If ignorance were a virtue, then Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson would be a saint. Less than a week after his fateful “Aleppo moment” at a presidential town hall, where he failed to identify a single world leader he admired, Johnson attempted to justify his lack of knowledge by suggesting it’s an asset.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell early Tuesday, Johnson actually tried to pull the “ignorance is bliss” card, arguing that there’s no possible way to send US troops abroad if you don’t know where to send them. (Fact check: True, but WTF).
Is this a dare https://t.co/sLgyw3yTAe— Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt) October 4, 2016
“The fact that somebody can dot the I's and cross the T's on a foreign leader or geographic location then allows them to put our military in harm's way,” stated the third party presidential candidate on live television.
Repeating his pre-scripted, reductive rant about the red herring of “regime change,” Johnson went on to imply that he would make a competent Commander-in-Chief precisely because he has no understanding of maps:
We put our military in this horrible situation where we go in and support regime change. They get involved in civil wars where hundreds of thousands of innocent people are in a cross-fire ... we're literally shooting at ourselves because we support both sides of a conflict. Syria is an example. We wonder why our men and servicewomen suffer from PTSD in the first place. It's because we elect people who can dot the I's and cross the T's on these names and geographic locations, as opposed to the underlying philosophy, which is, “Let's stop getting involved in these regime changes.”
Let’s parse this out.
First and foremost, the United States is not involved in regime change in Syria. In fact, it’s the opposite. For nearly five years, the Obama administration has refused to engage in Syrian civil war, allowing the Assad regime to continue its massacre of civilians. Adding insult to injury, the Russians have carved a giant space (or more appropriately bomb crater) for themselves in Syria, supporting Damascus with a regular deployment of bunker-busting bombs over civilian infrastructure.
And who can forget the Iranians? Slaughtering civilians on the ground by way of their Shiite proxies (namely Hezbollah), Iran now forms the third pillar of the Russia-Syria de facto regional alliance. All of this is to say, that no, Mr. Johnson, the United States of America is not forcing “regime change” in Syria. The world’s only superpower has been humiliated and relegated to the sidelines.
With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump attracting historically-low favorability ratings, it’s a shame the highest-polling third-party candidate is a modern-day Know-Nothing.
Watch Johnson’s full interview with MSNBC below: