September 8, 2016

Oh, Gary.

The dream is over.

Gary said "What's Aleppo?"
Mr. Johnson expressed disappointment about the lapse in a brief follow-up interview that was broadcast on MSNBC and canceled some of his other scheduled interviews planned for later in the day.

“I’m incredibly frustrated with myself,” he said. “I have to get smarter and that’s just part of the process.”
I've watched Gary Johnson in a number of debates and consider him famous for saying "I don't know." In the past, I've been able to admire him for that. But now... I don't know.

136 comments:

Big Mike said...

Libertarians aren't much interested in foreign affairs.

rhhardin said...

I wouldn't have known what Aleppo was either, not following the soap opera version of the news. I still don't.

rhhardin said...

Syria is one of those shooting everybody things that Islam is so famous for.

madAsHell said...

It's not a soap opera. It's chemical weapons.

Darrell said...

If you can't smoke it, he is not interested.

rhhardin said...

Perhaps a less barbaric religion would help.

Birches said...

Rhhardin is kind of right. I hear Syria talked a lot about in policy heavy reporting, not Aleppo. When an article mentions Aleppo, it's more in the context of, "Will someone think of the children!?!1?"

Still, neither of us is running for President of the United States. He owned his mistake well, but my vote for him has become the lesser of three evils instead of an enthusiastic vote.

AprilApple said...

You can count on the pro-Democrat hack press to find some obscure town, obscure officials name, or reference - as a gotcha. That gotcha never lands on a democrat.

buwaya puti said...

This is the problem with not reading much.

AprilApple said...

What if press asked Hillary about Aleppo?

I've not heard of Aleppo in the media until now.

rhhardin said...

I draw the red line at CO2.

buwaya puti said...

Aleppo was never obscure.

rehajm said...

Hillary needs Gary to go away. Allow us to assist.

Hagar said...

Told yah.

buwaya puti said...

On current events, the Syrian wars have been mostly about taking or holding Aleppo. Thats where most of the fighting has been. Very WWI static style.

rhhardin said...

Aleppo
Say it loud and there's music playing
Say it soft and it's almost like praying

buwaya puti said...

I thought the libertarians were being propped up to hurt Trump.

rhhardin said...

Cooking and eating each other might be the solution for Syria.

David Begley said...

The name Pothead Johnson now sticks. He's finished.

Only about 500,000 people have been killed in Syria. Millions displaced.

But in a way I almost don't blame him as the MSM has so downplayed Syria because it is a giant failure for Obama. Other than that picture of that poor little boy in the rescue squad, we get nothing from Syria.

bagoh20 said...

It's not disqualifying in this race because the other candidates are just as clueless, but wouldn't it be great to have some candidates who actually know something about the world, are trustworthy, and carry themselves respectfully?. Is it too much to ask that a candidate do his homework, study, and learn some of the material before applying for the job? It's not exactly starting in the mail room. Do companies have employees work their way up from the email room now?

john said...

Donald needs Gary to go away more than Hillary does.

April needs to play more trivia games.

What question will Jill Stein fuck up on that will ruin it for her? Stay in there Jill, Bernie's kids need you!

Rob said...

Q: What's a henway?

A: About four pounds.

John Tuffnell said...

What about Aleppo?

I think he was a skilled puppet maker and very kind to the wooden boy.

bagoh20 said...

Even I know that referring to a leper with that slur is wrong.

Bill Harshaw said...

No worse than Trump on the nuclear triad or the Quds force.

eric said...

Today is one of those days where a lot of Americans will suddenly understand a little bit more about geography that they never would have known otherwise.

But because Johnson isn't demonized or one of the others (Republican or Democrat) he will receive more grace for his mistake. At least until he starts to really hurt Hillary or Trump. Then the full attack machine will turn it's guns on him.

Farmer said...

1. Nobody inclined to vote for Gary Johnson is suddenly not going to vote for Gary Johnson because of this.

2. Like a lot of other people in the thread I've never heard of Aleppo, and I follow the news.

3. Maybe a presidential candidate ought to know that but honestly, Clinton and Trump only know it because they're briefed. Not briefed to actually develop a well-thought out position on it, but just so they don't get caught with a gotcha like Gary Johnson did. Is that really preferable to telling the truth? What we really seem to want is to reassure ourselves that the candidates are well-prepared to lead when all this kind of stuff tells us is whether they're well-prepared to pass a test. I want a president who knows how to delegate and is willing to assemble a cabinet full of smart people he's willing to listen to.

4. I say this as somebody unsympathetic to libertarianism in general and Gary Johnson in particular.

tcrosse said...

I know what Aleppo is, and I'm just an old Nobody from the Middle West, not trying to sell myself as President of the United States. Gary should have done some homework; it's not enough just to be NotTrump and NotHillary.
Is it enough for Trump to be NotHillary or Hillary to be NotTrump ?

Meade said...

“I have to get smarter and that’s just part of the process.”

Missed it by that mucher!

Clyde said...

