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August 4, 2007

Tancredo: Bomb Mecca and Medina

by Jason Pye

Tom Tancredo believes that bombing Muslim holy sites is a deterrent against future terrorist attacks:

On Tuesday, Tancredo warned a group of Iowans that another terrorist attack would “cause a worldwide economic collapse.” IowaPolitics.com recorded his comments.

“If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina,” Tancredo said. “That is the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they would otherwise do. If I am wrong, fine, tell me, and I would be happy to do something else. But you had better find a deterrent, or you will find an attack.”

How long have we been involved in the affairs of Middle Eastern nations? Has our involvement ever deterred any sort of terrorist attack? Given the history between our country and the Middle East, do you really believe bombing Mecca and Medina, two of the most revered Islamic holy sites, is going to do anything other than provoke Islamic radicals?

Brilliant logic, Mr. Tancredo.

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32 Comments

  1. How educated people can make such stupid statements really says a lot for our elected officials. It maked me want to go to a system of direct representation because I don’t think our officials have a clue.Look what happened when the Saudis bombed the world trade. We went and destroyed a nation and so would the muslim after a act like that. Why is it that no American elected official talks about diplomacy and for that matter… peace. They all think that the solution is from the barrel of the gun. Hard to kick the historical habit HUH? This just proves that regardless of who is in office, any place in the USA, the same philosophy exist nationwide which is not open for true discussion.To him and all like him let me say…”Heil Hitler” again and again and again

    Comment by Reggie — August 4, 2007 @ 10:54 am
  2. [...] On Tuesday, Tancredo warned a group of Iowans that another terrorist attack would “cause a worldwide economic collapse.” IowaPolitics.Full source on Liberty Papers: Read More? [...]

    Pingback by Tancredo: Bomb Mecca and Medina - NEWS.Tuls.Net — August 4, 2007 @ 11:19 am
  3. As if the war in Iraq didn’t adequately demonstrate that kicking the beehive only pisses off the bees….. Yep, Mr. Tancredo should be in the Cheney administration with that kind of “logic”. It ws that kind of thinking that got us into this mess to begin with. Its like Dubya’s recent speach warning about the designes of Al Qaeda in Iraq but not commenting about how there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq until he invaded Iraq…
    At the same time, has anyone on this page read the Koran? It is filled with exhortations to kill the unbelievers, kill the infidels, kill, kill, kill…. so its easy to see how the nutjobs on both sides are led astray.
    I have often wanted to stand up for Islam but I can’t get over its perspective on killing those who aren’t Muslim and the subjegation of woman, etc.
    Our good friends, the Saudi’s cut peoples heads off in the street (we kill them in private), and the religious police have free reign… I don’t see much difference between them and the Taliban and I suspect that Islam would have us all under the thumb of the Mullahs and a Taliban-like regime, much like the nutjob bible-belt armaggedon-bound Christians who feign political objectivity while promoting their dream of destruction by supporting Israel and its nazi-esque treatment of the Palestinians.
    No, we are on very dangerous ground and this kind of commentary proves it… Bombing Mecca would create a cause celeb for hundreds of generations of Muslims to come. Which, of course would satisfy the Christian desire for armaggedon…

    Comment by Nobody Knows — August 4, 2007 @ 12:23 pm
  4. To say nothing of the fact that Mecca and Medina are located in Saudi Arabia, a country that’s our ostensible ally. Of course, judging from previous comments one Muslim’s just the same as another to Tancredo. Normally people’s political opinions don’t fit into nice neat little categories, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to label Tancredo as a simple flat-out racist. The guy’s a disgrace.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 4, 2007 @ 1:27 pm
  5. What the hell does that matter? The point is show all muslims that we will not tolerate their tolerance of radicals. They’re either with us or against us. If this means pissing off American citizens and allies both, then so be it. After the bombing of Mecca and Medina, all countries will know that Tom Tancredo means business, and they better start paying tribute to his greatness.

    It’s not that hard to figure out once you abandon all reason and logic.

