What We Need To Takeaway From Gary Johnson's "What Is Aleppo" Mishap
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

What We Need To Takeaway From Gary Johnson's "What Is Aleppo" Mishap

Gary Johnson faces adversity on the campaign trial.

What We Need To Takeaway From Gary Johnson's "What Is Aleppo" Mishap

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson made a grave mistake as he blanked when stumbled while answering a question about the Syrian refugee crisis on Thursday, asking "What is Aleppo?" in an interview on MSNBC. For those in the same boat as Johnson, Aleppo is the second largest city in Syria and has been a center point in the Syrian war and the refugee crisis. The city of Aleppo has been a symbol of suffering as the city as been victimized by numerous carpet bombings, and the people have been victims of the use of chemical warfare. Earlier this month, the image of this Syrian Alleopian child went viral bringing out the cruel circumstances these children have to go through.

Here is a short excerpt from the interview here:

Barnicle: "What would you do if you were elected about Aleppo?"

Johnson: "About...?"

Barnicle: "Aleppo."

Johnson: "And what is Aleppo?"

Barnicle: "You're kidding."

Johnson: "No."

"Aleppo is in Syria -- it's the epicenter of the refugee crisis," Barnicle said.

"OK. Got it. With regard to Syria, I do think it is a mess," the Libertarian nominee said. He went on to explain his views of the country; you can watch the full interview here.

In a very eventful campaign season where there have been startling and shocking turns; the #whatisaleppo became another stunning storyline to the campaign season. Unfortunately, this was Johnson's first impression on many voters. Hours after Johnson's blank on national tv; the hashtag #WhatisAleppo became the number one trending hashtag throughout the day. Many political analysts view Johnson's initial lack of knowledge of Aleppo for grounds of disqualification from the presidential race. Later, after his mistake, Johnson issued this statement:

Foremost, as a presidential candidate Johnson has no excuse to not recognize the city of Aleppo. Even though foreign policy is one of his weakest attributes, Johnson should have been screened for specific issues of Syria. The Aleppo question should have never been an "I gotcha question." However, this one mistake does not disqualify Johnson from the presidential race. However, some of the people criticizing Johnson should exclude themselves from making an appearance in media.

My mom always told me, "If you are going to criticize someone you better know what your talking about, and make sure you are 100% in the right." Certain people didn't do that Christopher Hill, the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, went on MSNBC to set things straight, making a complete fool of himself in the process. Hill arrogantly disparaged Johnson, while incorrectly describing Aleppo as the “capital of ISIS.” Here is an expert from the interview, "“But the capital of ISIS — very much in the news, especially in the past two days, but for last two years. And for him to draw that kind of blank — and, by the way, boy was that a blank stare on his face. I was wondering if he was talking about something called ‘an Aleppo,’ and was confused by that. I couldn’t figure it out. It was just mind-blowing,” The video of the whole interview can be found here.

In addition, Times reporter Alan Repport shared a similar statement calling Aleppo the ISIS capital, while also mentioning it as an ISIS hotbed. Aleppo, since 2012, has been a site of intense fighting between rebels and the Syrian government. The eastern part of the city is controlled by mostly Islamist rebels; the western part is controlled by the government. As of yesterday afternoon the Times article has been revised and there is an editorial note on the bottom of the page. You can see the original content of Repport's misinformed news piece here. News Diffs is a fact-checking website that also monitors changed information in news stories. The message of the story is to make sure to fact check before you say something on the air, or you write an article for one of the world's most famous publications.

There are many things that we can learn from Johnson's mistake. First, I appreciate when stumbling upon the question about Aleppo, Johnson humbly he admitted that he did not know rather than giving a B.S. answer with zero substance. That is something that 95% of politicians would have done. Also, his heartfelt statement afterward where he owned up to his mistake showed good character. The way Johnson handled adversity today is a great model for citizens to going to follow, and it's the most important quality of a president. This hiccup has given Johnson more publicity than the total coverage of his last two third-party presidential runs combined. Johnson's not knowing what Aleppo is gave awareness to the common American of what Aleppo is.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.


Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter what job you wish to pursue or where you'll end up in your career, writing will always be an invaluable skill.

