News / USA

Americans Express Skepticism About Syria Strikes

Americans Express Skepticism About Syria Strikesi
X
September 05, 2013 10:38 AM
Much of the world is watching and waiting to see whether the United States will respond to the chemical weapons attack that killed more than 1,400 Syrians, including hundreds of children. President Barack Obama and some leading lawmakers are calling for a military strike. But despite the horror, many Americans seem unconvinced that U.S. airstrikes will do much good. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.

Americans Express Skepticism About Syria Strikes

Much of the world is watching and waiting to see whether the United States will respond to the chemical weapons attack that killed more than 1,400 Syrians, including hundreds of children.  President Barack Obama and some leading lawmakers are calling for a military strike.  But despite the horror, many Americans seem unconvinced that U.S. airstrikes will do much good.  
 
In Washington, the political wheels have been turning. President Obama has been meeting with lawmakers and sending key Cabinet members to Congress to make the case for a military response.
 
But across much of America, where summer vacations have ended and kids are heading back to school, many people are weary.
 
"We've been in perpetual wars.  It's just one ends, another starts," one man said. 
 
"Strategic military attacks were going to happen in Iraq, and we’re still there 10 years later, and it bankrupted the country," noted another man. "So, why go through that again?"
 
That reluctance to get involved in Syria is clear in the latest polls.
 
A Washington Post / ABC News poll finds 59 percent of Americans oppose U.S. missile strikes on Syria compared to 36 percent in favor.
 
Another poll, by the Pew Research Center, finds 48 percent of Americans opposing strikes with only 29 percent in favor.
 
But what if the U.S. doesn't go it alone and has help from other countries, like Britain or France? 
 
In that case, support for action rises to 46 percent, though more than half of Americans still say "no."
 
And despite the case being made by the president, for lots of people there are still too many ”what ifs”?
 
“Americans need to be sure of outcomes if we are going to become engaged in any kind of war,” explained independent pollster John Zogby.
 
For some in the U.S., taking action is a moral imperative.
  
"I don't think it’s right that we let this madman kill and pillage his country like he's doing," one man told VOA. 
 
Others say it's not that they don't care, but they don't think military strikes will help. 
 
"I’m concerned about it as a response, I doubt it would deter any future attacks," a woman said. 
 
"You know, are we trading one monster for a worse monster?" asked another bystander. 
 
Many Americans are urging their lawmakers to focus on other problems -- like the economy and health care -- which they feel might have a shot - however slim - of getting fixed.
 

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Frank from: Michigan
September 06, 2013 8:35 AM
Let's see if I have this right. We don't want foreign rulers doing in their subjects with chemicals, right? But we don't mind it too much if they bomb, shoot, or bayonet them in the streets. Genocide is fine, just don't use chemicals to carry it out. Do I got it right?


by: Ramnarayan from: Florida, USA
September 05, 2013 4:40 PM
Sadly these polls show how disconnect the US political leaders are from the public. In a democracy, the public opinion is supposed to mean something. In our system of govt. in contrast to our cousins across the Atlantic, our leaders dont have to bow to the public opinion. They continue to live in their own world and choose to ignore the majority wishes. The behavior we see with our politicians is what we expect from Iran, N. Korea and many other middle east kingdoms. If only our leaders have the courage to admit that they are bowing to the public despite their intentions, what a message we, the most powerful nation can send to the world. But, we need a different kind of politicians who thinks about the consequences of their actions long after they are gone rather than their legacy.


by: marc from: Pittsburgh PA
September 05, 2013 8:42 AM
Don't Americans have enough issues here at home? crime rates are higher than ever. Mad teenagers go shoot down entire classroom full of children. None in the senate could do anything about these.

Say we decide to attack Syria. How many more people are we going to kill to teach a lesson? how accurate will American Targets be? Will those kill only Bad guys? And above all, who is paying for those deadly fireworks?


by: Markt
September 05, 2013 8:41 AM
It is out of the hands of the American People, poll us all you want, it will not make a difference. The matter is now in the hands of 535 people who we hired to represent us, it is their decision. Our only hope is that those we elected to serve us in Congress will make the decisions we hope they will make, but, like every politician who ever sat in Congress, they have their own agendas and their own programs to think about first. Sadly, the welfare of those who hired them in the first place, takes second fiddle once they raise their hands and repeat after the judge who swore them into Office.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid