Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gary Johnson on Israel and Iran

Carol Moore, of the Libertarians for Peace Yahoo Group, gives a heads up on Gary Johnson's views on U.S. support for Israel.

In a December 30, 2011 NPR interview with Robert Siegel, Johnson said:

SIEGEL: By the way, what do you make of Congressman Paul's libertarianism which pointedly does not include respect for the reproductive rights of women?

JOHNSON: Well, that would be one of our differences. I also happen to think that Israel, you know, we were responsible for the creation of Israel and that was through the United Nations; that they've been a strong military ally, that they will remain such. I do not think a military threat right now exists from Iran, but we should be vigilant to that. And I think it's naive to think that Israel is not going to act in their best interests should there be weapons of mass destruction showing themselves.

SIEGEL: And you would say the U.S. should support an Israeli action in that case, if Israel were to act militarily?

JOHNSON: Well, I would argue that that would probably be in our best interest. And to have them do that is a better situation than U.S. men and servicewomen engaged in the same.

Johnson's remarks sound vague and squishy to me. As if he knows that 1. many Libertarians support a strictly non-interventionist foreign policy (i.e., ending all foreign aid and military alliances/favored nations -- no exceptions), and 2. that other Libertarians (e.g. Wayne Allyn Root) want the LP to carve out an exception for Israel (i.e., continued U.S. aid and military alliance).

Johnson's answer sounds like he's hinting that he supports such an exception for Israel, without coming out and saying so unequivocally.

Curiously, while Johnson claims that Israel has been a "strong military ally" of the United States, there are counterclaims that Israel has never been -- legally or officially -- a U.S. ally, because no treaty of alliance has ever been signed between the two nations.

Carol Moore wrote the influential and controversial article, "Is Applying Libertarian Principles to Israel Anti-Semitic?"


Anonymous said...

and i wonder can it

Anonymous said...

can we

Anonymous said...

Anyone who says to defend Israel at any cost should go fuck themselves.

George Meyers said...

As I libertarian I support Gary Johnson. I would boldly disagree with him on Israel, however. And would do the same were I a libertarian candidate for office.

I would treat presidential candidate Johnson as I would treat any other person: He can learn.

I would tell him we must discontinue our foreign aid practices.

Zephi said...

Sounds to me more like he is saying he supports Israel's right to a preemptive strike should they feel threatened enough, and not break ties with them over it. But not that he would contribute American military assets to it.

Just how I read it. *shrug*

Anonymous said...

Iran is about the Federal Reserve. Iran does not want to trade in U.S. dollars. Iraq said they were not going to trade in U.S. dollars weeks prior to us attacking them. North Korea refuses to trade in U.S. dollars. Venezuela is getting fed up with the U.S. dollar. We are using Israel to make sure that the Federal Reserve gets their share of business. Gary Johnson also supports a congressional audit on the Federal Reserve. I say an open records audit on the Federal Reserve.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with George Meyers.

CFroh said...

Governor Gary Johnson understands allies like Israel will be needed to fill the vacuum that his 43% Defense cut would create. But what's missing from Carol Moore's comment is Governor Johnson's oft-repeated proposal to keep allies but not keep foreign aid. What's more libertarian than abolishing government-to-government transfers? Listen to Governor Johnson yourself, not just learn about him through the biased lens of third party critics.

Anonymous said...

If Israel bombs/invades Iran I would support Iran. If Iran bombs/invades Israel I would support Israel. Genocide is unjustified and if there is justification to ever intervene in foreighn affairs genocide would be that. Of couse historically the US has never given two shits about that. INVADE IRAN BEFORE SYRIA??? WTF!?!?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Why don't we concentrate on suspending aid to countries that burn the American flag and celebrate 9/11 before we talk about Israel, a true ally to the US

Anonymous said...

1. We don't have to "concentrate" on suspending foreign aid to Arabs OR Israelis. It's not either/or. We can do both, simultaneously.

2. I don't see how Israel is a "true" ally. Israel takes from the US, and what it isn't given, its spies steal. Israel doesn't actually give anything to the US, aside from faulty intelligence designed to coax the US into fighting Israel's enemies.

3. If the US treated Israelis like it treats Arabs -- bombing their nations through drone strikes -- Israelis would be burning the US flag too.

4. The US has no "true" allies in the mideast. None.

Sapere Aude said...

