Gary Johnson: ISIS is today’s Nazi fascism

November 19, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT — Former New Mexico Governor and 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson issued the following statement today regarding ISIS and violent extremism:

“It is time that we have an open, honest dialogue about the politics of Sharia law. It is time that we face the reality that, while Islam is a faith that must be granted the same freedoms of religion as all others, Sharia is a political ideology that cannot coexist with the constitutional and basic human rights on which the United States is founded.

We must face the fact that ISIS is a murderous, violent movement driven by Sharia ideology, not by the religion of Islam. We need not and should not be Islamophobic, but all who are free and wish to be free should be Shariaphobic. In its determination to impose a “law” upon us and to kill, maim and terrorize in the process — as seen most recently in Paris, ISIS must be stopped.

I opposed the Iraq War. I supported going after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan after 9/11, but opposed — and continue to oppose — our failed attempt at Afghan nation building. And I opposed our involvement in overthrowing the government in Libya.

The list goes on and on. Our ill-advised attempts to shape the outcomes of civil wars and replace bad guys with slightly less bad guys have not only failed, but have created vacuums that are today being filled by the politics of Sharia.

The cost of those interventions has been tremendous, with too many of our young men and women of the military killed and wounded…and trillions of dollars spent ineffectively.

Libertarians believe freedom and opportunity require limited government. Government costs too much because it does too much — and a government that does too much erodes liberty. But one responsibility of government is clear: To protect us from those who would do us harm and who would take away our fundamental freedoms. We believe liberty is the true American value, and that our government has a solemn obligation to preserve it.

We cannot dance around the fact that destroying human liberty and doing us harm are what Sharia law dictates. Whether it be mass murder in Paris, downing a Russian airliner in the Sinai, gunning down innocents in a Kenyan shopping mall, beheading Christians, or flying airplanes into the World Trade Center towers, ISIS and other like-minded Shariaists are engaged in a decades-long campaign to eradicate freedom and replace it with a Sharia political system that is antithetical to everything for which America stands.

In World War II, too many, including the U.S., stood by for too long as Hitler’s Nazi fascism spread across Europe, with horrendous consequences. Sharia and its ISIS fanatics are today’s Nazi fascism.

Let’s be clear. Stopping ISIS and Sharia have nothing to do with religious freedom or the rights of Muslims — here or abroad. It has everything to do with protecting people who are free or wish to be free from murderous fanatics who will stop at nothing to establish a global caliphate under which no one would be free.

Dealing with this threat is the most American thing we can do.

Putting tens of thousands of American troops on the ground in Iraq or, especially, Syria, won’t work. We have learned that the hard way. Those realities, however, do not mean that we do nothing.

First, even barbarians and fanatics need money. ISIS is collecting an estimated $1 million per day in profits from oil sales. That buys a lot of terror. Reducing or stopping that flow of money will do more to stop ISIS than bombing a training camp here or there, and the United States — along with our allies — must get serious about turning off the ISIS oil spigot. While ISIS is receiving support from sympathic individuals and organizations in the region, even the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are taking concrete steps to cut off ISIS’s daily oil windfall. The U.S. must do the same. The finances and transactions of ISIS and their brethren must be disrupted.

ISIS’s recruitment and attacks are being executed largely via cyberspace. There will be no invasion that can be repelled with missiles or warships. Rather, they will enlist, plan, finance and coordinate with believers who are already here to conduct their murderous campaign. Paris was just the latest example. We must deploy our formidable technological might to join the battle in cyberspace — and win.

And while invasions and doomed-to-fail attempts at imposing Western democratic values on unwilling peoples will not work, reviving and supporting strategic partnerships with those who are fighting ISIS in Syria and elsewhere just makes sense. The U.S. must assume a stronger, more committed role to galvanize and lead an alliance based on those partnerships that will first contain and ultimately neuter ISIS.

Fighting and defeating ISIS wherever they are is not “intervention”. It is stopping violent jihadists whose stated objectives are to kill Americans, wipe Israel off the map and destroy the very freedoms — including religious ones — upon which our nation is founded. It is protecting us from those who would and are doing us harm.”

Governor Johnson is the Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative, a nonprofit advocacy organization supporting individual liberty, free markets and limited government.

49 thoughts on “Gary Johnson: ISIS is today’s Nazi fascism

  1. Jonny Stryder

    So if two Muslims in the U.S. want to follow Sharia law to settle a private dispute, you would ban them? Shame on you, Gary! Pretty stupid idea, too. It is not necessary to ban speech to enforce penalties against murderers or aggressors. Banning speech will reduce freedom without reducing violence one whit.

  2. wolfefan

    Sharia is used regularly in arbitration and mediation by parties who wish to have their disputes adjudicated under it’s principles. To single it out as opposed to Jewish or Christian principles is repugnant to liberty. I also agree with Andy Craig that the headline does not reflect the article at all. The “banning” of Sharia, according to the article, is to be achieved by defeating ISIL. However the headline “Gary Johnson: Defeat ISIL” is not such good clickbait.

