News / USA

ISIS Beheadings Could Spur US Public Support for Military Response

An image grab taken from a video released by the Islamic State (IS) and identified by private terrorism monitor SITE Intelligence Group purportedly shows U.S. freelance writer Steven Sotloff dressed in orange and on his knees in a desert landscape speaking to the camera before being beheaded by a masked militant (R), Sept. 2, 2014.
An image grab taken from a video released by the Islamic State (IS) and identified by private terrorism monitor SITE Intelligence Group purportedly shows U.S. freelance writer Steven Sotloff dressed in orange and on his knees in a desert landscape speaking to the camera before being beheaded by a masked militant (R), Sept. 2, 2014.

As the Obama administration weighed in heavily on Wednesday with stern warnings to Islamic State militants, some U.S. lawmakers are demanding extensive air attacks while others are taking a more measured response.

The rhetoric could help spur U.S. public support for a military response, analysts say.

U.S. President Barack Obama talks during a press conference at the Bank of Estonia in Tallinn, Estonia, Sep. 3, 2014.U.S. President Barack Obama talks during a press conference at the Bank of Estonia in Tallinn, Estonia, Sep. 3, 2014.
x
U.S. President Barack Obama talks during a press conference at the Bank of Estonia in Tallinn, Estonia, Sep. 3, 2014.
U.S. President Barack Obama talks during a press conference at the Bank of Estonia in Tallinn, Estonia, Sep. 3, 2014.

President Barack Obama told reporters in Estonia that the U.S. intends to build a coalition to “degrade and destroy” Islamic State militants. Obama spoke after U.S. officials confirmed the veracity of a video that showed the beheading of an American journalist held captive by Islamic State militants.

Speaking in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Vice President Joe Biden said of IS: “We will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice because hell is where they will reside.”

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a likely contender for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2016, spoke too in tough language to a conservative conference in Dallas a few days ago.

‘“ISIS says they want to go back and reject modernity,” he said. “Well, I think we should help them. We ought to bomb them back to the Stone Age!”

Other lawmakers are urging a more cautious approach and appear willing to give the Obama administration more time to formulate a comprehensive strategy for dealing with ISIS.  

"It takes time to build a coalition.  We can’t simply bomb first and ask questions later," said Congressman Adam Smith, a Democrat from Washington State who appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation. "We have to have the right targets and the right support in order to be effective in stopping ISIS.”

Sotloff’s death and the previous beheading of American journalist James Foley have angered many Americans and that in turn could spur public opinion in support of military strikes against the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.

Sotloff was a native of Florida and state Governor Rick Scott took the unusual step of interrupting a campaign event to announce the reporter's death and condemn those responsible.

“The people who did this are evil. They are not merely wrong. They are not adversaries," he said. "They are evil.”

But so far there has been little domestic public polling on the threat posed by ISIS and what the U.S. should do about it.

A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll taken before the Sotloff murder found Americans split on the question of whether to intervene in Iraq. Twenty-nine percent said the U.S. should not intervene. Twenty-one percent said the U.S. should launch airstrikes to support the Iraqi government, while 22 percent said they didn’t know what the response should be.

Karlyn Bowman, who monitors U.S. public opinion at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said many Americans are likely to see Islamic State as a threat worthy of some form of military response.  

“Over the course of the summer clearly we saw reluctance to get very involved in the situation in the Middle East,” she said. “We’ve certainly seen a lot of polls. But this represents such a clear danger and with members of Congress and the president talking about how clear the danger is I think public opinion will follow.”

Bowman also said the gruesome nature of the beheading videos of the two American journalists leads to outrage among the public and a greater determination to support actions that target the terrorists.

“The nature of the images, just the discussions and being able to hear these people’s voices, it has a very, very powerful effect on public opinion,” she said.

But public support is not likely to extend to the use of U.S. ground troops, said Ohio State expert John Mueller. Mueller has written extensively about the reluctance of the American public to commit ground forces in the wake of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.  

“Efforts that are pinprick-like and supportive and do not cost American lives might find a certain amount of tolerance but not anything bigger than that,” he said. “The American public seems to be overwhelmingly fed up with getting into these foreign wars and there is intense wariness about getting involved with ground troops.”

The public will have plenty of opportunities to express itself in the weeks ahead.

Congress returns to Washington next week and the U.S. response to the threat posed by Islamic State is likely to be a central focus of debate. Some lawmakers are already urging the president to seek congressional approval before launching a wider military campaign against the extremist group.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: bob van riezen from: grimsby ontario
September 03, 2014 5:53 PM
It is interesting that there is a reluctance to support military involvement, however this group hiding behind religious names is evil through and through. Hitlers goons were attracted to the idea that they could beat and eventually murder with impunity. This group is attracted to torture and terrorize and have nothing to with Muslim or Islamic thinking. People who need to hide their face or talk about war without uniforms and killing indiscriminately are subhuman and need to be removed.


by: Angel Nazario from: 23 Hitchcock rd Worc, MA
September 03, 2014 5:06 PM
Should have been done right the first time, send the troops in & let them finish it!

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