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July 19, 2005

Sigh. Idiot Republican Tricks.

I'm coming to this a little late, but let me assume the Editorial Voice position and offically label Representative Tom Tancredo's (R, CO) ill-considered response to the question, "How should the US respond to a nuke attack by terrorists on US soil?" as dumb, dumb, dumb. His response? Essentially, "Bomb Mecca."

Hey, there's a reason I don't try to emulate Blackfive, Smash, Jeff Quinton, to name a few of my faves, and get on radio (or TV) and bloviate.

I'll say something stupid.

Like Tancredo did. There is, of course, a hallelujah chorus out there for that sentiment. We've got visitors here who occasionally stop lurking and suggest that the cure for the Islamofacsist cancer is glassy craters.

*NOT* the official platform of Castle Argghhh!. We're all for a properly targeted response, which can include invasion. We aren't for tossing nukes in retaliatory strikes against an attack of that nature, by that type of opponent.

I've been in the nuke weapons business. Part of my disability stems from same. I don't joke about nukes. I should note, Tancredo didn't either, he said 'bomb', not 'nuke'.

Put me in Hugh Hewitt's camp on this one. Or Don Sensing's.

Representative Tancredo should publicly repudiate the remarks. At Castle Argghhh!, I reject them as ill-advised, counter-productive, and just plain wrong. Not to mention a de jure and de facto war crime, if carried out. Targeting religious and cultural landmarks *because* they are religious and cultural landmarks is a violation of the Conventions. Bear in mind - destroying them incident to operations isn't necessarily a crime, nor is destroying them in self-defense - but targeting them *because* of their status is a crime. It's also just a dumb thing to do, that will do little more than inflame the passion of the faithful. It won't cow them.

Just as flattening The Mall in Washington, D.C., wouldn't cow us. It would just piss us off. Even those on either side of the political spectrum who seemingly wouldn't mind Congress or the White House being vaporized because of their antipathy for the current resident would be pissed off. Yes, yes, there *are* those who would counsel surrender in that regard, but they would swamped by the legions of the *really angry*.

I say that even if I do understand the motivation of Representative Tancredo, and have experienced the difficulty in talking off the top of your head to an audience with recording devices. But, as I said, there's a reason I don't do radio or TV. Well, that and the fact I've never been asked... but wouldn't if I was. It's just real easy to say that when you haven't been asked.

As for Representative Tancredo - he took the job, he should learn how to talk on the fly.

And if he means what he said - perhaps he should be out of a job next election cycle. But that's a decision for his constituency to make.

Update: Lest anyone think I'm going soft - *This* is the Official Editorial Position® of Castle Argghhh!: Wahabism Delenda Est!! Root and branch. Leaf and twig. And the foresters *should* be Muslims.

John | Permalink | Comments (15) | Politics
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Comments on Sigh. Idiot Republican Tricks.
Jack briefed on July 19, 2005 10:30 AM

There's more than enough idiotic remarks flying around from all sides to make me question whether the entire political landscape of the United States has gone collectively insane.

I worked with radioactive materials enough in my grad school days to have a VERY healthy respect for the consequences of radiation exposure. Casually discussing the use of nuclear weapons by people betrays their complete ignorance in this area.

I wish they would spend the time to learn about that instead of the intricacies of the rules for "Survivor" or "American Idol"...

But that's just me being a contrarian curmudgeon.

Mike briefed on July 19, 2005 11:45 AM

How about developing a bacon grease bomb?

Mike briefed on July 19, 2005 11:45 AM

How about developing a bacon grease bomb?

ry briefed on July 19, 2005 12:26 PM

This is why I hate it that most people think of war as a solely punitive enterprise,particularly GWOT. It isn't and shouldn't be thought of in that way. This leads to things like firing off cruise missiles to blow up a milk factory, 'HAtfield-McCoy' tit-for-tat, adn long standing grievances leading to huge war ala the assasination of Franz Josef.
War is, in some sense, transformational. Japan went from oligarchic Meiji to representative democracy as a result of WW2. The Cold War transformed the USSR into a number of burgeoning democratic states. Panama from a bananna republic run by a military despot to a nation of the people, for the people, by the people. Not all the transformations are positive mind you(The Napoleanic wars for example. Not alot of good transformation of Europe out of that--particularly since Nap supplanted a democratic gov't to become Emporer. WW1 wasn't particularly positive in the transformations it created in Europe.).
We don't bomb Mecca. We invade it(all of it if we can't trace it to a state sponsored group like the Taliban in Afghanistan--we'd have no choice anymore.). We invade and transform the place, 'draining the swamp' so to speak by staying for 50 years.
If 'they' do sneak a nuke into the US and set it off we don't win by doing something that reeks of genocide(bomb Mecca=kill alot of Islamic Arabs, and all of them if necessary). That's a real Ender type solution(Ender's Game). Are they trully varelse(Speaker for the Dead)? No, they aren't trully alien to us at all(meaning we can't co-exist with them). They're a tribe that doesn't understand us and are dangerous. We end the threat but kill as few as necessary to end the threat and get them to understand us and be able to live in peace with us(and us with them!). We change them just enough that we can co-exist(Wahabism Delende Est) and then we go home.

