A Cautious Man
July 17, 2005
 
Playing Backyard Bombadier
There's a member of the United States House of Representatives named Tom Tancredo, from Colorado, who has it all figured out with respect to dealing with extremist Muslims. Simply put, we should threaten to bomb their holy sites -
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, you know, you could take out their holy sites.

CAMPBELL: You're talking about bombing Mecca.

TANCREDO: Yeah. I mean, what if you said, "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 this point in time, or at that point in time, you would be talking about taking the most draconian measures you could possibly imagine. Because other than that all you could do is, once again, tighten up internally.
Thanks to No More Mister Nice Blog for transcribing that discussion (which can also be listened to here and here).

Think about that for a moment. Better yet, listen to the audio at one of the links above, and note the matter-of-fact way this U.S. Representative calmly discusses bombing Mecca, just to threaten or get back at some violent extremists. I looked to see if there were any news stories about this, and other than some piece of fluff at WorldNetDaily (which noted the expected enthusiastic reaction from the crowd at FreeRepublic.com), there basically was nothing. Nada. Zip.

Now, I have a serious problem with this. First of all, this is a statement which could only come from someone who was either screamingly ignorant, or simply venal - because he confuses "Muslim" with "terrorist". But, more important, you know that if some Imam somewhere said that it would be a good idea to set off a bomb at the National Cathedral, or the Lincoln Memorial, as payback for something that America did, the usual crowd from Fox News and talk radio would be foaming at the mouth, demanding that every single Muslim denounce such statements - and continuously bringing it up in case they didn't think the denunciations were public enough or strong enough.

Not to mention the fact that a headline like "U.S. Official Threatens Bombing of Holy Sites" not only hinders our nation's ability to reach out for allies in the Muslim world, but is also a handy little recruiting tool for those who need pliable, impressionable young men to strap on a bomb vest and blow themselves up.

The bottom line is simply this - why the hell aren't more people demanding the Rep. Tancredo be tossed out of the Congress for spreading this garbage?

[Edited on 7/18 to add] There was a little more news coverage of this, today. Rick at So May It Secretly Begin found an article about how Congressman Tancredo is trying to, um, "explain" himself -
The congressman 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 released a statement Sunday evening in which he said he was simply trying to figure out what the United States could use as a threat to deter future attacks.

"Among the many things we might do to prevent such an attack on America would be to lay out there as a possibility the destruction of these sites," he wrote.

"I do not advocate this. Much more thought would need to be given to the potential ramifications of such a horrific response," Tancredo wrote.

His spokesman, Will Adams, said the congressman is a "free thinker" who was grappling with a hypothetical situation.

"We have an enemy with no uniform, no state, who looks like you and me and only emerges right before an attack. How do we go after someone like that?" Adams said.

"What is near and dear to them? What is the pressure point that would deter them from their murderous impulses?" he said Sunday.
Maybe it's just me, but that really doesn't make him seem any less ignorant, venal, or just plain embarrassing.

So, I repeat, "Why the hell aren't more people demanding the Rep. Tancredo be tossed out of the Congress for spreading this garbage?"

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