On the other hand: "Bomb Mecca"


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Posted by andreas from p3EE3C3E8.dip.t-dialin.net (62.227.195.232) on Sunday, December 08, 2002 at 9:13AM :

In Reply to: Leading Sunni Sheikh - Conquest of Rome posted by andreas from p3EE3C3E8.dip.t-dialin.net (62.227.195.232) on Sunday, December 08, 2002 at 8:04AM :

On the other hand: "Bomb Mecca"
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That's Rich:
National Review's editor suggests nuking Mecca. We're not kidding.

By Jeremy Lott
Web Exclusive: 3.11.02


Brief history lesson: Ann Coulter, the notorious bomb-throwing lawyer/pundit, wrote a post-September 11 column for National Review Online in which she cautioned restraint in the coming months.

No, wait a second, that's not right. Coulter took a somewhat stronger line on what she desired of America's collective response. We had been "invaded by a fanatical murderous cult" -- Muslims -- and should therefore "invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity" (though she later explained that such conversion should be voluntary).

The scuttlebutt from that and future columns got Coulter canned by the National Review. Online Editor Jonah Goldberg explained that Coulter wasn't fired for her over-the-top warmongering. Rather, "We ended the relationship because she behaved with a total lack of professionalism, friendship, and loyalty," Goldberg said. Most people, however, assumed that the brass had made a decision to tone down the excessive saber rattling.

If so, then editor and television talking head Rich Lowry missed that memo. Recently on National Review's new Web log, "The Corner," Lowry addressed the question of what sort of retaliatory measures should be taken in the case of a nuclear detonation -- probably of a "dirty bomb" -- on U.S. soil. Judging from the e-mail he's received, there's "lots of sentiment for nuking Mecca." Nor, in Lowry's eyes, was such an idea nuts. He allowed that "Mecca seems extreme, of course" -- of course -- "but then again few people would die and it would send a signal."

That's the Mecca he was talking about. Birthplace of Mohammed. Holy city toward which Muslims direct their prayers and have a religious obligation to visit at least once in their lives. Situated in Saudi Arabia, it's the Islamic equivalent of Jerusalem for Jews or the Vatican for Catholics -- only probably more so.

Lowry brushed away any religious concerns about nuking Mecca by arguing that great faiths "have suffered such catastrophic setbacks before." He justified his armchair Dr. Strangelove impression by saying that "the time for seriousness is now rather than after thousands and thousands more American casualties." He also noted the possible deterrent effects of radical Muslims thinking us so palpably crazy that we would reduce their holy city to a pile of glowing cinders.

"Lowry makes Coulter sound like a girl," said Joel Miller, editor at the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily.com (full disclosure: I once was employed there), which carries Coulter's column. He has a point, and not just about gender. Coulter only wanted the United States to kill Arab leaders and impose its own order. Nuking Mecca, on the other hand, would fry what religious pilgrims are currently there and unite the whole Muslim world in a pitched and unending battle against the great Satan.

Fortunately, Lowry offers an out from this scenario. "Moderates," he explained, opt for something more along the lines of nuking such cities as Baghdad, Tehran, Gaza City, and Ramallah. "Damascus, Cairo, Algiers, Tripoli, and Riyadh should be put on alert that any signs of support for the attacks in their cities will bring immediate annihilation."

Jeremy Lott



-- andreas
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