Posted by: L | August 6, 2007

Tom Tancredo takes out Mecca, US forces take out al-Badri

On July 31, 2007 Republican rep from Colorado, and presidential hopeful, Tom Tancredo, whose position on Mexican immigrants has made him the darling of nativists, urged the bombing of Mecca and Medina as a deterrent to future terrorist attacks.

Actually, his statement was not anywhere as clear as that. In the second half, the CNN report said Tancredo would bomb in retaliation for a terrorist attack on the homeland (Bushspeak for America); in the first half, that it would preemptively bomb to deter such an attack.

Then again, linguistic precision hasn’t been a noted attribute of this administration, which for the last half a decade has pretended that preemption is no more than deterrence and prevention.

Take President Bush himself:

“If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self defense, we do not rule out use of force before attacks occur, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack, when the consequences of an attack with WMD are potentially so devastating, we cannot afford to stand idly by as grave dangers materialize.”

In this piece, even before attacks materialize – whose time and place are uncertain – Bush urges self—defense, by which, naturally, he means attack.

And what would we be attack-er-defending against? Oh, that would be potential. As in, defending against potential terrorism.

Attack in self-defense to deter the potential of an uncertain terrorist attack. You get it.

Or perhaps the point is you don’t.

Of course, “potential” also remains in the eye of the beholder.
Tancredo doesn’t see much potential for terrorism, for instance, in repressive, nuke-wielding crony-capitalist gambling den, China. Oh no. The Chinese only sit on a large chunk of US treasuries and their every financial flutter turns Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve a sicklier shade of yellow as the global credit binge turns into a global hangover. But not to worry.

No, as a social conservative and Christian Right activist from a district largely constituted of middle-class and affluent Caucasian voters, Tancredo’s position on immigration and the Middle East is lit by the eerie flames of civilizational war, a la Samuel Huntington. So, naturally, he finds terrorist potential solely in Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, which (whatever we might think of the objects of its financial patronage) at last count was still an ally.

Perhaps Tancredo, recognizing the potential for Allies to turn into Axis (Of Evil), is only deterring that potential. Or preventing it. Or pre-empting it. Or perhaps he recognizes the potential a run on the Bank of Mecca would have to destroy the last shred of credit America has and turn the Iraq war into an outright Crusade against a billion Muslims.

Of course, some people think that’s already what’s going on.

Bay (Pat, without the winsome charm) Buchanan, chief Tancredo Wazir, reassures us, nonetheless, that the man is “open-minded and willing to embrace other options.”

Could that mean he will be content to take out only the Ka’aba in a surgical strike and leave the rest of Mecca alone, thus reassuring Muslims the world over about the precise precision both of US weaponry and US language? Or does it mean he will just content himself with a border war with Mexican immigrants in the south?

At this point, it’s hard to figure out.

Just as hard as figuring out why the State Department is throwing a hissy fit over this anyway. [Tom Casey, a deputy spokesman for the State Department, told CNN’s Elise Labott that the congressman’s comments were “reprehensible” and “absolutely crazy” etc. etc.]

After all, Tancredo said about the same thing in 2005.

“If this [a nuclear attack] happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites,” he said on July 15, 2005.

And he had plenty of company among people who aren’t conservative Christians.

One right-wing journal claimed that the “nuke Mecca” threat was the only reason America had remained free of terrorist attack post 9-11 (“Intelligence expert says nuke option is reason bin Laden has been quiet,” WorldNet, January 1 2005).

Meanwhile, Robert Spencer, scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of the Jihad Watch thought it was a bad idea only because it might not have worked out:

“It is likely that a destruction of the Ka’aba or the Al-Aqsa Mosque would have the same effect: it would become [a] source of spirit, not of dispirit. The jihadists would have yet another injury to add to their litany of grievances,” he wrote in FrontPage Magazine on July 28, 2005, almost wistfully.

In fact, nuking Mecca is as popular a meme in Washington as a Paris Hilton video on YouTube.

