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Poll: Why majority of Americans oppose action in Syria

Survey finds most believe Syria's conflict is not our concern.

By Rich_Maloof Sep 10, 2013 4:25PM

As President Barack Obama and Congress weigh military action against Syria for allegedly deploying chemical weapons, a poll reveals that Americans who oppose action believe that events in Syria are not the United States’ concern.

The Syrian American Forum holds a rally in front of the White House on Sept. 9 to protest against a strike on Syria (REX/Alyson Fligg)The poll conducted by Gallup surveyed 1,021 residents in all 50 states last week and found that 51 percent oppose action while 36 percent favor military involvement to reduce Syria’s ability to use chemical weapons.

The leading reason given by those opposing action was that Syria’s concerns are none of the United States’ business. Twenty-four percent of respondents against military action said the U.S. should mind its own affairs and leave Syria’s civil war to the Syrians. Another 19 percent felt the U.S. does not need to be involved in another war, is already over-involved, and needs to stop policing the world. 

Secondary justifications for nonintervention were led by the belief that action would not yield the intended result. Ten percent felt military action would not do any good, was not well planned out, and/or that the Syrian people “don’t even like us.”

Additional rationale included a fear of retaliation (8 percent) and concerns for the safety of American military (7 percent). Another 10 percent cited the economy, noting that the U.S. is already in debt. Seven percent flatly oppose all wars and military involvement on moral grounds.

The 36 percent of Gallup respondents in favor of action generally agree with President Obama’s rationale concerning the unacceptability of chemical weapons use. Twenty-six percent supported action on the basis that it would help prevent future chemical attacks and terrorism. A quarter of those in favor believe action is justified given the Syrian government’s treatment of its own people. 

Other leading reasons given for supporting military action were that chemical weapons should never be used (17 percent) and that strikes would help protect U.S. interests and keep America safe. In smaller numbers, supporters cited humanitarian and moral justifications (5 percent); concerns about the impact of Syria’s conflict on the Middle Eastern region and/or the international community (5 percent); an obligation by the U.S. to step in as a leading world power (4 percent); and support for the military, including the commander-in-chief (4 percent).

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Photo: The Syrian American Forum holds a rally in front of the White House on Monday, Sept. 9 to protest a strike on Syria (REX/Alyson Fligg)

Sep 11, 2013 6:18PM
I'd be more than happy to support my country and the values we have a leader in this world. So if it's grab a gun.... And yes we have the UN. But we are part of group and not a controlling factor in a weak group at best. (Russia and it's veto). SO I repeat as leader amongst nations a response and support of Syrians is not only a option, but a must if we are to stand up to ruthless regimes throughout the world.
Sep 11, 2013 4:24AM

Or better yet, if they don't stop this gas, and chemical weapons use, tell Assad that we are going to send Candy Crowley to do a nude table dance for him, that should pretty well take care of any future attacks.


Sep 11, 2013 4:22AM
Arm all those Arab countries to the teeth, and let the bastards kill each other, and if any of the run low on bullets, have plenty on hand to restock them A.S.A.P.
Sep 11, 2013 2:08AM
Just one question.Where did they get the gas in the first place?
Sep 11, 2013 2:02AM
i'm sorry if i offended the folks at msn but if you like, catch a ride on the next missile to outer space. With all the clowns in washington.
Sep 11, 2013 12:46AM
This civil war has been ongoing for several thousands of years. Obama hasn't done anything and he and his lemmings are running around claiming victory. Nothing has changed and nothing will change. But, to arrogantly run around claiming victory is absurd.  
Sep 11, 2013 12:41AM
Agree with many on the posts about the reasons we should not get involved. Additionally, is there any support to the belief that any factionist group will do what they say they are going to do, or abide by any sanctions/penalties for not abiding by the 'no chemical warfare rule? THey haven't in the past so why now?
We keep trying to 'enforce' an expectation that other countries will live in peace and adopt democracy and that has not and will not ever happen, for both political AND religious reasons in the middle east.
As for the President, his power to act alone is only if there is a credible threat to America.... The good news, because of the political dividing lines, we probably WON'T move ahead and in the long-run the right decision will be made in spite of it all. The bad news, the President will be able to 'blame' his dissidents if something doesn't go well in the future.
Sep 11, 2013 12:40AM



This forum of Comments is for people's opinions.  You do not have to like my opinion and it is obvious that you do not have any constructive opinion to add yourself; but Bush was the one who got us into war and never went after Osama Bin Laden.  Bush went after Saddam Hussein who was not the cause of 9/11 and the leader of his tribe.  Hussein was not a threat to our country ... Osama Bin Laden was.  However, Bush did not want Osama Bin Laden caught.  There is a book that was written by an American spy close to catching Bin Laden who was told to "abort" the mission.  Look it up and educate yourself.


Are you happy with the deficit the 2 wars caused our country?  Are you happy that Bush sidetracked our country by going after someone not friends with his family?  Are you happy that many American soldiers died for no cause (they were not fighting for our Freedom)?  Are you happy that many American soldiers came home maimed and wounded?


Oh! by the way, "curiosity killed the cat".  If you don't have anything constructive to say, you should keep your mouth shut because your ignorance comes through loud and clear.

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