by John Errett
American Reporter Correspondent
Punta Gorda, Fla.
May 1, 2008
A PLAN TO ENSURE 9/11 NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- The "War on Terror" sparked by the tragic events of 9/11 continues unabated as we enter one of the most important elections in American history. I believe the leading candidates must tell us how they plan to win this war, but disturbingly this campaign issue remains on the back burner.
Our enemies are extremist Muslim fanatics claiming allegiance to no nation; who are not governed by secular law, and who find it their sacred obligation to kill infidels, defined as anyone not believing in their distorted version of the Koran. So, how can we prevent another 9/11, by Islamic or any other kind of terrorist?
What I believe is a remarkable new strategy called "The Privilege of Passage Plan," - the POP Plan for short - offers a three-pronged approach to defeating terrorism and protecting America from further attacks.
First, let's realize that the only way to defeat Muslim terrorism is to have American and other peace-loving Muslims lead the sane Islamic world in reclaiming their religion from the tiny minority of Muslims who have embraced terrorism and violent jihad. America, the West and any nations threatened by Muslim fanatics should be recruiting, training and dispatching teams of Muslims to place at the disposal of our intelligence agencies.
Many Muslims who have lost friends and family to Islamic terror would do anything to stop this scourge and restore peace. Now we have the chance to gather these disenfranchised Muslims and help them rid their culture, religion and lives of Islamic and other terrorists who seek nothing but destruction and subjugation of the entire civilized world.
With the War on Terror budgets already stretched, where can we find the resources needed to assist Muslims in their efforts to reclaim a true Islam? The answer lies with the second leg of the POP Plan - American and Western business and industry.
The World Trade Center disaster caused more than $150 billion in damages, and the attacks devastated the American economy, leading to more than a trillion dollars in related costs, including that of the Iraq War.
Now, businesses around the world find their assets continually in jeopardy and their personnel continually at risk. But the force of American business and industry is powerful and dynamic, and if even a small portion of its resources were brought to bear, it would give the War on Terror a much-needed boost in economic resources.
Whether it is simply an influx of funds (and business is far better at spending dollars wisely than governments), launching a PR blitz (in Arabic) or even an Arabic tv station to combat our enemies' propaganda, or just providing space for training facilities, American business must stand ready and willing to enter the fray.
The third part of the POP Plan is as important as the first two. It addresses a problem that permits terrorists to travel wherever they wish, while at the same time no nation accepts responsibility for their terrorist acts. But what if nations were held financially responsible for terrorist acts their passport-holders perpetrate while abroad?
For example, the POP Plan would mandate that participating nations conduct basic inquiries of a passport applicant's character and personal history, and then deem them a proper or dangerous traveler - since a nation would be held accountable for this traveller's terrorist acts anywhere in the world.
Travelers without Plan passports would not be allowed into any Plan member-nations. For instance, 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabian; if Saudi Arabia had been a Plan member, they would not have issued passports to citizens who may have been suspected of terrorist operations.
On the other hand, if the hijackers were issued passports under the terms of the Plan, the Saudi government would have been liable for upwards of $1 trillion dollars. At the very least, the POP Plan would make it immensely more difficult for terrorists to travel unrestrained, a giant step forward in the War on Terror. Homeland Security should welcome the Plan, since its very nature causes nations to examine their passport applicants more closely.
To establish the Plan and develop an international consensus in support, our State Department must take the lead, subject to the approval of Congress and the President. This process must be conducted outside of the United Nations, where it would be tied up in countless debates and resolutions. And the implementation of the Plan should be rapid - time is of the essence as the world anticipates new terrorist violence.
Funding for the POP Plan should be relatively simple. A nominal entry and departure fee would be collected by all common carriers including airlines, railroads, other surface carriers and steamship lines, just as is down now for Homeland Security operations in the United States. These fees would be dedicated to the implementation of the Plan. Naturally, special consideration would be given persons living in one nation and working in an adjacent nation, as is common in Europe.
Travelers from nations not participating in the POP Plan who wish to visit the United States or any other member nation could do so by posting individual collateral, purchasing an adequate insurance policy or providing a surety bond satisfactory to the nation being visited. That would indemnify that nation for any terrorist acts perpetrated by the visitor.
There would have to be exceptions for the critically ill, diplomatic personnel, athletic teams, cultural performers, members of world organizations, certain scientists and others. These exceptions need to be determined by the participating nations, who would establish a governing board, promulgate rules and regulations, employ staff and management and install some form of adjudication of the many issues that will arise, such as defining what a terrorist act is, what liability exists, and that would establish a schedule of potential damages and a means for collecting them promptly.
Our candidates for elective office need to tell us: What will they do to ensure attacks like those of Sept. 11, 2001, never happen again? The POP Plan and other practical anti-terrorist strategies are discussed in "The Owl and the Hawk," a new novel by John Errett released today and available now at Amazon.com. More information is available at his Website.