“I keed, I keed”

As you may recall, Representative Sam Johnson, R. Tx, told a Plano church congregation that the U.S. should just nuke Syria, and presumably, kill all 17 million inhabitants. He was taken seriously enough by at least some people that his words were reported. In today’s Dallas paper, there is a follow up:

Still, some of Rep. Sam Johnson’s constituents apparently were surprised when the Plano Republican said he’d like to take care of the problem – by personally dropping a couple of nuclear bombs.
“Syria is the problem,” the former fighter pilot said at a pancake breakfast at Suncreek United Methodist Church in Allen. “Syria is where those weapons of mass destruction are, in my view. You know, I can fly an F-15, put two nukes on ’em, and I’ll make one pass. We won’t have to worry about Syria anymore.”
Someone was offended enough to play a recording of the Feb. 19 remarks for Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper that first reported them this week.
Mr. Johnson said he’s “absolutely” surprised that anyone took it seriously, adding that he’s never advocated a nuclear attack on Syria.
“I was kind of joking. You know. We were talking between veterans,” said Mr. Johnson, an Air Force fighter pilot in Korea and Vietnam, where he spent 7 ½ years as a prisoner of war. “We were swapping sea stories – things that we’d done in the military.”
He told the folks in Allen that he had shared his plan with President Bush and Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, during a recent White House visit.

“President Bush knew I was joking,” he said Thursday