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. Anonymous

    i think he is acrazy man

    August 4, 2007 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  2. Nick, Falls Church, VA

    I think Tom has a point. These people don’t care about dieing. That is not a deterrent. We need to find a deterrent. Maybe destroying the one thing they care about will make them think twice. Why should we be the only ones that play by the rules or hold back because of political correctness while these people kill indiscriminately for

    August 4, 2007 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  3. LC, DK

    "As a Christian" this is reprehensible? Try "as a human being with more brain cells than fingers."

    August 4, 2007 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  4. Me in Saudi Arabia

    we will have a billions of Osama Bin Laden

    August 4, 2007 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. John Burrows, Boston

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    A US President that will be first to attack muslim holy sites as a deterrant will not only invite daily bombings to US interests worldwide, it would disrupt critical oil flow from the middle east WORLDWIDE, something that no US ally in Europe or anywhere else would accept. The result? A potential third world war. Even if terrorists initiated a large scale attack on US homeland, an irresponsible action like this would definately bring down the entire planet. Switch shoes for a minute, how would we react if the muslims were united and they were the superpower, abusing our resources and enforcing their cultural idealogy on us, and then when we cant take it no more and come up with a western form of resistance similar to al qaeda, we get labeled terrorists and their president bombs the white house and capitol hill. Think of that. Dont fight terrorism with bombs. Fight the foundation from which it stems its ideological energy. Bombing Mecca and Medina is definately NOT the way to go!!

    August 4, 2007 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  6. Derek, Chicago, IL

    At last someone has great IDEA!!!

    August 4, 2007 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  7. Sampson Kessler - Detroit, Michigan

    I cannot even begin to express the disgust I feel at this point. How repulsive! This man is simply a fascist. As is anyone who agrees that bombing a holy site is a legitimate thing to do. Doing such a thing would only infuriate Muslims and show how disrespectful the attacking party is. Any person of any faith should find this suggestion utterly disgusting.

    August 4, 2007 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  8. Dennis Fergujson, Beaufort, SC

    We should threaten the Saudi regime with physical retaliation if there is another attack on the US. This can be the best deterrent. With all OUR oil money they have the means, but still not the will, to settle things in the Middle East. But, you know, now they are Bush's "friends" so it won't happen until his term is up or he is impeached.

    August 4, 2007 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. md s rahman,south ozone park, nyc,ny

    welcome to world war 3!!!

    August 4, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  10. Adam, Toledo, OH

    Wow, I mean WOW. It is my opinion that our presence in the middle east is causing more people to take up arms against us. Bombing a holy site would not deter anyone, on the contrary it would begin a full out war and the US would definately see attacks on our soil. What would you do if an army invaded your country?

    August 4, 2007 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  11. Jean Mair, Morris, Illinois

    The idea of "never" bombing "holy" Muslim sites is ridiculous! War in itself is WAR! NOTHING is sacred, nothing is safe. How many "churches" so you think were bombed in WW2? Does anyone honestly believe that the radical Muslims would NOT bomb a Catholic church or Jewish synagogue in a nano second? DUH to the American people for believing the ridiculous!! Radical Muslims would bomb ANY Christian/Jewish church/synagogue and be proud they did so regarless of who died. Have they not proved NO life is sacred? No child, no woman, no one, not even their own is safe from radicals! Time for America to "grow up" and face the REAL world and the REAL meaning of WAR!!

    August 4, 2007 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI Canada

    Tancredo' Comment:

    "Better to say nothing than to open your mouth and confirm your idiocy to
    the whole world."

    This man is a War Monger and threat to the whole world. He should be barred from ever holding a political office in the US.

    August 4, 2007 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  13. kudos to tancreado for thinking out of the box, SLC UT

    I was offronted the first time I saw this comment. that would turn a good chunk of the world against us. then I started thinking. maybe the threat of loosing holy sites would convince those "moderate" members of the "religion of peace" to control its fringe.
    but let's start with the Dome of the Rock!

    August 4, 2007 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  14. Goat, Springfield, Ohio

    The screamingly obvious point that Tancredo and a number of commenters are missing here is that this is not a threat to these people. They're already blowing up mosques on their own! They would absolutely love it if we bombed mecca and medina, because it would "prove" that we are at war with Islam itself. This guy would start World War III!

    August 4, 2007 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  15. J , Denver, CO

    God help us.

    This post scares me 2 fold. Being from Colorado, I already knew Tancredo was supid. However, the Americans on here who agree (without considering the consequences) scares me far far worse. You would actually consider revenge? Look what happend last time we got revenge – we're stuck in Iraq! Cooler heads must prevail. For those people who agree with this nonsense – next time you attend Church or worship – ask God if He put us on this earth to destroy or to create. Those who agree should be ashamed.

    August 4, 2007 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  16. Steve Roberts

    Tancredo's suggestion to bomb Mecca religious sites – IF the United States is attacked by Muslim fundamentalists –is absolutely brilliant.

    We don't enjoy it, but it's an eye for an eye. When dealing with terrorists, who bomb and then hide rather than fight as an army, striking Mecca's sites is the closest thing we have to a fair response. Give people a day to clear out, then let 'er rip. It's better than bombing innocent peoples' homes.

    August 4, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  17. Matthew Combest - Atlanta, GA

    Are you serious? That's the most ridiculous comment I have ever heard come out of a republicans mouth – he is displaying the mentality of a 5 year old – all reason has left the GOP officially now..

    August 4, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  18. Lawrence, New York, NY

    I couldn't agree more. This is utterly consistent with the principles of deterrence that were so utterly effective during the Cold War. It is equally consistent with the level-setting carried out by the US and Allies in WWII. Short of it, all that we are saying is "if you attack anywhere in the US, we will not attack the real sources (e.g., Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.) and we will not attack in such a way that hurts deeply. We will simply respond in some fashion so that you can then attack in any way you so choose over and over again without any fear that we will respond in kind and more." Let no one pretend that this is not the right path. Mecca and the filthy Saudi regime should be disconnected from their oil revenues and hurt deeply.

    August 4, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. A, Corpus Christi, Texas

    Oh *great* idea! Let's destroy a **religuous** center to get back at the extremists' bombing of a **financial** center. I guess we Americans really do worship money. Let's polarize all the moderate Muslims so that the ENTIRE Islamic world will hate us. What do you think they would do then? What do you think would be THEIR next target? Can we think through before we say stuff like this? There is no "one" deterrent to terrorism but destroying Mecca would be "one" catalyst for a new era of warfare. ESPECAILLY since many AMERICANS are Muslims! Are you going to destroy a place that is sacred to AMERICANS? Did you even consider the American Muslims before you said something like this? How are they supposed to feel?

    August 4, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  20. humanswellwisher

    It made me happy to see that majority of Americans who commented on this item are of sound thinking, about ten percent or even less have criminal mentality like Bush, Cheney, Tom etc. There will always be people in human society with criminal mentality, their purpose is only destruction. These type of criminals can be controlled through ballet, congratulation Americans.

    August 4, 2007 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  21. Tony Alberta Canada

    "The problems of this world are so gigantic that some are paralized by their own uncertainty. Courage and wisdom are needed to reach out above this sense of helplessness. Desire for vengeance against deeds of hatred offers no solution . An eye for an eye makes the world blind. If we wish to choose another path, we will have to search for ways to break the spiral of animosity. To fight evil one must also recognize one's own responsibility. The values for which we stand must be expressed in a way we think of, and how we deal with, our fellow humans."
    This quote is from the Christmas message 2001 of H M Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Tom Tancredo needs to realize that we are all in this together. It takes real courage to help pull the world forwards and not push it backwards. Politically, our "business as usual" approach to our current problems must change if we are to survive.

    August 4, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. Jason, FORT BRAGG, NC

    I believe he is absolutely right! If the radical Islamic groups want a war based on religion and attacking our way of life, the only deterrent may be to threaten what THEY hold dear. To top it off, I don't think WE should do, I think we should just let Israel off the leash. They have wanted to do it for decades.

    August 4, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. Lisa, Norfolk, VA

    Is he out of his mind? Why in the world would an educated man even say such a thing? Just because radicals are making it difficult for people to live and are killing innocent people every day, this man wants to kill more innocent people and start an even bigger war. Not only a war but a holy war? This man should not be in office! You don't attack a religion if you are going to attack, you attack the aggressors! What an Idiot. I hope he loses any power he might have, this is how Americans die, with stupid comments from people in office who have don't have to go to the front lines and defend comments like this when things do happen. We have men and women EVERYDAY defending this country and what we believe in. I am one of them! Don't put us in harms way, as a representative of the state, you should be ashamed of yourself!

    August 4, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  24. BC in Houston, TX

    That is a mighty strong statement from someone running for a position that isn't supposed to take any hard-line positions on anything ever. I personally think that the threat of us attacking the capital of the group attacking us, Muslim extremists, is a viable alternative to getting blown up on a regular basis. Good for Rep. Tancredo for taking a stand that he believes in instead of being a flip-flopper like all the other candidates.

    August 4, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. Andy in Colorado

    All these comments condemning Tancredo, yet not a single alternative idea. I get the feeling that all those who condemn him want to placate the Islamic fundamentalists by doing whatever they demand. But you forget that, unless you are a Muslim, you're an infidel and they want you dead. If the US leaves Arab lands, if we do everything the terrorists ask, they will still come after us because we are still infidel's and we deserve to die in their sick minds. Read the book "Londonistan".

    While Tancredo's comments are a bit over the top for me, we better start thinking about what we will do if the terrorists nuke one of our cities. With the proliferation of nuclear technology, that is becoming a real possibility. What will you do? Run and hide? Negotiate with the terrorists? Become a Muslim so you can be safe?

    August 4, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66