Bomb Mecca? How About: Vote Out Tancredo
A week ago, U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) was asked in an interview what he thought should be the U.S. response if terrorists used a nuclear weapon against us. He responded:
''Well, what if you said something like -- if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites." When the host asked him if he meant ''bombing Mecca," he said, ''Yeah."
Not surprisingly, such remarks have received wide-spread condemnation and calls for Tancredo to apologize or face discipline from the House of Representatives. While the House has not acted on this matter, it is rather surprising that this has become and issue. After all, bombing Mecca, even in the wake of a nuclear terrorist attack, would be an act of extreme brutality and unjustifiable vengeance.
And yet, Tancredo defends his remarks in today’s Denver Post, saying that we absolutely must leave all options on the table and a threat to hit Islamic holy sites may be what’s needed to persuade moderate Muslims to start fighting terrorism with greater intensity. Tancredo says:
Until "mainstream" Islam can bring itself to stop rationalizing terrorist attacks and start repudiating and purging people like [terrorist apologist] Ali and [terrorist supporter] Hajjar from its ranks who do, this war will continue.
I agree completely that moderate Muslims need to do be more vocal and forceful in condemning the Islamic fascists in their ranks. But Tancredo’s suggestion that the threat of brutal force will motivate moderate Muslims to act in our interest, is small-minded. Bombing Mecca or Medina simply cannot be an option just like, during the height of IRA terrorism, bombing Rome was never considered a viable option, despite the fact that many Catholics around the world tacitly or directly supported the IRA.
Tancredo is right that moderate Muslims need to be more forcibly on our side. But intimidation is the worst way to win allies and his suggestion that we threaten to his Islamic holy sites is obscene. While we at TYL never support disciplining a politician for their words (only their actions), we do believe the people in Tancredo’s district should seriously consider throwing him out in 2006. We need politicians of real vision—Tancredo doesn’t appear to come close.