Aleppo? Just another one of Hillary and Barack's dumpster fires.

Meade said...

"No worse than Trump on the nuclear triad or the Quds force."

Or Hillary on wiping like with a cloth.

rhhardin said...

Remembered answer: Peru and anchovies.

rhhardin said...

Bolivia and tin.

rhhardin said...

I talked to Ecuador the other day (HC2AO). Don't exactly remember where it is, up top of SA somewhere perhaps. They keep moving things.

Skeptical Voter said...

I remember Dubya was roundly criticized when he could not name the President of some Third World hellhole. Obviously not ready to be President was the cry. That was probably true since he did not know that the native language of Austria was "Austrian". Oops! My bad! That was Obama who knew that.

Rick said...

So Gary hasn't memorized every detail of the left wing echo chamber? Good for him. He stays away from the libertarian echo chamber also which is the only reason people are even considering him.

It's interesting people so accept the left wing echo chamber [even those who try to step outside it] still maintain that participation is mandatory.

Linking known events to a specific city doesn't help solve the problem. It's trivia. I'm a little surprised he doesn't know it, but it shows his focus is where we want it: on America.

buwaya puti said...

This is like an American Presidential candidate saying "what's Madrid?" in 1938.
Similar situation, similar stakes, similar strategic issues.

Rick said...

David Begley said...
The name Pothead Johnson now sticks. He's finished.

Only about 500,000 people have been killed in Syria. Millions displaced.


Are we supposed to pretend he wouldn't have recognized "Syria"?

Birches said...

Bagoh, that person is Evan Mcmullin who doesn't have a chance in hell.

ALP said...

When I hear "Aleppo" I immediately think "soap". Aleppo soap has been made for centuries using a unique combination of olive oil and laurel oil. Sorry World Events, you can't trump craft trivia.

trumpetdaddy said...

I'm not concerned that Gary Johnson didn't remember the name of a city in a third-world shit-hole off the top of his head because I know he has repeatedly and vigorously committed to not sending my children off to die in places like that for no reason.

Amexpat said...

The dream is over.

Although GJ is still clearly my first choice, the dream ended weeks ago. He doesn't seem to have the drive or political instincts to give his candidacy any traction. And that's a real shame considering the prospects of a Trump or HRC presidency.

Of course, any serious contender for the presidency should know the significance of Aleppo even if the general public doesn't. Me thinks this was his Sarah Palin/Dan Quayle moment.

Fritz said...


Still, neither of us is running for President of the United States. He owned his mistake well, but my vote for him has become the lesser of three evils instead of an enthusiastic vote.


Four, if you count the vandal.

YoungHegelian said...

I can forgive Johnson a slip up on the facts, like Aleppo. What I can't forgive are his policy statements, like his support of a carbon tax & his statement that religious liberties are a "black hole".

I actually would like the candidates of the Libertarian Party to be, you know, libertarians, & not Democrats who are public about their love for hookers & weed.

trumpetdaddy said...

From Gary Johnson on FB 22 minutes ago -

This morning, I began my day by setting aside any doubt that I’m human. Yes, I understand the dynamics of the Syrian conflict -- I talk about them every day. But hit with “What about Aleppo?”, I immediately was thinking about an acronym, not the Syrian conflict. I blanked. It happens, and it will happen again during the course of this campaign.

Can I name every city in Syria? No. Should I have identified Aleppo? Yes. Do I understand its significance? Yes.

As Governor, there were many things I didn’t know off the top of my head. But I succeeded by surrounding myself with the right people, getting to the bottom of important issues, and making principled decisions. It worked. That is what a President must do.

That would begin, clearly, with daily security briefings that, to me, will be fundamental to the job of being President.

Fritz said...

Blogger rhhardin said...
I talked to Ecuador the other day (HC2AO). Don't exactly remember where it is, up top of SA somewhere perhaps. They keep moving things.


Ecuador, equator. It's not a coincidence.

EDH said...

Aleppo is the 12th of 26 lesser known Marx brothers.

AllenS said...

Johnson is an idiot. Everyone knows it's dog food.

EDH said...

As for the nuclear triad...

First you get the money.

Then, you get the power.

Then you get the women.

trumpetdaddy said...

The more illuminating aspect of this is how the fundamental assumption of Barnucle's question is that the president of the US, and the American government more broadly, has a responsibility to "do something" about another country's civil war. Johnson is the only candidate who does not accept that assumption as a starting point for foreign policy discussions, as he made clear in his answer after clarifying that they were talking about Syria.

This is THE fundamental issue as regards the foreign policy of the US over the last 15 years since 9/11. But the press and all the other "smart" people on the internet today would rather chortle over the geography bee aspect of the question.

mockturtle said...

I only heard about Aleppo a few years ago and only because I was reading about the Crusades and counter-jihads.

Bobby said...

"The dream is over."

Ann, if you thought Gary Johnson was going to get elected President in 2016, it wasn't a dream; it was the very definition of a pipe dream.