  3. Wang Tang-Fu Post author

    Headline doesn’t line up with anything advocated in the article.

    I need to clean the sand out of my translation machine, it appears.

    Gov. Johnson is quoted as saying:

    “…. Sharia is a political ideology that cannot coexist with the constitutional and basic human rights on which the United States is founded.”

    If it can’t coexist then what other conclusion can follow?

    “We need not and should not be Islamophobic, but all who are free and wish to be free should be Shariaphobic.”

    “We cannot dance around the fact that destroying human liberty and doing us harm are what Sharia law dictates.”

    “ISIS and other like-minded Shariaists are engaged in a decades-long campaign to eradicate freedom and replace it with a Sharia political system that is antithetical to everything for which America stands.”

    “Stopping ISIS and Sharia have nothing to do with religious freedom or the rights of Muslims — here or abroad.”

    How do these statements add up to anything other than a Sharia ban?

  4. Wang Tang-Fu Post author

    Furthermore at https://reason.com/blog/2015/11/19/gary-johnson-isis-refugees-syria-terror

    Emphasis added:

    Johnson: When it comes to drones, I think it makes a bad situation even worse. We end up killing innocents and fueling hatred as opposed to containing it. It just hasn’t worked. We need to educate ourselves on the root causes of this, which is Islamic terrorism and the ideology of sharia law. In this country, we’ve become so politically correct that in the name of freedom of religion we have allowed sharia law and its adherents to advance. We need to differentiate between freedom of religion and the politics of sharia law. Freedom of religion, absolutely. But if you’re talking about allowing sharia law that runs contrary to the US Constitution, that is ideologically the war that we need to take on.

    Reason: Are there any examples of sharia law being implemented, or even proposed to be implemented, in the United States that you can point to?

    Johnson: There’s been a movement in state legislatures to pass “American laws for American courts.” I didn’t get that, but now I do. In Great Britain, they tried to allow sharia law side by side with British law and found it to be unworkable. They said, “If from a religious freedom standpoint, you want to govern your life by sharia law then so be it.” We can’t allow that. Sharia law doesn’t treat women equally. Iran, a country governed by sharia law, executes thirty homosexuals a month. It cannot be allowed to coexist in America. Just like we were right to put (Kentucky clerk) Kim Davis in jail for not adhering to the law, we can’t allow sharia practice to exist in the name of religious freedom. It’s not constitutional.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    “How do these statements add up to anything other than a Sharia ban?”

    They don’t. But the IPR headline should probably reflect what he actually said, not what he clearly meant.

    And … wow. It’s kind of hard to tell whether he’s doing an intentional dogwhistle thing here or whether his capacity for going completely mealy-mouthed on everything just kind of went into some kind of unpredicted drug-addled overdrive.

  6. Andy Craig

    “How do these statements add up to anything other than a Sharia ban?”

    That’s the sort of editorializing that belongs in the comments, not a headline. There’s no reason not to use the headline OAI/GJ put on it, and the article posted doesn’t mention anything about private religious arbitration or religious law in the US. We post all sorts of press releases from Greens and Socialists and Const. Party etc. where one could maybe draw some logical inference from it, but accurate or not we don’t re-title it for them to make the point we want to make. We point it out in the comments, and let the piece speak for itself in the actual post.

    “Furthermore at….”

    Then perhaps that headline would be justified for a post about that interview, where he actually does talk about “Sharia law in the USA.”

    I have mixed feelings about this press release. I see what he’s getting at, I think he went a bit too far and was muddling his terminology. The substantive policy points made aren’t that objectionable, but it is framed more hawkishly than I’d prefer. That’s my opinion, anyway.

    Either way, this isn’t how we post press releases sent to us. I see this is your first post, and I’m glad you want to contribute. But I feel this headline should be changed to keep in line with IPR’s standards and practices. That’s not how we do it.

  7. Wang Tang-Fu Post author

    Thank you for the dialogue. I added the quotes from Reason magazine interview, with emphasis added, to the article to support my interpretation that Gov. Johnson is calling for a ban on Sharia law. Unfortunately, I saw the article quoted in a comment on a prior thread without any headline:

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2015/11/november-2015-open-thread/#comment-1268521

    The headline seems to be the most newsworthy thing here, and as far as I can see is accurate, particularly given the further quotes from the Reason magazine interview.

    What was the original headline?

  8. Andy Craig

    “The headline seems to be the most newsworthy thing here”

    It’s one of several things discussed. He also opposes sending in troops, and condemns the use of drones- are those positions not “newsworthy”?

    It seems plain to me that in the press release he’s talking about “Sharia” as extremist Islamist ideology. Whether that’s the right or wrong label to use people can debate. I think that’s a mistake (but then again is “Islamism” really any better?), but again that’s something people can discuss in the comments.

    If you want the one OAI/GJ put on it, that would be “Gary Johnson: ISIS is today’s Nazi fascism” or “GOV. GARY JOHNSON CALLS ISIS, SHARIA “ANTITHETICAL TO EVERYTHING FOR WHICH AMERICA STANDS” (one was the in-line headline, the shorter one was the email subject and the headline at the OAI website)

    “” I added the quotes from Reason magazine interview, with emphasis added, to the article to support my interpretation that Gov. Johnson is calling for a ban on Sharia law.””

    That doesn’t really help. That’s just taking more editorializing (in the form of emphasis added) that belongs in the comments and putting it in the article.

    I also want to make clear, this isn’t about Gary Johnson, as I suspect somebody will just accuse me of defending. I’ll have more of my own thoughts and what I think he got wrong, and right, in this statement. But if somebody put a headline on a press release from any other candidate that said “Marc Feldman: I Won’t Raise Any Money” or “Chuck Baldwin: We Need Christian Theocracy in America.” — I’d say that is also improper, even if I also think those are also 100% accurate inferences from their statements.

  9. Andy Craig

    (the headline has now been corrected, just to make clear for those who come along and read the comments later that my initial objection is not to this one, which came from the source.)

    That being out of the way, my mixed reaction:

    Bad:-
    -Using ‘Sharia’ as a blanket synonym for what is more commonly called “Islamism” or “fundamentalist” or “extremist” Islam. “Sharia ideology” is perhaps better, and the statement does use that initially, before switching back to just “Sharia.” Then again, is referring to those things by some variant of “Islam” really better? This is a semantics debate currently playing out between the major-party candidates as well.
    -Invoking, in as many words, the historical narrative that “isolationists” in the U.S. were to blame for Hitler’s rise
    -Invoking HItler and the Nazis overstates the actual scale of the threat. ISIS is an aggressive… territorial entity… that’s attacking its neighbors and terror-bombing civilians, so that part of the analogy sort-of works, but the Wermacht they ain’t.
    – Gratuitous mention of Israel, when defending Israel has little to nothing to do with the war against ISIS.

    Good:-
    -Makes clear that another massive military intervention isn’t the answer- no troops on the ground or occupation, doesn’t even endorse air strikes, and in the Reason interview also condemned drones. In other words, all of things that are really “war” at all. but acknowledges that ISIS is an entity, like al-Qaeda after 9/11, against which targeted and effective actions are justified. The two actual things he proposes- cutting off funding, and cracking down on their online activities- are not methods of war, they’re methods of dealing with a criminal organization, which is I think closer to what ISIS is than a “state.”
    -Re-iterated opposition to having gone into Iraq, Libya,
    -Even though it got lost in the objections to “Sharia”, the distinction is being drawn to contrast that “ideology” of ISIS et al (whatever you want to call that), with Islam in general and Muslims as a whole, which is a good point to be making. It was an attempt, if somewhat poorly executed, to be both tough on ISIS et al, and anti-Islamophobic.
    – Doesn’t try to dispute that ISIS is in fact hostile to the U.S., but frames it as a question of effective defense and specific measures that are alternatives to another full-blown massive military intervention.
    – Doesn’t, like Ron Paul did before and now Rand Paul is, use it as a supposed reason to crack down on immigration and ban visas or refugees to “terrorist nations,” and elsewhere rejected that push to stop accepting refugees that’s the current big topic in the news.

    Overall, I would have struck a different tone. More than some of the usual objections on domestic policy, I think Gary Johnson tends to stray a bit further than I would on foreign policy. But he’s still substantially on the right side of the issue, maybe a 70% instead of the usual 90%, if I had to rate. This press release in particular, I’d give a lower ranking. But, not a deal-breaker.

  10. Wang Tang-Fu Post author

    I’ll stop beating the dead horse with this last bit:

    “It’s one of several things discussed. He also opposes sending in troops, and condemns the use of drones- are those positions not “newsworthy”?”

    I think they are less newsworthy because they are not new positions for him. Those are all things that he has said many times before. However the position on Sharia is new. As he explains at Reason,

    “There’s been a movement in state legislatures to pass “American laws for American courts.” I didn’t get that, but now I do.”

    I must be missing something here, but it is no doubt due to my poor grasp of English. It’s not my first language, so I must have misunderstood what Gov. Johnson meant in the quote above and the other ones I highlighted. My sincerest apologies. I will work on improving my translation program’s algorithms.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    reposting from Nov. Open Thread:

    Robert Capozzi
    November 19, 2015 at 15:07

    GJ press release A-/B+.

    I wonder if he has the terminology right re Sharia. I’m not sure.

    I don’t agree the US should take a stronger role. Like GJ, the US has done too much already. However, if there was ever a reason for the UN, this is one of them. Strikes me that terrorist proto-states that export terror to obviously innocent people in cities far away from the battlefield is unacceptable. It’s way beyond collateral damage.

