David Bell does not deserve ferocious criticism. His piece simply has the wrong emphasis, and lends itself to dangerous misunderstanding.. He should have said that terrorism is not the main worry; the other instruments of Jihad are more dangerous because more effective and less noticed. A response that is entirely military, and that furthermore is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of Islam, so that the "war on terror" (cf. Jimmy Durante and Irving Berlin at a War Bonds Rally, circa 1943, asking people to contribute to "a war against the Blitzkrieg") and not the war of self-defense against the Jihad and all of its instruments, becomes the only war in town.
Besides, one should cut Bell some slack. He did a good job on the Napoleonic poseur, now much diminished or ridimensionato, Dominique de Villepin, in The New Republic. And his mother, Pearl Bell, used to write good book reviews for The New Leader, a magazine which, like "The Progressive" under Max Ascoli, was implacably and intelligent anti-Communist, much more than The New Republic under Michael Straight, and unlike their supposed avatars today, the writers for those magazines would, were they alive today, have had little trouble recognizing Islam for what it is. They had lived through a lot. They had lived through the war, and some had been refugees from the Nazis. They knew some history. They were not foolable and certainly not inclined to be impressed by, much less offer automatic respect to, anything bearing the word "religion." They were in the same boat, more or less, as Oriana Fallaci, rather than in the current galere. But even in that sinking ship of state some may be both bailing out, and bailing, just in time, so that the motto of Paris (quondam Lutetia) can become that of the entire Western world: Fluctuat nec mergitur.