August 4th, 2007
02:08 PM ET
10 years ago

Tancredo: Threaten to bomb Muslim holy sites in retaliation

Republican presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo's campaign stood by his assertion that bombing holy Muslim sites would serve as a good "deterrent" to prevent Islamic fundamentalists from attacking the United States, his spokeswoman said Friday.

"This shows that we mean business," said Bay Buchanan, a senior Tancredo adviser. "There's no more effective deterrent than that. But he is open-minded and willing to embrace other options. This is just a means to deter them from attacking us."

On Tuesday, Tancredo warned a group of Iowans that another terrorist attack would "cause a worldwide economic collapse." recorded his comments.

"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," Tancredo 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."

Tom Casey, a deputy spokesman for the State Department, told CNN's Elise Labott that the congressman’s comments were "reprehensible" and "absolutely crazy." Tancredo was widely criticized in 2005 for making a similar suggestion.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Tom Tancredo
soundoff (1,648 Responses)
  1. Jack, Phoenix AZ

    The idea of bombing holy sites in the muslim world would only send more bombs our way.

    August 3, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Alternatives, Seattle, WA

    I don't see how Tancredo's opinion is any different from USSR vs. USA (& NATO) or Pakistan vs. India. Direct, guaranteed retaliation can help to reduce the likelihood of a first strike... at least when both sides are sane...

    I'm certain there's a better strategy than Tancredo's, but you will NEVER read it from any of the liberal posters here. The best the liberals will offer is that Tancredo is a racist and republicans are bad.

    August 3, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Roy, singapore

    Ha...ha... I love America. The people has the freedom to say whatever they want and make the idiots voice their idiocy to everyone. And some even publicly indicate that they're listening...
    oh, good luck on trying to do that. Should it be successful, start thinking about defending yourself with the millions of American moderate moslems you've just pushed to the enemy.

    August 3, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. B. Beemish, Victoria, BC

    What an insane moron, to suggest attacking a neutral/friendly third party nation, as though every moslem is guilty by association with a terrorist, who may or may not be affliated with islam.

    August 3, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Mauro, Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada

    I think Republican president hopeful Tom Tancredo is absolutely wrong when he says the only deterrent to another attack is to bomb the holy shrines of Islam. Need he be reminded that the fundamentalists that would cause such an attack have killed more Muslims than Americans, more innocent Islamic women and children than American soldiers. I think the better solution would be a collective effort by the civilized world to bomb and obliterate the states that allow this kind of thing to happen by providing money, training and safe sanctuaries for fundamentalists to operate freely and push their agenda of terror not only on Americans but also the majority of Muslims who are law abiding peaceful people.

    August 3, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. John in Minneapolis, MN

    Although I wish Representative Tancredo's statements were "crazy", I cannot help but consider that there actually may be some truth to his logic. Terrorists do not give a second thought about doing anything possible to tear down their "enemies". Yet, I wonder how they would react if the shoe were on the other foot so to speak. Obviously, by attacking our way of life for no other reason than it being different from their ways and beliefs, they care nothing at all about anyone but themselves. However, due to the fact that much of their thinking is based on their "interpretation" of their religion, why would there not be some rational logic using a threat their way of life as a deterrent? As the war in Iraq continues with the continued loss of life in the name of democracy, I think that Representative Tancredo's statements are based solely on the frustration over the entire situation! Diplomacy and ultimately war have only gone so far in trying to reach a solution. We are dealing with radicals and the time has quite possibly come to deal with them in the same manner. All we are doing is treading water on this whole situation in hopes that we will "eventually" prevail. The time has come for someone in the government to show that they actually have a set of balls rather than listening to all of the double speak that has until now been the "norm"! I would love to hear anyone's solution to the current situation that doesn't continue to cost American lives in one way or another! Anyone?
    Anyway, thank you for allowing me to vent just a little!

    August 3, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Emil Wyss, Cambridge MA

    Results of Bush's unjustified and contra productive Iraq war include death for several hundred thousand innocent people and misery for many millions. The war cost will be higher than one trillion dollar.

    A 'Tancredo bombing' of the holy sites would transform oil rich nations like Saudi Arabia in lawless, terrorism supporting states, paralyze the world economy, and leave the United States isolated and vulnerable, maybe collapsing.

    August 3, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. lauren, madison, GA

    no it doesnt show you mean business, it shows that your a complete and utter pillock.

    August 3, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. matt, seattle wa

    What sad times we are in. It seems we have become so afraid of terrorism, that we are now willing to explore options which include attacking sites that thousands of women and children attend daily. Protecting our country should not put innocent lives at risk abroad.

