Poll: Americans strongly oppose Syrian intervention
This Reuters poll was conducted before the chemical attack outside of Damascus, but as you'll see, even the prospect of the Syrian government using WMD on its own people would not convince Americans that we should intervene in Syria:
Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria's civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if reports that Syria's government used deadly chemicals to attack civilians are confirmed, a Reuters/Ipsos poll says.
About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria's civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act.
More Americans would back intervention if it is established that chemical weapons have been used, but even that support has dipped in recent days - just as Syria's civil war has escalated and the images of hundreds of civilians allegedly killed by chemicals appeared on television screens and the Internet.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll, taken August 19-23, found that 25 percent of Americans would support U.S. intervention if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces used chemicals to attack civilians, while 46 percent would oppose it. That represented a decline in backing for U.S. action since August 13, when Reuters/Ipsos tracking polls found that 30.2 percent of Americans supported intervention in Syria if chemicals had been used, while 41.6 percent did not.
Taken together, the polls suggest that so far, the growing crisis in Syria, and the emotionally wrenching pictures from an alleged chemical attack in a Damascus suburb this week, may actually be hardening many Americans' resolve not to get involved in another conflict in the Middle East.
The results - and Reuters/Ipsos polling on the use-of-chemicals question since early June - suggest that if Obama decides to undertake military action against Assad's regime, he will do so in the face of steady opposition from an American public wary after more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I think it's more than just Americans opposed to another war in the Middle East. Americans are seeing the fruits of Obama's policies lately in Egypt and Iraq and realize there are no allies to support in these conflicts. It simply doesn't make any sense to intervene on one side or the other when all the parties involved hate us and want nothing to do with us.
Polls like this one won't stop Obama from intervening. But they may change the manner in which we intervene, with no prolonged air operation and definitely no foot soldiers. The rest of the world may have to get along without us on this one.