons in the civil war.