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July 20, 2005

Member of Congress suggests taking out Mecca.

-- by Thomas Leavitt

In an earlier posting, I documented The Logic Of Violence, commenting on one right-wing blogger's idea that we should threaten to nuke Mecca as a means of pre-emptively blocking further Islamic terrorist attacks. In it, I pointed out that the blogger was not just a lone nut, and that Michael Savage, one of the most popular radio talk show hosts in the nation, had been advocating "pre-emptively nuking Arab capitals" for several years. This and similar thoughts are thus not that far from the mainstream of right-wing thought.

Well, guess what? Now we have Rep. Tom Tancredo, a member of Congress publicly raising the possibility of "taking out Mecca" in response to another terrorist incident in the United States. Question: if Newsweek's report of abuse of the Koran was "irresponsible", because it induced riots, then what do you call this? How do you think this will go over in the Muslim world? What do you think the public response would be if an American legislator suggested "taking out the Vatican" in response to a terrorist incident?

We can't let this slip by - this guy has suggested that we collectively punish the entire Muslim world, every man, woman and child, both living and yet to be born, by destroying one of their most holy sites, one that plays a central role in their religious practice, for the actions of a few irrational extremists. This is a violation of every international norm and standard of conduct, and if allowed to spread, will render our nation and citizens international pariahs.

Note that he also suggests that our only alternative is to turn the country into a police state. Isn't this effectively admitting that we are utterly incapable of protecting ourselves against terrorist activity, and that the hundreds of billions being spent in Iraq and on Homeland Security are a pointless waste of money?

Transcript of Tancredo comments

By Rocky Mountain News
July 18, 2005

Comments made by Rep. Tom Tancredo on Friday during an on-air interview on radio station WFLA in Orlando, Fla. Host Pat Campbell and the congressman were discussing the possibility of future terrorist attacks inside the United States.

Campbell: Worst case scenario, if they do have these nukes inside the borders and they were to use something like that — what would our response be?

Tancredo: What would be the response? You know, there are things that you could threaten to do before something like that happens and then you may have to do afterwards that are quite draconian.

Campbell: Such as...

Tancredo: 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, um, you know, you could take out their holy sites . . .

Campbell: You're talking about bombing Mecca.

Tancredo: Yeah. What if you said — what if you said that we recognize that this is the ultimate threat to the United States — therefore this is the ultimate threat, this is the ultimate response.

I mean, I don't know, I'm just throwing out there some ideas because it seems to me . . . at that point in time you would be talking about taking the most draconian measures you could possibly imagine and because other than that all you could do is once again tighten up internally.

Copyright 2005, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by Thomas Leavitt at July 20, 2005 5:16 PM

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He was back on Fox News later defending himself, saying something along the lines of "What I find offensive is... [insert list of stuff] and people should just get over what I said."

Posted by: Bribes at July 21, 2005 5:10 AM

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