    Comment by Nick M — August 4, 2007 @ 1:48 pm
  6. Tancredo: Bomb Mecca and Medina

    Now who’re the terrorists?

    Comment by js290 — August 4, 2007 @ 1:57 pm
  7. Maybe Tancredo should read Malcolm X’s letter from Mecca.

    Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and the overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as practiced by people of all colors and races here in this Ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all other prophets of the Holy Scriptures.
    I have been blessed to visit the Holy City of Mecca. There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue eyed blonds to black skin Africans. But we were all participating in the same rituals, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had lead me to believe never could exist between the white and non-white.

    America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have considered ‘white’ — but the ‘white’ attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colors together, irrespective of their color.

    I could see from this, that perhaps if white Americans could accept the Oneness of God, then perhaps, too, they could accept in reality the Oneness of Man — and cease to measure, and hinder, and harm others in terms of their differences in color.

    With racism plaguing America like an incurable cancer, the so-called ‘Christian’ white American heart should be more receptive to a proven solution to such a destructive problem. Perhaps it could be in time to save America from imminent disaster — the same destruction brought upon Germany by racism that eventually destroyed the Germans themselves.

    Comment by MoMaan — August 4, 2007 @ 1:58 pm
  8. We should probably also bomb London, to ensure Britain’s continued friendship.

    Comment by Wulf — August 4, 2007 @ 2:41 pm
  9. MoMaan,

    Bullshit. The Muslim Sudanese government has been ethnically cleansing the non-Muslim African tribes of Darfur and Islam. Kuwait treats all non-Muslim foreign workers like animals, forces them to live in slums and strips them of their rights. I could name at least five or six examples off the top of my head on how Islamic countries demonstrate systematic intolerance and racism. I certainly don’t buy into Tancredo’s line of crap about all Muslims being our enemy and how it’s justified to blow up their holy sites. But Malcolm X’s story was an idealized and abridged story of Islam and it’s laughable to pretend that Islam has removed all racism and violence from their society. There are good things about Islam to be sure, but they’re just as prone to violence, and prejudice and totalitarianism as any other religion. Although I’ll give credit to Malcolm X for using his experience on the hadj to learn just what a scam artist Elijah Muhammed (head of the Nation of Islam) was.

    If you want a more realistic and contemporary discussion of Islam to cut through the xenophobia of the Tancredo-ites, however, you should check out the stuff that Tariq Ramadan writes. I don’t always agree with his stances, but I think he grasps a lot of the problems with Islam (and its interaction with the West) better than most.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tariq_Ramadan

    http://www.tariqramadan.com/welcome.php3

    Comment by UCrawford — August 4, 2007 @ 4:45 pm
  10. They burned embassies over a few cartoons. They rioted when Newsweek published a false story about a Koran in a toilet and Tancredo thinks destroying their holiest shrines is going to suddenly make them see reason?

    I didn’t think I could hear something stupider than Obama’s plan to invade Pakistan, but I guess I was wrong.

    Comment by Stephen Macklin — August 4, 2007 @ 7:25 pm
  11. The utterly pathetic thing is where Tancredo made those remarks…at some family restaurant in Iowa, in front of about 30 people who weren’t paying attention to him, after which they apparently continued to ignore him:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2171667/

    What a loser…I can’t believe this guy ever thought he had a chance of being taken seriously as a presidential candidate. In a few years he’ll probably end up on some British reality show with George Galloway

    Comment by UCrawford — August 4, 2007 @ 8:20 pm
  12. UCrawford,

    Untrue. You make the same mistake thats inherent in so many of the simplistic responses I have seen today. You confuse ISLAM with CULTURE. These two are NOT one and the same. With the example of Kuwait you pointed out, let me point out Malaysia. A MUSLIm country which has a much mure complex ethnic makeup than Kuwait or any of the Arab states, but with NONE of the barbaric laws/customs. I do not agree with the way Arabs (Sudan is also an Arab country) treat other people/workers, but it would be a mistake to assume that they treat them that way out of Isalmic beliefs. In fact Islam makes no distinction between racec or colors. Malcolm X was correct when he said that.

    Comment by MoMaan — August 4, 2007 @ 8:26 pm
  13. I would think that Christianity and Buddhism also eliminate race from religion. After all Christianity ceased to be a sect of judaism when it permitted gentiles to join. Buddhism is similarly uncaring about peoples ancestry.

    To claim Islam is the first religion to transcend race. Yes, it is univeralist in that anyone is permitted to join the religion. However it post-dates Buddhism and Christianity, and given Islam’s explicit embrace of merging religious and state power the anti-racism of Islam is weaker; States are generally organizations where a powerful minority exploits the weaker majority, and in all cultures where racism is practiced heavily, the racial discrimination is carried out by the state and justified by religious authorities.

    Incidentally, I would not hold up Malaysia as an example of a non racist society.

    Comment by tarran — August 4, 2007 @ 9:26 pm
  14. MoMaan,

    That is still complete BS. Like you said, the teachings of Islam and how it turns out in practice are completely different – maybe because of culture. But racism is not an issue.

    But when Tancredo talks about bombing Mecca and Medina, that is religious intolerance rather than racism. And religious intolerance is very strong in countries dominated by Muslim peoples.

    And I take great offense with your statement that America is plagued by racism like a cancer. Racism is developed out of an instinctive negative reaction towards the unfamiliar or rival groups of people. Some groups people are very racist indeed, but the vast majority are very tolerant of each other.

    I would say that Asian nations are very culturally racist towards each other. Many European nations are culturally racist towards outsiders. Middle Eastern nations are extremely racist in general.

    Racism in America is mild in comparison.

    Comment by TanGeng — August 4, 2007 @ 9:37 pm
  15. TanGeng,

    I don’t think MoMaan was saying that himself…I believe his remark was actually a quote from Malcolm X’s book and he just neglected to add quotation marks.

    MoMaan,

    Simplistic? I’m not the one making false statements about my religion or philosophy being devoid of sin. Sorry, but I’ve spent enough time in the Middle East and studied enough about Islam to know it’s just as screwed up, violent, racist, and prone to abuse as any other religion on the planet. Culture and religion are not separate, despite what you’d like to believe, they’re thoroughly intertwined, especially in the Middle East where the culture is often a reflection of or built on the peoples’ adherence to their religion. This Islamic utopia you’re selling doesn’t exist, so if there’s anyone here spouting simplistic opinions, sport, it’s definitely you.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 5, 2007 @ 12:27 am
  16. TanGeng,

    Also, I’d argue that Tancredo’s religious intolerance is firmly based in racism. He’s proposed indefinite moratoriums on immigration, claimed that illegal immigration is a plot to come over and murder Americans, and he’s made the “bomb Mecca” comments on more than one occasion. This is a guy who views the world in collective culture groups with his group possessing an inherent superiority. His actions indicate a mindset where it’s perfectly acceptable to dictate terms to other groups and force their compliance, shun them from society, or even kill them with minimal cause if he finds it expedient. That’s about as racist as you get. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if we found out later the guy’s got white sheets with eyeholes somewhere in his linen closet.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 5, 2007 @ 12:43 am
  17. “Why is it that no American elected official talks about diplomacy and for that matter… peace. They all think that the solution is from the barrel of the gun.” Reggie, there IS a candidate; his name is Ron Paul. Back him and our problems will soon be over.

    Comment by Albert Wilson — August 5, 2007 @ 4:34 am
  18. Albert,

    Gosh, really? Is Ron Paul going to seize absolute power and dictate terms to Congress? Is he going to come in and kick all the justices off the Supreme Court who voted against property rights in Kelo? Is Ron Paul going to cure cancer and stop all wars, and make everyone smart enough to always make rational decisions, and eliminate poverty too? Because our government, Constitutionally, isn’t actually structured that way you know and Ron Paul isn’t actually saying that either.

