So, what, is "Cold War" all we know how to do? I guess the Russians had more of an impact on us than we thought.
Would you prefer preemption?
So you want the President of the United States to threaten innocent bystanders and ancient cities full of priceless history?
Look, this is war. You either have to fight it 100% or you don't fight it at all. We can win this war militarily. We still do military well, we just don't do politics and bureaucracy well.
When did we start insisting that we concern ourselves with ancient cities and holy sites? And secondly, a threat to bomb Mecca might actually make some of these "innocent bystanders" stand up to (what they claim) the minority of Islamic fundamentalists.
Outrage them? Incense them? In the end...radicalize them.
We really can't "alienate" the Muslim community any more. They already hate us for some reason that they can't even agree on (only that it has nothing to do with their religion and something to do with our foreign policy).
If I was a peaceful Muslim and the U.S. provided me with a choice of allowing the terrorists to continue their war against the West with the possibility of my holy site being bombed or starting to take on the extremists in my own religion to preserve said holy site, I have a very easy decision.
So now we're going to use fear of indiscriminate attacks to motivate otherwise peaceful people? Sound like the tactics of anyone else you know?
We're providing them with a choice. Either continue to allow the radical elements of your religion wage their war against the West but expect a serious response or actually do something about it before your religion is destoryed.
And by the way, threatening something like this would only make our terrorist friends more prone to do what they will. They'd probably love to see us blow up Mecca - think of all the martyrs that'd make.
If they are stupid enough to attack us after we issue a warning that says "if we are attacked by people in the name of Islam, we will take out Mecca" then they deserve to have their holy site obliterated.
I can't believe we're even discussing this.
Why? This is nothing new. Yes, our society has grown incredibly soft and possibly has lost the will to fight wars, but all options must remain on the table. Nothing else is working.