Gary Johnson: Libertarian Imperialist?

Article by Justin Raimondo.
At a time when the Obama administration has, in effect, announced a new foreign policy doctrine which avers that we have a “responsibility to protect” the victims of alleged “genocide” all over the world, Johnson’s devotion to the libertarian principle of non-intervention in the affairs of other nations is really questionable. Especially now that the Libyan adventure is well underway, and we find ourselves sliding down that slippery slope into full-scale support for the Libyan rebels, Johnson’s position is rather too close to the Obama Doctrine.

And it has to be asked: is saving the world, or even a small portion of it, really “what we’re all about”? Maybe over at the Weekly Standard, where Johnson gave this interview, it is, but not in the libertarian precincts where he hopes to garner support.

Yes, Johnson is against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: and yes, he wants to bring the troops home from Europe and other places where they have no business being, but he is clearly tailoring his campaign to suit the softcore sensibilities of the Beltway crowd. For example, he’s supposedly against foreign aid – except, perhaps, when it comes to Israel. It’s not clear if, like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), he would end that particular boondoggle, but in this interview he was clear that maintaining our military alliance with Israel is “key” – although key to what, he did not say.

Furthermore, he went on to say that our military alliances is general are also “key” in fighting the “war on terrorism” that he believes we must continue to wage, albeit not in Afghanistan and Iraq. The vagueness of all this is disconcerting, especially when one senses the echo of Obama-ism in this “libertarian” version of multilateralism.

The problem with Johnson’s benign view of military alliances is that they are a tripwire for US intervention: after all, what does a military alliance mean if not joint defense – or offense – against a common enemy? Johnson emphasizes our alliance with Israel, and yet what does this alliance mean other than a guarantee that the US will come to Israel’s assistance in case of war — and that is not to say who will start the war.

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