    While Ron Paul is, to my mind, the best candidate in the race and I’m going to vote for him, you’re delusional if you thnk he’s going to solve all of our problems overnight or that he’d even be able to solve all of them. A Ron Paul presidency would be a big help, but the executive branch (despite what Bush says) doesn’t have supreme power or the ability to work completely unilaterally. If you want to alienate people who might be on the fence about Ron Paul, then by all means keep making ridiculous statements about how Paul will magically fix the world alone…you’ll make the swing voters think that people who like Ron Paul are a bunch of ignorant loons. If you want to actually sell Ron Paul’s candidacy to people you should try to focus on things he realistically can and can’t do.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 5, 2007 @ 11:04 am
  19. Albert,

    But you’re right on the smaller point, Ron Paul has been consistently on an anti-war message all along, he understands that free trade is the way to go, and he opposed the Iraq War from the beginning, and he deserves a lot of credit for that…credit he often hasn’t gotten.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 5, 2007 @ 11:08 am
  20. So tell me, what response would you suggest if one or more cities in the USA were destroyed by suitcase nukes?

    Comment by Don V — August 5, 2007 @ 5:13 pm
  21. The suitcase nuke scenario is already ceding a failure. The goal should be to prevent such a scenario from occurring rather than planning for a response to such a scenario.

    To that end, the threat against Mecca and Medina has more downside than upside. Unless one believes all Muslims to be incorrigible, threatening all Muslims does not help.

    Comment by TanGeng — August 5, 2007 @ 9:31 pm
  22. Don,

    You mean the suitcase nukes that weighed between 300-700 pounds and have a battery life of six months after which they become inactive and unusable? You mean the suitcase nukes that only one country has produced and then only in limited quantities because they were so ungodly expensive and problematic to create and maintain, making it unlikely a non-governmental group could ever create them? You mean the suitcase nukes that would require high-technology training and access to laboratory materials and safety equipment that you can’t realistically build in a cave without attracting someone’s attention? You mean those suitcase nukes?

    Or do you mean the make-believe hypothetical suitcase nukes that the Bush administration likes to trot out for panicky idiots as a justification to revoke their rights? Because neither of them is actually a realistic threat, and neither of them is worth basing much policy around.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 5, 2007 @ 11:02 pm
  23. Gosh, really? Is Ron Paul going to seize absolute power and dictate terms to Congress? Is he going to come in and kick all the justices off the Supreme Court who voted against property rights in Kelo? Is Ron Paul going to cure cancer and stop all wars, and make everyone smart enough to always make rational decisions, and eliminate poverty too? Because our government, Constitutionally, isn’t actually structured that way you know and Ron Paul isn’t actually saying that either.

    I don’t think Ron Paul is even that ambitious. A good showing by Paul would indicate that Americans’ view on politics is shifting. Maybe more people like Ron Paul and Paul Broun of Georgia will get elected into office. I’m not hopeful, but it’s nice to think about.

    Comment by js290 — August 5, 2007 @ 11:08 pm
  24. js290,

    I agree, it would be nice if we had more people like Ron Paul in office. Fiscal conservatives seem to be a rare breed these days…Coburn, Flake and a couple of others I suppose. And I think the country would be a lot better off if Ron Paul did get elected. A small-government conservative with libertarian leanings in the White House would be a big step in the right direction. It just irritates me, though, that so many of Ron Paul’s followers trot out lines like he’s some kind of messiah who will magically fix all our problems if we vote him in. Our government doesn’t work that way, by original design, and I think Paul would be one of the first to admit it.

    If they’re trying to mount a realistic campaign, they’ll focus on what Ron Paul can actually do as opposed to what they wish he could do in a perfect world. That’s how you win swing voters and undecideds, by selling them on how Ron Paul can realistically change things for the better. When the people who support him trot out exaggerated slogans, or blast everyone who asks questions about Paul, or spam polls it makes it look like Paul’s constituency is a bunch of crazy people and it makes Paul look like a fringe candidate, and most mainstream voters get turned off by things like that. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that they’re dedicated and believe in their candidate and I respect their enthusiasm, but I think they seriously need to cut back on a lot of the cultist aspects of what they’re doing in regards to Ron Paul.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 5, 2007 @ 11:25 pm
  25. UCrawford,

    The dirty bomb scenario is far more likely. Such a bomb would still be extremely expensive, but it could poison entire cities and render them uninhabitable and inflict significant economic loss.