On February 6, 2007, Don Imus said on MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning – “It might be [a] good start with somebody who’s willing to take three big ones and drop one on Mecca, one on Jeddah, and one on Saudi — one on Riyadh.”

On March 2002, The National Review’s senior editor, Rich Lowry, suggested in an online forum that there was “…lots of sentiment for nuking Mecca… Mecca seems extreme, of course, but then again few people would die and it would send a signal.”

[In 2004 the city had 1,294,167 residents, according to wiki, so it’s hard to figure out what Mr. Lowry could have been thinking when he referred to “few people”. On the other hand, in the context of the ground swell of hype from the nuclear industry in recent years about “resource wars” supposedly driven by burgeoning populations east of the Suez, a million may indeed be few].

Such are the cultural and racial anxieties that Tancredo’s rhetoric plays on. Whatever the merits of his position on immigration in other respects. And it does have some.

Those resource wars were probably what the Pentagon had in mind, when three years after Lowry made his remark, it revised its 1995 nuclear strike doctrine to include enemies who were using “or intending to use WMD” against the U.S. or its allies, their forces and their civilian populations. Imminent intentions at Mecca or elsewhere would thus be preemptively deterred or defended by nuclear attack.

But besides metaphysical provocation from the swarthy and fecund, another potential provocation for a nuclear preemptive strike by the Pentagon was laid out decades earlier, in January 1975 in Commentary magazine. That was just after the Saudis had embargoed oil and sent prices soaring in the west. In response, Robert Tucker promoted the radical notion of invading Arab oil fields in a piece with the snappy title, “Oil: The Issue of American Intervention.”

Fast forward a quarter of a century, post 9-11, and get to Rand Corp. analyst Laurent Murawiec’s notorious power point presentation on July 10, 2002, to the Defense Policy Board, an influential committee of ex and current defense officials chaired by Richard Perle, Iraq-war hawk nonpareil.

After accusing the Saudis of “supporting our enemies and attacking our allies,” Murawiecz advised US officials to target Saudi Arabia’s economic assets should their rulers disobey US ultimatums that included a ban on Islamic charities and “anti-Israeli” writings.

Love us or we’ll bomb you.

Murawiecz, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and Rand, adviser to the French Ministry of Defense, some -time writer for Lyndon LaRouche, and founder and managing director of the obscure and dubious consulting firm, GeoPol Corp. in Geneva, (with close ties to questionable arms dealers) laces his work with references to Saudi reproduction and fecundity (see the November 17, 2005 discussion at the Hudson Institute of his book “Princes of Darkness: The Saudi Assault on the West”).

In his sensational 2002 presentation, he urged the confiscation of both oil fields in Arabia as well as Saudi assets in the US, as a first step. And as a second step, he urged that the Saudis be informed that their holy places were targets and that “alternatives are being canvassed”. His recommendation was that Muslim pilgrims just take their Hajj elsewhere and stop ruining all that oil for the civilized world, i.e. us.

A year later, Congress released its 9-11 report, with its heavily censored pages under the impressively sinister title, “Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.” Naturally, that was leaked. Naturally it became unofficially known (but never officially charged) that Saudi nationals with known contacts to two of the 9-11 hijackers also received money and had contact with Saudi officials, and that the Saudis have willfully provided al-Qaeda with assistance through Muslim charities. What didn’t become unofficially known was the official view by “a host of senior intelligence and law enforcement officials” (“Saudis on the Defensive,” Gary Leupp, Counterpunch, August 8, 2003) that “there is a lot of information in there that’s inflammatory but not accurate, or inferential or open to interpretation. Some of it is based on information that is partial, fragmentary and wrong. It is certainly not conclusive.”

Despite seeing through the Bush line on immigration, Christian cultural warrior Tancredo is still a big fan of the Bush global war on terror, and especially of its Middle Eastern front on the Tigris. An ardent supporter of the defense industry in general, Tancredo, it seems, is also a convert to the Tucker-Murawiec vision of a de-Saudified Middle East.

