The Blog

Yes, Gary Johnson Endorsed Humanitarian War

In theory.

4:25 PM, Dec 8, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Via Jim Antle, I see that there's some doubt among the paleocons that former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson really endorsed the idea that the United States should intervene in a foreign country for the sole purpose of stopping a genocide. Here's what I posted on Monday from my interview with Johnson

A dove in the mold of 2008 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, Johnson says, “I don't think that we should be in Iraq or Afghanistan.” But the extent of his non-interventionism isn’t quite clear. On one hand, he isn’t even sure if U.S. troops should have been stationed in Europe to confront the Soviets following World War II. “I don't think I have the expertise to be able to say that it was good or bad, it just seems to me that today, it doesn’t really seem warranted,” he says. Johnson also says Iran’s nuclear program isn’t a threat to the United States because the principle of “mutually assured destruction” would keep the Iranians from attacking.

On the other hand, Johnson is open, in principle, to waging humanitarian wars. “If there’s a clear genocide somewhere, don’t we really want to positively impact that kind of a situation?” he says. “Isn’t that what we’re all about? Isn’t that what we’ve always been about? But just this notion of nation building—I think the current policy is making us more enemies than more friends.”

Perhaps Johnson just meant we should grant asylum to those being slaughtered? Nope. Here's the follow-up question from my interview:

TWS: So, you think that the United States, even if it weren’t in its own narrow national interest, even if we weren’t threatened by the [other] country, but there was a genocide going on—a clear genocide—it would be the right thing to do to go in and stop that?

GARY JOHNSON: Yes. Yes, I do.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 18 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers