Apologies must be made to Congressional Representative Marilyn Musgrave. In the past I have accused her of being the most out of touch, embarrassing representative of the people of Colorado due to her hateful stance against gay rights. I was mistaken.
Rep. Tom Tancredo of Littleton clearly deserves that honor after embarrassing himself and avoiding the opportunity to retract his idiotic statements regarding retribution towards Muslims in the event of an attack on our country. If you don't happen to be a devote follower of conservative talk radio allow me to get you up to speed.
Tancredo, who ironically is a member of the House International Relations Committee, stuck his entire leg in his mouth Friday while talking with radio host Pat Campbell of WFLA in Orlando, Fla. The representative suggested as a reaction to an attack by terrorists using nuclear weapons on the United States, that our country bomb Muslim holy sites including Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
It is amazing how much the most radical elements of opposing societies can begin to resemble each other. We have seen the Taliban destroy ancient Buddhist statues in Afghanistan, Al-Quadia destroy our symbols of capitalism in New York, and now Tancredo stating that destroying the most sacred sites of the Islamic religion would be a rational idea.
Given the chance to retract or clarify his statements the representative was unrepentant. Stated Tancredo: "You've got people telling us that they're going to bomb our cities and kill however many millions of people that they can. You're telling me there's something more hostile than that?"
Well yes sir, actually when a representative of a government comes out and supports destroying the largest religious symbols of an entire religion, it does come across as more hostile than the ranting statements of a radical not recognized by any government. Tancredo has always been a champion of extremists from the right, often blurring the distinctions between anti-immigration stances and outright bigotry. These latest statements however offer a chilling reality check into the mind of this man who is planning to run for President in 2008.
Surely he knows his words are purely hyperbole. Bombing Muslim holy sites located within the Arab nations of Iraq and Saudi Arabia would hardly coincide with our countries current diplomatic approach. When a group of Saudis attacked us on 9/11 the current administration did anything but take a hard-line approach to the Kingdom. The Bush administration and the Saudis have their hands too deep in each other's pockets to let something like the loss of American lives affect the relationship. Bombing the holy sites of Iraq, which we invaded and are currently occupying, would hardly seem the correct response if one wanted to further the cause of peace within that country.
So why then would Tancredo try to insinuate such a far-fetched scenario? Probably for the same reasons he so often attacks immigrants of differing nationalities than himself; it gets him re-elected. Unfortunately there is a broad contingent that feeds into this doctrine of hate. We have seen it here in Larimer County with Rep. Musgrave and apparently it thrives to the south of us as well.
Perhaps it is the Western mentality of wanting to be the last person to move into the area that fuels this passion for intolerance within our state. Whatever the reason, if the voters of Colorado continue to support and tolerate these types of politicians we will earn a reputation formerly belonging to the Deep South.