The Retreat is Over: America Will Not Be Intimidated
"The United States faces some serious threats in the world today. There are some who would question whether our leaders are capable of rising to the challenges of our time and whether our country is capable of continued greatness. They suggest that our best days may have already come and gone.
"I do not share that view of America. You see the greatness of America is certainly not determined by the politicians in Washington who merely follow while others lead, or spend all of their days discussing a problem but never acting.
"The future leaders of this exceptional country are sitting in this room - and in similar places across America. Those of you who will join the military, like others on the front lines today, at their posts around the world and across our services, you are modern day patriots.
"Political rhetoric will not keep us safe. We’ve had enough of a President who proclaims that the greatest threat to future generations is climate change.
"America can and must do better.
"At the very least, you deserve a commander-in-chief who tells you the truth.
"And here it is: we are at war with radical Islamic terrorism. It will not go away overnight. This is a generational struggle. And these radical groups will continue to grow if we do not destroy them.
"Yes, the world is complex, but some things are simple: there is good and there is evil.
"America is a force for good in the world. Radical Islamic terrorists are agents of pure evil.
"Next week is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
"As we look back, this should remind us of our role as Americans, of our history of being called upon at times to confront fanatical evil.
"Consider ISIS, the best-armed and best-funded terrorist organization in the world. It has carved out a caliphate and built a terrorist army in the heart of the Middle East. Each day it grows stronger, attracting tens of thousands of foreign fighters and jihadists from all over the world.
"ISIS enslaves Christian minorities, targets the Jewish people and burns innocent Muslim victims alive in cages. ISIS militants rape girls as young as nine and sell women into sex slavery. The human toll of these evil, unthinkable actions is immeasurable.
"Hearing gut-wrenching stories of Americans held hostage, tortured, raped and executed by these radicals makes my blood boil. By the grace of God, and by the strength of men and women like you, America can and will defeat this threat and eradicate this evil.
"ISIS is a radical perversion of Sunni Islam, but there is another face of Islamic extremism, and that is the Shiite regime in Iran.
"Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran remains the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism. Iran is not a country we should be doing business with.
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is right when he says the deal ‘puts us all in danger.’ Iran will expand its destructive influence in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon, and increase support to proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah, which strive to destroy Israel.
"Confronted by these two forms of evil, President Obama and Hillary Clinton seem to believe they can sit on the sidelines, hoping Iran will defeat ISIS for them. They fail to realize that, in the prevailing anarchy, the two sides feed off of each other, growing stronger at the expense of our Sunni and Shia allies trapped in the middle.
"Over the last seven years, we have seen far too much of this delusion and wishful thinking. To believe that a stable and lasting Middle East can be built by working with Iran, any more than by working with ISIS, isn’t statesmanship. It’s pure fantasy.
"The threat from radical Islamic terrorism is real and it is not limited to the Middle East. We have already seen traces of it on American soil in the attacks on Fort Hood, Boston, and Chattanooga.
"I have a plan to keep our children and grandchildren safe from the threats of radical Islamic terrorism.
"We cannot afford to lose the fight against radical Islamic terrorism. The rest of the world is watching how we confront the challenge of the Middle East. How can we deter our sophisticated adversaries in Eastern Europe and competitors in the South China Sea if we cannot defeat the barbarians of ISIS and roll back the theocrats in Tehran?
"Clearly, we can no longer afford to be passive spectators while the world descends into chaos.
"With all of the challenges we face around the globe today, now is not the time for untested leadership. I have been tested like no other candidate in this race.
"As President, I will send the following message: the retreat is over. American leadership is back and, together with our allies, we will not surrender another inch of ground to terrorists or any other power that threatens our safety.
"America will not be intimidated. And neither will I."