Members of the Class of 1955
Position Paper (Vern Pace's 27 FEB Draft)
America and the Threat of Islamic Jihad
The Class of 1955 of the United States Military Academy at West Point is celebrating its 60th graduation reunion. During these past sixty years, the class has served our country with honor and devotion. Many have had distinguished careers in the military; living through the throes of war, captivity, and death, fulfilling the Academy creed of "Duty, Honor, Country." It is with the perspective of these sixty years of experience and our total dedication to our country that we view with alarm the rise of radical Islam and its acts of terrorism, with potential to do great harm to our country and the rest of the free world.
World Wars I and II had well-defined enemies and the conflicts were recognized as battles between good and evil. Korea and Viet Nam were less well-defined but wherever fought, the battles were against the ideology of communism. Today we are drawn into a war against radical Islam which has one goal: the destruction of America and western civilization, with the imposition of the Muslim religion and Sharia Law throughout the world. The current struggle is not just good versus evil; it is a fight for the survival of Western civilization-a conflict of ideologies.
The radical Islamic threat we face today divides the world between the "House of Islam" and the "House of War." To them, the House of Islam consists of Muslims living and governed under Sharia Law, while the House of War includes all people not living under Sharia Law; actually all other religious belief systems. But the House of Islam goes beyond the practice of religion; it exercises hegemony over all matters of human life. As such, it is not a "religion" under the laws and customs of Western civilization. Muslims in the House of Islam refuse to assimilate, decline allegiance to any country, reject secularism, deny the rights of non-believers and women, and remain silent, while accepting the brutal acts of jihadi (holy war) terrorism. Again, it must be emphasized that House of Islam is committed to the destruction of America and western civilization, and the imposition of Sharia Law world-wide. Muslims who deny this statement are accused of not living up to the tenets and beliefs of the Koran.
It is important to understand that this radical Islamic threat comes in two forms-radical violent jihad and "peaceful" jihad; often called stealth jihad. The media deluges us daily with the carnage of bombings, beheadings, and other unspeakable atrocities of violent jihad. Stealth jihad is the non-violent infiltration of democratic governments and cultures. Despite their different tactics, both groups openly share the same goal-a world-wide system of government based on Sharia Law. Essential to the realization of this goal is the destruction of America, the leader of the free world's countries, and its constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion.
It must be pointed out that there are Muslims in America fighting for their belief that Islam is a spiritual and personal way of life-not a political belief system. This minority are responsible citizens who do assimilate, serve in the military, and believe in our democratic constitutional government. These individuals must be encouraged and protected.
Words, or lack thereof, do count. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, "Not to speak is to speak." Our present government's failure to identify radical terrorists as Muslims is a dangerous omission. Refusing to name the enemy causes confusion at home, plays into the hands of the enemy's propaganda, and leaves the world wondering about America's commitment. Scrubbing words like Jihad and Islam from the lexicon of all federal counter-terrorism training materials aids and abets the enemy.
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is not, as the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper once said, a ". . . largely heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence." The MB was established in 1929 with the ongoing credo: "God is our objective, the Koran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle [jihad] is our way, and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations." That hardly sounds heterogeneous, secular, or benign. The MB is the genesis of many anti-America groups, like Hamas and al Qaeda. Yet this sworn enemy of the United States has had access to the White House. Why? CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, with the President's acquiescence, has been allowed to rewrite FBI and DOD manuals and lecture these and other government organizations on the sensitivities of dealing with the Muslim communities. Why?
Americans are understandably wary of military action against the radical Islamist threat, even as outrages spread throughout the Middle East. Regrettably, there is a state of denial as the horror of 9/11 fades, and many Americans are oblivious to the long-term peril of unchecked radical Islam. Ignorance, denial, and complicity saturate partisan politicians and progressive media, and our universities and religious establishments.
America is still the most dominant military power on earth. It has proven itself as an adaptable, effective fighting force. But the military needs clearly defined objectives to be achieved against specific enemies in order to utilize their capabilities successfully. The military enemy is readily definable-ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, etc. However, the real, and more dangerous, enemy is more difficult to define. It can range from a lone suicide bomber, the violence of another 9/11, or attack with chemical or nuclear weapons.
We have lived through the Cold War where adversaries accepted the concept of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) and the aftermath of that Cold War is still with us. Today we face multiple, irresponsible, apocalypse-inspired adversaries, who may, someday, also acquire chemical and nuclear weapons. Clearly, we must do everything in our power to halt the proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction. Above all else, we must unify our leaders, set aside partisan politics, and alert, educate and mobilize an apathetic, ill-informed public. America and Americans are free and exceptional people, but we will not remain so without working, and when necessary fighting, for our freedoms.