He is also given to that favorite leisure sport of under worked DC lawmakers– regime change in Iran. There, Tancredo, a conservative Christian, supports the ultra left-wing People’s Freedom Fighters (MEK), which has been identified as a terrorist organization by the State Department and is led by the charismatic Marxist feminist, Miriam Rajavi.

Tancredo, a co-chair of the House Iran caucus, offered support to a pro-MEK rally in Washington on January 19, 2006 and wrote to the organizers, the Council for Democratic Change in Iran, “We believe a possible alternative to the current government can be achieved through supporting the people of Iran and the Iranian resistance.”

That means that Tancredo, the conservative, is allied with the most radical faction in the ongoing debate about how the U.S. effects Iranian regime change. (Note: No party to that debate suggests that perhaps Iranian regime change might not be the business of the US government).

On the surface, that’s an odd place for a self-described cultural conservative.

Since it is coincidentally also the vision of neo-conservative theorist, democratic revolutionary, connoisseur of fascist belles-lettres, and Iran Contra go-between, Michael Ledeen..

You remember him.

He’s the guy who was selling weapons to the mullahs he’s busy denouncing now. And he’s the guy who was promoting the Afghan mujahadeen — including Osama Bin Laden — back then as our chief allies against communist totalitarianism.

He was also involved with the neo-fascist Masonic lodge P2 (Propaganda Due) and a network of Italian secret service agents associated with the CIA-coordinated “stay-behind” strategy. As part of its Cold War vision, “stay-behind” members attempted to “destabilize” the Italian government in the 1980s through terrorist attacks and false flag operations blamed on socialists.

Ledeen, an avid admirer of Machiavelli, has argued that the US must be “imperious, ruthless, and relentless” against the Muslim world until there has been “total surrender.”

And more:

“We will not be sated until we have had the blood of every miserable little tyrant in the Middle East, until every leader of every cell of the terror network is dead or locked securely away, and every last drooling anti-Semitic and anti-American mullah, imam, sheikh, and ayatollah is either singing the praises of the United States of America, or pumping gasoline, for a dime a gallon, on an American military base near the Arctic Circle.” [National Review, 12/7/2001, republished in the Jewish World Review, 12/11/2001]

Iraq just isn’t enough for Ledeen.

“We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia; we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/4/2002.

Ledeen, probably unlike Tancredo in this respect, is not a useful tool.

Keep those points in mind and consider that just yesterday, August 5, only a week after the Tancredo eruption, U.S. troops claim to have killed the al-Qaida mastermind (al Badri) behind the bombing of the golden dome of al Askariya shrine in Samarra, one of the most sacred of Shiite holy places. It was the act that set off waves of sectarian killing last year.

Actually, the mosque itself was then guarded by local police, presumably under US authority. Some describe Shia having taunted the police with slogans prior to the bombing which might have provoked the Sunni response. Or not. There’s no way of knowing now, except that now, Tancredo gets a lucky break.

The take out of al-Badri should set Muslim hearts at rest, if they don’t actually flutter for Uncle Sam again. Tancredo can stop explaining himself to CAIR and go back to his work — for regime change in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

And Laurent Murawiec, polyglot scholar of cultural identity, who has analyzed how pigs affect Muslims differently from Christians and proclaimed publicly that the global war on terror is not a war on terror really, but “a war on jihad and an Islam that has, for all practical purposes, throw its lot with the jihadis,” can get back to his.

And what is Murawiec’s work? Closely connected to the RMA (Revolution in Military Affairs), it turns out.

In case you didn’t know, the RMA is Donald Rumsfeld’s pet project and makes Information War (IW), including netcentric war, its center piece. Imagery is its language.
Murawiec even has a book on the subject (“Greek Rhetoric Meets Cyberspace: Toward a Theory of Information Warfare”).

This is how he describes IW in an article for the Hudson Institute (“Military Action in Cyberspace,” December 15, 2003):

“For instance, a pig may mean something different to a Muslim and a Christian. A Muslim might see an impure and accursed animal, whereas a Christian might see ham on legs or one of Walt Disney’s Three Little Pigs. Effective use of visual images across cultures requires great knowledge and sophistication……..

