Class of 1955 Position Papers

Vern Pace's 27 FEB 2015 Draft

Paul Parks' 28 FEB 2015 Draft

Chuck Ewing's 10 MAR 2015 Draft

Jim Ryan's 11 MAR 2015 Draft

Vern Pace's 21 MAR 2015 Draft

9 MAY 2015 Final Draft



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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.

Our forebears were members of the greatest generation. Our generation and those which follow must preserve that heritage and pass our freedoms to future generations, eventually for all the countries in this world.


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Wall Street Journal, The New York Times etc.
Position Paper (Paul Parks' 28 FEB Draft)

Thank You America And West Point

As we celebrate the 60th year since our graduation, we wish to thank America For allowing us to serve you from our time as young Lieutenants through the Vietnamese War where we lost classmates, through Grenada led by one of us And in various military and civilian capacities to the present.

We wish to again thank our Alma Mater for honing our character and providing Us with skills and tools to provide that service.

We are all octogenarians now and in our twilight zone. Our fervent wish is that our nation continue strong and prosperous in meeting the current challenges to our Nation and way of life. We pass the torch to younger generations confident in their ability to rise to tasks they confront.

The West Point Class of 1955.


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Wall Street Journal, The New York Times etc.
Position Paper (Chuck Ewing's 10 MAR Draft)

Thank You America And West Point

As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of our graduation, we wish to thank the American people for the opportunity you afforded us to serve this great Republic. ‘Afforded’ is a word we use advisedly, understanding that taxpayers support the academies, and we worked in hard and terrible places to ensure that you got a return on investment. Some of us even served before our appearance at West Point, but all served from our time as young lieutenants, and whether in military or civilian life, the clarion call of “Duty Honor Country” always rang true and compelling.

We entered as Plebes short years after Churchill defined the Cold War, and our service spanned it. It presented stern and difficult tests, not the least of which was Vietnam, America’s most divisive war. Whether in the jungle killing fields or the flak-filled skies overhead, we served with honor, but never alone. Other classes in our era, other academies, and all those citizen soldiers joined us as we learned the difficult lesson of wars neither won nor lost. We knew the pain of seeing our compatriots fall in battle, and we lost many of our beloved classmates in this and other endeavors through the years. Nothing in the oath promised a parade, but it implied the honor of service, and for that we thank you.

We also wish to thank our Alma Mater for setting us on the path, steeling our spines for the hardships to come, and providing us with the skills and the savvy to accomplish the mission. Any mission.

We are all octogenarians now and the shadows are lengthening for us. Our fervent wish is that America continue strong and prosperous in meeting the challenges to our Republic and our way of life. We have long since passed the torch to younger generations, confident in their ability to rise to the tasks they confront, as we did to ours.

Thanks again to you, America, and to West Point.

The Class of 1955.


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Wall Street Journal, The New York Times etc.
Position Paper (Jim Ryan's 11 MAR Draft)

Thank You America And West Point

As we celebrate the 60th year since our graduation, we wish to thank America for allowing us to serve you from our time as young Lieutenants through the Cold War and the Vietnamese War, where we lost classmates in combat, through Grenada led by one of us; and in various military and civilian capacities to the present.

We wish to thank our Alma Mater again for honing our character and providing us with skills and tools to provide service to The Nation.

We are all octogenarians now and in our twilight years. Our fervent wish is that our country continues strong and prosperous in meeting the current challenges to The Nation and our way of life. We pass the torch to younger generations confident in their ability to rise successfully to all tasks they confront.

The West Point Class of 1955


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Members of the Class of 1955
Position Paper (Vern Pace's 21 MAR 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. Others have had distinguished careers in civilian service to the nation.

It is with the perspective of these sixty years of experience, and total dedication to our country, that certain members of our class, with diverse experience, view with alarm the rise of radical Islam. We feel compelled to add our viewpoint in this paper to the growing number of others who have expressed similar fears. Unchecked, Islamic jihad has the potential to do great harm in the world. America and the rest of the free world are in a fight for their lives.

World War II had well-defined enemies and the conflict was recognized as a battle between good and evil. Korea and Viet Nam were less defined, but wherever fought, the battles were against the ideology of communism. Today our country is drawn into a war against radical Islam which has as its goal the destruction of America and western civilization, and 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.

The radical Islamic threat we face today divides the world between believers (true Islam) and non-believers. The believers are Muslims living and governed under Sharia law, while the non-believers are all others who do not live under Sharia law; actually all other religious belief and governmental systems. But Islam transcends the practice of religion; it exercises hegemony over all dimensions of human life. As such, it is not a religion as practiced under the laws and customs of Western civilization. Radical Islamists refuse to assimilate, decline allegiance to any country, reject secularism, deny the rights of non-believers and women, and remain silent on the brutal acts of jihad, or holy war terrorism. Again, it must be emphasized that contemporary radical Islam is committed to the destruction of America and western civilization, and to its 1,400 year-old goal of imposing Sharia law world-wide. Muslims who deny this statement are persecuted by Islamists for not living up to the tenets and beliefs of the Koran.