I'm still voting for Gary- this incident does nothing to change that. I was voting for him when I thought (think) his foreign policy was (is) just plain ridiculously bad, so I'm not going to abandon him when I find out that his foreign policy is underinformed as well as just plain bad. Trump had a chance to win my vote- he failed time and time again. Hillary and Jill, I never really considered.

mockturtle said...

Knowledge is important but the ability to think is more important. Neither is as important as common sense or wisdom.

Big Mike said...

HEY!!! Let's be fair here. Does anyone think Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Jill Stein would have known the answer to that question last night? Jill might care that poison gas was used by Syrian forces in Aleppo (poison gas is bad for the environment) but Hillary??? Not a chance.

After all, at this point what difference does it make?

OGWiseman said...

I'm not the biggest Johnson fan for other reasons, but honestly, I prefer "What's Aleppo" to either "I have the best plan for Aleppo, it will be great, everyone will love it" from someone who clearly couldn't find it on a map, or "Nobody can prove I had anything to do with Aleppo's current problems and all relevant emails were accidentally deleted earlier today" from someone whose knowledge dwarfs their wisdom or character.

Yancey Ward said...

I think it wrong to think Johnson dumb for not knowing the city of Aleppo in this instance. From what I read, the question from Barnicle came with no context, and I think this was purposeful on Barnicle's part as part of an attempt at a "Gotcha" moment. A genuine question would have included the link to the Syrian civil war itself. I think the only person who should be embarrassed by this incident is Barnicle himself, for whom I have just a little less respect for this morning than I did previously.

Chuck said...

Gary had just done a bowl of some totally dank Colorado Tangerine Diesel.

Tien Nguyen said...

The correction of correction at the end of the article is funny.

"Correction: September 8, 2016

An earlier version of this article misidentified the de facto capital of the Islamic State. It is Raqqa, in northern Syria, not Aleppo.

Correction: September 8, 2016

An earlier version of the above correction misidentified the Syrian capital as Aleppo. It is Damascus."

Kevin said...

CNN is really playing this up. They don't want him on the debate stage saying nasty things about Hillary.

That would shatter the meme they have going that only crazy people like Trump believe those ideas.

Dr Weevil said...

Hearing the word 'Aleppo', some of us think of Shakespeare first, Assad and ISIS only second. Othello's second-to-last speech ends:

"And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk
Beat a Venetian and traduc'd the state,
I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
And smote him thus."

He stabs himself on "thus". After a few words from others, his last words are:

"I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this,
Killing myself, to die upon a kiss."

Brando said...

Sounds like Althouse is holding Johnson to a standard she won't hold Donald "Putin is not in Crimea" Trump to. Sad!

As for Aleppo, I'm a bit less concerned if Johnson isn't down on all the details of the Syrian war when he is the candidate who doesn't want to get us involved in that war. It's sort of like someone who thinks baseball sucks not knowing what a no-hitter is. I'd be more worried if he was gung ho about going into that country if he didn't know anything about it.

And remember, we're grading Johnson on a curve. Look at the boobs he's running against.

n.n said...

A liberal without "benefits". He lost them at "hello".

Brando said...

Meanwhile, the woman who tried to get us to intervene in that mess gets lauded by the press for being a brilliant foreign policy mandarin. I'll take the non-interventionist who doesn't know the cities of Syria over that any day.

Balfegor said...

Re: Bill Harshaw:

No worse than Trump on the nuclear triad or the Quds force.

Quds force, yes -- "nuclear triad," I disagree. As a term, I don't think it's actually been all that prominent in discussions of nuclear weapons in the past 20 years. I just did a Google Books NGram to check, and that's broadly consistent with my impression. Note, in particular, that "second strike" is significantly more common than "nuclear triad" even though credible second strike capability is kind of the whole point of the nuclear triad. In other words, it seems like people (at least the kind of people who write books) are more likely to talk about the nuclear triad concept in other, more direct terms, rather than using that term. If Trump were supposed to be an expert on global thermonuclear war, then yes, it would be problematic that he didn't know the term. But it's not the kind of term you read and latch onto because it's such a useful shorthand. It's really not.

Aleppo falls kind of in-between. Quds is important today because Iran is one of our principal rivals in the Middle East, and the Quds force is the pointy-end of their spear. Aleppo . . . Aleppo almost falls into the cultural fluency category because it's been a major city for so long, and we've called it Aleppo for a long time too (not like, say failing to recognise that Canton is Guangdong, or Madras is now called Chennai). But when we're talking about the war in Syria, it's important, but I don't think it's actually shocking to not know why it's important. Because the facts on the ground in Syria are -- to my mind -- less important than the players outside Syria, and how they're using the conflict to leverage up their influence at our expense.

mockturtle said...

Kevin correctly states: CNN is really playing this up. They don't want him on the debate stage saying nasty things about Hillary.

Brando said...

"Quds force, yes -- "nuclear triad," I disagree."