In all these cases, IW involves creating phantom cyber-images, which can include phantasms of nonexistent trains, airplanes, stock market orders, and bank transfers; false impressions of the enemy’s troop strength and one’s own, of supplies and movements, of fake attacks and all-too-real defenses; and phantom images of the enemy’s leaders doing evil things on screen because one has video-morphed images of them doing them so.
Information warfare is not about machines or even electrons. It is about people’s minds, society’s functions, and armies’ strategies. Cyberspace endows us—and our enemies—with new and extraordinary means with which to achieve our respective aims. “We have only begun to cyber-fight.”




  1. […] the Webmaster Link to Article west 8 Infowars: Tom Tancredo takes out Mecca, US forces take out al-Badri » Posted […]

  2. During the cold war with the Soviet Union the US had
    a policy known as MAD. This was short for mutual assured destruction. What that meant was that if the Russians were to do a nuclear first strike on the US, even if it meant that all of America were dead or dying, our computer network (early internet) would make sure the US missiles would launch and Russia would get nuked as well.
    Democrat and republican presidents had the same policy. It was a deterent!
    Under a president Tancredo, after jihadists have nuked us, their holy sites could be a target.
    Telling them BEFORE they think of nuking us is a
    deterent. Unless you think Mecca is somehow any more important than any city in America.
    After we are hit, I really do not know why you would care about Mecca so much.

  3. MAD was a dreadfully immoral posture to begin with, so citing it doesn’t improve matters for me. And I will get back to you about how and where it came from — there’s more to it than meets the eye.

    At least, the Soviet Union was a clear cut ideological enemy, which had officially adopted an aggressive posture to us and was negotiating with us as such..

    The Saudis are officially our allies.
    So the analogy is misplaced.

    Then again, if we are at war with the Saudis, as well as in Iraq, we should declare it.

    Killing innocent people at Mecca and Medina would indeed be a crime.

    Destroying Mecca and Medina would not only be a massive crime, it would be a blunder of monumental proportions.

    If we have proof that the Saudi government directly implemented a terrorist attack against the US, we should lay it out and proceed from there in a manner proportionate to the crime.

    Even during an all out war, targeting sacred shrines, has so far not been the policy of any civilized country. Then again, the Bush administration is an overtly outlaw government (an outlaw, in relation to just US laws, forget about international ones) and seems content to be one.

    The point of the article was to argue that I think certain things are allowed to enter the public discourse outside official policy pronouncements, as part of the infowar. So on one hand, the gvt can reassure Muslims that, of course, as a civilized country, we are not targeting all Muslims because of the criminal acts of a few. On the other, the gvt can surreptitiously allow (and benefit from)the public discourse being poisoned like this and stir up trouble.

    Our government has killed a million Iraqis so far. None involved in 9-11 so far as I know. The British government supported the US in that killing. Is Saudi Arabia now justified in taking out St. Paul’s in London…or maybe, since Benedict has been making anti-Islam comments, the Saudis would be justified in taking out St. Peter’s or bombing the Vatican?

    And wouldn’t Christians world-over consider that a much worse act than bombing any other city?

    We need to understand how much we are being manipulated and by whom and for what ends…

  4. Tancredo has no chance of winning, and maybe he knows it. So his outrageous remark on bombing holy sites may just have been a cry for attention. Isn’t the media playing right into his hands by focusing so much on his reprehensible statement? It might just help him by energizing his xeneophobic supporters. If he does become President, he might escalate the so-called war on terror in a big way that would actually impact global security negatively in a huge way. Does he know that there’s more than a billion Muslims in the world? Does he realize that America cannot win without Muslim allies just like America could not have won the Cold War without its allies?

  5. I just wanted to follow up on my earlier comment. It is entirely plausible that the Bush administration is allowing Tancredo to play the bad cop while the State Department plays the good cop. This could be part of an information war… kind of like when US military officials talk about a unilateral strike in western Pakistani tribal areas while both Bush and Cheney say that they will respect Pakistan’s sovereignty.

  6. But in this case, I doubt it. Because it is well known that Tancredo loathes the Bush administration, and Karl Rove despises Tancredo. So it is unlikely this administration would be able to convince Tancredo to talk about bombing Mecca and Medina. If this is part of the infowar then they would just be using Tancredo to push Muslims to do more to eliminate or at least marginalize their radical brethren, in which case Tancredo would not be seriously running for president because he would know that such divisive comments would alienate large numbers of people. But Tancredo has a history of making racist comments like referring to Miami as a Third World Country. So I believe Tancredo is not working in tandem with Bush in an infowar… he is just ignorant and racist and wants to be president to that he can keep Mexicans out. Immigration reform might be the primary reason for his seeking the presidency. Since he is stuck in the single digits as far as the Republican primary voters are concerned, what better way to increase his popularity with the base than to attack mainstream Republican leaders for their “political correctness”? Giuliani does the same thing, albeit on a much smaller scale, when he goes after the Democrats for not using the blatantly offensive epithet “Islamic terrorist”.

  7. Oh no. I am not saying that Tancredo is part of it himself deliberately. No. He is just the “useful idiot” who is allowed to go on making provocative comments so that any repercussions will always be directed against “conservative Christians” and not against the strategisers who make use of loose cannons. I should rewrite to make that clear. And by the way, I was against the Bush immigration bill and think the issue needs to be debated honestly on both sides. I certainly am sympathetic to local communities on whom the costs of immigration are dumped while corporations reap the benefits. I also don’t know whether we should conflate xenophobia, nativism, racialism and racism so easily. There are legitimate points to Tancredo’s position.

    I just don’t think one should demonize the immigrants. And I also think a number of people demagogue the issue and play on racial and cultural anxieties.

    Here’s my position on the immigration bill:

  8. You’re right about people like Tancredo playing on racial and cultural anxieties. Often these anxieties are based on racism… so it’s not a stretch to say that some nativists might indeed be, at least subconsciously, racist and xenophobic. And Tancredo has also more or less called for the abolition of the Congressional Black Caucus. I don’t see Tancredo et al talking about limiting white European immigration to the United States.

  9. Maybe so. But I think there is a legitimate need for cultural assimilation, for discussion of crime involved with immigration, and for analyzing the activist immigrant groups which themselves sometimes adopt stridently racialist and even racist rhetoric.

    There is a very real and legitimate concern about illegality, misuse of public services, racketeering, wage depression. and so on. We need to guard against that while also steering clear about demagoguery on either side.

    And as a libertarian I do believe that communities have some rights to associate as they wish. They have no right to actively prevent association, though.

  10. What would the consequences be of cultural assimilation? If all immigrants were asked to disassociate themselves from their culture then does that mean that the Irish should no longer celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Should Hispanic Americans stop eating at Spanish resturants?

    Crime exists in all communities and is independent of immigration, except for when immigrants crossing the border illegally whether from Mexico or Canada.

    Who are these activist immigrant groups you speak of? You might classify their rhetoric as racialist or racist while they would emphatically say that they are proud of who they are and where they come from.

    Having more immigrants benefits the US economy. The reason the American economy is struggling right now is not because of immigrants but because of economic mismanagement by the Bush administration… and the billions they spend on the Iraq war.

    Out of all the people that misuse public services, what percentage are immigrants? I would like to see a statistic on that. Wage depression is a legitimate concern. But racketeering? That just plays on stereotypes of Mexicans.

  11. No. I don’t think I am playing on any stereotypes there. It has to do with the racketeering around work permits. If there were Eskimos coming across the border, it would apply to them too.

    One doesn’t have to give up one’s cultural identity to learn the language and institutions of the country.

    Knowledge of English, knowledge of the constitution and knowledge of the political theory behind the characteristic institutions of this country, and of major influences,including Christianity, does not mean you abandon your cultural identity.

