If other countries such as Great Britain and France participated, support rose to 46 percent, but 51 percent still opposed attacks. And here’s a surprising finding: A whopping 70 percent of Americans in this poll said they oppose the United States and its allies supplying weapons to the Syrian rebels.
As far as the American people are concerned, that finding knocks the legs out from under the argument by Sen. John McCain and others of like mind that arming the “moderate rebels” is the course to take for ousting dictator Assad and ending the bloody civil war going into its third year.
Another poll taken last week by the Pew Research Center showed 48 percent opposed U.S. air strikes against Syria and 29 percent in favor, while 23 percent didn’t know if strikes should be launched. The poll showed the strongest opposition from independents (50 percent against) and Democrats (48 percent against), while 40 percent of Republicans opposed. However, there was little support across the board for an attack on Syria. The results: Republicans, 35 percent for, Democrats and independents, both 29 percent for.
The Pew poll went deeper, finding that an overwhelming 74 percent of Americans said U.S. air strikes in Syria are likely to set off a backlash against the U.S. and its allies in the region. And 61 percent think an attack would probably lead to a long-term U.S. military commitment in Syria. Oh, no. On top of that, 51 percent do not think air strikes would be effective in discouraging further use of chemical weapons, versus just 33 percent who believe they would likely achieve that objective.
The problem for Obama among his Democrat base was demonstrated in a Washington Post posting by a reader who wrote:
“It’s a pretty sad day when a liberal Democrat like myself has to write my *Republican congressman* to ask him to help block a rush to war by the Democrat president I helped elect. So very Not Happy ... I voted for Obama so he would end Bush’s wars, not start more. I really wish he would have thought of how many of his constituents would feel totally betrayed by this Syria thing, before he (h)opened his mouth ... If it weren’t for the Iraq & Afghan wars & peaceniks voting for Obama, Romney would have probably won. This Syria thing is idiocy.”
It’s clear that a majority of Americans oppose their government attacking the Syrian regime despite its use of a chemical weapon on civilians, including women and children. It’s not clear that a majority of the people’s representatives in Congress agree with the people.