It seems to me that your article was designed to make Aikidoka aware of the atemi, as a physical strike, as it applies to budo. Should Aikido incorporate strikes when surrounded in an alley? Most assuredly.
However, where we train, we concentrate on capturing an opponents center and then everything else (atemi, trow, hold), is just gravy.
By striking somone in the dojo to free yourself enough to apply a technique, you have skipped the really difficult part. Stay relaxed, use your hips, capture their center and worry about the strike later.
It's just that when I hear people rally behind atemi, I simply wonder why? People say, "In Aikido you must atemi!" Well, we practice Aikido, and you will rarely find an obvious atemi. All Aikido techniques can be done safely without atemi. I'm only saying that if it can be doen the hard way (tai sabaki, blending, softness, hips ect.), strikes will present themselves to you, for when you are truly in danger.
I'm "anti-atemi" or "pro-atemi" depending on the circumstances, and training is the time to make it "worse case sensario," so have uke attack as hard as possible, and try to succeed without atemi.