    Theres also some very strident anti-white rhetoric out there. Whether that is racist (in the technical sense) is beside the point. It’s obnoxious and self serving.

    People need to show good faith and act reasonably by putting themselves in the shoes of the other fellow once in a while

  12. “People need to show good faith and act reasonably…” is an excellent ethical maxim.
    Do PR flacks keep such an ethical maxim foremost when they play yuppie games with the data
    How to elude the is – ought gap is always a conundrum.

  13. Fight on your opponent’s territory and you lose.
    Fight on your own, you stand a chance.

  14. For the record, Tancredo is not a racialist, and has condemned racialism on several occasions. Like Ron Paul, it just so happens that Tancredo’s position on several issues happens to overlap with our own, and that wins him points with us. Much of the conservative base shares our racial and cultural concerns, but it is politically incorrect for them to say so.

    Tancredo’s position on immigration and multiculturalism is very much in line with our views. From our perspective, the War in Iraq is a trivial distraction compared to what is going on along our southern border and the broader cultural war. About 3,000 Americans have died in Iraq in an unnecessary war. How many whites are the victims of black-on-white crime every year? There is no comparison.

    Immigration from Latin America will permanently transform the character of American society forever. We can already see this in skyrocketing poverty in California and the joke that its public education system has become. In contrast, we can leave Iraq like we left Vietnam, and that will be the end of the matter. Iraq is Bush’s War and when Bush leaves office we will withdraw from Iraq. We don’t have to elect Ron Paul to get ourselves out of that conflict.

    Personally, I don’t really care if Tancredo throws a sop to the patriotards. That’s necessary in the political waters he is swimming in. If that helps us move the goal posts on immigration, then I am all for it. Immigration is the most important issue for racialists, our top priority.

  15. Well – obviously as a libertarian, I don’t much care if the movement of people changes the racial composition anywhere – if it’s a free movement.
    I have nothing against anyone who wishes to keep their blood lines pure (good luck with that, by the way), but I am all for mongrels personally…

    It’s very difficult for me to see how Caucasians on this continent can regard Mexicans, Native Americans, and American blacks as anything but MORE or at least equally a part of the picture as they – since they’ve been here at least as long….if that’s the criterion…and with Mexico, there is also the history of how territory in that area was acquired. Not to fight any of it over again. Just observing.

    With other immigrants (such as, from Asia) – yes the issues are different.

    In my opinion – and it’s an argument I make in the torture book — it was cultural and racial anxieties over immigration and group entitlements that were cleverly projected outward by those who wanted WW4 to plump up the defense establishment — once Cold War spending could no longer be plausibly sustained. Once the internal cultural war is debated honestly and fairly, I have a feeling support for WW4 will disappear. Just my thought.

    I see the issues of immigration and war as deeply linked.

    As a libertarian, however, ultimately, I see the problem as created by the huge size of the modern state and the range of “interests” it is supposed to service…

    God almighty could not do what the modern state is supposed to…keep the peace, build nations, provide goods and services, cure cancer, stop your hair falling out.. etc etc…

    And if one objects to any of it, there will be a chorus of dimwits to tell you you are “uncaring” —
    none of whom seem to have the faintest inkling that without the state people are quite capable of looking after the weak or the unfortunate.

    They will just be more inclined to draw the line at the horde of rentiers, from hedge funds in need of bail outs to college students who don’t pay back their debts (not that I am equating those two, I just wanted to show that dependence on the government extends from the very powerful to the relatively powerless…from “bad” debt (financialization) to what is considered “good” debt (education)…

    The problem is the pervasive use the rhetoric of compassion to justify whatever it is people want for themselves from the public till.

    And watching the media and politicians cater to this kind of rank self-seeking masked as the public good is enough to make anyone despair that a philosophy as noble, self reliant, and profound as libertarianism will ever carry the day.

  16. Muslims Against Sharia commend Congressman Tancredo for clearly defining the enemy and standing up to Islamist lobby and PC establishment.

    Tom Tancredo Radio Ad
    Tom Tancredo TV Ad

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