Understand that this Islamic threat comes in two forms: radical or 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 downfall of America, the leader of the free world's countries, and its constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion, speech, thought, and living.

It is important to point out that there are Muslims in America, and other countries, who believe and insist 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 supported and protected.

Words, or lack thereof, do count. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, "Not to speak is to speak." Our 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. Let there be no doubt that Islamic jihad is an enemy of America and must be defeated.

Islamism is not a partisan issue. Through the efforts of a strong lobby, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has exerted its influence in Washington steadily over the years. Established in 1929, the MB has had 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." This brotherhood is hardly a heterogeneous, secular, or benign organization. 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. CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial 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.

Americans are understandably wary of military action that could be taken against this 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 are found in all our universities and religious establishments.

America is still the most dominant military power on earth. Its military has proven itself a capable, adaptable, effective fighting force. But the military must have clearly defined objectives to be achieved against specific enemies in order to utilize these capabilities effectively and successfully. The current military enemy is readily definable-ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, etc. However, the truly dangerous enemy is more difficult to define. It can range from a lone suicide bomber, the violence of another 9/11, or a determined attack with chemical or nuclear weapons.

We have lived through the Cold War where adversaries accepted the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), 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. War is the extension of politics when politics has failed. We, in America, must find a way to unify our leaders, set aside partisan politics, and educate and mobilize an apathetic, ill-informed public to the threat. America and Americans are free and exceptional people, but we will not remain so without working, and when necessary fighting, for our freedoms.

Our forebears were members of the greatest generation who left us the freedom of our American heritage. Today we face an enemy sworn to obliterate America from this earth. Our generation and those which follow must preserve that heritage so we can pass our freedoms to future generations in America, and eventually to all the countries in this world.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Members of the Class of 1955
Position Paper (9 MAY 2015 Final 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. Others have had distinguished careers in civilian service to the nation.

It is with the perspective of these sixty years of experience, and total dedication to our country, that certain members of our class, with diverse experience, view with alarm the rise of radical Islam. We feel compelled to add our viewpoint in this paper to the growing number of others who have expressed similar fears. Unchecked, Islamic jihad has the potential to do great harm in the world. America and the rest of the free world are in a fight for their lives.

World War II had well-defined enemies and the conflict was recognized as a battle between good and evil. Korea and Viet Nam were less defined, but wherever fought, the battles were against the ideology of Communism. Today our country is drawn into a war against radical Islam which has as its goal the destruction of America and western civilization, and 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.

The radical Islamic threat we face today divides the world between believers (true Islam) and non-believers. The believers are Muslims living and governed under Sharia law, while the non-believers are all others who do not live under Sharia law; actually all other religious belief and governmental systems. But Islam transcends the practice of religion; it exercises hegemony over all dimensions of human life. As such, it is not a religion as practiced under the laws and customs of Western civilization. Radical Islamists refuse to assimilate, decline allegiance to any country, reject secularism, deny the rights of non-believers and women, and remain silent on the brutal acts of jihad, or holy war terrorism. Again, it must be emphasized that contemporary radical Islam is committed to the destruction of America and western civilization, and to its 1,400 year-old goal of imposing Sharia law world-wide. Muslims who deny this statement are persecuted by Islamists for not living up to the tenets and beliefs of the Koran.

Understand that this Islamic threat comes in two forms: radical or 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 downfall of America, the leader of the free world's countries, and its constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion, speech, thought, and living.

It is important to point out that there are Muslims in America, and other countries, who believe and insist 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 supported and protected.

Words, or lack thereof, do count. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, "Not to speak is to speak." Our 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. Let there be no doubt that Islamic jihad is an enemy of America and must be defeated.

Islamism is not a partisan issue. Through the efforts of a strong lobby, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has exerted its influence in Washington steadily over the years. Established in 1929, the MB has had 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." This brotherhood is hardly a heterogeneous, secular, or benign organization. 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. CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, 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.

Americans are understandably wary of military action that could be taken against this 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 are found in all our universities and religious establishments.

America is still the most dominant military power on earth. Its military has proven itself a capable, adaptable, effective fighting force. But the military must have clearly defined objectives to be achieved against specific enemies in order to utilize these capabilities effectively and successfully. The current military enemy is readily definable-ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, etc. However, the truly dangerous enemy is more difficult to define. It can range from a lone suicide bomber, the violence of another 9/11, or a determined attack with chemical or nuclear weapons.

We have lived through the Cold War where adversaries accepted the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), 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. War is the extension of politics when politics has failed. We, in America, must find a way to unify our leaders, set aside partisan politics, and educate and mobilize an apathetic, ill-informed public to the threat. America and Americans are free and exceptional people, but we will not remain so without working, and when necessary fighting, for our freedoms.

Our forebears were members of the greatest generation who left us the freedom of our American heritage. Today we face an enemy sworn to obliterate America from this earth. Our generation and those which follow must preserve that heritage so we can pass our freedoms to future generations in America, and eventually to all the countries in this world.


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