Republican Tancredo's Foreign Policy: Bomb Mecca

This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report

Two years ago, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) raised more than a few eyebrows -- here and around the world -- when he publicly suggested bombing Mecca. On a talk show, the host asked Tancredo how the U.S. should respond to a domestic nuclear terrorist attack. "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.

When the host asked if he was talking about destroying Mecca, Tancredo said, "Yeah."

Not surprisingly, Tancredo's comments were quickly disseminated in the Middle East, where audiences who are already pre-disposed to distrust the West heard that a U.S. lawmaker from the president's political party was talking openly "taking out" the most sacred of Islamic holy sites.

And now, Tancredo's doing it again. (via TPM)
"If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina," the GOP presidential candidate said. "That is the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they would otherwise do. If I am wrong fine, tell me, and I would be happy to do something else. But you had better find a deterrent or you will find an attack. There is no other way around it. There have to be negative consequences for the actions they take. That's the most negative I can think of."
The harsh approach is vital in order to prevent a worldwide collapse, Tancredo told nearly 30 people Tuesday morning at the Family Table restaurant.
I'm trying to imagine a more irresponsible, spectacularly stupid thing for a presidential candidate to say, but nothing's coming to mind.

Fareed Zakaria recently explained one of the distinct advantages America enjoys over Europe when it comes to a radicalized Muslim population.
The crucial advantage that the United States has in this regard is that we do not have a radicalized domestic population. American Muslims are generally middle class, moderate and well assimilated. They believe in America and the American Dream. [...]
This distinct American advantage -- which testifies to our ability to assimilate new immigrants -- is increasingly in jeopardy. If leaders begin insinuating that the entire Muslim population be viewed with suspicion, that will change the community's relationship to the United States. Wiretapping America's mosques and threatening to bomb Mecca are certainly a big step down this ugly road.
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