    The national security policy should try to prevent such a scenario. If such a scenario plays out, the national security strategy will already have failed, and then the priority is going to be disaster management.

    Prevention can be achieved through the combination of two means, through cooperation from nuclear states and the state where terrorists reside or through deterrence. Threatening to bomb Mecca and Medina might be deterrence, but it destroys the the opportunity to gain cooperation of Muslim leaders, and we come off as unhinged to all the other nuclear states.

    Comment by TanGeng — August 5, 2007 @ 11:41 pm
  26. TanGeng,

    There was an article recently, I will try to find it(it was on USA Today, but the link I had was dead), that basically said even the dirty bomb scenario is pretty overblown. That it would actually be fairly limited in destruction and range.

    Comment by Nick M — August 6, 2007 @ 10:20 am
  27. TanGeng,

    For a dirty bomb to create a level of damage that you’re worried about, it would still require a level of expertise in constructing and handling a nuclear device that anyone outside of a nuclear-powered country is likely to possess, not to mention access to nuclear materials (which are generally well-controlled). The more likely culprit in a dirty bomb would be discarded radioactive material from medical or industrial waste. And most experts I’ve seen talking about this have conceded that the only significant threat from such a bomb would be the conventional explosion because the radiation generated would be so low.

    For radioactive material that could cause really damage when mixed with an IED, it’s unlikely that al-Qaeda could smuggle those materials out of a nuclear facility while still maintaining safety protocols for handling that material without someone noticing. And if they chose to ignore safety protocols, the radioactive material would very likely kill whoever handled it well before they could construct a device and ship it to the States.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 6, 2007 @ 11:18 am
  28. Actually, Tarran would probably be a good person to weigh in on this. I saw in his bio that he worked as a nuclear propulsion officer for the Navy, so I’d think he’d have more expertise on the subject than any of us.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 6, 2007 @ 11:20 am
  29. Ah yes, I was contemplating the difficulties of storing the materials for a dirty bomb, and concluded that it would be extremely expensive. Also the difficulty for handling increases as the the radiation toxicity of a dirty bomb increases. And it seems more and more unlikely to me now.

    Preventing such a (unlikely) scenario relies more on cooperation from nuclear states than deterring the terrorists (who the neo-cons claim are all crazy, evil, and suicidal.)

    Comment by TanGeng — August 6, 2007 @ 1:07 pm
  30. TanGeng,

    Agreed.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 6, 2007 @ 1:21 pm
  31. Dirty bombs! Suitcase nukes! WMDs! ANTHRAX! 9/11! bin Laden! IRAN! NUKES!

    ZOMFG!!!

    OH NOES!!!!!! I’m scared!!!!!

    Nothing like taking the power of these weapons out of context in these hypothetical situations in order to strengthen a point and create fear.

    Earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and various other natural disasters are all hundreds of times more powerful than a “suitcase nuke” or a “dirty bomb”. A nuke going off in New Orleans during Katrina wouldn’t have even been a blip on the radar.

    And we send our National Guard to Iraq. Go figure…

    Comment by Chris S — August 6, 2007 @ 3:04 pm
  32. OK. First off Tancredo didn’t say he would bomb those sites as a deterrent to future attacks.
    He said we would ONLY attack, if we were attacked first.

    Tom Tancredo knows what is talking about.

    Guys we are dealing with blood thirsty terroists who do want to nuke us, and if they do get a nuke they will use it.

    Tancredo is smart, the only way to stop
    these terroists from bombing the us is to use agressive deterrent talk by saying if you bomb us well bomb your holy sites, so in the end the probably wont bomb us if they think our president is being serious.

    Comment by Joe — August 12, 2007 @ 7:52 pm

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