News / USA

    Voters in US Heartland Wary of Military Action in Syria

    Voters in US Heartland Are Wary of Military Action in Syriai
    X
    September 06, 2013 12:10 AM
    As President Barack Obama seeks authorization from Congress for U.S. military strikes on Syria, voters in the U.S. are expressing concerns about another engagement in the Middle East. Though a possible military strike is on the minds of many voters, VOA's Kane Farabaugh learned it's not necessarily the top issue in their discussions with members of Congress still on recess in their home districts.
    As President Barack Obama seeks authorization from Congress for U.S. military strikes on Syria, voters in the U.S. are expressing concerns about another engagement in the Middle East. Though a possible military strike is on the minds of many voters, it's not necessarily the top issue in their discussions with members of Congress still on recess in their home districts.
     
    The rural farmlands of Indiana seem about as far away from Syria as most Americans get.
     
    In many ways, life here doesn't change much. The passage of time is marked by how tall the crops are growing.
     
    At the heart of this farmland is Greentown, population under 2,500.
     
    Local U.S. Air Force veteran Robert Millspaugh calls it “a very secure little town.”
     
    It has a business district awash with flags, no surprise given the town’s strong connection to the U.S. military.
     
    “There are many World War I and II vets here, a lot of people in Vietnam who have served are here, and then the current wars, many are here from that as well,” says Millspaugh.
     
    Which explains why many here are war-weary.

    “I am,” says Millspaugh. “I would like to be able to go, if we go into a war. I would like to be able to go in and win and come home, and that’s not easily done now.”
     
    “It absolutely is a war-weary part of the country,” says freshman Republican Representative Susan Brooks, within whose congressional district Greentown falls. “I think the entire country is weary of war,” she adds.
     
    Brooks is in Greentown to meet one-on-one with voters like Karen Swann to understand their concerns. A U.S. military strike against Syria doesn't appear to be one of them. 
     
    “That’s in Syria, and we’re here dealing with our day-to-day issues," says Swann.
     
    Brooks says she hears more here about the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, calling it by far the biggest issue.
     
    Karen Swann says just because the debate over U.S. military action in Syria is not prominent at her meeting with Brooks doesn't mean people are insensitive to the plight of the Syrian people.
     
    “It says a little bit that we think we need to mind our business for one thing, and not be the caretaker of the world. But I don’t think that we are insensitive to the people in Syria. I just think we are tired of taking care of the world’s problems,” says Swann.
     
    Brooks says that even far beyond Greentown this seems to be the prevailing attitude.

    “There is certainly a sentiment across the country against intervening in Syria… However, I believe it is incumbent upon the president - and then will be with respect to the Congress if we would vote to strike - to explain to the American people, and do a far better job explaining what the American interest is.”
     
    A vote on U.S. military action could come soon after Congress reconvenes September 9.

    Kane Farabaugh

    Kane Farabaugh is the Midwest Correspondent for Voice of America, where since 2008 he has established Voice of America's presence in the heartland of America.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora