Actually Aaron and I are having a vigorous exchange of ideas over at Lifelike
on the Tancredo story. I like and respect Aaron, but I'm completely unconvinced that Tancredo's right on this point.
A lot of people have been "correcting"
the impression that Tancredo was suggesting nuking Mecca, but that's just a difference of degree. I don't think he was talking about exploding a bomb somewhere where it wouldn't kill any innocents.
The other line of defense
is that Tancredo was just suggesting that we threaten the Islamofascists with that, not that we'd actually do it. Of course, admitting that it's just an empty threat removes any potential deterrent effect.
The best argument Tancredo's supporters have (it seems to me) is the MAD argument; that the threat of nuclear retaliation prevented the Russians from nuking us during the Cold War and it will do the same with the Islamofascists now. I don't know that I buy it; if the attack comes from Bin Laden (who's supposedly in Pakistan or Afghanistan), how does threatening Mecca deter him? There may be a willingness on his part to sacrifice Mecca to start the jihad against the Americans in full force and fury.
Lumpy makes some interesting points
here, that if you look at it as a war of civilizations rather than just individual battles with individuals involved, then Mecca makes sense as a strategic target. I don't think he can get around the intentional killing of innocents problem.
AJ Strata has more here
, including Hugh Hewitt's response to the MAD argument.