    August 3, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Bam Margera, West Chester, PA

    This is not the Cold War... and the world view of the USA is that we are a bunch of morons because of people like Joe in NJ.

    August 3, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    What if it turns out that it would not to be a deterrent? Meantime, you have added to the popele that dislike this country...and we are less safer....

    August 3, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Gwats

    Is this man nuts? Leave their Holy places alone.
    15 of the 19 9-11 hijackers were Saudis. What do you think the Saudi Royal Family would do to us if Mecca were bombed say during the Hajj or other holy time? There would be Jihad the likes of which you could never imagine!
    Go away, Tom!

    August 3, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Opeluboy, Kelakekua, HI

    And I thought only Israel had an Avigdor Lieberman. Guess not.

    August 3, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Dan, Santa Clara, CA

    Wow - Tancredo's statement begins with a profound misunderstanding of Islam and he follows that by jumping headfirst into the worst policy suggestion I've ever heard. Bombing the two holiest Muslim sites in the world will only further polarize an already widely split religion. Not only will those that already hate the U.S. continue to want to kill us, but we'll recruit the entire Muslim world to join in.

    August 3, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Los Angeles, Ca

    Do it now!!!

    August 3, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. Dan Connelly

    All one need do to deter if not end the muslim radicals attempt to controle the world is to coat all ammo of every caliber with pork fat. When a muslim get hit with one of these rounds the pork fat invades his body and he can no longer enter heaven because he is impure. Muslims willnot want to die to go to hell.

    August 3, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Tony, San Diego, Ca

    ok, so if i get rear-ended by a guy with a Broncos sticker on his car, can i blow up Invesco Field?

    August 3, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Wow, this guy is insane.

    August 3, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. Manny San Diego, CA

    This would result in even more attacks on us. These people stop at no cost to hurt us and our way of life. And we can punish all muslims for the actions of the radical ones. Im in the military and this is the worst idea i have ever heard. This would get us in a deaper and deadlier fight. Someone with this idealogy should never hold any kind of leadership positions in our nations govt. Hearing this is totally not that American Way. And Sir your running for president. How sad.

    August 3, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. Joe, NJ

    Wow, Bam's a typical liberal! I would actually be offended if he had an ounce of intelligence and possessed a real occupation, but instead he offers the typical liberal retort rather than offering a superior solution.

    August 3, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. Mohamed Denver, Colorado

    Tancredo is a sick man. I can see him as extrimist as those who are trying to harm america and americans. He needs to read to history and find out what happened to those who tried to harm the House of Allah. Does he know that the Holly site in Mecca was built By the Prophet Abraham not by Mohamed Peace be Upon all of them. Dangerous sick and ignorant man.

    August 3, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Vicky, Jersey City, NJ

    yea sure attack them so they can attack us even more. Lets bomb the whole city and get them even more pissed off!!!

    what the hell is wrong with this guy.
    "We mean business" that is only going to make it worse...they attack us, we attack them, they attack us, we attack them. Problem will definitely not be solved.

    August 3, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. John J. St. Louis MO

    Question for Tancredo and all the other nut jobs out there that think bombing Mecca is a good idea. If Saddam, or Iran's president, threatened to bomb the Statue of Liberty and the White House if we attacked, would that deter us from attacking if we considered them a significant threat? And once they followed through, would that make Americans more or less likely to press the attack harder against the perpetrators?

    This is the same problem with this sort of thinking. The extremists that we are up again want more violence. The more innocents we kill, the more cities we bomb, the more wars we start the stronger their cause becomes. You cannot fight random violence with random violence. That is why our policy in Iraq is failing. That is why terrorist recruiting is up now.

    The only way to fight this sort of extremism is to remove the things fueling it. Our Mid-East policies, especially supporting Israel no matter what they do, the poverty and social unrest in areas like Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Kenya, etc., and are willingness to destroy democratically elected governments just because we don't like who the people elected are just a few of these.

    This is not to say that military action has no place. There are some, particularly the leaders of these organizations, that need to be taken out (preferably arrested and tried in an open, independent court). But using their own tools as a blanket policy only reinforces what they say about us. This is not a military war, this is a sociological and psychological war. It can not be won with just a gun.

    August 3, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  24. Glen Jackson, Aspen, CO

    We should hold a lottery for the honor of pushing the button, then use the profits to help fix the national debt.

    August 3, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Peter Cruise, Davie Florida

    Unless someone can provide a better Idea, This Idea is brilliant.
    This is a holy war against the west, Hit them were it hurts. By eliminating all mosques we eliminate the place were the holly warriors gather to spread their hatred of the west and Israel.

    August 3, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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