Opinion

Gary Johnson’s Moment: What’s Aleppo? Who’s John Galt?

When Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson was asked by the condescending crew at PMSNBC what he would do about Aleppo, Johnson asked, “What is Aleppo?” Some say it was his Alamo.

Knowing about this obscure city in Syria is apparently the litmus test to be president, according to the Washington, D.C. chattering class — the same ones who said nothing when candidate Obama said he had visited “all 57 states.”

Most of us like Johnson’s refreshing admission that he didn’t know. He owned it.  He admitted he made a mistake and then went on to discuss his views on Syria. In general, we Libertarians do not bother to learn the names of cities we don’t plan to occupy.

If asked about Aleppo, Trump would instinctively say to bomb the *#(#^ out of it. Hillary would call the question sexist and then have her goons go after the questioner, who would soon be found dead of “natural causes.”

I thought Aleppo was a lesser-known Marx brother. Like most Americans, I only learn world geography when we fight there.

If Mike Barnicle wanted to get Johnson to talk about this, he could have simply followed with, “What would you do about the Syrian refugee issue?” The PMSNBC host seemed to relish the “gotcha” moment and smugly let Johnson flounder. Barnicle was being a Johnson about it himself, even saying slowly “A-lep-po” like he was telling you the name of a fancy restaurant he frequents or an island where he summers.

PMSNBC has Barnicle, a plagiarist who lied about it, and Brian Williams, the faux-war hero. There’s your “Basket of Deplorables.”

Obama appointee Chris Hill, our recent Ambassador to Iraq, appeared on PMSNBC right after Johnson and, with a smirky arrogance those type liberals have, misidentified Aleppo himself. Then the liberal torchbearer, The New York Times, reported on the story and had to correct two mistakes they had made explaining Aleppo. Just Google it: The New York Times.  Google’s on the Mac computer, right next to your dog-eared copy of Rules for Radicals. The cavalcade of condescension was perfect.

The net of the Gary Johnson/Aleppo gaffe is that now more people know him. He was on the verge of releasing a sex tape to get the mainstream media’s attention.

Here’s the real issue. Obama drew a “red line” in Syria that President Assad clearly crossed. He runs foreign policy like he is afraid some nation might write a sternly worded letter to the UN on him. The Obama Doctrine seems to be, “Well, we can’t win ’em all.”  His Secretary of State, John Kerry, could not break up a catsup fight at a Heinz family picnic. Obama’s muddled, passive-aggressive, “The whole world loves me, so it will do what I say” strategy hasn’t worked. We no longer have theaters of wars, we have suburban mall-sized multiplexes of wars.

The libertarian policy of Johnson and our crew would have us less involved in the Middle East. Our non-interventionism would have saved us $2 trillion and not entangled us in wars of choice.

From the Bay of Pigs to the Shah of Iran, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Egypt, Libya, etc., the USA just costs itself trillions and never makes the situation better. If we won one, it would be one in a row. Germany at least lost to us and to Russia; they should be ranked higher in the polls than we are just on strength of schedule.

Both Hillary and Obama say they have no plans to send ground troops to Syria. When has having a plan ever stopped us? They say they will send “advisors” in. Since Vietnam, we have dropped probably 50 megatons of “advice” on other countries.

Russia and Assad are battling ISIS in Syria. We need to stay out. It’s like me watching Ohio State play USC: I hope it’s a 0-to-0 tie with lots of injuries.

The U.S. has spent $500 million recruiting Syrian rebels to fight.  We got three. Not bad for D.C.; the government official in charge of that program  probably got a performance bonus. We like the Free Syrian Army in this battle. If you are wondering who they are, they will be the group we send troops to fight against in about a year. And we will recognize the weapons they will be using against us because we will have the receipts.

A syndicated op-ed humorist, award winning author and TV/radio commentator, you can reach him at Ron@RonaldHart.com, Twitter @RonaldHart or visit RonaldHart.com