I am afraid it is going to come to this. The (radical) islams see us as weak and feckless. They only understand one thing. What passes for political leadership in that part of the world agrees with this analysis and is playing with fire.
If the dems elect a president in 2008, he/she might see a nuclear response as the only way to "earn their spurs" as tough on defense of the US. Events are not leading us to peace.
I just hope that the US is stockpiling neutron bombs, or ramps up the production line soon. I wouldn't want to see that much fallout released into the atmosphere.
Oh, I'm not speaking against a nuclear approach. When I say I'm not part of the "nuke 'em all" crowd, I mean I'm not part of that small but vocal group of Freepers who think our only hope is to just send the nukes flying right now.
Can MAD work with Islam? Well, those of us who believe in the trheat often say that at least 10% of them are al-Qaeda sympathizing radicals, which means an aenemy force of 100 million. But if the Osama radicals are vastly in the minority (10, 20 or 30% of Muslims) then they can be "outvoted" by the rest of them with the right motivation. For example, if the people of Iran were told, "If you develop an operational nuke we will make nuclear wa on your country immediately," they might have a revolt.
This is all dengerous stuff, but then again, human civilization is endangered at this moment. We need to press forward on all fronts, from military to cultural, and an atomic powered Big Stick may solve the problem or buy us time to get other methods to work.