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Posted by on Sep 16, 2012 in International, Politics, Society, War | 6 comments

Sorry Bibi – Americans don’t want to fight your war

Bibi Netanyahu has been all over American TV trying to influence the election and get the U.S. to attack Iran.

The American people want no part of it.

The bad news first: Who can blame them? There’s a constant stream of misinformation out there, and so a stunning majority of 66 percent of Americans don’t know that U.S. intelligence agencies think Iran has not made a decision to build a nuclear weapon.


While nearly two-thirds of Americans see Iran as a threat (down a bit from two years ago), slightly more still want their government to talk to the Iranians. What don’t Americans want? A war with Iran, especially not a unilateral one (my emphasis):

A slim majority (51%) opposes UN authorization of a military strike against Iran’s nuclear energy facilities, with a substantial minority (45%) supporting such action. A far broader majority (70%) opposes a unilateral strike by the United States if Iran continues to enrich uranium but the Security Council does not authorize a military strike. 

That means even some of those Americans who think Iran is hellbent on developing weapons—or that Iran already has them—don’t support an attack.

Americans aren’t that keen on the idea of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program either: 59 percent of respondents to the Chicago Council said the U.S. shouldn’t commit military forces to help Israel in the event that an Israeli initiated-strike touches off a broader conflict. Nearly four-in-ten said the U.S. should jump in.

Now a majority of Americans are tired of mid east wars.  Obama’s refusal to go along with Netanyahu  is probably one of the reasons  he leads Romney on Foreign Policy and defense.  Romney continues to mimic the neoconservatives and Netanyahu at his own risk.

h/t Doug Mataconis

Cross posted at Middle Earth Journal.

Photo: Mikhail Levit /

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Copyright 2012 The Moderate Voice
  • cjjack

    I’d hazard a guess that Bibi is counting less on Americans’ willingness to strike Iran than he is counting on America’s leaders’ unwillingness to stand neutral regarding Israel when THEY strike Iran.

    Of course Americans are tired of wars in the Middle East, and they don’t want another, but once Israel has got the ball rolling (an attack, followed by the inevitable response from Iran) Bibi knows that it will be much harder for the present administration or the next to simply stand by while poor, helpless Israel is menaced by the awesome military might of Iran (pardon the sarcasm).

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    Many US citizens’ feeling/thought toward Israel seems to have changed dramatically. Boatloads of post-holocaust people arriving in new state of Israel brought much sympathy vs Israel bulldozing countless homes of others who had lived on the banks for time out of mind–and other public matters of choices by Israel’s government leaders– have eroded, i think, most all the highly sympathetic capital Israel once had in terms of what people had thought would be a peaceful re-entry.

    Just my .02. It’s far more complicated to say it all here. However, the obscenely wealthy Jewish man who is funding so much of Romney’s campaign
    (and claims he wll spend whatever ka-jillions it takes to get Mitt elected), and the large dinner he manipulated for Romney in Israel whilst barring the media… for me, tells me how matters are being positioned.

    Romney= ally. Obama =not so much. But prob Obama is more representative of many Americans’ thoughts about modern day Israel being what some see as highly provocative and then getting heat for it… and wanting USA to be ally. Reality: Prob not without huge protest by US citizens who are sick of paying through the nose endlessly financially so our young can go take their chances to live or die halfway across the world.

  • bluebelle

    Agree with Dr. E.

    Bibi also received assistance from Adelson , the billionaire who is getting Mitt elected, and who introduced him to Bibi last month. This red line bs must have been hatched then, because I think its fairly unusual to have any foreign leader try to influence the outcome of a US election.

    Romney has stated that he wants to add 2 trillion to defense over the next decade, and also add more navy warships and 100,000 troops to our ground forces. Um why do all that if another ME war is not in the cards??

    Cynical me thinks that the GOP wants a chronic state of war and works actively against peace, and that these Super Pacs with undisclosed donors may be defense contractors, oil companies, Blackwater, Halliburton and other entities that would stand to gain from a war with Iran. Not to mention wealthy people investing in these companies.

    Tell me, how does Romney expect to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, eliminate the estate tax, keep middle class taxes the same,
    pay for a trillion-dollar+ war with Iran and pay down the debt and deficit??
    What’s he going to do shut down every government agency and dept that works to help Americans and doesn’t contribute to the war effort??

    Ask yourself why the GOP wants a chronic state of war before you vote. Ask why they try so hard to portray Obama as a weak appeaser– as Obama seems to be going after terrorists, supporting nascent democracies, and generally trying to smooth things over in the region, so that we can extricate ourselves from these wars that are ruining our economy and straining our military.

  • zephyr

    I agree with the excellent comments above. Sorry to say, history suggests it won’t really matter what the American people think about it. We can only hope Obama is a lot smarter and a lot more truthful than GWB was when he and the neocons were itching to have their own (bogus) war. In any case, Israel has no business expecting the USA to save their assess if they are stupid enough to start a war with Iraq. We have MORE than enough problems that require our attention right here at home. And I think Dr E’s assessment of the American mood is right. Israel has squandered much of their American based sympathy by the way they have treated others. Of course we will be a good ally, but that shouldn’t include a deliberate effort to manipulate us into going to war with Iran – a war that could easily expand in a nightmarish way.

  • First, I heard him tossing out all these American football analogies during his interview, and was thinking “wow, was he coached for this or what?”

    Second, it seems like he’s taking a real big risk here. Obama is ahead in the polls. What if he wins re-election? How will the Israelis take “Bibi’s” interference? How will Obama? It seems like a head of state inserting himself in the middle of another country’s democratic election is fraught with danger.

  • Rcoutme

    I watched the interview. To be fair to the Israeli PM, he would NOT take a partisan stance. He did, however, refute a Romney claim (when D.G. pressed him).

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