News / USA

Poll: Americans Wary of Possible Syria Strike

Skepticism Grows in US Over Military Strike Against Syriai
X
August 30, 2013 10:45 PM
With Americans weary over more than a decade of war, and strong memories of the faulty intelligence that led to the invasion of Iraq, skepticism appears to be growing about the proposed military attack on Syria. Polls show a majority of Americans are firmly opposed to such a move. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has more from Washington.
VIDEO: Surveys show majority of Americans firmly opposed as years of war cast long shadow over decisions by White House.
Meredith Buel
With Americans weary over more than a decade of war, and strong memories of the faulty intelligence that led to the invasion of Iraq, skepticism appears to be growing about the proposed military attack on Syria.  Polls show a majority of Americans are firmly opposed to such a move.

It was called “shock and awe,” the application of massive military force designed to overwhelm the Iraqi military in 2003. Necessary, U.S. officials said, because of concern about weapons of mass destruction and a desire to end the conflict quickly.

It took until the final days of 2011, though, before the last American troops left Iraq, where an insurgency continues to rage.

The war in Afghanistan has lasted even longer, and American troops continue to fight the Taliban.

And now in Syria… with hundreds dead from apparent chemical weapons, America is considering another attack in the Middle East.

U.S. Military Assets - August 30, 2013U.S. Military Assets - August 30, 2013
x
U.S. Military Assets - August 30, 2013
U.S. Military Assets - August 30, 2013
But surveys show many Americans oppose such a move.

David Schenker of the Washington Institute said, “We are war weary. We have gone through Iraq, we have gone through Afghanistan, we have spent blood and treasure. Most people in the United States want to focus on rebuilding the economy here and not get entangled in a foreign embroilment.”

Recent polls show about 60 percent of Americans oppose a U.S. military strike on Syria, while just nine percent support it.

Quinnipiac University pollster Peter Brown said, “They are very much set against the notion of U.S. troops there, or any U.S. aid except for weapons that would not endanger any American lives, such as a cruise missile or a drone strike.”

There is stiff opposition from close allies like Britain.  

“There seems to be a certain rush to war, a rush to use military hardware against the Assad regime," said James Boys of London’s King’s College. "There doesn’t appear to be any obvious justification as to why this may be.”

Just before the start of the Iraq war then-Secretary of State Colin Powell made a detailed presentation to the U.N. Security Council. But the intelligence about Iraq’s weapons programs turned out to be wrong.

"In the wake of the Iraq war, where weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological, possibly nuclear weapons, were the rationale for the war, and it turned out that [former Iraqi leader] Saddam Hussein did not have them, I think that there's going to be a lot of skepticism in the United States, but also abroad," said Bryan Bender of the Boston Globe.

So years of war and skepticism about intelligence are casting a long shadow over decisions by the White House regarding the civil war in Syria.

  • In this citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network, ENN, Syrians search under rubble to rescue people from houses that were destroyed by a Syrian government warplane in Idlib province, August 30, 2013.
  • In this citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network, ENN, smoke rises after explosives were dropped by a Syrian government warplane in Idlib province, August 30, 2013.
  • In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, U.N. investigators gather potential evidence in a Damascus suburb, August 28, 2013.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by the United media office of Arbeen shows Syrians moving a man who was allegedly exposed to chemical weapons to show him to U.N. investigators in a Damascus suburb, August 28, 2013.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by the United media office of Arbeen shows U.N. investigators in a suburb of Damascus, August 28, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they escort U.N. vehicles carrying chemical weapons experts at the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb, August 28, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters deploy in Aleppo's town of Khanasir after seizing it, August 26, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters inspect munitions and a tank that belonged to forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad after they seized Khanasir, August 26, 2013.
  • A U.N. chemical weapons expert gathers evidence at site of an alleged poison gas attack in a southwestern Damascus suburb, August 26, 2013.
  • An image grab taken from a video posted by Syrian activists purportedly shows a U.N. inspector speaking to a man in a Damascus suburb, August 26, 2013.
  • U.N. chemical weapons experts visit a hospital where wounded people affected by a suspected gas attack are being treated, in a southwestern Damascus suburb, August 26, 2013.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: bob from: canada
August 31, 2013 6:33 PM
Obama will do whatever his bosses, the WALL ST UNTOUCHABLES order him to do...same as in Canada and most so called democracies...
Time to build GUILLOTINES

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs