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Nuke Mecca

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If you're looking for a "mecca" for all things nuclear, start with nuclear energy.

Nuke Mecca is a popular refrain among the far right,[1][2][3][4][5] who seem to think that a "moral equation" resulting in justice and peace could look something like this: 6,852 American armed forces personnel lost in the global war on terror + 2,996 lives lost from 9-11 = murdering the 2,000,000 civilians who call Mecca home.[6]

Certainly seems a surefire plan to defend America (and not the most insane act of genocide in history or something that would galvanize Muslims to demolish the Vatican or anything like that)!


The idea is briefly mentioned as a detail of the backstory in the 1985 Nebula award winning science fiction classic Ender's GameWikipedia by Orson Scott Card. A similarly inflammatory concept is the nuclear bombing of the Vatican explored in Zoltan Istvan's The Transhumanist Wager,Wikipedia[7] while War in 2020 by Ralph Peters has the atomic bombing of Israel.

Though it's not Mecca, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also accused Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of threatening to attack the Gaza Strip with a nuclear weapon, which Lieberman's media adviser called nonsense.[8]

Republican use[edit]

Talk show host Pat Campbell for WFLA-AM in Orlando, Florida asked the Colorado Republican Congressman Tom TancredoWikipedia how the country should respond if terrorists struck several U.S. cities with nuclear weapons; he responded, "Well, what if you said something like — if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites." "You're talking about bombing Mecca," Campbell said. "Yeah," Tancredo responded. The congressman later said he was "just throwing out some ideas" and that an "ultimate threat" might have to be met with an "ultimate response." "What is near and dear to them? They're willing to sacrifice everything in this world for the next one. What is the pressure point that would deter them from their murderous impulses?" the representative asked, his spokesman stressing he was only speaking hypothetically.[9]

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has demanded that he apologize to Muslims.[10]

How come they didn't nuke Korea or Vietnam?[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Vietnam War

At a press conference on 30 November 1950, Truman was asked about the use of nuclear weapons:[11]

Q. Mr. President, I wonder if we could retrace that reference to the atom bomb? Did we understand you clearly that the use of the atomic bomb is under active consideration?

Truman: Always has been. It is one of our weapons.
Q. Does that mean, Mr. President, use against military objectives, or civilian—
Truman: It's a matter that the military people will have to decide. I'm not a military authority that passes on those things.
Q. Mr. President, perhaps it would be better if we are allowed to quote your remarks on that directly?
Truman: I don't think—I don't think that is necessary.
Q. Mr. President, you said this depends on United Nations action. Does that mean that we wouldn't use the atomic bomb except on a United Nations authorization?

Truman: No, it doesn't mean that at all. The action against Communist China depends on the action of the United Nations. The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has.

The implication was that the authority to use atomic weapons now rested in the hands of General MacArthur.[12][13] Truman's White House issued a clarification, noting that "only the President can authorize the use of the atom bomb, and no such authorization has been given", yet the comment still caused a domestic and international stir.[14] Truman had touched upon one of the most sensitive issues in civilian-military relations in the post-World War II period: civilian control of nuclear weapons, which was enshrined in the Atomic Energy Act of 1946.Wikipedia[15]

On 9 December 1950, MacArthur requested field commander's discretion to employ nuclear weapons; he testified that such an employment would only be used to prevent an ultimate fallback, not to recover the situation in Korea.[16] On 24 December 1950, MacArthur submitted a list of "retardation targets" in Korea, Manchuria,Wikipedia and other parts of China, for which 34 atomic bombs would be required, though other sources say only 26.[16][17][18][19] According to Major General Courtney Whitney,Wikipedia MacArthur considered a proposal by Louis Johnson to use radioactive wastes to seal off North Korea, but never submitted this to the Joint Chiefs.[20] In January 1951, he refused to entertain proposals for the forward deployment of nuclear weapons.[21] An increase in the atmospheric carbon dioxide that creates the greenhouse effect had only recently been discovered by Charles David KeelingWikipedia, so the idea that climate change could disrupt the distribution of an uncontained nuclear waste no man's land through heavy rains contaminating the groundwater wasn't considered a foreseeable hazard for South Korea within the next six decades. [22]