    Concerned here about the cyber ‘graph.
    ____

    Additional feedback:

    Rather than refer to “Sharia,” if this movement needs a label of convenience, “Jihadism” might work better. Or “Jihadist Terrorism.” This would capture 9/11, Paris, London, Madrid, etc.

    To be engaged in the Public Square requires relevant responses to this sort of behavior. GJ’s analogy with “Nazi fascism” doesn’t work, since Jihadists don’t control states with bountiful military supplies and personnel.

    At one point, RP1 called for invoking posse comitatus in response to armed terrorism against US citizens. That might be the better play now. Even better if coupled with ceasing drone strikes.

    Wanted Dead or Alive seems a bit uncivilized, but an assertive response seems necessary.

  12. georgephillies

    “Sharia is a political ideology” is completely daft.
    If you want to worry about religious terrorists in the United States, worry about anti-abortion terrorists.

  13. Robert Capozzi

    gp, yes, probably not the best term (Sharia is a political ideology), but it is a system of laws, is it not? Seems in an ideology direction.

    I prefer the term “Jihadist” or “Jihadist terrorists.”

    How about you?

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Strikes me that terrorist proto-states that export terror to obviously innocent people in cities far away from the battlefield is unacceptable. It’s way beyond collateral damage.”

    Nice sentiment. Wish someone had put that bug in Truman’s ear in August of 1945.

    “Rather than refer to ‘Sharia,’ if this movement needs a label of convenience, ‘Jihadism’ might work better. Or ‘Jihadist Terrorism.’ This would capture 9/11, Paris, London, Madrid, etc.”

    True, but it wouldn’t capture what Johnson is actually talking about, which is the Islamic system of law. That should be referred to as “sharia,” which happens to be its name.

    “GJ’s analogy with ‘Nazi fascism’ doesn’t work, since Jihadists don’t control states with bountiful military supplies and personnel.”

    Actually, one jihadist regime alone (Iran’s) controls a state with almost exactly the same population, and more modern military equipment, than Nazi Germany circa 1940. Saudi Arabia’s jihadist regime (which seems to have been the main funding source for al Qaeda 15 years ago and for the Islamic State today) only directly rules about half as many people, but is loaded in terms of money and buys the best and newest US military equipment.

  15. paulie

    “Strikes me that terrorist proto-states that export terror to obviously innocent people in cities far away from the battlefield is unacceptable. It’s way beyond collateral damage.”

    Nice sentiment. Wish someone had put that bug in Truman’s ear in August of 1945.

    I guess it’s OK when large, well-formed Westphalian states do it but not proto-states?

  16. paulie

    “Rather than refer to ‘Sharia,’ if this movement needs a label of convenience, ‘Jihadism’ might work better. Or ‘Jihadist Terrorism.’ This would capture 9/11, Paris, London, Madrid, etc.”

    True, but it wouldn’t capture what Johnson is actually talking about, which is the Islamic system of law. That should be referred to as “sharia,” which happens to be its name.

    Jihad, rather than sharia, seems to be a more accurate description of what he is talking about. Even then I would say Jihadi extremism, because Jihad could also refer to a spiritual struggle rather than a literal one. But it’s certainly more accurate as a description of the real problem as opposed to the Sharia system of dispute resolution.

    I think GJ is off the tracks here in saying that Sharia law is the problem, or that it is any kind of realistic threat to the US in the sense that people passing state legislation against Sharia make it out to be. On the other hand, I agree with Andy Craig that there are a lot of good parts in the article that are being largely ignored in the comments due to that glaring red flag. But then it’s a pretty huge red flag, especially in the context of what is happening right now, even with all the caveats.

  17. Marc Montoni

    If you want to worry about religious terrorists in the United States, worry about anti-abortion terrorists.

    Abortion terrorists since 1977 in the United States and Canada: 8 murders, 153 incidents of assault or battery, 13 wounded; 100 butyric acid attacks; 373 physical invasions; 41 bombings; 655 anthrax threats; and 3 kidnappings committed against abortion providers.

    Muslim terrorists in the USA only, also since 1977: 3,072 dead and 1,676 injured. 6 honor killings — just since 2005 — that are acknowledged by the FBI (although the real number is in the hundreds according to several American Muslim women’s rights groups).

    I guess 3,072 is roughly comparable to 8 in the world of Phillies PHD world of higher math.

    But then…

    Police have killed 42,885 Americans since 1977; and injured half a million, many of them horribly and permanently.

    But of course it’s better to focus on the 8 political murders that aren’t otherwise overshadowed by a *good* night of fun and partying in Chicago.

    Carry on.

  18. paulie

    Police have killed 42,885 Americans since 1977; and injured half a million, many of them horribly and permanently.

    Physically injured. There’s also countless emotional injury, all the damage of prolonged and unjust incarceration and harassment, spillover and second order effects, etc…. oh, and the latest report is that they now steal more in total value through asset forfeiture than all reported burglaries combined, with the amount growing by double digit percentages each year.

