Actually, Bolt’s article reads as if he didn’t look at the post at all, but reprinted something he found at Tim Blair’s or some similarly irony-challenged site, without going to the original source to check his quotes. Since that would be a violation of journalistic ethics, let’s charitably assume that the phrase “a modest proposal” didn’t ring any bells with him.
The point of the post was not to seriously advance a policy option that (as is patently obvious from the post itself as well as the title) has no chance of being put into practice, but to get people to think about why countries like Britain and France feel the need to have nuclear weapons, and what impact that has on proliferation in general.
Here’s the update I put on the CT post, once the thread had fizzled (I meant to put it up here, but didn’t get around to it).
update The comments thread has now ended up in the usual Palestine-Israel slanging match. So I thought Iâ€™d sum up now.
As my title suggested, I wasnâ€™t expecting a very positive response to this post. In over 100 comments here and at my blog, no one has come up with a reason for Britain and France keeping nuclear weapons more plausible than the suggestion that they might want to use them on each other. At the same time (with a handful of exceptions) everyone is agreed that itâ€™s unthinkable that either Britain or France should implement their obligations under the NPT and actually take steps towards nuclear disarmament.
This is, I think, pretty representative of public opinion in all the countries that currently have nuclear weapons, or are planning to acquire them, including Iran. In this context, the nasty, repressive nature of the Iranian regime is beside the point: progressive opponents of the government generally back the nuclear program from what I can see. The examples of South Africa and Brazil, which abandoned well-advanced programs to develop nuclear weapons, now seem like inexplicable exceptions to a general rule.
In these circumstances, it seems almost inevitable that nuclear proliferation will continue and that nuclear weapons will sooner or later be used.
There’s more at Boltwatch
fn1. Unlike readers here, who’ve already made this point in comments.