the nuclear option
No, I'm not talking about a way of ending filibusters.
It isn't often that I find myself disagreeing with Glenn Reynolds, Ed Morrisey, Hugh Hewitt, and Betsy Newmark on an issue. This is one of those times.
Congressman Tom Tancredo, when asked a hypothetical question by Pat Campbell of WFLA about a possible American response to an al-Quaeda nuclear attack on American cities, responded that one solution would be to bomb Mecca. To quote Hugh Hewitt:
"Destroying Mecca wouldn't destroy Islam. It would enrage and unify Islam across every country in the world where Muslims lived."
Hewitt seems to think that a nuclear attack by Islamic fanatics has nothing to do with Islam, despite the oft-stated goals of Osama bin Laden. He also seems to think that a simultaneous nuclear attack on Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Dallas, New York, and Washington would not enrage Americans. This is so naive as to be stupid.
Now, Rep. Tancredo did not specifically say "nuke Mecca", but the implication is clearly there. Hugh Hewitt is wrong about what such a retaliatory attack would mean. If Mecca is radioactive, then the Hajj is impossible, and Islam is finished. Enrage and unify Islam? It would destroy it utterly. It would be a vivid demonstration that Allah sure as hell ain't Akhbar.
Note that such an attack would be in retaliation for a devastating Islamic extremist attack; a nuclear or smallpox attack or some such. This hypothetical attack would be a de facto declaration of Total War.
If America wins a Total War, then its enemies actually stand a chance of surviving. If America loses a Total War, then every American is slaughtered. It really is as simple as that.
Technorati Tags: Tancredo, Nuclear War, War on Terror