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. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    That would be like killing a Republican every time a Democrat makes you mad. Get it, Tanc? Are you off your meds again, boy?

    August 3, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Kevin, Springfield, VA

    What the silly Congressman and his ill advisor Bay Buchanan don't explain is that what will you do after you bomb Mecca and Medina? Do you think that stops anyone?! Don't you think Muslims will get even more enraged and try another attack? What happened when we invaded Iraq to stop terrorists? Iraq became a terrorist haven. Hasn't the Congressman learned anything? I think the more these kind of comments, the more proof the person who says it knows nothing about the world and its various cultures and people. This congressman would be the type thinking that you nuke the whole world if it means "saving" the US. A nuked world is no place to live anywhere on earth. You can live in US thinking the nuclear dust doesn't reach you!

    August 3, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Spade I. A. Spade; Meca, S.A.

    He has the guts to stand up, and call a spade a spade. It is this "political correctness" which has landed us in this "war on terrorism".

    August 3, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Brian, Denver, CO

    This guy is an embarassment to politics in Colorado, in the US and to the Republican party in general. I think there is no more certain way to bring about more attacks from Islamic extremists than to bomb their holy sites. Does he really think they'll give up if we do that? Would we give up if they bombed our holy sites? No.

    August 3, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Robert, Williamsburg, VA

    Then he said to them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.' "

    Exodus 32:27

    August 3, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. CLB, Chicago, IL

    Can we say, "WORST THAN BUSH!" When will the bigot good ole boys realize that you can’t defeat a thought, idea, belief, or faith system with John Wayne tactics? If you thought we had it bad on 9/11/01, think about the world if this FREAK has his way! Do us all a favor and SHUT UP!

    August 3, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. Library cards are free, Chicago, IL

    Brilliant strategy, as we can see it's working really well for the Iraqis right now and for the Japanese when they decided to bomb Pearl Harbor in WWII. Speaking of which, Kyle Massey et al who support this joke of a Congressman, please do us all a favor & take a History class. Japan was fighting China, we (USA) were supplying Japan with scrap metal & oil. We put trade restrictions on Japan, Japan couldn't fight China with diminishing resources, so Japan "retaliated" to US actions, attacked PH & we blew them to smithereens. Ignorance is dangerous, read a book or two, for your own sake.

    August 3, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Thomas, Salt Lake City, Utah

    This man should be removed from office ASAP. I would not be the least bit surprised if these statements alone incite violence against America.
    People such as this who clearly do not have the common sense to keep their radical impulses to themselves are the reason for the state of the union at this time.

    August 3, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Stephen Grosse, Singapore

    I feel that Mr Tom Tancredo's idea of bombing the holy Muslim sites in Mecca and Medina is absolutely crazy. How did such a man like himself, come up with such a thought?

    August 3, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Daniel. Denver, CO

    Impeach Tancredo. PS. I did NOT vote for him.

    August 3, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Susan, Alberta, Canada

    Good for Tancredo! This is a great idea, however, the politically correct elite will feel this is too "extreme" to deal with attacks on N.A.

    August 3, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Victor Galaviz, Ft Worth, TX

    Haven't we been bending over backwards to keep moderate Muslims relevant in the Middle East? And do you think that this guy's comments are not being played over and over by Al Jazeera? Bombing Muslim holy sites would be the best way to make the current problems we're having with Muslim terrorists as bad as possible. It would deter terrorism like a splash of gasoline deters a fire from spreading.

    August 3, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. roger,grand rapids


    August 3, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. AC, Tampa, FL

    I agree, bomb their holiest cities.

    August 3, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. John, Vermillion SD

    So we should counter terrorism with...terrorism? Only a Republican...

    August 3, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. Rob, Richmond,Va

    Wow, what a foolish idea. All of Islam is not a terrorist group, only extreme factions. This approach would only serve to rile the Muslims around the world who are not pro-terrorism. Makes for great headlines, but not great strategy.

    August 3, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. Lee August 3, 2007

    READ the article. it does not say pre-emptive, it says. . . . if they think this is how we would retalliate, it would deter them from attacking us. Get real, life means nothing to the radicals.

    August 3, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Jake, Redmon, IL

    Actually Kyle, the Japanese were still determined to fight til the last man even after two nuclear bombs were dropped on the nation. It wasn't until Russia secured the Manchuoko(Manchuria) region that the Japanese knew they were done in on both sides.

    So no...two nukes did not stop Japan. Secondly, they were fanatics in worship to the Emperor, which is exactly why we did not try him for war crimes and as part of the surrender agreement we sent to them before landing troops on the island nation we included a clause that we would not harm the Emperor in any way shape or form. Read up on any documentation by our leaders at that time and most of them stated something along the lines of, "We knew if we killed the Emperor, Japan would fight to the last man."

    Considering Japan's strong millenarianism at the time, that would have undoubtedly been true. Bombing Islamic holy sites? That would be Emperor murder times 100 and would incite the rage of every Muslim that until now was compassionate to the United States. It would be murder and chaos on the highest level.

    August 3, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I love the Senators boldness. He has put himself in "harms way" by speaking out.
    Lets quit playing PC games and really go after them.

    August 3, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. frank, charlotte, nc

    Obviously, no one commenting on this story has ever heard of Mutual Assured Destruction. This was the strategy that kept us and the Russians from nuclear war for 50 years. It worked like this, you attack us, we'll kill you all. Tancredo is being honest here. He's looking for a MAD strategy to prevent Muslim terrorists from nuking U.S. cities. Since said Muslims don't fear death. Indeed, they would be willing to martyr everyone they love for a free trip to heaven, the only thing we can threaten is their religion. This message needs to be yelled in the ear of every Osama acolyte: You nuke us, and we will turn our entire arsenal on every Muslim holy site. We will destroy the religion. It's the only thing they care about, and the only thing that will protect us from nuclear terrorism is if they believe that we would do this. Of course, they know we won't. We've all become a bunch of cowards and fools, and that puts us in greater danger of nuclear attack than we ever were during the Cold War.

    August 3, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. Crystal, Denver, CO

    Since bombing American landmarks is "okay". Finally someone with the guts to mean business and make the terrorist think twice.

    August 3, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. marilyn jones. brantford ontario canada

    just a charming idea. remind me not to visit the vatican, westminster cathedral, the mormon tabernacle and any other sites which are sacred to christians. they would be targets as sure as the sun will rise. maybe mr tancredo would do better to spend some time with his bible and his conscience

    August 3, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. Bruce, Los Angeles, CA

    This is absolute insanity! This is the exact kind of thought process that got the US into the mess we are in today. The Bush administration has, in less than 8 years, managed to enrage the better part of the world through this type of thought process. 8 years ago, we enjoyed a secure position of economic, ethical, moral and military superiority. Today, due to comments and policies such as Rep. Tancredo's, we are considered the enemy of much of the world and are dispised in many regions where we were once respected and admired. Anyone voting for the republican party after the past 8 years of this, just imagine where we will be 8 years from now.

    August 3, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |


    August 3, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. Tony, Coon Rapids, Minnesota

    Sounds reasonable to me. Be aware, those of you who would seek to twist his words, that he didn't say to go out and bomb them first, thus making us as bad as the terrorists, he advocated a very focused and harsh response on the crap they care about most – their false religion of death and destruction.

    Nothing 'reprehensible' or 'crazy' about it. What's 'crazy' is the thought that if we just mind our own business and leave everyone alone, that we'll be left alone in kind. Never gonna happen. Just like that bully at school, simply avoiding him or acting like he doesn't exist isn't going to keep him from hammering on you. However, quite frequently one good beatdown will stop these guys from harassing you forever. Not always, but most of the time.

    August 3, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
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