Punitively bombing Mecca(if you take Tancredo's statement literally) won't do that, and the more genocidic interpretation sure doesn't either. That just makes you feel good for a few minutes because you showed you could get even.

Ed FromWestSlope briefed on July 19, 2005 12:41 PM

Even we Red States can elect near idiots. However, a good discussion can be read at .

UtahMan briefed on July 19, 2005 12:56 PM

Rushing in where angels fear to tread...

Please don't take this as an endorsement of bombing Mecca - but I can see the point.

What do the Wahabis have that they are afraid to lose, and would be willing to back off to avoid risking? (Is there anything?)

The people who actually do the shooting and bombing are a tiny fraction of the Wahabis, which are only a faction of Islam as a whole. But they draw support from millions, in terms of cash, supplies, shelter, intelligence, and sympathy.

Somehow the greater body of Muslims need to realize that the terrorists are blackening the name of Islam worldwide. Putting Mecca on the target list puts something dear to them at risk.

It would also give them a Pearl Harbor to rally around, and give Osama's dream of a new Caliphate a better chance at success than it has ever had.

This ideological struggle is going to make the Cold War look like child's play.

Justthisguy briefed on July 19, 2005 04:15 PM

Yup, it would feel good for a little while, and there would be problems culminating 9 months later, and getting even worse from then on...

On destroying things in D.C.-- I would miss the Capitol, and the White House, but would get really berserk amok juramentado batso violent-crazy if I learned that somebody had just destroyed the Smithsonian, or (most 'specially) the Library of Congress.

Boquisucio briefed on July 19, 2005 04:22 PM

Please, none of dat talk. I happen to live Seven Nautical Miles from the White House. Mebbe I should think of moving to Utah. No one would think of bombing the Mormons.

BloodSpite briefed on July 19, 2005 04:54 PM

Actually I think the White House isn't as accurate of a comparison.

We're talking religious not political ideaology, Granted those 2 become skewed in the Middle East.

I think Jeruselum would be a better context.

But lets not quibble, your still correct.

My only thought is, we have, for the most part acknowledged that not all Muslims are evil frothing at the mouth people with blood in their eye and hate in their veins.

So I fear destroying their religius icon, might very well change that. Because at that point it stops being a war on terrorists and Becomes a War of Religions.

Welcome to the Crusades albeit 21st Century.

Good Post John!

ry briefed on July 19, 2005 05:28 PM

The flip side from a 'turn the ME into a glass parking lot' crowd.

BloodSpite briefed on July 19, 2005 05:30 PM

On second glance I realised I sounded like a complete @$$hole in my previos post

Wasn't meant to tbe that way, apologies to any irate insulted are wishing to draw and quarter me at dawn it's justified.

Except in the case of the irate husband down the street I swear to god I didn't know she was married

UtahMan briefed on July 19, 2005 05:50 PM

Boq - That's because we Mormons finally picked a place that no one else wanted... Good thing we established ourselves before skiing got popular.

Actually, it wouldn't matter what the target was. It would hurt, and the rest of us would be in a panic. Maybe the debate we should be having is could we prevent ourselves from lashing out?

To all - Mark Krikorian has a nice little piece on this on the Corner. Most is nothing John hasn't already said - but what he adds is that the Wahabis have already atacked and destroyed several important Muslim sites, including the birthplace of Mohammed. I didn't know that. So warning them that Mecca is on the target list would have little effect - in their calculations, everything is expendable.

I guess the only real deterrent we have is hunting down and removing them from the gene pool. Not pretty, not easy, but about all that's left. If there is no step too far for them, then we can't coexist.

The hard part is they are mixed in with the normal Muslims, who like us just want to be left alone.

Litlbits briefed on July 19, 2005 07:20 PM

I'm coming into this discussion late, but maybe we ought to give more thought to Tancredo's response. Some have commented that religious institutions were sort of sacrosanct and shouldn't be bombed. But, hey folks! Some of the mosques are supporting schools that are teaching the young to hate Americans - and even, I have read, recruiting insurgents to fight against us. We are far too easy on the Mosques as far as checking them out. Unless and until we have definite proof that they are not training our enemies and teaching them how to overcome us, then perhaps we need to re-consider our thinking on how sacrosanct they really are!

cw4(ret)billt briefed on July 19, 2005 11:58 PM

The mosques aren't the problem, the imams teaching Wahabism are. And we don't have to kill them -- which would elevate them to the status of martyrs -- merely intimidate them. They excel at preaching jihad, but not one has strapped on a bomb-belt.

It worked in the Philippines. While the story of burying executed terrorists with pig guts may or may not be true, what *is* verifiable is that the Moro Insurrection came to a screeching halt when the imams were told that, regretfully, their spouses had accidently been doused with pig's blood and the accidents would continue on a daily basis -- unless...

Ed Minchau briefed on July 23, 2005 04:53 AM

John, I am curious. What would be your suggested response to the hypothetical posed to Tancredo: the nuclear attack on 6 or 7 American cities. What would you consider appropriate?