  19. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    I’m going to sound like a political geek, over-concerned with technicalities. But even so …

    There is no such thing as “Nazi fascism.” The term makes no sense, at least not if you understand the history behind the two terms.

    Fascism is a doctrine espoused by Mussolini. It has only been truly practiced once, in Italy, from 1922 to 1943. (Franco was a Falangist.)

    National Socialism was espoused by Hitler. It was similar to, but not identical with, fascism.

    For instance, Nazism advocates racism. Fascism does not. Jews enjoyed high positions in Italy’s Fascist Party up until 1938, when Mussolini succumbed to pressure from Hitler and began expelling them. Nor did Mussolini send Jews to death camps. It was only after Hitler occupied Italy that Italian Jews were rounded up.

    I know that in modern parlance, Nazism, fascism, and increasingly communism, are losing any real meaning. These terms are applied to anyone or anything that someone else dislikes. Minimum wage laws and Obama are “communist.” Traffic cops and Bush are “Nazis,” etc.

    Even so, for historically technical reasons, I dislike the term “Nazi fascism.”

  20. Andy Craig

    “”Jihad, rather than sharia, seems to be a more accurate description of what he is talking about. Even then I would say Jihadi extremism, because Jihad could also refer to a spiritual struggle rather than a literal one. But it’s certainly more accurate as a description of the real problem as opposed to the Sharia system of dispute resolution.””

    That’s kind of the problem. “Jihad” and “Islam” (as in “Islamism”) are both understood to have non-terrorism-related meanings as well, yet we use those labels to discuss the category that includes ISIS, al-Qaeda, etc. At least “Sharia” does refer to their actually proposed/practiced system of government, a system which libertarians of course have every reason to oppose. cf. labels like “National Socialists (Nazis),” “Communists,” “Republicans,” etc. as opposed to “the Germans” “the Russians” or “the Spanish.” Particularly since “the Iraqis” and “the Syrians” doesn’t work here, and even referring to them by their self-proclaimed name raises its own issues.

    I think it’s jarring because it’s not the common usage, but the more I think about the less convinced I am that using the label “Sharia ideology” is any worse than the alternatives. The GOP is making a big show of insisting on “radical Islam” as the proper term, and that doesn’t strike me as correct either. Calling them “Islamists” also seems to conflate and concede too much. “Jihad” as you note, has its own traditional spiritual meaning like Sharia, yet “JIhadists” became widely accepted. You could start naming off particular schools of radical Islam like Wahhabism perhaps, but that’s both probably overly broad (includes the Saudis and other emirates), and overly narrow (excludes some terrorist groups that aren’t Wahhabist.)

    As for “Sharia law”– there’s the issue of defending private arbitration that everyone here seems familiar with. But that isn’t the entire spectrum of policy on the topic. Some nations, Israel most famously among them but also many Muslim and some majority-Christian nations, have a system where people must be categorized into a religious affiliation (atheist usually not an option), and then they are governed under the law of religious civil courts, typically bodies of clerics empowered by law. That sort of parallel system, where government courts (incl. the secular courts on appeal) get into the business of deciding who is or isn’t a Muslim and what is or isn’t orthodox Muslim law and what Islam does or doesn’t teach about divorce or child custody etc., is legitimately something to be avoided. I wouldn’t say it’s wrong to object to that, so much as it is wrong to worry that the 1st Amendment doesn’t already forbid it.

    I believe in freedom of contract with as much latitude as possible, but it’s not an absolute because you are calling on the state to enforce it. Hands-off and a variety of options and private arbitration is all good, but there are some agreements (particularly that raise questions of consent or ethics), where the state just isn’t going to enforce them, and that’s always been the case under the common law of contracts. That’s because such an enforcement is asking the state to do something they constitutionally and/or legally can’t. For example, I could sign a contract with you to give me your kidney, but no court is going to issue a writ telling the police to tie you to the gurney after you’ve changed your mind. One of those that’s developed historically, is that the government reserves its own judgment on the adjudication of divorces and child custody. Which is by no means great, and probably swung too far in that direction, but was coming from a system where wives weren’t even legally regarded as their own person, and were often robbed of their legitimate possessions and their children in one-sided divorces. Private arbitration can still be used, but the courts have to sign off on the final result that gets entered under their authority, and they have to do so in a way that doesn’t violate their own constitutional obligations under the 1st, 14th, etc. So, if you want to have your divorce and child custody arbitrated by an Islamic clerical panel, you can agree to that, but understand that if reaches a result too radically at odds with secular law, the state might treat it the same way as it does the Catholic Church’s assertion that a legally-divorced couple are still “really” married. The religious authorities can opine all they want on defining religious obligations, but the courts aren’t going to enforce religious law on somebody (who, after all, has every right to redefine their religious affiliation whenever they want.)