Just ask Julia Waterbury, a former Odyssey creator and college graduate with a business degree, for whom this couldn't be more true! Though she began by using Odyssey as a creative outlet, she quickly learned it was so much more and soon was able to include her articles and skills (from writing and editing to SEO and social media marketing) to up her resume game.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.


The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less

I haven't had sex since I lost my virginity at the end of my sophomore year of high school and now I'm a freshman in college, so I'd like to say I know a thing or two about not having sex. Here are four lessons I've learned over the last two years of abstinence.

Keep Reading... Show less

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.


For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

Last night on "The Bachelorette," Yosef (aka the guy who was accused of sliding into women's DMs before the show began filming) continued his streak of red flags by calling Clare "crazy."

To give you a little more context, this red flag happened after Clare got very upset with the guys on her group date for not making an effort to speak to her one-on-one when the opportunity arose and an awkward silence ensued. Because of this, she was clearly embarrassed and ended up having to ask them to ask her to go for a walk, which was... painful to watch (and probably to live out).

Keep Reading... Show less

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.


When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

The Best Air Fryers To Gift THAT Person In Your Life Who Always Cooks For You

I use mine more than my oven, toaster, and microwave combined.


It took me a long time to understand what the point of an air fryer really was. Couldn't I just bake something and get the same consistency?

My opinions took a total 180 when several years ago my mom made some delicious, homemade crispy fries. I was shocked when she told me she made them in her air fryer. Without a single drop of oil, they felt crispy and indulgent, unlike anything I have been able to achieve in an oven.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Deleted Social Media For A Week And My Mood Instantly Improved

I removed the digital pressures from my life and it made a huge difference.


From the time I downloaded Instagram until now, the world that is social media has drastically changed. I remember being 13 years old and posting several pictures a day — whenever, whatever I wanted to. Whether it was an unedited selfie or a screenshot of somebody's Notes App with the caption "Repost for good luck!" my social media journey started out as casual and exciting.

Keep Reading... Show less

18 Of The Best 'The Bachelorette' Tweets That Perfectly Sum Up Season 16, Episode 2

"Cast an older bachelorette they said, she'll be more mature they said."


"The Bachelorette" is FINALLY back, and season 16 is already off to a — dare I say it? — DRAMATIC start.

There is no fandom more involved and invested than Bachelor Nation, so naturally, viewers had A LOT of thoughts during last night's premiere. And honestly, the only thing more entertaining than watching a new episode of "The Bachelor" is following the live tweets fans post while it airs.

Keep Reading... Show less

As a teenage girl, I can safely say that a pregnancy scare is horrifying. I'm not one to say that becoming a young parent is bad, but for many, it is not the ideal situation to be in. Going through a pregnancy scare leads to a lot of unwanted worries until that period comes, or a test reads "positive."

Keep Reading... Show less

Being an inexperienced tumbler, I have had my fair share of mental blocks. There have been weeks where I can't even do a back walkover properly — I tense up and freeze. I thought that saying that my mental block wasn't real would make it go away, but it didn't. The reason? I didn't believe it. I just said it and hoped for the best, all while knowing that I wasn't going to do whatever skill I was struggling with. It frustrated me and made me so insecure about the progress I was making even when I was told that I was doing well. All I saw were the mistakes and times I didn't try at all.

Keep Reading... Show less

Struggling to find the perfect Halloween costume? No worries, just think of all your exes. I know it is frightening, but that's what makes it the PERFECT Halloween costume.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Spooky Dating Drinking Game To Get Boo-zed Up With Your Pumpkin This Halloween

Beware: you'll be summoning the ghosts of exes past.


Halloween 2020 is going to be pretty different, but that doesn't mean the ghost stories have to social distance themselves. In fact, after a year like this one, what's a few more horror stories to add to the mix? If you and your partner dare, this boo-zy drinking game will definitely add a little spook into your All Hallows' Eve plans. Think you're brave enough to share your scariest dating stories with your pumpkin this October 31? You've come to the right spot.

This is the Ultimate Spooky Dating Drinking Game. Here's how it works:

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments