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Friday, September 9, 2016

Who Flubbed Aleppo? All of Them.

Jonathan S. Tobin

Aleppo

"Yesterday morning, Gary Johnson earned himself immortality by saying something that will be in every political blooper reel for as long as the media survive. His cringe­inducing blank stare, offered when asked what he would “do about Aleppo,” made him the butt of abuse across the political spectrum. Yet he was also subsequently was praised for owning up to his mistake and for coming up with a coherent­sounding answer when probed later about his views on the Syrian civil war. 

"To some extent the instinct to show mercy to Johnson is understandable, especially since that gaffe may cost him whatever small chance he might have had to get his polling numbers up to 15 percent and join the first presidential debate. Having the grace to admit your mistakes is a good thing and the choices in this election would seem less grim to most voters if the two major­party candidates could do that. But it’s a mistake to let Johnson off the hook. It was no accident that he would demonstrate ignorance on this topic. As a rigid isolationist, neither he nor most of his Libertarian supporters care about what’s happening in Syria. After all, he is still undecided about the merits of intervening in World War Two.

"Yet rather than merely guffaw at Johnson, we also ought to hold the other candidates — and the incumbent — accountable for their statements on Syria." . . .

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