    I do agree, the concern of this happening in the U.S. is 95% over-blown, mainly because our 1st Amendment is thankfully more ironclad than any other such provision in the world. But it isn’t as cut and dry as there not being any legitimate issue at all. Whether or not that was the sort of distinction Gary Johnson was drawing, I’ll leave for him to clarify.

  21. paulie

    RTAA

    Fascism has a broader meaning as well.

    For examples, in Russian the nazis are generally called fascists rather than nazis.

  22. paulie

    AC

    If you call it Jihadi terrorism or Islamic terrorism that should make it clear that you are not talking about spiritual Jihad or peaceful Islam. The terrorism is the problem, not whatever excuses are being used as its fig leaf.

  23. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Thomas L. Knapp: Actually, one jihadist regime alone (Iran’s) controls a state with almost exactly the same population, and more modern military equipment, than Nazi Germany circa 1940.

    Even if true, so what? It’s the strength of a nation relative to its neighbors that matters.

    Hitler, despite his 1940 weapons, was far stronger than many of his 1940 neighbors.

    Iran, despite its modern 2015 weapons, is far weaker than many of its modern 2015 neighbors. Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel all have nukes. Turkey is in NATO. Most are not direct neighbors, but all are in Iran’s neighborhood.

    I don’t even know if I’d call Iran jihadist. They have a large modern population, many of whom don’t care for Islamic fundamentalism. If Iran went to war, how much support can the regime expect from its people, and for how long?

  24. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Paulie: in Russian the nazis are generally called fascists rather than nazis.

    And why is that? I read an interesting theory in National Review, long ago. Back in the 1990s, I think. The article analyzed the history of the term fascist over the course of the 1930s/40s.

    It stated that by the late 1930s the Leftist media was referring to National Socialism as either Nazism or Fascism. The reason, the article theorized, was because the Left wanted to downplay Hitler calling his party National Socialist. The Left wanted to take the word Socialist away from Hitler, so as to brand Hitler as a Rightist.

  25. Bondurant

    Maybe I need to do more research on Sharia Law but my impression is that it’s usually forced on someone as opposed to parties mutually working out a solution to a problem/dispute.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    tk: Nice sentiment. Wish someone had put that bug in Truman’s ear in August of 1945.

    me: Very different circumstance there, though I still believe Nagasaki was the sickest event in human history.

    tk: Actually, one jihadist regime alone (Iran’s) controls a state with almost exactly the same population, and more modern military equipment, than Nazi Germany circa 1940.

    me: Iran had a revolution within its borders. I guess we could say that ISIS is engaged in simultaneous revolutions in Iraq and Syria. I don’t recall Iran conducting Paris Terror type operations outside its borders. Apparently, they do fund some terrorism, so I’ll somewhat take your point.

    pf: I think GJ is off the tracks here in saying that Sharia law is the problem, or that it is any kind of realistic threat to the US in the sense that people passing state legislation against Sharia make it out to be.

    me: Agreed.

    pf: I guess it’s OK when large, well-formed Westphalian states do it but not proto-states?

    me: No. ISIS concerns me a great deal, as they seem especially irrational. Beheading Americans for being American; downing Russian commercial jets; conducting the pronouncedly sick Paris Terror. This is not “just” a revolution, it’s a deathwish, near as I can tell.

  27. Marc Montoni

    Hitler, despite his 1940 weapons, was far stronger than many of his 1940 neighbors.

    Maybe against the postage-stamp countries.

    Against France, the UK, and especially Russia, Germany was actually a fairly puny military power. The Soviets alone outnumbered the Germans in both tanks and airplanes, and were actively preparing to invade Germany (Hitler struck first).

    Germany made up for its weakness with some brilliant generals and the advantage of surprise.

    And the incompetence of the Allied leadership.

  28. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Marc Montoni: The Soviets … were actively preparing to invade Germany …

    Are you sure about that? All the history I’ve read says that Stalin trusted Hitler.

    Stalin’s generals warned him about German mobilization along the border, but Stalin refused to believe them. Stalin thought his generals were trying to instigate war, and ordered that no Soviet counter-mobilizations be made.

    Even after Hitler attacked, Stalin refused to believe it. At first Stalin thought that reports from the front were lies by his own generals. Then he believed that the attacking Germans were mutineers, and that Hitler would soon reel them in — so he ordered his generals not to resist too much.

    It was several hours into the attack before Stalin finally believed the reports, and that Hitler had betrayed him.

  29. georgephillies

    More nonsense form Johnson:

    “Fighting and defeating ISIS wherever they are is not “intervention”. It is stopping violent jihadists whose stated objectives are to kill Americans, wipe Israel off the map and destroy the very freedoms — including religious ones — upon which our nation is founded. It is protecting us from those who would and are doing us harm.””

    It’s interesting to see that our party now has a Libertarian Warmonger branch.

