Nums: Low public support for military action in Syria … and a historical reference point.

Recent polls have indicated that there is very low public support for military action against Syria.

Gallup says that 68% of Americans say the United States should not use military action in Syria to attempt to end the civil war there.



Ditto a Reuters/Ipsos poll that says “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,”

More specifically, “about 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought military action should be taken.”

A historical context puts an interesting paint job on these numbers …


Remember the Iraq War … the unpopular one … the one that everyone says that they opposed from the get-go?

Well, guess what?

Back in 2003 … at a comparable point to where we stand today re: Syria … 72% of Americans favored military action against Iraq.

According to Gallup

72% of Americans  in a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll favor the war against Iraq, while 25% are opposed.

Approval levels for the concept of war had been running in the high 50% range in the months leading up to last week’s initial actions.

Support increased to 66%  after President Bush made his “ultimatum” speech in which he pledged military action if Saddam Hussein did not leave Iraq, and jumped as high as 76% on [rior to the start of the military action.

The level of support for the war against Iraq is slightly more muted than was the case just after the first Persian Gulf War began in January 1991.

At that time, 80% of Americans supported the decision to begin the air war in the effort to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait.



These days, it’s hard to find anybody who’ll admit that – at the time – they thought invading Iraq was a good idea.


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2 Responses to “Nums: Low public support for military action in Syria … and a historical reference point.”

  1. Andrew L.Andrew L Says:

    It is definitely “integrity check” time, and therefore also a good time to figure out who is actually a serious person.

    For example, if you were for intervening in Iraq and now against intervening in Syria, you’d better have a really good explanation of the differences. (Gold star if you admit what we learned from going into Iraq).

    If you were against intervening in Iraq and now for intervening in Syria, you’d also better be prepared to explain how – in the context of two long, vastly expensive wars – a third war now seems like a good idea.

    The right answer is – I think at 11:15 on 8/28 – that we say, “This is a giant suck sandwich. The only way we are going to choke it down is by convincing everyone else in the world (starting with the Arab League) to take a big bite.” Because if you think that it is fairly easy to replace a strongman with a new government, I’d turn your attention to Egypt.

  2. John Carpenter Says:

    I wonder who we are helping if we intervene in Syria and if anyone on either side really like the US? I think not.

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