Can you read? Nobody is talking about any cost....we don't have that as policy with any ally...but I would fight to keep hamastinuans from overshelmi,g Israel. The israelis have literally built 2/3 of our terror security system and now they are helping the French. God bless the USA and our friends canada, england, germany, japan, south korea, and ISRAEL!!

Anonymous said...

Martin Luther King said that to be anti-Israeli is to be antisemitic. But hey, what would he know about such things?

David Cohen said...

Hey, Anonymous. Iran's leaders have said theyy would destroy Israel. Jews and especially Israel have learned that when people say they want to destroy you, they aren't kidding. That's why this Iran Missile Deal is such a bad idea. Giving Iran the OK to build Nuclear weapons ten years down the line and giving them $150,000,000,000 when they sponsor and fund Terrorism world-wide is just Nuts. Iran and Israel are not the same. This moral equivilance will lead to more death and destruction down the line.

Don't Tread on Me said...

A libertarian doesn't need to spend money for a written agreement or Treaty to know if someone is a Ally or Foe. Israel clearly is a Ally to the US, where other Arab countries have been Foes.

Anonymous said...

I guess Johnson is not remembering that it was the USSR that was first to recognize Israel as a new country in 1948 and it was the USA that forced Israel to give back the Sinai to Egypt after the 1956 war...However Im glad to see that Johnson seems to back Israel. Its a much better stance for Israel and the US than Hillary's.

Anonymous said...

There is a biblical injunction not to stand by the blood of your neighbor. We are the most powerful nation in the world with the power to affect things for good and bad that other nations simply don't have. If we have the power to save lives, to keep others with evil intent from carrying out their evil intentions (such as those who want to obliterate Israel and the Jews, or those who use chemical weapons against their own citizens, etc.), I believe we have an absolute obligation to use our strength, if that is what it will take to stop evil in its tracks-especially if we are the only ones who can effectively stop it. Remember, evil is allowed to flourish when good peaceful people say and do nothing!
Likewise, we have an absolute obligation to make sure that we use our military strength only for good and not for evil ourselves-and sometimes in today's world it can be hard to distinguish who is good and who is evil-and we are only human but we must do the best we can to make these determinations.
But the most essential use of our military is to protect the security of our country and our citizens. We are in a very interconnected world so the days when that meant only a direct attack on our geographic location unfortunately are gone. Wise, sparing but serious use of our military is what is called for in this day and age. Also, whether there are formal agreements or not, our word needs to be beyond reproach and doubt, and we must treat those who are are allies in deed with the respect and the consideration that that deserves, whether in the form of military or economic aid, diplomatic support or whatever, etc. Israel is our ally, is on the geographic front of the war on terror (all of its borders, especially the northern border right now) and is one of the principal targets of the terrorists (who by the way also terrorize their own).

There is so much false information parading as truth about Israel right now-I encourage everyone to go to Israel-visit, see all the people living there, working there, playing there, shopping there, all together-Jews, Arabs (who are 20% of Israels CITIZENS), Moslems, Christians, blacks, whites, asians, etc.).
Try to live without all the technology that has been developed, invented and produced in Israel. It is not Israel who insists on ethnic cleansing-20% of Israelis are Arabs (Moslems and Christians and Druze). There are ARab Doctors, supreme court justices, members of Parliament, etc. etc. It is the Arabs of the PA who insist that if Jews live in certain areas this is an obstacle to peace because they want any future new state to be Jew free. Lets call it what it is-ethnic cleansing,plain and unadulterated hatred-ie EVIL! and we should help Israel to fight against this evil if Israel wants our help. At the very least we should stay out of their way when it is necessary for Israel to act in its own defense to protect the security of its borders and all of her citizens.

Anonymous said...

If we have the power to save lives, to keep others with evil intent from carrying out their evil intentions (such as those who want to obliterate Israel and the Jews, or those who use chemical weapons against their own citizens, etc.), I believe we have an absolute obligation to use our strength,

By that logic, the United States would need to invade or fight several dozen foreign countries every year. Obviously, we can't do that on a practical level. We don't have that much money or power.

So this "principle" of fighting for the "defense" of foreigners boils down to fighting for those foreign nations with the strongest lobby in Washington. Not the most innocent nation, not the weakest or neediest nation, but the nation with the strongest lobby. That would be Israel.

And ironically, Israel is one of the most powerful nations on Earth, a nuclear power. Of all foreign nations, it least of all needs our money and support. Yet it receives the bulk of U.S. military aid. Not because of any moral principle, but because of the power of its lobby.