I'll second that. I'm by no means a military expert, but I read up quite a bit and had not heard of the "nuclear triad" as a term before Trump got ripped for it--it's at least a somewhat obscure term and even a fairly well-briefed candidate might not have known about it.

As for "Quds" that might depend on the pronunciation.

Not knowing Putin invaded part of Ukraine though suggests he skipped the foreign affairs sections of the news in recent years. Not a huge deal by itself--presidents will be getting briefings--but the fact that this was in middle of bragging that he could handle Putin (without actually knowing what Putin is doing) is trouble.

Henry said...

@Tien Nguyen -- I saw that too. In the article about Aleppo ignorance, those correction are priceless.

buwaya said...

"I'll second that. I'm by no means a military expert, but I read up quite a bit and had not heard of the "nuclear triad" as a term before Trump got ripped for it--it's at least a somewhat obscure term and even a fairly well-briefed candidate might not have known about it."

The "nuclear triad" was a strategic concept for nuclear warfare dating to the 1960's which the Armed Forces would use in budget arguments into the 1980's to justify having multiple nuclear weapon delivery systems, manned bombers, ICBM's and submarine launched missiles. The nuclear triad was gone twenty years go, and the only reason I think the name came up is that an old reporter remembered it as a substantial-sounding phrase from back then, because of some long-forgotten budget controversy.

oleh said...

What is sad is that once Aleppo was explained to him Johnson, that silly joker, said that US and Russia should join hands to end the civil war. Russia's exit strategy is, of course, having the west assent to the butcher Assad bombing and gasing his people into submission. So these would be the terms on which Johnson would deal.

Ignorance, naivete, disgusting provincialism. This is why the libertarians can't have my vote.

mockturtle said...

Oleh, toppling Assad would be a strategic nightmare. Have we not learned some lessons from other dictatorship overthrows? We were the ones who fueled the fire of insurgency that became a civil war. I agree with both Trump and Johnson about ME foreign policy. Let the Saudis get their hands dirty for a change. Aside from protecting Israel, should it become necessary, we should stay out.

Bobby said...

buwaya,

"The nuclear triad was gone twenty years [a]go"

This is absolutely just not true.

Bobby said...

oleh,

"What is sad is that once Aleppo was explained to him Johnson, that silly joker, said that US and Russia should join hands to end the civil war. Russia's exit strategy is, of course, having the west assent to the butcher Assad bombing and gasing his people into submission. So these would be the terms on which Johnson would deal.

Ignorance, naivete, disgusting provincialism. This is why the libertarians can't have my vote.
"

So, then I take it you're also not voting for Trump, given that Trump has similarly said he would like to "get together with Russia to knock the hell out of ISIS"? Or is this one of many examples where what's "disqualifying" when anyone else says it is perfectly fine when Trump says it?

traditionalguy said...

Aleppo maybe the oldest continually occupied city on earth. It is the oldest city in The Levant (a/k/a the Fertile Crescent.) So ISIL wants to keep it as a symbol of the Great Caliph's rule over the Levant.

Poor dweeb Johnson thinks playing a good natured idiot makes him popular. So he uses an old trick that being friendly stupid seems Trustworthy, because he seems too stupid to trick you.

And he pledges to cut military spending 20% across the board. Now that is stupid.

Brando said...

"So, then I take it you're also not voting for Trump, given that Trump has similarly said he would like to "get together with Russia to knock the hell out of ISIS"? Or is this one of many examples where what's "disqualifying" when anyone else says it is perfectly fine when Trump says it?"

I think you're underestimating Trump. He clearly will have a good relationship with Putin, which Trump concludes based on the fact that Putin said something nice about him (which is usually the correct measure of another person's character. Just think if Hitler had said something nice about Churchill! No WWII!). So of course Trump will convince Putin to do the nasty work in getting ISIS because no way our interests and Putin's interests are incompatible.

Also remember, the Iran deal was a terrible sell-out with an evil regime, but Putin's a great guy even though he's locked in tight with the Iranian regime and therefore our perfect middle east partner.

I can see why Putin flattered him. He knows with an easy mark in the White House he can get whatever he wants. And between Trump and Hillary, Putin can't lose.

Bobby said...

Brando,

"He knows with an easy mark in the White House he can get whatever he wants. And between Trump and Hillary, Putin can't lose."

I agree with this completely.

trumpetdaddy said...

I love reading all the "looked it up on Wikipedia" instant Aleppo experts.

The worst possible thing to come out of this episode for the major-party candidates would be if more people actually heard of Gary Johnson and looked up some video of him.

He killed it on The view this morning. Joy Behar scowled at him the whole time and played the role that some have in this thread of "I knew all about Aleppo, how come you didn't?" Yeah, right. The media are jumping on this because they finally read the internals of their polls and realized the Bernie Bros haven't come around and Gary eats into Hillary's margin.

People like humility and "normal." Clinton is a soul-less automaton with Huma feeding her the answers through the earpiece. Trump is, well...Trump.

Gary is a normal person with an actual record in elected office. Normal people make mistakes. Normal people admit them promptly. He is and he did.

