John Bolton at CPAC: Nuke Chicago

Jonathan Stein remarks on something former recess appointment UN Ambassador John Bolton said yesterday at CPAC:

“The fact is on foreign policy I don’t think President Obama thinks [stopping Iran’s nuclear program is] a priority,” said Bolton. “He said during the campaign he thought Iran was a tiny threat. Tiny, tiny depending on how many nuclear weapons they are ultimately able to deliver on target. Its, uh, its tiny compared to the Soviet Union, but is the loss of one American city” — here Bolton shrugged his shoulders impishly — “pick one at random — Chicago — is that a tiny threat?”

Bolton wasn’t the only one who thought this was funny. The room erupted in laughter and applause. Was this conservative catharsis, with rightwingers delightfully imagining the destruction of a city that represents Obama? Or perhaps they were venting vengeance with their laughter.

Rather obviously, Bolton is not advocating nuking Chicago but, rather, illustrating in a personal way how tragic it would be.  And the audience was laughing at this jibe at Obama’s naivete, not relishing the ruin of the Second City.

There were doubtless some really dumb things said at CPAC yesterday and some inappropriate audience reactions.   And, heck, there are even reasons to critique Bolton’s analysis of the Iranian threat (cf: 2007 NIE) or his caricature of Obama’s position on the subject.   But, for a red meat speech aimed at a mostly young crowd of enthusiasts, this was pretty unobjectionable.

FILED UNDER: General, , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Rick DeMent says:

    well to paraphrase an old Laugh-in gag …

    “… unobjectionable … but stupid.”

  2. davod says:

    “… unobjectionable … but stupid.”

    Why?

  3. Davebo says:

    But, for a red meat speech aimed at a mostly young crowd of enthusiasts, this was pretty unobjectionable.

    Ah yes, the silent bigotry of low expectations.

    The new GOP motto.

  4. HiItsNino says:

    The Bush policy to stop Iran and North Korea didn’t work, so instead of learning from mistakes the right wants to insight fear of a new strategy, probably because it will show how archaic their own policy is if it succeeds.

  5. Bithead says:

    I seem to recall a similar discussion about Menken. Think on the implications of that for just a moment.

  6. davod says:

    “The Bush policy to stop Iran and North Korea didn’t work, so instead of learning from mistakes the right wants to insight fear of a new strategy, probably because it will show how archaic their own policy is if it succeeds.”

    Going back to what didn’t work under Clinton is not the answer either.

  7. Franklin says:

    When the left complains about irrational fear-mongering, this is what they are talking about. Bolton has been discredited for a long time, though, so there’s little point in getting worked up about his stupidity anymore.

  8. HiItsNino says:

    “Going back to what didn’t work under Clinton is not the answer either.”

    ??huh?? It worked A LOT better…lol, I guess you were making a funny.

  9. DavidL says:

    The Obama administration doesn’t seem to care one way or the other if the mad moolahs of Iran go nuclear. The fate of Israel, a mere democracy, doesn’t seem to bother the Obamaites. Maybe, just maybe, but I don’t it, a hypothetical to the bomb the Peoples Republic of Chicago might get their attention, but I doubt it.

    Seriously, if the mad moolahs of Iran did nuke Chicago, I’d expect the Obama administration to apologize to Iran.

  10. Pug says:

    Seriously, if the mad moolahs of Iran did nuke Chicago, I’d expect the Obama administration to apologize to Iran.

    This is the kind of thing that goes over well with a CPAC audience. The rest of the country, not so much.

  11. DavidL says:

    Ponder this, the Islamist War of Terror is at least sixteen years old, dating from the first attack on the World Trade Center. The treat is real.

    On the other hand, Al Gore’s theory of anthropogenic global warming is an over-hyped fraud.

    Yet for reasons which defy logic, the Obama administration wants to ignore the very real Islamist threat but fight Gore’s mythical climate crisis. Go figure.

  12. Rick Almeida says:

    DavidL = Bithead?

  13. Bithead says:

    Heh.
    No, he’s an old freind, and has been writing at my place for a couple years. FWIW, I gree with him, here. He’s quite right.

  14. davod says:

    Just how has Bolton been discredited?

  15. steve s says:

    I worry occasionally that the American people will quickly forget how disastrous and stupid conservative governance was. Fortunately, there’s CPAC.

  16. davod says:

    “I worry occasionally that the American people will quickly forget how disastrous and stupid conservative governance was. Fortunately, there’s CPAC”

    ????????????????????????????