The term “Homeland Security” encompasses a wide range of issues, including port security, supply chain safety, and airline safety.  Protecting our national and state assets from acts of international and domestic terrorism is a top priority of Citizens for Florida’s Future.  When terrorists strike, survivors are forced to live with the consequences, including loss of life, increased fear and anxiety, and decreased business activity such as travel and tourism.  CFF is dedicated to preventing such attacks by educating policy makers on terrorist strategies and promoting a strong defense of Florida’s human and economic capital.


Wake-up Call

In 1919, the New York Times published1 a headline which read, simply: “Bolshevism is Dead.”  In spite of their premature obituary, Lenin and his Bolsheviks assassinated Tsar Nicholas II and assumed control of the state.  The Soviet Communist regime went on to challenge the primacy of the U.S. as one of the world’s two great superpowers.  The ensuing Cold War resulted in immeasurable human tragedy and massive financial costs that are universally recognized.  Clearly, to borrow from Mark Twain, the rumors of Bolshevism’s death were greatly exaggerated.

Less than 100 years later, President Bush reminded the world of the grave error embodied in the Times’ headline.  Comparing Osama bin Laden to Vladimir Lenin, he told a gathering of the Military Officers’ Association in 2006 that the world had paid a “terrible price” because it did not “heed Lenin's words.”  Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski said of Bush’s comparison: “That is quite a compliment to bin Laden…The ‘Islamic’ jihad is, at best, a fragmented and limited movement that hardly resonates in most of the world.” Later, after a similar Bush speech in 2007, then-senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) stated the President’s analogies were not going to “make America safer.”

In the wake of the failed Christmas-Day bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253, we discover, yet again, the folly of the Brzezinski- Clinton doctrine.  Its followers rely on the false belief that our Jihadist enemy is disjointed and disorganized.  This idea is dangerous enough when espoused by minority party back-benchers.  However, when leaders of the party controlling the executive branch adopt it as their mantra, they commit an act of negligence that is akin, both morally and strategically, to writing-off Lenin and his Bolsheviks in the early twentieth century.  Further evidence of this fact may be culled from the headlines of 2009.

The first day of June, 2009 saw the killing of one soldier and wounding of another at a U.S. military recruiting center by an American believed to have been radicalized in Yemen.   In July, we had the Jemaah Islamiyah bombings of the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jarkarta and the indictments of Abdifatah Yusuf Isse and Salah Osman Ahmed, who were part of an estimated twenty Somali Americans returning to their native land to join Jihadist groups.   September brought the arrests of U.S. citizens Najibullah Zazi and Bryant Neal Vinas in a bomb plot that authorities considered the most significant threat to Americans since the September 11 attacks.  Two months later, in November, the nation watched in horror as the press reported on the Fort Hood executions of 13 people by Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan.  As the holiday season began in December, it was reported that five American Muslims in Pakistan were training for Jihad and meeting with Jamat-ud-Dawa, a banned militant group, and JeM, which has links to al-Qaeda and the 2002 murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.  Then, as the holiday season drew to a close, 2009 ended with the near-murder of 289 people on Christmas Day. 

It’s time for Congress and the President to get serious about defending Americans at home and abroad.  In order to prevent future, more successful attacks, our leaders must recognize the fact that the U.S. is now engaged in a global guerilla war.  Such a realization would have several immediate policy implications: discarding the politically correct coddling of jihadist ideology wherever it is promoted, including mosques and the workplace; treating future terrorist attacks as acts of war; utilizing military tribunals rather than the civilian court system to prosecute combatants; developing a new information sharing model; and stopping the unionization of the TSA, as some members of Congress are currently proposing.  Many additional steps will be required but these initial actions will demonstrate to Americans that their leaders listened to the Christmas Day wake-up call they received from Al Qaeda.

Eric Criss