Friday, September 30, 2016

Not an Aleppo moment

I don't understand why this is considered to be "another Aleppo moment" (other than the fact that Johnson made a joke using that phrase). Johnson was asked to name a foreign leader he admires and he could not come up with any. Everyone's assuming this means that he doesn't know the name of any foreign leaders, but maybe he does know some names but doesn't admire any. That is a perfectly reasonable position to take. Most leaders are not admirable people, IMHO.

It does look like Johnson was trying to remember the name of a former Mexican president. Because Johnson used to be the governor of a border state, maybe he knew the leader he had trouble naming. But again, who cares? Blanking on a name should not exclude someone from the presidency. The issue in Johnson's "Aleppo incident" (sounds so ominous) was that it showed that Johnson was not following the war in Syria. He didn't just blank on a name in that case. He was asked about Aleppo and Johnson didn't recognize that word at all, which can only show that he was not paying any attention to a major conflict in the world. That is a serious issue. Not being able to remember or name, or taking the reasonable position that there are no foreign leaders worthy of admiration is not.