Matt Towery

If you don't believe America will suffer another terrorist attack or that we should step up our preparedness for that likely day of reckoning, then you're in disagreement with both President George W. Bush and Tony Blankley.

 In his compelling book "The West's Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?" Blankley, editorial page editor of The Washington Times, writes candidly and vividly about the militant Islamists who are devoted to the destruction of the West at any cost.

 He notes that a panel of experts says there is a 75 percent chance that a weapon of mass destruction or other catastrophic terrorist instrument will be used in an attempt to paralyze our civilization.

 Ironically, a recent poll commissioned by some Florida newspapers indicated -- you guessed it -- about 75 percent of that state's residents believe more catastrophic terrorism will happen sooner or later.

 Blankley's articulate style and cool intellect fly in the face of what you might expect from him on this subject. He's not a natural born alarmist.

 All the more arresting, then, is his contention that these extremists should be identified for who and what they are and without mincing words.

 Blankley insists that Congress must openly declare war on the would-be mass killers and thereby put an end to the absurd and ambiguous dance of political correctness and nice manners that the president is apparently supposed to engage in, even as he tries to guide civilization through treacherous waters.

 As for the president, he displayed that he had matured in his job when he boldly said that the buck stops with him when it comes to any failures by the federal government in the early response -- or lack of it -- to Hurricane Katrina.

 Extending that theme, he also openly questioned whether our nation is adequately prepared for a man-made disaster such as a "small" nuclear explosion or a biological attack.

 The president bolstered his own credibility by making these sobering statements. But he did more than that. By speaking bluntly, he has challenged government officials to stop spending dollars hand over fist without first rethinking where our resources are going as we combat this unprecedented threat to the civilized world by an uncivilized one.

 From the Katrina-induced situation at the Louisiana Superdome, we learned that when major disasters strike, they unleash barbarism in our own streets as quickly and tragically as they do in any Third World country.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery