Wednesday, July 20, 2005

RADICAL WATCH: 'Bomb Mecca,' says Colorado Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo

This post is part of my occasional series, Radical Watch, which seeks to bring to the forefront individuals whom I consider to be radicals, regardless of their religion or ideology. I believe that these individuals need to be monitored and condemned by their potential constituency and society at large. For the record, I categorically condemn the views of every individual who appears in this series.

This week, Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado, 6th District), one of the looney extreme right-wingers in the Republican Party, said in a WFLA-AM radio interview with Pat Campbell that the United States could hypothetically "take out" the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia if we were attacked with nuclear weapons by Muslim terrorists, such as members of al Qaeda. In the interview, Tancredo acknowledged that such a hypothetical attack was "draconian" and would be "the ultimate response."

After his comments began to circulate nationally, arousing anger from many segments of American society, not just Muslim-Americans, Tancredo backtracked, saying that he was, "just throwing out some ideas." Rather than address further questions himself, Tancredo hid behind his spokesman, Will Adams, who insisted that his boss does not support threatening Mecca and Medina. Adams again reiterated the argument that Tancredo was speaking of hypothetical situations.

Even if Tancredo was speaking hypothetically, his statements remain divisive, ignorant, and extremist. Not only would his "hypothetical" policy suggestion not deter terrorism, it would prove the point that Osama bin Laden has always made; the United States is the mother of global terrorism, on the one hand condemning it while on the other hand engaging in state terrorism as it sees fit. The entire world, including our closest allies, would condemn such an attack, and rightly so. Tancredo's remarks, like most made by the looney right and left wing extremist fringes of both major U.S. political parties, are ignorant and foolish.

Tancredo's statements also stand in stark contrast to the views of President George W. Bush and the national Republican Party, currently headed by Ken Mehlman. However, this latest incident clearly shows the issue of credibility currently facing the Republican Party. On the one hand, they claim to be all inclusive, or at least as all inclusive as they can be without betraying their key beliefs. They also claim that the majority of religious Americans, of any religion, will naturally be Republican due to their conservative social values. On the other hand, the Republicans pander to the Christian Evangelical Right, which casts doubt on the sincerity of their approach to Republicans of other faiths, such as myself.


To hear an MP3 segment of Rep. Tancredo's statements, see the July 15 section on:

To visit Tancredo's official web site, see:

No comments: