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I cannot believe that this controversy is still roiling within the blogosphere. The newest argument I've seen is that threatening to bomb or even "nuke" Mecca is just the same as MAD, the Cold-War strategy of threatening massive retaliation in response to a Soviet first-strike on the American homeland.
But it's not. And there is a very good reason why it is not analogous.
The reason that MAD, Mutual Assured Destruction, worked is that the Soviets were modernist dictators; they were a modern, industrial society run by atheists who believed that this life was the only life, and who were motivated not by a transcendent religion but rather by an ideology of absolute temporal power. They took seriously the threat to destroy their realm and kill the leaders themselves.
Now, I realize it seems crazy to postulate a group that literally believes that the fastest way to paradise is to die killing the infidel. It sounds insane to imagine a group that would embrace -- oh, for an impossible example, some sort of suicide bomber as a holy martyr assured of his seventy-two one-eyed virgins, or whatever it is. And it feels utterly ridiculous to worry that the leadership of such a group themselves might really believe those ideas, believe them to the point where they extrapolate the martyrdom concept to a planetary-wide "suicide bombing," actually trying to bring about global annihilation in order to precipitate the Millennium.
Alas that this "insanity" is the reality of the enemy we do, in fact, face today, right where we are sitting now.
The Tancredo Threat assumes that the militant-Islamist terrorists are rational and temporal human beings, concerned more with life and temporal power than they are with the death-cult religion they profess. But what if they are not? What if at least some of them are really what they appear to be -- irrationals concerned not with this world, but only with the next?
What of the Tancredo Threat then? Mecca is only significant in this world; it is the temporal link between humans and Allah. But if Allah has returned and is ruling in person, then what need of Mecca? Even if it were a glassy, radioactive plain, if the all-powerful Allah actually wanted it -- wouldn't he simply rebuild it himself?
People, this is the fire you're playing with, this is the lightning that Tom Tancredo thinks to bottle. You think that in the end, the Islamists will act as rationally as the Soviets did, and the Great Threat will succeed. You're playing Islamist Roulette, but you have the barrel pressed against the head of civilization itself.
"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken." Because if you are, then God help our world.Sphere It View blog reactions
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» The Tancredo Genie is Out from The Strata-Sphere
Watcher, our Council Leader, has a very disturbing take on Tancredo’s idiotic declaration that we would bomb Mecca if the terrorists attacked us. As I stated earlier, Tancredo’s idiocy is based on the reality that such an act would push a... [Read More]
Tracked on July 25, 2005 6:06 PM
» Tancredo's words still resonate in the blogosphere.... from Media Lies
....and some are arguing passionately that his suggestion to bomb Mecca in retaliation is both irrational and will increase the anger of Muslims.
The Ta...[Read More]
Tracked on July 25, 2005 8:24 PM
» More On The Tancredo Meme from Bogus Gold
This is depressing and tiring. It is becoming apparent that there are all too many nominally on "my side" of the War on Terror who just want to hit something. Anything. I have tried to make the point to such folks that if you really want to wage a war,... [Read More]
Tracked on July 25, 2005 8:26 PM
Tracked on July 25, 2005 11:52 PM
» Breakfast: 7/26/2005 from basil's blog
Try one of these specials with your breakfast: The Nose On Your Face has a Top Nine list. Stop the ACLU! looks at selective separation of church and state. Confederate Yankee looks at a difficult choice. Eyes On The Ball [Read More]
Tracked on July 26, 2005 6:05 AM
» More On Nuking Mecca from CommonSenseDesk
Amba weighs in on the conversation between Michael Reynolds and others on the question Michael raises about retaliation. And Dafydd shares his view of the conversation. [Read More]
Tracked on July 26, 2005 7:32 AM
» Moslem groups demand Tancredo's resignation from Danny Carlton: codenamed "Jack Lewis"
I guess this would be funny, if it just weren't so darned sad. From the Associated Press via Tampa Bay... [Read More]
Tracked on July 26, 2005 8:55 AM
» Nuking Mecca and Medina is far worse for Islam than nuking the Vatican is for Catholicism from Blind Mind's Eye
Since my last post on Islam, which took a memetic look at Islam, a number of blogs have started talking about Rep Tancredo’s comments regarding nuclear retaliation against Mecca and Medina. You have people like Hugh Hewitt who go just ballistic ... [Read More]
Tracked on July 26, 2005 2:53 PM
» The Tancredo Kerfuffle from Brain Droppings
I having been reading through the blogophere and only a few blogs have made the connection between what Tom Tancredo said and the Wretchard's Second Conjecture and Den Beste's response. (I am proud to say that Brain Droppings is one of those sites th... [Read More]
Tracked on July 27, 2005 3:31 PM
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