    In point of fact, the French have been bombing the Islamic state for quite some time, and are now surprised to learn that the other side will shoot back. The French have bombed the capital of the Islamic state, and now the Islamic state has returned the favor.

    The people of Paris are considerably less innocent that the people of Raqqa. The people of Paris elected their government and have not protested their government’s war. The Libertarian solution is not a colonialist war of intervention to force a particular government on the Syrians or the Iraqis.

  30. Robert Capozzi

    gp, collective guilt, really? How about the French who didn’t vote for the current government, opposed the bombings of Syria, and were killed by jihadist extremists nevertheless?

  31. Sean Scallon

    I don’t disagree with much of what Johnson says but you can just smell the whiff of pandering here (and to what audience remains a mystery). Only one percent of the U.S population is Muslim and I know of now state or locality serious thinking implementing Sharia Law which would be gross violation of the Constitution if there ever was one.

    All of this was just unnecessary.

  32. Marc Montoni

    Are you sure about that? All the history I’ve read says that Stalin trusted Hitler.

    RTAA, unlike Churchill and the addled Roosevelt, Stalin wasn’t stupid.

    You may wish to browse some of the revisionist history that goes into Stalin’s massive preparations for invading the West.

    The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II

    Stalin, Communism, and World War II

    I think the truth is the intelligentsia — and their public schoolteacher followers — were almost universally socialist, and they wanted people to think WWII was the fault of the supposedly “right wing” fascists allied with Hitler. I remember the history textbook I had in HS. We were all told that the Soviet military was small, poorly armed, and universally inferior to the German military.

    It’s just another fib of the murderous Left.

  33. georgephillies

    Stalin may have had the thought of doing so in the long run, but there were no preparations worthy of the name. What I have read about the period was that the Russian army was very large, had huge reserves, had good equipment, but had weak officers at the lower level (up to division), no distinct non-commissioned officer corps, and not-so-good aircraft that were not sheltered at the start of the war.

  34. paulie

    and to what audience remains a mystery

    Exactly. He is either way off track in the political calculation department or he actually believes this mishmosh.

    All of this was just unnecessary.

    Right again.

  35. georgephillies

    The Johnson policy appears to be Peace through Total Bombing…no boots on the ground.

    It’s much the opposite of bringing the troops home from around the world.

  36. Robert Capozzi

    gp: Peace through Total Bombing

    me: Where do you get this? I don’t see anything like this in the release.

    I am lowering the grade on this release to a B-/C+. Sloppy work, poor analogies.

  37. Cody Quirk

    He could’ve taken a better approach or said it differently, but I am in agreement with Gary Johnson and especially the serious dangers of letting Sharia Law (one of the most religiously totalitarian and anti-Libertarian legal systems in the world) -have legal precedent or even consider to be legally binding in this country. To let it in would be the same thing as allowing people like Riley Hood and Michael Peroutka have legal immunity in governing their families and neighbors under their twisted interpretation of the Bible, even if it includes gruesome punishments and a complete suspension of one’s civil rights and liberties that such men could get away with under such immunity.

    And don’t get me started on how Sharia Law treats non-Muslims and especially those of the LGBT persuasion.

    Do you want to allow Sharia Law in this country, Jed? If so, then you need to apologize to Riley Hood and the other theocrats in the CP for opposing their views and political-religious philosophies that they want to instill in this country, as much as fundamentalist Muslims also want to instill Sharia Law and their religious views on this country too.

    ALL religious extremism is vile and evil, but Muslim extremism is currently the worst and poses a serious threat to the US and the rest of the world.

    Oh, and as much as I am a committed non-intervenionist and know well about the self-destructive mess we have made in the middle east- if our country gets attacked by an outside group or force, then we are ethically and legally justified in attacking such a group/force on their turf, just like the Barbary pirates in the early 19th Century.

    Some Libertarians obviously need to stop letting socialist-inspired political-correctness guide their thinking and beliefs, and come back to reality; because PC thinking will end up destroying Western Civilization.

  38. Jed Ziggler

    “Do you want to allow Sharia Law in this country, Jed?”

    There’s no danger of Sharia being implemented in the U.S. Anyone who suggests otherwise is a fearmonger. We don’t need such nonsense.

  39. Thomas L. Knapp

    There are minor implementations of sharia law in the US, just like there are minor implementations of Hasidic Jewish law in the US. Those implementations are voluntary and/or contractual, generally in the nature of pre-nuptial agreements that set conditions on divorce in the Jewish community, specifications that wills follow an Islamic formula for distribution of inheritances, etc.

    For the most part, courts don’t and wouldn’t enforce most provisions that conflict with overriding secular law, e.g. “you get to stone me to death if you catch me committing adultery,” etc. The only exception I can think of is New York City’s cave-in on maintaining special exemptions for one Jewish sect’s practices regarding genital mutilation of, and sexual assault on, infant boys.

