On his radio show, host and author Hugh Hewitt (who has also applied to become the next President of the University of Colorado, along with an assortment of fancies and whimsical posts) often likes to match wits with various guests and opponents. Sometimes with respect, sometimes otherwise.
A little while back, Tom Tancredo opined that the United States should make known a simple policy, in the event a nuclear weapon is discharged in the territorial United States; if a nuke goes off anywhere in the U.S., the United States would destroy Mecca with a nuclear strike. Tancredo believes that such a warning/threat/malicious fantasy would act as a deterrent against a nuclear attack on the United States, while Hewitt believes it would only set off a new recruiting drive by the terrorists, as if they would lay low and play nice if we only said good things about their faith. I find serious problems with both contentions.
First, to Mr. Tancredo. Imagine an enemy of the United States, which wanted very badly for the U.S. to get caught up in a prolonged and bitter war, with no reasonable chance of a constructive result, which would allow this enemy to make significant gains in influence and power around the world, while the U.S. declined in money, power, and credibility. All that enemy would need to do in the Tancredo Scenario, is to arrange to set off a nuclear device inside the United States. When the U.S. destroyed Mecca in retaliation, the ensuing worldwide campaign against the United States by enraged Muslims would dwarf anything seen as a religious conflict before. The United States would be very unlikely to lose such a war because of its resources and caliber of military, but it would be even less likely to conclude that war in anything less than a generation, and the lasting hatred of America for such an act would do permanent damage to relations worldwide. In essence, if the United States used nuclear weapons on a religious center known to be free of any sort of strategic weapons, on anything less than complete and compelling forensic and empirical proof of direct involvement by leaders in that city, such an action would be to permanently abdicate any right to leadership in any moral or idealist sense. And who would be capable of such a provocation? China, India, even Pakistan or Iran under certain circumstances, are all capable and inclined to put just such a strategy to work if they knew the U.S. would strike Mecca instead of them. This alone completely discredits Tancredo’s suggestion, not that there is any situation where I would automatically advocate the use of nuclear weapons as the first and immediate course of action. Even the old Soviet Union understood that the cost of Nuclear Weapons outweighed their positive value, except in the case of Internal Security. Simply put, nations kept Nuclear Weapons as a deterrent against a foreign first strike, but this was on the assumption that such a strike would be massive and obvious in origin. The use of a nuclear device by a terrorist cell of uncertain origin would be another matter entirely, and the assumption that only one potential enemy must be at fault, and that a non-aggressor should be struck in retaliation, is simply not an acceptable course of action.
As for Mr. Hewitt, the problem of Muslim complicity in the Wahabist Jihad cannot be overlooked. The problem can be summed up by examining the numbers. Perhaps fifty to one hundred thousand Muslims are active participants in the militant Jihad of Fasict Islam, a small number indeed compared to the estimated 1.4 Billion Muslims in the world. Yet a far smaller portion of Muslims have spoken out against the Fascists, implying their consent and approval through their silence. This is especially true in the United States, where Muslims are well aware of the value and effectiveness of public statements, yet vicious attacks against Americans and Democracy go unchallenged by the so-called moderates. Muslims cannot claim to deserve respect for their faith, if they will not separate themselves from the monsters using the name of Allah as an excuse to murder innocent people. Islam must be considered part of the problem, unless and until it takes active steps to address its own cancer. We have to take the Mullahs and Imams to task, even here in the U.S., and make it clear they cannot evade their responsibility.