From the email:
A Note from Glenn:
If this is the first special report you're reading, please take a minute to review the ones from earlier in the week (Tuesday, Wednesday) so that you have a better understanding of exactly what "The Perfect Day" is.
Tonight's reports focus on both the practical and emotional impact an attack like this would have on America. Bernard Kerik, former New York City Police Commissioner writes about Al Qaeda's new definition of "spectacular" and focuses on what life in America might look like in the aftermath of something so horrific. Meanwhile, Dr. Zhudi Jasser looks at "The Perfect Day" from the radical's perspective and tells us why a backlash against Muslims and Islam is exactly what they want from us. And why we must not give that to them.
And don't forget, tomorrow's newsletter will feature practical tips for parents and will also include a link to a video clip of terrorists in Afghanistan practicing a school takeover. Their commands, not surprisingly, are in English.
Can We Win?
By Bernard Kerik
In a recent video message, Osama bin Laden, is heard calling for a caravan of martyrs to follow in the footsteps of the 9/11 suicide hijackers-which proves that he still dreams of spectacular attacks against the west and the American people.
Fortunately, many of the lessons we learned from 9/11 have helped prevent similar attacks on U.S. soil so far, but the bad news is that I strongly believe that Bin Laden's definition of "spectacular" has changed; it doesn't have to mean jumbo jets into skyscrapers, a nuclear device at a port of entry or multiple oil refinery explosions anymore. The attacks we've seen in London, Madrid, Glasgow and Denmark, along with the foiled attacks against western targets around the world demonstrate that. They've all focused on easier, softer targets and that's lead many Americans to believe that "spectacular" attacks are no longer what they crave.
But that is wrong...dead wrong.
Imagine this: it's the morning of September 11, 2001. The 19 hijackers split up into four groups just as they did, except this time they don't board four jetliners bound for California. Instead, each group travels to a different part of the country-perhaps small towns in Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado and California. They each enter an elementary school or junior high school and they simultaneously begin a murderous rampage just as Islamic fundamentalists did in Beslan on September 1, 2004 (a massacre that ended with 330 dead, including at least 170 children).
Or, imagine that instead of schools the groups strap themselves with explosives and take over four movie theaters, as they did in Moscow in October, 2002 (a siege that ended with 129 civilians murdered). Or what if it were four tourist locations around the country?
Although far from the enormity of the 9/11 attacks, these attacks would certainly be "spectacular" in their own right. Tourism would come to a stand still, the airline industry would suffer, the stock markets would tank and the economical and emotional damage could be far greater than we suffered in 2001.
Would parents really send their children to school in the days and weeks following an attack (whether or not it even occurred in their town), not knowing where and when the next one might occur? What would happen to employment as at least one parent stays home with the children for weeks or months?
Thanks largely to the Bush administration, we are much better off today than we were on September 10, 2001but until our political leadership unites, we will never defeat the enemy we face. Unfortunately, as our politicians battle and bicker in Washington, Al Qaeda and radical Islam continues its mission.
It's only a matter of time until victory is achieved. The real question is, by whom?
Bernard Kerik is Chairman of the Kerik Group and was the Police Commissioner of New York City during the 9/11 attacks.
The Ends Islamist Terrorists Seek
By M. Zuhdi Jasser, MD
The entire goal of Al Qaeda-type monsters is to provoke a reaction from mainstream America by pursuing evil against those who stand in the way of imposing theocracy. These fascists have no value for life other than that it's simply a means to their end of a totalitarian theocratic state. It is their ideology. In their warped view of religion they are God.
These are not the actions of psychopaths. Instead, they are the calculated actions of those seeking power and those afraid of freedom. They know that liberty's greatest weakness is its wide exposure to attacks against noncombatants (i.e., you and me) and the way in which protections against those attacks alter the very liberties we all seek to protect.
The biggest threat to the Islamists gaining power is the free world, especially the Muslims who believe in, practice, and advocate universal religious freedom and secular democracies. In fact, a Muslim manifestation of liberty is the greatest antidote to global jihad and political Islam.
What better way for radical Islamists to destroy their most potent enemy (moderate pro-freedom Muslims) than to sow chaos in the belly of America and stimulate a visceral reaction like no other? The Islamists know that their ideas are oppressive and far less appealing to Muslims and non-Muslims alike than things like freedom and liberty. Thus, their strategy is to put moderates on the defensive so that their rational ideas are lost in the din of terror.
An attack on our schools would do just that. The more barbaric and grizzly the attack, and the more they can get Americans to associate it with Muslims and Islam, the more possible it is that they fuel a hateful response from some Americans. That would leave moderate Muslims' quest to defeat political Islam lost in the chaos of a divided America.
We witnessed just such a visceral hate crime here in Phoenix after 9/11 when a Sikh man, Balbir Singh, was murdered for appearing to be Muslim. And that's why this very discussion is so vital; if we know that the primary goal of our enemy is to enrage our citizenry against Muslims and Islam then we can inoculate ourselves against it. Al Qaeda's aim is to enrage and get non-Muslims to do their dirty work of targeting moderate Muslims for them-and we must not give that to them.
If American Muslims declare open war against Al Qaeda, Americans will rush to defend our mosques rather than allow them to be burned. Otherwise, with rage and vengeance, the freedoms so protected by our Constitution will quickly dissipate into a nation gripped by fear and hate of the "other." And that is the ultimate goal of such horrific acts: to create a reaction which ultimately destroys the very fabric of our nation-the trust of one another, under God, under our Constitution. The children they would kill in schools on this "Perfect Day" would be a utilitarian mechanism (ends justifying the means) to achieve the destruction of the "American" way of life.
It is vitally important for Americans to see that, for most Muslims, being Muslim is not about preserving our mosques and our own rights; it is first about preserving the rights and freedoms of all Americans against the jihadists. But the longer Muslims stay silent against jihadism the greater chance the next incident like this Perfect Day scenario will have the impact the militants actually seek.
M. Zuhdi Jasser is the founder and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy based in Phoenix Arizona. He is a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, a physician in private practice, and a community activist.