I remember reading this sort of essay in the 1970s, especially in the years of the Carter Administration when it seemed like Invasion America might well be a useful simulation for the end of the Last War. People seemed to be locked into a dualistic view of the "long twilight stuggle" against the Soviet Union: either we surrender to them or go out in a suicidal blaze of glory. No one really thought we could actually win; the best that could be hoped for was to break even and prolong the game for another hand, another inning, a few more years. At which point Ronald Reagan showed up, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The big difference now, of course, is that the Islamofascists don't have the atomic arsenal the Chinese have, much less all the missiles possessed by the old USSR. They're also considerably more dispersed than the Soviets were. On the other hand, our means of selectively picking out and killing those who need it have gotten a lot better, and I daresay if 9/11 were to be repeated with any kind of WMD, the mullahs responsible would be dead in very short order without us having to incinerate an entire city to get at them. (I'm not sure the French and Germans would be quite so discriminating if push came to shove, but that's really not my problem.) All that aside, do I think we'd throw down and declare a new Crusade to drive the paynim forth from our City on a Hill? Probably not - but I think a lot of imams currently drawing their pay from the Saudis would be looking at hard time in Marion or the gas chamber, and a lot of other folks would find out what it's really like to be on the wrong side of the fence when America's at war. We tend to be awfully Jacksonian around these parts when we get pissed off, and the middle ground tends to disappear pretty quick.
UPDATE Father Fessio says on the Hugh Hewitt program that the Pope doesn't think Islam is capable of change. OTOH, His Holiness isn't swapping the Popemobile for a Leopard III just yet.