August 12, 2016

Gary Johnson Agrees With Trump; Obama and Hillary ‘Founded ISIS’

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, who is far more liberal than genuinely libertarian, nonetheless agrees with Donald Trump that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton essentially founded ISIS. His only qualifier is that they did so “unintentionally.” You blew your chance to get noticed by piling on, Gary.

Johnson made this statement to MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, who appeared, when she asked the related question, to expect Johnson to denounce Trump. Oops. To get to that answer, Ruhle and her audience had to endure Johnson’s painful, low-energy delivery.

Earlier in the interview, Ruhle almost begged Johnson to get out and “go at it” with the two major candidates, especially Trump. Johnson instead seemed to revel in taking what he considers to be the high road.

Ruhle then went into a “lightning round” series of requests for quick reactions. Her first four items went as follows:

  1. RUHLE: “Trump’s treatment of the Khan family.” — JOHNSON: “Horrible.”
  2. RUHLE: ”Trump’s remarks about Hillary Clinton and the Second Amendment.” — “Horrible.”
  3. RUHLE: ”Hillary Clinton’s emails — JOHNSON: ”Bad judgment.”
  4. RUHLE: ”How about the story out today alleging that Hillary Clinton engaged in pay to play involving the Clinton Foundation.” — JOHNSON: ”Afraid it’s true, appears to be true.”

In Item 3, Johnson said nothing about Clinton breaking the law or engaging in criminal and unethical behavior. In Item 4, his admission of the truth was very reluctant.

It’s quite clear, based on his contrasting answers, that the practical effect of Johnson’s candidacy, to the extent that it has any success, is that it intends to take far more votes away from Donald Trump than from Hillary Clinton, who should be easier pickings on several levels.

Ruhle’s next question: “Is Hillary the founder of ISIS, Obama the founder of ISIS?”

Here’s the video of Ruhle’s final question and Johnson’s answer, for which he should at least get some points for integrity:

Transcript (bolds are mine throughout this post):

RUHLE: Is Hillary the founder of ISIS, Obama the founder of ISIS?

JOHNSON: Unintentionally.

RUHLE: Unintentionally. So you would agree as a policy issue it’s their policies that led to the rise of ISIS. Is that what you’re saying?

JOHNSON: Yes, and it wasn’t intentional, but you can’t make it up when they go in and they support the opposition in Libya and Syria, and the opposition is aligned with ISIS and we arm the opposition, and they lose those arms to ISIS, unintentionally.

Johnson didn’t mention Iraq, which is unfortunate, because the history of ISIS, which functioned as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) from 2006-2013, shows how the Obama administration’s abandonment of that country at the end of 2011 gave it the opportunity to re-emerge after its virtual elimination. The following four paragraphs from Wikipedia (which if anything usually tends to have an anti-West slant) tell the story:

By 2008, the ISI was describing itself as being in a state of “extraordinary crisis”. Its violent attempts to govern territory led to a backlash from Sunni Arab Iraqis and other insurgent groups and a temporary decline in the group, which was attributable to a number of factors, notably the Anbar Awakening.

In late 2009, the commander of US forces in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, stated that the ISI “has transformed significantly in the last two years. What once was dominated by foreign individuals has now become more and more dominated by Iraqi citizens”. On 18 April 2010, the ISI’s two top leaders, Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, were killed in a joint US-Iraqi raid near Tikrit. In a press conference in June 2010, General Odierno reported that 80% of the ISI’s top 42 leaders, including recruiters and financiers, had been killed or captured, with only eight remaining at large. He said that they had been cut off from al-Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan.

On 16 May 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was appointed the new leader of the Islamic State of Iraq. Al-Baghdadi replenished the group’s leadership, many of whom had been killed or captured, by appointing former Ba’athist military and intelligence officers who had served during Saddam Hussein’s rule. These men, nearly all of whom had spent time imprisoned by the US military at Camp Bucca, came to make up about one third of Baghdadi’s top 25 commanders, including Abu Abdulrahman al-Bilawi, Abu Ayman al-Iraqi, and Abu Muslim al-Turkmani. One of them, a former colonel called Samir al-Khlifawi, also known as Haji Bakr, became the overall military commander in charge of overseeing the group’s operations. Al-Khlifawi was instrumental in doing the ground work that led to the growth of ISIL.

In July 2012, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement online announcing that the group was returning to former strongholds from which US troops and the Sons of Iraq had driven them in 2007 and 2008. He also declared the start of a new offensive in Iraq called Breaking the Walls, aimed at freeing members of the group held in Iraqi prisons. Violence in Iraq had begun to escalate in June 2012, (i.e., less than six months after U.S. withdrawal — Ed.) primarily with AQI’s car bomb attacks, and by July 2013, monthly fatalities exceeded 1,000 for the first time since April 2008.

Now ISIS, through direct and indirect methods, is projecting its terrorism worldwide, even “inspiring” indirect followers in the U.S. to kill or attempt to kill in their name.

Johnson’s points about what happened in Syria and Libya to strengthen ISIS’s position are sadly valid — but they won’t win him any attention from an establishment press whose sole mission appears to be to pile on Donald Trump at every opportunity while giving as free a passage as possible to Hillary Clinton.

As to whether ISIS’s growing strength has been “unintentional,” it seems that the Obama administration’s active support of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood’s tyranny in Egypt during the short period it had control of that country should put some doubt into people’s minds about that.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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