NBC poll: Half of Americans Oppose Big Military Action In Syria

Patrick Chappatte, The International Herald Tribune

Patrick Chappatte, The International Herald Tribune

“We don’t want another Vietnam…or Iraq…or Afghanistan.” That seems to be the message in a new NBC poll that finds 50 percent of America is opposed to extensive military action in Syria. But they will back a more limited military action — providing Congress approves it.

It’s increasingly clear that President Barack Obama’s course to respond to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on its citizens will be greatly constrained. Constraint 1: Great Britain has balked and Prime Minister David Cameron faced a virtual revolt in the House of Commons yesterday, where getting involved now was voted down. 2. Members of Congress briefed by the administration yesterday didn’t didn’t think a solid case was made. And now comes the big #3: Many reporters and pundits are now painting Obama as increasingly isolated on wanting to use military action Even more difficult: world opinion is now shifting against Obama on the issue.

A new NBC poll finds that nearly 80 percent want Congressoinal approval on Syria:

Nearly 80 percent of Americans believe President Barack Obama should receive congressional approval before using force in Syria, but the nation is divided over the scope of any potential strike, a new NBC News poll shows.

The good news for Obama: the poll shows that a good chunk of the public would support a limited action, such as the use of some missiles:

Fifty percent of Americans believe the United States should not intervene in the wake of suspected chemical weapons attacks by Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to the poll. But the public is more supportive of military action when it’s limited to launching cruise missiles from U.S. naval ships – 50 percent favor that kind of intervention, while 44 percent oppose it.

Even though many on America’s right and left will insist this is a “no brainer” decision from their respective perspectives, in fact it will take some brain power to try and come up with a response that sends a message but carefully weights consquences, and prioritizes which consquences are worth feeling — and what the consquences and message will be to Syria and other regimes if no action at all is taken.

Former President George W. Bush today noted how tough decision this will be:

Former President George W. Bush said on Friday that President Barack Obama has a “tough choice” to make in determining a U.S. response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons.

“The president’s got a tough choice to make,” Bush told “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade. “And if he decides to use our military, he’ll have the greatest military ever backing him up.”

“I’m not a fan of Mr. Assad,” he added. “He’s an ally of Iran, and he’s made mischief.”

When pressed about Congress’ and the United Nation’s reluctance to proceed with military action, Bush remained tight-lipped with his take.

“The president has to make a tough call, Brian,” Bush laughed. “I know you’re trying to subtly rope me into the issues of the day. I refuse to be roped in. Putting our military in harm’s way is the toughest decision a president will make.”

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1 Comment

  1. I believe that also means that half of americans support military action.

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