Dear Gary Johnson: This is Aleppo

Reuters TV / Reuters

And this:

Baraa Al-Halabi / AFP / Getty

And this:

Thaer Mohammed / AFP / Getty

And so much more.

Assad. Barrel bombs. Chlorine gas.

Is it coming back to you now?



Categories: Election 2016, International, Syria

18 replies

  1. Well, to add insult, when the New York Times reported this story they confused Aleppo with Damascus, and Rafa with Aleppo.

    • Oh no, really? I must admit most of the Middle East turmoil is just a blur in my mind, but I can’t get out of my head the idea that a national leader would drop barrel bombs full of poison gas on his own people! And that top picture, of the little boy in the ambulance … I saw that video when it was first televised and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

  2. I have to admit, someone told me about this – that he was asked what he thought about Aleppo. I responded the exact same way… what’s a leppo? 9.5 times out of 10, I hear the news say Syria. I cannot ever recall hearing them say Aleppo. Now, that having been said, I am not in politics. It is a name that Gary Johnson should have recognized.

    The mind can be a funny creature. When you hear something wrong, it can get stuck in your head and it’s nearly impossible to shake it. One of the most commons examples is from the song “Blinded by the Light.” There’s a verse that says, “Revved up like a Deuce, you know a runner in the night…” That is not what I hear, and still don’t even though I know the correct lyrics. I heard and still hear “Dressed up like a douche, a roller in the night.” Trust me, I scratched my head at that lyric for many years.

    So when someone told me what Johnson was asked, I heard “…. think about a leppo.” You know, not unlike asked what you think about “A dog” or “a rock.” That the next word would be a simple English word. My friend kept repeating it and I kept hearing “…. a leppo…”

    If the person who interviewed Johnson had said “Aleppo, Syria,” then most likely Johnson would have understood the question right away.

    I’ve always had this problem, though, especially with music. I have a difficult time separating words and syllables. This occurs with nearly ever song I’ve head and in dialogue when watching TV. I used closed caption all the time. My hearing is fine, I’m not losing it. I’m just unable to separate words properly.

    I hope this made sense.

    • It makes perfect sense, and I’m the same way when it comes to song lyrics. I found a great website once that talked about misheard lyrics. It gave lots of examples of what people thought they’d heard and what the lyrics actually were. That line from “Blinded by the LIght” is a classic example and although I can hear the song in my head, the only word I know for sure is in there is “deuce.” There was/is a special word for misheard lyrics, but I don’t remember it either.

      Ah, “mondegreen.” Here’s the first article I found: http://www.fun-with-words.com/mala_mondegreens.html There are many.

    • Makes a lot of sense to me, Michelle. I have the exact same problem, both with song lyrics and with someone saying something to me that is unexpected. The question that Mike Barnicle put to Johnson had no context, it was just a word, or as you say, two words. I went back and listened again – it could clearly be taken as two. Now I’m wondering if the conversation previous to the question concerned Syria or if this was a sudden turn to the subject. That would make me even more sympathetic to Johnson.

    • Yeah, I too thought it was “…dressed up like a douche…” And to my mind, after calling somebody else a douche [bag], it seems unnecessary to make further remarks about the same person. Heh.

  3. I cannot like this post PT, obvious why.

  4. He did express remorse for his ignorance, which is more than Trump would have done. But it does disqualify him. We have lowered the bar too much. I want people in public office who are smarter and more knowledgeable than me, not egoists who think they are presidential when they are not. .

  5. It seems to me that generally those of us who call ourselves members of the American Libertarian Party (or in my case, not a member of that party, but going to vote for its candidate) are opposed to needless wars. Needless being any but the kind that are the truest definition of “self defense.” That said, and assuming that Johnson feels strongest aversion to American military actions designed to secure foreign oil, I’m guessing that “Aleppo” was not a familiar utterance to him either because he just won’t currently pay attention to an affair over which he presently has no administration, or because, as Michelle indicated, he simply misheard.

    • I’ve read several articles pointing out that he’s an isolationist and therefore pays no attention to foreign affairs. While I lean toward isolationism (noninterventionism, actually), I still think it’s critcal for a national leader to have a very good understanding and awareness of what’s going on in the world.

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." ~ Thomas Jefferson

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