John Stahl, congressional hopeful, tells Mideast views

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Joel A. Moskowitz

By Joel Moskowitz, M.D.

LA JOLLA, California — John Stahl, knowing that I write for the San Diego Jewish World, asked if I would help him communicate his thinking on several issues of importance to the Jewish community. I posed several questions to him and the piece that follows are his responses.

According to the internet White Pages, there are 386 people with the name of John Stahl in the United States. But for San Diegans, especially those in Congressional District 52 there is only one. This John Stahl is the modern version of a Minuteman. A testimony to the potential that is the American dream…springing from an immigrant family, he served the United States in the military, excelled in academic education and rose to administrative heights in world-noted technology companies.

Why is this citizen of particular interest to the Jewish community? He is vying to capture the long-held seat of Brian Bilbray, a Republican who is also an advocate for Israel.

What are his thoughts about the Arab ‘spring’? “It is hard to tell what the Arab “spring” will bring to the region. One would hope that it is a sign of freedom breaking out in the region. A sign that reasonable people who want self determination and a better life for their citizens will come to power and participate in joining the world community as productive and peace loving citizens. … The United States and her allies must be vigilent to assist in the transition from dictatorship to peaceful governments.” It is yet to be determined what shall be the litmus test to indicate that an air of tolerance and diversity, which are the hallmarks of liberal democracy, have been established in these new ‘states’.

The execution of Qadaffi? Stahl’s reaction: “The circumstances around the death of Qadaffi are not totally clear to me. Was he considered an enemy combatant or in exile and deserving of a trial prior to punishment?”

The swap of one Israeli prisoner for thousands of convicted felons.? “It does not seem to be equitable or in proportion. A swap of 1 for 1 makes sense but not 1000 to one.”

How to eliminate the threat from Iran? John Stahl’s approach: “Maintain sanctions. Make sure through diplomatic channels that any aggression by Iran will be dealt with in a pre-emptive manner. They need to join into the world community as a peaceful nation, promoting understand and the ability to exist in the region with other sovereign nations.”

Get out of the U.N.? Get out of Iraq? “The United Nations served a useful purpose after WWII but does not seem to effective in the world today. It seems to be nothing more than another bureauocracy rather than a problem-solving body. We should finish the stated mission in Iraq and withdraw our troops to allow Iraqis to rebuild their country and trade with the western world.” As to the U.N. being in New York City: “There are 193 nations that are part of the UN and NYC has been its headquarters since its inception in 1945. I have no issue with it staying in New York City but its employees and members should behave properly and not expect to be exempted from the laws and conduct of New York City under some guise of diplomatic immunity.”

John Stahl says he is not a professional politician whereas Brian Bilbray who has been in office for his entire career. Stahl has been successful in industry, traveled the world over, has pledged to not accept any retirement should he be elected to office and will not accept any PAC money. He said these promises are in sharp contrast to the present Congressional office holder, Brian Bilbray.

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Moskowitz is a freelance writer based in La Jolla. He may be contacted at [email protected]

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