There has been debate whether MacArthur advocated the employment of nuclear weapons, including over whether his submission to the Joint Chiefs of Staff was tantamount to a recommendation.[23][24] In his testimony before the Senate Inquiry, he stated that he had not recommended their use.[25] In 1960, MacArthur challenged a statement by Truman that he had wanted to use nuclear weapons, saying that "atomic bombing in the Korean War was never discussed either by my headquarters or in any communication to or from Washington"; Truman, admitting that he did not have documentation of any such claim, said that he was merely providing his personal opinion.[26][27] In an interview with Jim G. LucasWikipedia and Bob ConsidineWikipedia on 25 January 1954, posthumously published in 1964, MacArthur said,[28]

Of all the campaigns of my life, 20 major ones to be exact, [Korea was] the one I felt most sure of was the one I was deprived of waging. I could have won the war in Korea in a maximum of 10 days… I would have dropped between 30 and 50 atomic bombs on his air bases and other depots strung across the neck of Manchuria… It was my plan as our amphibious forces moved south to spread behind us—from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea—a belt of radioactive cobalt. It could have been spread from wagons, carts, trucks and planes… For at least 60 years there could have been no land invasion of Korea from the north. The enemy could not have marched across that radiated belt."

In 1985 Richard Nixon recalled discussing the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with MacArthur:[29]

MacArthur once spoke to me very eloquently about it, pacing the floor of his apartment in the Waldorf.Wikipedia He thought it a tragedy the bomb was ever exploded. MacArthur believed that the same restrictions ought to apply to atomic weapons as to conventional weapons, that the military objective should always be limited damage to noncombatants… MacArthur, you see, was a soldier. He believed in using force only against military targets, and that is why the nuclear thing turned him off, which I think speaks well of him.

See also[edit]


  1. What Happens if Someone Nukes the Black Cube? Gates of Vienna
  2. Bomb Mecca off the face of the earth. Exclusive: Burt Prelutsky says Islamists 'have been asking for it for over 1,400 years' (11/19/2015 at 7:55 PM) WND.
  3. Pamela Geller Watch #5: Israel Should Nuke Tehran, Mecca and Medina by Mooneye (February 24, 2010) Loonwatch
  4. US military class teaches that we should Nuke Mecca and Medina by RightLeaningMod (2012/05/11 · 12:35) Daily Kos.
  5. Consequences of Nuking Mecca by Vernon Richards.
  6. "How Many Americans Died US Wars, PBS
  7. "The Transhumanist Wager", Kurzweilai
  8. The Jerusalem Post
  9. FoxNews
  10. Jihadwatch
  11. "The President's News Conference". Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. 30 November 1950. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  12. Schnabel 1972, p. 288.
  13. Pearlman 2008, p. 136.
  14. "The President's News Conference". Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. 30 November 1950. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  15. Anders 1988, pp. 1–2.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Weintraub 2000, p. 263.
  17. Grosscup 2013, p. 78.
  18. Crane 2000, p. 71.
  19. Cumings, Bruce (1990). The Origins of the Korean War Volume 2: The Roaring of the Cataract 1947-1950. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1990, p.750
  20. James 1985, pp. 578–579.
  21. Dingman 1988–89, p. 68.
  23. Buhite 2008, p. 137.
  24. Sechser & Fuhrmann 2017, p. 179.
  25. Senate Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations, 15 May 1951—Military Situation in the Far East, hearings, 82d Congress, 1st session, part 1, p. 77 (1951).
  26. James 1985, p. 581.
  27. "A-Bomb Blow at M'Arthur Only 'Opinion'". Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago). 24 December 1960. 
  28. "Texts of Accounts by Lucas and Considine on Interviews With MacArthur in 1954". New York Times. 9 April 1964. 
  29. Alperovitz 1995, p. 352.