Jaffanese American said...

Did he think the reference was to a New Mexico delicacy, the Aleppo pepper? http://store.puckerbuttpeppercompany.com/products/cp-350-aleppo-new-mexico

mockturtle said...

Many years ago, my husband and I were watching 'Media Week' on Jeopardy. I remember that Tim Russert was one contestant but can't recall who the others were. Their ignorance was shocking! In later episodes of 'Media Week', the panelists fared somewhat better but probably because the answers [questions] were fed them prior to the show, since they were playing for charity and didn't want to risk embarrassment.

walter said...

I think he would deserve the slightest bit of leeway if his response indicated he had at least heard of Aleppo.
“I have to get smarter and.."
smoke.
less.
pot.
At least he didn't say "Duude! I wouldn't change a thing! They're hummus is awesome. Ok, wait..they need a smoking section."

David said...

Give me a break, Althouse commenters. Aleppo has been all over the news for several years now. It's a humanitarian, cultural and military disaster. This is not a "detail" of the Syrian War. It's a central aspect of the struggle. If you have not heard of Aleppo, you know nothing of value about what is going on in Syria.

Actually, I suspect Gary Johnson has heard of Aleppo, but just forgot. That's probably worse than never hearing of it at all. "Oh yeah, I've heard of it but it didn't make much of an impression. Now I remember. Sort of."

This is how disengaged Gary Johnson actually is with serious thought about how to govern. It's one thing to be Libertarian. Complacency, which is the hallmark of Gary Johnson, is quite another.

Gary is having a nice lark running for President. He's doing a disservice to Libertarians and to the country.

Sigivald said...

It's a kind of chili pepper, of course.

Bobby said...

David,

I'll disagree with you on the Johnson is "doing a disservice to Libertarians" bit, but otherwise pretty much agree with what you say. I'm not trying to excuse Johnson's ignorance, and I think his (and the Libertarian Party's) foreign policy is ridiculously bad.

But in a race against Hillary, Trump and Stein, I'm still going to vote for him, hands down.

Freeman Hunt said...

Considering that the NYT, whose writers did not have to know the information on the spot, got major points about Syrian cities wrong TWICE in their reporting of this incident, I give him a complete pass.

walter said...

Well..if you can't weigh it out in a lesser of two evils scenario, Gary thanks you...probably Hil as well.
Seems like he's bit Greener than a Libertarian though.

JaimeRoberto said...

You can read the transcript here: http://time.com/4483779/gary-johnson-aleppo-transcript/

The question came without any context. The previous questions were "Which of those candidates of the two-party system — Republican candidate, Democratic candidate — do you draw the most votes from?" and "But do you worry about the Nader effect in 2000?". Then the Aleppo question. If you want to ask about Syria, ask about Syria.

Since Johnson is against interventionism, he probably doesn't pay much attention to individual cities, because they don't matter much to his world view. To him it's outside the US and we shouldn't get involved.

This whole episode indicate a couple of things:
1) He didn't get the questions in advance like most guests do on these shows.
2) Polls must show Johnson taking more votes from Hillary and here operatives in the press are trying to take him down.

Joe said...

"Gary is a normal person with an actual record in elected office. Normal people make mistakes. Normal people admit them promptly. He is and he did."

Bullshit, unless promptly suddenly means seven hours.

Joe said...

"Since Johnson is against interventionism, he probably doesn't pay much attention to individual cities, because they don't matter much to his world view. To him it's outside the US and we shouldn't get involved."

So what? I don't give a rat's ass what Johnson's philosophy is, on day one of office, he has to deal with Syria. Aleppo is where the biggest ongoing battle in Syria is taking place, so it damn well matters.

Plus, why isn't his answer "Syria isn't our problem" instead of "let's hold hands with Russia" (the same Russia, presumably, that has told us repeatedly to fuck off vis-a-vis the Crimea.) Non-interventionist doesn't mean complete ignorance of foreign affairs, which Johnson is repeatedly displaying in regards to Syria. (Johnson assures us via press release that he knows all about Aleppo, but has yet to demonstrate he knows anything about it.)

MikeR said...

William F Buckley said that he would rather be ruled by the first thousand names in the Boston telephone book than by the faculty of Harvard. I would too.

Michael McClain said...

It was a poorly-worded question designed to be a "got-ya" question. I might've replied, "In what context? The Crusades? Levantine economic history? Hillary's failure as a SecState? Obama's failure to implement his 'Red Line'"?

This is fly shit in the pepper. Meanwhile, Hillary! continues to lie about e-mails, unsecured routers, and the money laundering at the Clinton Foundation.

Brando said...

"But in a race against Hillary, Trump and Stein, I'm still going to vote for him, hands down."

Yeah, I think I'm being a lot more lax about Johnson considering there's really no serious acceptable candidate out there. It's hard to think "this former two term governor is an inexperienced idiot!" when his opponents think Putin is a great leader because of his high approval ratings (Kim Jong Douchebag must be real swell too) or that Libya was a terrific success.

