While the rest of us have been checking tear-tracks and measuring "bounce," Investors Business Daily's editorial page has taken the trouble to zero in on substance--the presidential candidates' actual positions on Islamic terrorism (jihad). First, IBD noted total radio silence among all the Democratic candidates when it comes to jihad terrorism in their recent debates, pointing out that all the Republicans are quick to acknowledge the threat and dissuss it.
Today, however, IBD concludes: "For all [the GOP] stump talk of defeating Islamic extremists, there is a paucity of detail."
Fear not, GOP. IBD has done the heavy lifting, pulling together an excellent list of initial steps to take, excerpted below.
Put these in your talking points...and smoke the opposition.
IBD's ideas are:
• Restricting R-1 and R-2 religious visas for imams and their families from Pakistan, Saudi, Egypt and the UAE to limit the pro-jihad Wahhabi preaching in American mosques and schools.
• Canceling the scholarship visa program with Saudi Arabia — whereby some 21,000 young Saudi men will attend U.S. college campuses through 2009 — until Riyadh can certify it truly has reformed school textbooks.
• Canceling contracts to train Saudi police and other security forces in U.S. counterterrorism tactics at Quantico and Sandia National Laboratory until Riyadh prosecutes al- Qaida financiers like Yassin Kadi and stops freeing terrorists from jail so they can rejoin the jihad.
• Finding ways to measure Pakistan's anti-terrorism results and tying results — such as the capture and extradition of high-value al-Qaida targets — directly to the $1 billion in military and other aid we provide Islamabad each year.
• Proscribing as sedition or solicitation of treason the preaching of jihad, along with the publication and distribution of pro-jihadi materials in the U.S. — including via the Internet, where the FBI has identified more than 5,000 pro-jihad Web sites but can little about them without changes in the law.
• Tightening IRS enforcement of tax-exempt status requirements for mosques, specifically related to political activities that encourage global jihad and undermine U.S. security policy.
IBD's bottom line?
Candidates for the White House must recognize this is a life-and-death struggle, not just another item on a campaign agenda to be checked off. As such, it demands more than just tough rhetoric and boilerplate proposals. Americans deserve to hear a point-by-point plan of action.
We should demand it.