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. sumah. fortmeyrs florida

    I actually went to my country last year and proudly bragged about Ameraca and America's fair trade in everything, now thnx to Tancredo for making me look like a fool to my people.... thnx to CNN for helping me choose to vote................ everyone out there should know that I my self as a muslim speak that there is many many muslim out there who loves American, I my self do too, but you should know its not the muslim to blame, its the person who you are inside that makes you bad or good........... i love islam but i respect good people muslim or not....

    August 4, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  2. Carolina Dude

    I wouldn't want this guy to pick up my garbage, much less be a member of Congress. (It's his 5th term, I am afraid.)

    He is not a lawyer, but rather a TEACHER. I surely hope he is not teaching what he is preaching...

    If this guy is a true example of a republican, I'd rather be Socialist.

    What a total MORON. I imagine Colorado will re-examine their support for him, next congressional election.

    I have Muslim friends, and they don't like BinLaden anymore than I do. Don't blame the Muslims, blame the BinLadens !!

    August 4, 2007 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    What Tancredo is advocating is called "Terrorism", plain and simple. You would think as victims of a terrorist act, we Americans would be less inclined to use it as a weapon, but I guess since we no longer have the moral high ground to Al Queada it's all tit-for-tat now.

    August 4, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    I saw Bay Buchanan defending this man.

    I wish Buchanan and Tancredo were in Germany. There, these two Neo-Cons (READ NEO-NAZIS) would be arrested and we would be spared their insanity.

    August 4, 2007 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. Mrs. America

    My question: Why isn't he talking about what to do BEFORE we're attacked again? Another fine example of ... logic? Right up there with "Saudi terrorists nail NY; let's get Iraq."

    BTW, I think the kid that just got 110 years for rape and murder was a "Christian." Just in case the terrorists use Tancredo's logic, the churches better be shoring up. Who cares that it's just one guilty snot-nosed kid. Nail all of the Chritian places of worship; make sure they're full of an abundance of grannies–for effect. Yeah, right. Great logic, Tancredo.

    And to the Muslims who are posting, thanks for doing so. I lived for several years in the Middle East and know that the terrorists don't represent you or your religion. People who think like Tancredo are bigots, and you can tell by the nearly 1000 posts here that most people are not bigots like Tancredo.

    August 4, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  6. Lain, Austin, TX

    Let's see if I understand this. We deter people for whom martyrdom is a virtue by creating more martyrs. We deter people for whom destruction of Sunni-held holy sites is part of tactical and strategic military doctrine. And let's deter Bin Laden and company from attacking us by attacking a regime he has already targeted for destruction via drastic measures. Smart, real smart.

    August 4, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  7. Neal, Atlanta GA

    Atleast Tancredo has a set of balls unlike Obama, Kerry, Kennedy, Edwards and Hillary (although she may have Bill's set in her purse). Muslim extremists don't care if we kill them, hell they kill themselves regularly. What do they care about most. Mecca and Medina. During the Cold War with the Soviet Union we has MAD:Mutually Assured Distruction. The Russians knew that if they attacked us with nukes, we would respond in kind and we would all die. Well, the radisal islamic fundamentalists need to understand that if they attack the U.S. again, especially if they use a chemical, biological or nuclear weapon, we will respond in kind and destroy what they cherish most, Mecca and Medina. If that's not politically correct. So be it.

    August 4, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. Richard Orlando, FL

    What happened to human decency when someone is willing to stoop to the same level as the terrorists? Tancredo is exactly what we do not need from our elected officials. I cannot believe anyone would agree with this nonsense. We deserve leaders that will respect a person’s faith (uphold freedom of religion). Tancredo and his Republican followers should take the time to get educated about religions to avoid making the same mistakes history has already taught us. Bombing sovereign areas has not exactly helped achieve successful determents, and you do not have to look that far back to see proof.

    August 4, 2007 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  9. Bi

    There was a time when I had a great respect for Bay Buchanan, but now that I see who she is backing, that respect is a thing of the past.

    August 4, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  10. samuel

    US has been exploiting several countries for several years by playing political games and starting cold war. My friend who works in UAE has told me about the tension in the people when US got involved in gulf war. The question is – Why Muslims never attacked US,and not any other countries.
    I see only 2 possibilities either its an inside job (BUSH might really be a good candidate for that) or there is some unknown issue with America and that country. I believe there has to be a reason they selected ONLY US to do holly war with as they say. Oh yes probably US has some of their religious stuff. Besides there is no guarantee that destroying the holy sites will make things better. It might become worst, probably this guy might be the first one to run off.

    August 4, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  11. Rachel Becknell, Troy Missouri

    This policy would cause exactly what Tancredo is trying to deter. If we were to bomb Mecca and Medina we would have the ENTIRE Muslim world set against us. Those sites aren't just important to the Islamic fundamentalists... They're important to all Muslims.
    But, what makes me so incredibly angry is that he would even consider bombing something like that! I'm angry about the lives that would be lost, but also about the culture that would be destroyed by this poorly thought policy.
    An eye-for-an-eye only causes more damage and hatred.

    August 4, 2007 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  12. Nirbija, NY NY

    Mussolini incarnate is at least thinking in the right direction; but he should begin at home and shutter all mosques and gatherings of maniac mulsims in America.

    And the valid excuse would be real simple as the one used to put the communists out of business: Insane islamists support a violent ideology (islam) that promotes attacks and threats on Americans and on America.

    And we should have no problem leveling mosques and eliminating all signs and symbols of islams; just be sure to empty the mosques first. There doesn't need to be any attack upon the humans, just the islamic insanity; it needs to be eradicated because its lessons in vengeance and violence is further poison to weak/evil arab/muslim minds

    August 4, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  13. Robert Mayer, Pearland, TX

    This man is truly insane. Thankfully he hasn't a chance in hell of being elected.

    August 4, 2007 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  14. stan turecki, port richey fl

    Does anyone not realize what is being proposed here is a war crime? Targeting religious sites is a direct violation of Part II of the Fourth Geneva Convention – international law that the United States is signatory to – and as such per Article 146 of the same ALSO a violation of the laws of the United States as well?

    Why should we have any expectation of being able to live in a secure world free from terrorism when we propose a policy of committing war crimes?

    August 4, 2007 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  15. KC, NY

    "Since Tom Tancredo is the only one with any guts on this issue, which is the primary issue of our times, he gets my vote for president.
    Posted By C Glenn : August 3, 2007 1:04 pm"

    He's the only one who apparently actually understands who we're up against. It's obvious most commenters here have no clue, still wanting to play nice with radical jihadists who will smile at you while cutting your throat.

    Bigots indeed. Wake up people and understand the enemy.

    August 4, 2007 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  16. British Columbia, Canada

    To Those who believe unabatted military power solves anything:

    1. Iraq had nothing do do with 911 and yet you attacked and made the world more dangerous.

    2. Mecca, a religious, cultural and historical site, has nothing to do with the proliferation of extremists.You need to look in the mirror and see a large part of the cause of what you are facing.

    3. You have treated the Middle East like a chess board arming which ever side met your economic interests and screwed it up every time from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. You are the largest arms dealer in the world. Now you are arming Saudi Arabia and the Sunnis in Iraq who were the supporters of Saddam Hussein.

    4. Your insistency on spreading democracy has given increased power to Hamas and Hezbollah. Your occupation has caused the lose of lives of so many innocent people, destroyed their homes and villages, and caused 2 million refugees and 2 million displaced people in their own country.

    5. You profess to be Christians but I know what Christ would be saying and promoting.

    6. You have built your economy on the backs of people all over the world creating untold misery.

    7. A segnment of your population are among the most intolerant, hate filled
    people of the world and for that I have great sympathy for the decent, thoughtful citizens in your midst.

