Republican Congressman says U.S. should bomb Mecca if attack

Can you believe these guys
July 19, 2005

The remarks were hypothetical but the outrage was real.

Facing mounting criticism, Rep. Tom Tancredo on Monday refused to apologize for suggesting the United States could target Muslim holy sites if radical Islamic terrorists set off multiple nuclear attacks in American cities.

"It's a tough issue to deal with," Tancredo told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference. "Tough things are said. And we should not shy away from saying things that need to be said."

Tancredo is known for his fiery rhetoric on immigration and other issues, but his words are coming under more scrutiny because he has started traveling to test the waters for a possible presidential candidacy in 2008.

A spokeswoman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Tancredo's remarks irresponsible. "They do nothing to advance our national security and protect Americans from terrorists," Pelosi spokeswoman Jennifer Crider said.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which calls itself the largest Islamic civil rights group in the United States, demanded an apology Monday, after the Rocky Mountain News published an account of his Friday interview with WFLA radio in Florida.

In the interview, talk show host Pat Campbell asked Tancredo what the United States should do if terrorists were to strike several U.S. cities with nuclear weapons.
"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," Tancredo answered.

"You're talking about bombing Mecca," Campbell said.

"Yeah," Tancredo responded.
He went on to say that he was "just throwing out some ideas" but that an "ultimate threat" might have to be met with an "ultimate response."

Tancredo later said he was not advocating such a response, but merely discussing what could happen in a hypothetical situation.

"I was talking about what we could maybe do as a preventative," Tancredo said. "I simply throw that out there as a thing to think about, although it is horrendous to think about. So is having one or more cities destroyed in the United States."

CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper called Tancredo's remarks irresponsible, inflammatory and "unworthy of an elected official."

"These kinds of ... comments just serve to fuel negative perceptions of the United States in the Muslim world that create a downward spiral of hostility," Hooper said. "He needs to go far beyond a clarification and apologize, not only to the people of Colorado, but to the American-Muslim community."

Tancredo rejected the idea of apologizing at his news conference, where the controversy overshadowed the topic he wanted to address, his introduction of comprehensive immigration reform legislation. His bill would create a limited guest worker plan for immigrants but only after beefing up border security.

Last week in Iowa, home of the nation's first presidential caucuses, he pressed his immigration reform agenda to members of the Christian Coalition. At each stop, he also spoke briefly about what he sees as a clash of civilizations and war against "radical Islam."

Hooper said it was a "quantum leap" for Tancredo to go a step further and suggest destroying Muslim holy sites that are at the center of a faith for one-fifth of the world's people.

"Unfortunately, there's a veritable cottage industry of anti-Muslim rhetoric now in our society, and it seems to be growing," Hooper said. "I don't know where it's taking us, because if people really do believe we're in conflict with the faith of Islam, what does that mean? What are the implications of that? Unending civilizational and religious war? It's too much to contemplate." In an interview, Tancredo said he did not intend to offend moderate Muslims, whom he calls the "best hope" of bringing terrorists to justice. "When we bombed Hiroshima, when we bombed Dresden, we punished a lot of people who were not necessarily (guilty)," Tancredo said. "Not every German was a member of the Nazi Party. You do things in war that are ugly." He stressed that he was not advocating an attack on Islamic holy sites, but that counterattacks had to be considered -- and perhaps telegraphed ahead of time. That way, he said, both sides would know the stakes under a worst-case scenario, much as they did under the Cold War theory of "mutually assured destruction."

Tancredo believes government officials already have considered such a scenario.

"Do they think, honestly, if I never said that, it wouldn't be contemplated?" Tancredo said. "Of course, things are contemplated, and I certainly wouldn't be the only one. Not saying it does not mean it doesn't exist in the minds of people."

Late Monday, CAIR officials said they were trying to arrange a meeting between Tancredo and Colorado Muslim leaders. Tancredo spokesman Will Adams said he had not received the invitation but that the congressman would be willing to meet with moderate Muslims.
He is a bigot and by saying "bombing Mecca" he just "recruited" more terrorists and gave the terror leaders more ammo as they undoubtly will twist his words to their advantage.
Vanni Fucci
Quote: Originally Posted by no1important

He is a bigot and by saying "bombing Mecca" he just "recruited" more terrorists and gave the terror leaders more ammo as they undoubtly will twist his words to their advantage.

Well it's not like it would take much twisting...
Reverend Blair
Somebody should likely duct tape his mouth closed whenever he gets near a microphone.
Ten Packs
No different than bombing Jerusalem - that will sure win over a lot of "hearts and minds"....

What a maroon.

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