Brando said...

"This is fly shit in the pepper. Meanwhile, Hillary! continues to lie about e-mails, unsecured routers, and the money laundering at the Clinton Foundation."

I wonder how much of it is fear that Johnson in the race hurts Clinton more than Trump. Though I'd argue that Clinton hurts Clinton more than anything.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"What about Aleppo?

I think he was a skilled puppet maker and very kind to the wooden boy."

If he'd had the wit to say this I would have voted for his phony statist ass. Some of the commenters over at Reason are comic geniuses. I don't get that vibe from ol' Gary.

mockturtle said...

Joe explained, So what? I don't give a rat's ass what Johnson's philosophy is,

Well, I really don't give a fat rat's ass about Syria, either, except in the historical sense.

trumpetdaddy said...

Ah, the Hillary troll-bots are all over every post everywhere on the internet today, all with the same talking points that Joy Behar tried to use this morning.

"disqualifying!" "ignorant!" "joke!"

What they really mean is "please don't notice that our candidate hasn't brought back the Bernie people."

Hey, Hillary people. The last thing you want to draw attention to is the Obama/Clinton foreign policy success known as Syria. But Hillary people aren't known for being particularly smart.

oleh said...

Bobby, correct - I am not voting for Trump.

Balfegor said...

Re: Michael McClain:

It was a poorly-worded question designed to be a "got-ya" question. I might've replied, "In what context? The Crusades? Levantine economic history? Hillary's failure as a SecState? Obama's failure to implement his 'Red Line'"?

If I were ever to stand for election to high public office, I would definitely interpret every vague foreign policy question into a question about the politics of the late Victorian period. Are you asking my opinion on the Fashoda Crisis? Very well, then!

This is why no one in his right mind would ever back me for election to high public office.

walter said...

"To him it's outside the US and we shouldn't get involved."
Ok..better to say that than he needs to get smarter.
He's not helping himself with that one.

buwaya said...

Bobby,

me - "The nuclear triad was gone twenty years [a]go"

"This is absolutely just not true."

It absolutely is. Hundreds of B52's have been retired (scrapped/boneyard), and the few dozen left in service have nearly all been tasked to something else. The few B1's ditto. The B2's - I figure there are maybe, with luck, a dozen flyable on any given day, and of these how many are on standby to be the third leg of the "triad" - four? None ?

There used to be hundreds of B52's ready to go at a moments notice, to be in the air, and survivable, should a first strike be detected.

Sebastian said...

"It was a poorly-worded question designed to be a "got-ya" question. I might've replied, "In what context? The Crusades? Levantine economic history? Hillary's failure as a SecState? Obama's failure to implement his 'Red Line'"? "As similar or opposed to Hama?"

Joe said...

mockturtle: Are you really proud of being an ignoramus?

More seriously; regardless of your ignorance, Syria is an issue the next US President must deal with. But Johnson has no coherent policy.

Bobby said...

buwaya,

I believe we may have a genuine disagreement on what the definition of "gone" (your word) is. Just because STRATCOM and AFGSC do not have 8th Air Force continuously flying their strategic bombers to maintain a second-strike capability does not mean that this component of the nuclear triad is "gone"- the capability remains, and it can be and sometimes is utilized as the situation calls for it, often to supplement or replace reduced posture in one of the other two components (generally, due to maintenance cycles). If you meant "gone" to mean "not continuously active," then I would agree with the intent of your initial statement (although I'd suggest using a more precise word).

Sebastian said...

"In what context?" I rarely watch politicos doing "debates," interviews, etc., but my impression is they don't counter vague, bad, biased, or ill-informed questions with follow-ups that put the moderator/interviewer on the spot. Especially GOPers should start with the assumption that the person in question is an ignorant lefty tool. Of course, for the more aggressive approach to work well assumes that the politico has done his homework. So if you're asked about the Bush doctrine, you counter: which version do you want me to address?

But our "leaders" and would-be leaders are lazy.

mockturtle said...
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Sebastian said...

@Joe: "More seriously; regardless of your ignorance, Syria is an issue the next US President must deal with. But Johnson has no coherent policy." Yes. Not to excuse Johnson or anyone else, but there's something to be said for chugging it all and just going by the functional equivalent of the Buckley phonebook rule. No one has a "coherent policy." No coherent policy will survive contact with reality in February 2017. All policy will come down to gut reactions. Of course, the Johnson flailing is still relevant evidence for what those reactions might be.

mockturtle said...

BTW, I will be voting for Trump, not Johnson. I would suspect you will vote for Hillary because she loves meddling in Syria and Libya.

mockturtle said...

Joe asked, rhetorically, mockturtle: Are you really proud of being an ignoramus?

Sticks and stones may break my bones but lame aspersions will never harm me.

mockturtle said...