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    Interesting, but not really that surprising. It wasn’t until 1993 that the last of the 50 states got rid of their (non-Islamic — three guesses which religion the underlying presumption came from) laws holding that if you were married it couldn’t be rape, and some maintained lower penalties or higher standards of proof even after that.

    Is it really that surprising that a 71-year-old judge might lean toward the old Christian-based presumptions rather than the new secular standards when evaluating a case where no crime is being charged but rather a set of claims in pursuit of an order compelling/forbidding some action?

  41. paulie

    The Johnson policy appears to be Peace through Total Bombing

    He opposes bombing in his recent Reason interview, and in many past statements and interviews. In fact the campaign put out youtube videos against it.

  42. paulie

    I’m more with RTAA and GP than with Marc on the WWII history. The Russian popular imagination has always been focused on defense against outside invasion. Russia has been invaded many times. Since Russia has huge amounts of empty land, it has never been as focused on territorial expansionism against established countries to the west. Expansionism, such as it is, was generally toward the east and south. Lack of focus on fermenting communist revolution worldwide was Trotsky’s big beef with Stalin. True, Stalin did eventually create the Soviet Bloc in Eastern Europe, and annexed the Baltics, but I doubt he would have pushed for that if it weren’t for the German invasion first.

    I’m also with Capozzi, and definitely not with Phillies, on the question of collective guilt by the French people. Libertarians should find the concept of collective guilt to be universally abhorrent.

    RTAA has a good point on why nazis are often called fascists. There’s a lot of overlap between the two ideologies, though.

  43. Xcommunic8

    Sharia is already banned by the common law, and the Bill of Rights. Theocracy is not allowed under the common law, because it prescribes specific religious code of conduct to which all citizens must be bound. Of course, the problem is that the entire USA has been dumbed down to the point where the average juror is completely incapable of understanding the law, the Bill of Rights, or anything else of import. (And the statistical anomaly of the intelligent juror is simply screened from the jury by the unlawful practice of “voir dire.”)

    This means that whatever a plurality or majority of the electorate can put into power has a good chance of getting enforced. So, where Muslims are a majority, they believe that entitles them to enforce sharia.

    So long as the majority has been idiotic white Christian prohibitionists who believe in top-down “surplus order,” noone has had a problem with “unrestricted democracy” or “majoritarianism” masquerading as proper (classical) liberal democracy.

    Now that the majority in some areas is shifting toward being idiotic brown Muslim prohibitionists, the white former majority is pissing and moaning. Fair enough, since Islam is even stupider than they are.

    But the real solution is to disallow all prohibitionism by restoring the common law. This gets rid of the asshole Christian theocrats AND the asshole Muslim theocrats.

    To be a true Christian, you need to be consistent. Luckily, most Christians are not “true Christians” because they are totally and completely inconsistent. They pick and choose which parts to take literally out of a giant book that is totally inconsistent.

    Muslims are not lucky enough to have such a large and self-contradictory book. You can read the Koran in an afternoon, and its message is clear and consistent: kill everyone who disagrees with the Koran. Those who impose insane practices on everyone, using the power of both individual and collective force, are “good muslims.”

    The criminal law, the common law, forbids FGM. It forbids forced child marriages. These are two things that Sharia not only encourages, but imposes on everyone, through the insane Imams of the Muslim world.

    America’s Bill of Rights is already diametrically opposed to Sharia.

    …But in order for this to matter, Christian conformists need to give up their unconstitutional prohibitions.

    Some idiot above wrote:

    So if two Muslims in the U.S. want to follow Sharia law to settle a private dispute, you would ban them?

    They’re already banned from cutting off a girl’s clitoris, or forcing a 10 year old into a forced marriage and rape. They’re already banned from sentencing a homosexual to death. All of the prior are aspects of “Sharia” as created out of whole cloth from various Imams and a schizophrenic lunatic who lived almost 2,000 years ago.

    Shame on you, Gary! Pretty stupid idea, too. It is not necessary to ban speech to enforce penalties against murderers or aggressors. Banning speech will reduce freedom without reducing violence one whit.

    Banning sharia law does not ban speech, idiot. Nor did Gary suggest it would. …Just like banning Nazi Law didn’t ban discussions of Nazism. Banning the law itself means banning its imposition on others. The Nazis forbid Jews from testifying in their defense, effectively allowing the execution of Jews by anyone. If any small town of majority Nazis tried to do this in the USA, they’d be in contradiction of the Bill of Rights, and could be externally taken over, restoring the Bill of Rights. Why? Because the common law, as called by the Bill of Rights is the Supreme Law of the Land.

    It’s not a hard concept!

    You can still talk about Sharia(the label) even if Sharia (the thing itself) is banned.

    The label is not the thing, the map is not the territory.

  44. paulie

    Some aspects of Sharia are banned. Others are perfectly compatible with the existing law, and are nothing more than another form of private arbitration that people should be as free to choose as any other.

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