    You have greater chance of dieing from your crumbling infrastruture, your reliance on HMOs to determine life and death or by the cheap goods your corporations promote, make and purchase that threaten yourself and your children so Walmart can become your largest employer than you do from any terrorist attack. You have a mounting debt, your bankruptcy rate is staggering, you middle class is shrinking, you believe ill informed myths about other countries, cultures and religions. You can't even run a fair election where voters are confident their votes are being counted. Yet you believe you are the You are ruled by a dynasty of two families, and senators and representatives who have been reelected year after year. Yet you believe you are the greatest democracy in the world!!

    Your system of government makes youvirtually powerless to get rid of an incompetent leader, every project you undertake is steeped in corruption, you can't solve your problems with health care, poverty, social security, the list goes on...and yet you criticize everyone should build your fence and stay home and fix your own problems. I wonder how long you would last as your "prosperity" depends on others...who more and more distrust you and do not respect your leaders or your moral standing.
    I know these comments are going to draw the usual wrath and bs...but quite frankly most of us don't really care what you think...


    August 4, 2007 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  17. Joseph Andorfer

    Uh...yeah. Great idea there, Tommy. Let's go ahead and bomb Mecca and Medina and get the greatest bloodbath in the history of the world rolling. Hang on kids, Armageddon here we come!

    August 4, 2007 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  18. mario, west chicago, IL

    It sounded like a great deterrent. But I think the radical Islamists would use this as a tool to create more hatred towards USA. They do not care about other Muslims. They are only interest in the pursuit of their own agenda. Bombing Mecca and the likes would only incite a worldwide Muslim hatred towards America. And that’s what the terrorists want to accomplish. By bombing holy sites, we would help the terrorists meet their goals.

    Besides we are not at war with Muslims. We are at war with radical Muslims who want to kill others in the name jihad. This is not a war against a country nor a religion. It is a war against a group of extremists.

    I do like the concept of retaliation and deterrent. Perhaps we should consider nuking a whole city where we know the terrorists are hiding. This is where we should be daring. The collateral damage would be unfortunate. But it is similar to a Chemotherapy for cancer. It kills a lot of good cells along the few cancer cells, for the benefit of the greater whole. This is much like what we did in Japan. A lot of innocent people died…but we just have to believe that many more would have died had we not done so.

    August 4, 2007 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  19. Azam, Houston, TX.

    Tom, as an American Muslim, I cant stand all those terrorists that killed innocent people here or anywhere. Your idea is Terrorism at its pure worst.
    I am glad most people can see through your insanity.

    August 4, 2007 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  20. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Comment 1001: While we're picking targets, don't forget Qom, the holy city in Iran, which we should've nuked after the hostages were freed. What's gonna happen if we do– get sued in the World Court? BFD!

    August 4, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  21. Michael, Pittsburgh PA

    Sad, irresponsible, pathetic, fascist,... all of the descriptions of this idiot that you guys posted are correct. But one thing that caught me off guard is that some people couldn't understand how this guy ever got elected in the first place.
    Are you kidding me? Why would this surprise anyone?
    We're living in a country whose leader ignores international laws, preemptively attacks another country, exploits all of our fears, attacks dissent as unpatriotic, illegally spies on us, and condones torture and other crimes against humanity.
    After all of this our country re-elected him. I'm kind of surprised Tancredo isn't all of the sudden riding a huge wave of popularity.

    August 4, 2007 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  22. Raisa, Toronto, Ontario

    It seems they don't screen for bigotry before allowing someone to run for office in America.

    August 4, 2007 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  23. Drew, Pittsburgh, PA

    He is right on. It's about time someone said it.

    August 4, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  24. Florian, Oklahoma City, OK

    Robert Mayer is dead on. It's about time we started rounding up the Islamo-terrorist here in the Homeland, too. If not re-education facilities, then pack them all back to where they came from. My next-door neighbor is from Pakastan, and not only do they take lousy care of their lawn, but anytime people aproach them they start right up talking about the 'Great Book'. Why do we let this garbage live among us. Round them all up now! Give them what they deserve!

    August 5, 2007 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  25. Robert M. Reidy, Tillson, N.Y.

    Come on people – the winds of change are
    finely blowing – Barrrock the vote !!!

    August 5, 2007 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
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