@Sebastian "In what context?" I rarely watch politicos doing "debates," interviews, etc., but my impression is they don't counter vague, bad, biased, or ill-informed questions with follow-ups that put the moderator/interviewer on the spot. Especially GOPers should start with the assumption that the person in question is an ignorant lefty tool. Of course, for the more aggressive approach to work well assumes that the politico has done his homework. So if you're asked about the Bush doctrine, you counter: which version do you want me to address?

Balfegor at 4:13 had some good suggestions. You both have the right idea. These guys are playing defense all the time.

Balfegor said...

Re: mockturtle:

Balfegor at 4:13 had some good suggestions. You both have the right idea. These guys are playing defense all the time.

It's easier to willfully misinterpret a question into a question about Victorian politics than one might think. The public debt/spending problem in Greece, for example, has a clear parallel to the crisis in Egypt under the Khedive, which resulted in the establishment of the Caisse de la Dette Publique. The situation with the Islamic State has its parallel in the war against the Mahdi in the Soudan. There are tensions between China and Japan today, although they have not yet broken out into war, thankfully. The Turkish experiment with democracy is coming to an end (again). A wild orator is blowing up one of the major US political parties.

Of course, the parallels are imperfect. Obama is no Grover Cleveland, to be sure. I would say, he is not half the man Cleveland was, only because Cleveland was enormous, it might be more accurate to say he is not a third the man Cleveland was.

Balfegor said...

And it goes without saying that Obama is no Lord Salisbury either. I could see a parallel with Lord Rosebery, though. After a fashion.

mockturtle said...

You are so right, Balfegor! There are historical precedents--and parallels--for every situation.

mockturtle said...

I could see a parallel with Lord Rosebery, though. After a fashion.

Ah, Archibald Primrose! ;-)

mockturtle said...

I like what Churchill said about Rosebury: "Winston Churchill, observing that he never adapted to democratic electoral competition, quipped: "He would not stoop; he did not conquer."

Yancey Ward said...

I just love the sniveling little cretins like Joe who feel free to make fun of Johnson for not realizing the question was about the Syrian civil war. When Johnson got the question it was completely out of context. It is entirely reasonable to not immediately recognize the spoken word "Aleppo" as the city in Syria. Seriously, if you have never been stumped by something someone said to you out of context even when it was something you should have known, then you are almost certainly a liar.

Francisco D said...

The liberal MSM is desperate to show how smart and informed they are, particularly when it comes to non-Democratic Party candidates. Part of that comes from their political persuasion.

IMHO, the greater part comes from massive insecurity about their lack of skills and general intelligence.

Rhythm and Balls said...

You can continue admiring him. There is absolutely no shame in forgoing some abstruse local administrative detail about a country that we have no interest in intervening in or exacerbating conflict in.

There is however much to be shameful about when it comes to an unapologetically biased and propaganda-oriented media that attempts to make a heyday out of this while erring TWICE in their attempted "correction" of him. It's beyond farcical to make any arm of the media look like the winner in this.

The MSM is gleefully torpedoing a wonderful third-party challenge to their favorite warmonger. You would have to be a complete dupe to assist them in this in any way, shape or form.

Don't do it. Don't buy in to the nonsense.

SukieTawdry said...

If you have educated yourself about the situation in Syria, you know about Aleppo. If you haven't educated yourself about the situation in Syria, you have no business running for president.

rcocean said...

Why should ANYTHING Gary Johnson says make a difference.

Nobody cares what he says. No one thinks he's going to be elected.

He's just a candidate for the dumbfucks who can't decide whether to vote for Hillary or Trump.

Or they don't care. So, why don't they just stay home? You got me.

rcocean said...

GJ isn't even Libertarian. He's a liberal republican who likes to smoke weed and wants legalized hookers and cocaine.

Bobby said...

If you have educated yourself about safeguarding classified material, you know what the marking is for Confidential. If you don't know about safeguarding classified material, you have no business running for President.

If you have educated yourself about the situation in the Ukraine, you know that Russia has already gone into the Crimea. If you don't know about the situation in the Ukraine, you have no business running for President.

That takes care of Clinton and Trump, too. Gosh, guess we'll have to ask for a re-do on this election.

Rhythm and Balls said...

If you haven't educated yourself about the situation in Syria, you have no business running for president.

Statist barbarians and religious barbarians are massacring each other and lots of people want to flee it.

It's possible we can work with the Russians to work out a remedy that prevents the disaster of our more extensive involvement in it.

There. That's all any American needs to know about Syria.

You are playing a distraction game by pretending that they or any candidate should give any more care to it than that. It's the only summary that matters. These candidates don't need to be Jeopardy contestants. They should figure out what the point, purpose and relevance of any issue outside of America has TO America.

Here's what I knew about Aleppo. I also knew that this woman fled the city as soon as she could after seeing her medical school professors gunned down there by Muslim revolutionaries before her very eyes.

I have no interest in learning anything more about it.

So there you have it. And I'm as well-informed a voter as anyone needs to be. We don't need to learn about real-life dystopias - other than how to prevent them. Hell, ancient Rome fell and I know more about that than about self-decimated Muslim cities. But that's because Rome actually had something to teach us and contribute to civilization.

