A stopped clock is right twice a day, and Tom Tancredo is one such nonfunctioning timepiece. Wrong on nearly everything that matters, he is nonetheless right that a nuclear strike by Muslim terrorists on the United States should be responded to with a nuclear strike on Mecca. If I may extend Tancredo’s logic beyond what he himself may be capable of, the Plain of Arafat, the Plain of Mina, and the Masjid al-haram should be irradiated such that human visitation becomes impossible for thousands of years.
I believe that the main premise of [Tancredo's and tdaxp's] argument, that terrorists can be deterred if we make it clear that we will attack that which is of most value to them (i.e. the Kaaba and other religious sites such as Mecca, Medina, etc.), is wrong.
I ask Nykrindc this: Was the invasion of Afghanistan likewise wrong, as it destroyed something operationally most valuable to our opponents (a state-supported base)?
The answer is no: besides being a clear case of proportional response, the Afghan invasion also made the conditions of 9/11 much harder to replicate. The Roman response to the Jewish War — the destruction of the Temple — did the same. Rome destroyed the conditions that allowed a faith based on priestly worship to exist. “Jews” as a community continued, of course, but the religion of the Levites was gone forever.
In the same way, an obliteration of Mecca that leaves the city radioactive topples one of the five pillars of Islam.
People say that Islam needs a reformation. Reformed variants of Judaism thrived twice, both in response to a grand shock (the Destruction of the Temple, leading to Christianity, and the abolition of the European ghettos, leading to Reform/conservative Judaism).
On the other hand, if you are happy with the Islamic status quo — and remain so after a nuclear attack on the homeland — there is nothing to change! No such outrage is necessary.