Tom Tancredo and Treading Carefully
By Leon H Wolf Posted in User Blogs — Comments (89) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Thus far, I've not commented much on the controversial remarks by Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), which have been widely shouted down and misrepresented by bloggers left and right. In the first place, the context in which the remarks occured sheds much light on how the words came to be uttered in the first place:
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.
Okay - so, first of all, it is important to note that the suggestion to bomb Mecca itself was not Tancredo's, it was Campbell's. However, Tancredo did offer that he would bomb their "holy sites" so we are splitting hairs there just a tad.
Now, what a lot of well-intentioned bloggers like Hugh Hewitt and the rest of the right-leaning crowd are missing when they shout down Tancredo like this is that Tancredo was intentionally throwing out the most draconian response he could imagine to the detonation of multiple nuclear weapons on United States soil.
Now, while I don't necessarily agree that strategically, bombing Mecca should be the first item of importance on our list, I think that what Hewitt and others are doing in shouting down this idea so loudly is dead wrong and dangerous. Nuclear weapons, by their very nature, are so destructive that the temptation for an outmanned power to use them in war is very great indeed - which is what makes them such an attractive weapon for Islamofascist terrorists. The only thing that kept either side from using them in the Cold War was of course, the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), in which we both knew that if we started launching nukes, we'd end up destroying the totality of both our countries.
Now, when dealing with Islamofascists, the equation gets a little trickier - because as we can plainly see, a lot of these Islamofascists don't have the most well-developed sense of self-preservation. They think nothing of the value of their own lives, or even the lives of their spiritual brothers and sisters, so long as it goes to further their own cause. That is why they have no qualms about detonating bombs in or near mosques, or flying planes into buildings occupied at least partly by Muslims. To them, a few (or many) deaths in the name of Islam is worth the price to spread their radical brand of Islam into the world.
To put it succinctly, their brand of Islam is the only thing in the world they can be threatened with. They could care less if Riyadh or Tehran were turned into seas of glass. On the other hand, the destruction of Mecca and their other irreplacable holy sites might be the only notion that would give a terrorist who is actually dedicated and cunning enough to successfully manage a nuclear detonation on U. S. soil pause for thought.
So, whem Tom Tancredo makes these remarks, and is widely condemned by people on both sides of the ideological spectrum, a strategic response is effectively removed from the table. This is horrible policy in Nuclear warfare - in which the only effective means of deterrence is convincing your enemy that no measure of response is so draconian that it will be removed from the table.
Now, you might very well know in your heart of heart that the United States never would or should bomb Mecca in response to multiple nuclear attacks. But in this poker game, where the stakes are measured in hundreds of thousands of lives, you dare not show that card to the world.
CROSS POSTED: MachoNachos