Here's the lesson about Aleppo: Stay out of Aleppo. Stay far away from it.

And focus instead on doing something for our own country, for once.

David said...

Balfegor said...

This is why no one in his right mind would ever back me for election to high public office.


I think that pretty much applies to all of us.

There is also a slightly hidden truth in what you say. The professional supporters of the candidates are all, in one sense or another, maniacs.

JamesB.BKK said...

One of Johnson's key planks is that US govt officials should stop being so obsessed with areas of the world containing such things as Aleppo, or what remains of it, thanks to US govt officials and other obsessive folks with similar tendencies to violence. Just consistent.

mockturtle said...

That takes care of Clinton and Trump, too. Gosh, guess we'll have to ask for a re-do on this election.

Nah. We'll just write in Balfegor.

JamesB.BKK said...

Gary, for future reference: "Aleppo is a remnant of a city in a remnant of a state formerly known as Syria the latter of which Obama and Clinton at the direction of European state actors attacked using proxies for reasons of interfering with others' access to oil and gas and strategic ports. Other than that, not much has gone on there."

Joe said...

"I just love the sniveling little cretins like Joe who feel free to make fun of Johnson for not realizing the question was about the Syrian civil war."

Not making fun of Johnson, I'm saying he's an ignorant idiot, who isn't a libertarian and even less prepared to be president.

Even if Johnson misunderstood the first reference, his response was stupid. His follow up hours later was just as stupid and ill informed. Even if Johnson believes that we have no business in Syria--which is a valid stance--such a stance should come from being informed, not indifferent.

This lack of knowledge is commonplace with Johnson; just days ago he expressed surprise that Breyer joined the majority in the Kelo decision. I'd give him a pass on that except he had just expressed the opinion that Kelo was so important, that it could be a litmus test.

Joe said...

Oh, and since when is making fun of politicians something bad?

Rockport Conservative said...

I saw a video of this. He looks unfortunately blank. Very blank. This is not a good thing for his campaign.

Roughcoat said...

Fun facts: Aleppo was known as Khaleb in the Bronze Age. You pronounce the "Kh" deep in your throat, as if you're clearing your throat, very guttural. Since time immemorial it had been inhabited and ruled by Amorites, a Semitic people. But in the late 15th Century it was conquered by Mitanni and absorbed into the Mitanni Empire. Hurrians comprised the majority population of Mitanni but the kingdom was ruled by an Indo-Aryan supertrate by dint of their prowess as chariot warriors known as "mariyannu, an Indo-Aryan term that translates as "young hero." The king of Mitanni who conquered Khaleb bore the wonderful Indo-European name of Parshatatar. Mitanni was constantly at war with the Hittites, another Indo-European people, and intermittently with the Egyptians. Egypt, Hatti, and Mitanni were the great powers of their age (along with Babylon and, at times, Ahhiyawa [Mycenaean Greece) and Arzawa in western Antaolia). Their kings were accorded the rank/title of "great king" which gave them the right to address each other as "my brother" (lesser kings were addressed as "my son"). Eventually Mitanni was destroyed in a prolonged conflict -- "a world war," as it were -- with Hatti, then ruled by the greatest of the Bronze Age monarchs, Suppiluliuma I, who took control of Khaleb and installed his son as king of a cadet dynasty in the city/state. Khaleb remained a part of the Hittite imperium until Hatti itself was destroyed during the violent upheavels that brought an end to the Bronze Age in c. 1170s.

Thus endeth today's history lesson. Why do people flock to "Star Wars" movies when they have Bronze Age history to keep them entertained, LOL!

Anthony said...

Why this country is going to s*** and we have no hope of turning back: A guy has a brain fart about a place few people care about and he's apparently disqualified himself from becoming president.

But you can be a blatantly incompetent, grossly corrupt pathological liar and it's fine.

We're screwed.

#WeAreRome

coupe said...
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Scott said...

Johnson is a twit, and that is probably an unfair insult to twits. I couldn't care less that he didn't know what Aleppo is (even if he did, he could have been too stoned to remember), his position on things like religious liberty, the carbon tax, etc. give lie to anyone suggesting that he is anything other than a RINO who wants free access to pot, blow and hookers.

mockturtle said...

Yes, I would call Johnson more of a Libertine than a Libertarian.

Freeman Hunt said...

If you get elected president, you can hire a guy who once won a national geography bee, and he can answer any totally out of context questions you have about Aleppo.

Hunter said...

rcocean said...
[Gary Johnson is] a liberal republican who likes to smoke weed and wants legalized hookers and cocaine.

I know this is supposed to be a putdown, but aside from the "liberal" part I'm having a hard time seeing where the putdown is.

Paul Bird said...

It was a lapse in judgment that Johnson didn't get briefed on Aleppo. By comparison, both Clinton and Trump are guilty of much larger lapses.

Tom said...

If he has a pulse in November, I'm voting for him