The point about MAD — Mutally Assured Destruction — is just this: the Soviets were evil but they were rational. Very few were willing to die for the sake of Communism. To a Russian — even one who had become a corrupt, vodka-swilling apartchik — the idea of Moscow devastated by a nuclear attack was terrible to imagine. The consequence of all this was a certain level of restraint.
None of this applies to suicide bombers, to would-be martyrs contemplating black-eyed virgins in Paradise, to devout Islamists who agree with Ayatollah Khomeini that “patriotism is paganism” because all devotion must be to the jihad against the hated infidels who arrogantly stand in the way of the new world order.
Derb, you ask how they would set out to destroy us? Only lack of imagination limits the possibilities. But nuclear and biological weapons might certainly play a role. A series of 9/11′s would not destroy all of us but would have more impact on America as we know it than anything that the Communists or the Nazis ever managed — whatever lethal potential they may have had within their arsenals and armies.