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Gary 'what-is-Aleppo' Johnson: Knowledge of foreign affairs creates war

Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, has developed a reputation for gaffes [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 October, 2016

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In the latest in a series of gaffes the libertarian presidential candidate has claimed a lack of political and geographical knowledge could keep the US military out of 'harm’s way'

US Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is back at it again. 

In the past month on the campaign trail the former New Mexico governor has faced widespread ridicule for a series of gaffes and displays of a profound lack of knowledge of world politics.

In particular Johnson has inspired facepalms the world over for his failures, in live TV broadcasts, to identify the Syrian city of Aleppo when quizzed about possible solutions to the ongoing Syrian conflict (Johnson’s response went something along the lines of "What is a Leppo?");  and for a consequent failure to name a single living world leader when asked to name which living world leader he most admired during an interview last week with US TV network MSNBC.

Speaking on Tuesday Johnson sought to defend his ignorance during yet another MSNBC interview, telling host Andrea Mitchell that he remained flummoxed by questions over which global political leaders he held in high esteem.

"Andrea," said Johnson, addressing his host, "I still can’t think of a world leader that I respect … I will tell you I held a lot of people in this country on pedestals thinking they were role models. I got to meet them up front and personal and found out they were empty suits. They weren’t about issues. They weren’t about doing what was best. They were about getting reelected."

In a further peculiar development Johnson said that when political leaders possessed knowledge of global politics and geography it enabled them to locate people and places on maps, and that such realities could have dangerous military consequences.

Dotting the i's, crossing the t's

In a further peculiar development Johnson said that when political leaders possessed knowledge of global politics and geography it enabled them to locate people and places on maps, and that such realities could have dangerous military consequences. 

"You know what? The fact that somebody can dot the i’s and cross the t’s on a foreign leader’s geographic location then allows them to put our military in harm’s way," said Johnson, delivering his two-cents, with a certain cocksure bluster. 

While Johnson’s rhetoric seems non-sensical it makes some sense when you consider that, like most Libertarians, he supports non-interventionist foreign and military policies and has suggested that US foreign military intervention has, historically, only served to make conflicts worse.

You know what? The fact that somebody can dot the i’s and cross the t’s on a foreign leader’s geographic location then allows them to put our military in harm’s way.

"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 crossfire. We’re literally shooting at ourselves because we support both sides of conflicts, Syria as an example," Johnson went on to say during his MSNBC interview on Tuesday.

"We wonder why our men in service and women suffer from PTSD in the first place … You should have a working knowledge of what is going on, and what is going on are politicians that beat their chests, that claim to know about what we should be doing."

On 26th September Johnson, seeking to give the naysayers a metaphorical two-finger salute pinned a tweet on his twitter feed. The tweet read: "3rd Party candidate has never won? Hmmm…Abraham Lincoln?"

With just over two months to go before the scheduled November 8 presidential election can Johnson overtake both Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton? Hmmm…seems unlikely… 

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