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Americans wary of Syria intervention



Published: Tue, August 27, 2013 @ 1:42 p.m.

Americans wary of Syria intervention

As the U.S. weighs a response to Syria, recent polling has shown Americans largely opposed to military action and few paying close attention to the ongoing conflict. But that could change with the Syrian government’s use of what the Obama administration says were chemical weapons.

No polling has been conducted on the public’s views of Syria since that government was accused of using chemical weapons. But the trend lines against military action have been clear:

- Seventy percent told Pew Research Center pollsters in June that they opposed sending arms and military supplies to anti-government groups in Syria. That poll was conducted around the time the Obama administration announced it would be providing military aid to the anti-government forces.

- An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released earlier in June showed that two-thirds of Americans preferred that the U.S. provide only humanitarian assistance or take no action, compared with just a quarter who favored either providing arms or taking military action.

- A Gallup survey in May found 68 percent thought the U.S. should not intervene militarily to end the conflict should economic and diplomatic efforts to end it fail.

Even with that consensus, a Washington Post/ABC News poll in December suggested that the government’s use of chemical weapons against its own people could change public opinion. In that poll, just 17 percent thought the U.S. military should get involved in the conflict as it was at the time, but 63 percent said they would support military intervention if the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its people.


Comments

1Attis(829 comments)posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

There is absolutely no evidence or confirmation that the Assad government carried out the alleged chemical attack.
United Nations weapons inspectors are in Syria at the direct REQUEST of the Syrian government to prove that they have not used chemical weapons. The attack took place a mere ten miles away from the inspection team, on the very day they arrived.
Carla Del Ponte, a United Nations Human Rights investigator, has stated that the Syrian government has not used chemical weapons but the rebels have.
In May, 12 members of the Syrian rebel forces were arrested in Turkey. The rebels possessed 4.5 pounds of Sarin, the neurotoxin gas alleged to have been used in the recent attack.
In January, the "Daily Mail", a prominent British newspaper, reported that the Syrian rebels were planning a chemical attack which they would blame on the Syrian government in order to justify U.S. intervention. The report was based on leaked emails from military contractors.
The Syrian rebels are receiving direct weapons and funding from the United States, despite their record of atrocities including rape, murder, and torture. The U.N. has reported that they are actively recruiting young children, in addition to other violations of international law.
The Assad government has fully cooperated with the weapons inspection teams.
Members of the United Nations inspection team have openly stated their doubts about the chemical attack. Dr. Ake Sellstrom, the leader of the team, called the reports of the alleged attack "suspicious".
Reports on the attack are extremely inconsistent. Some reports said over 1,300 were killed. Other reports have said less than 200. Still other reports say over 350. The numbers are unclear and totally unsubstantiated.
The report being circulated by "Doctors Without Borders" is not based on their own information, but based on reports they received from a Syrian rebel group by their own admission.
Videos of the alleged attack were posted on the internet by allies of the Syrian rebels, BEFORE the attack took place.
The credibility of the video of the alleged chemical attack is being widely questioned by chemical weapons experts. The victims are not displaying the proper symptoms of having been struck by a Sarin nerve gas. The people shown treating them are not wearing proper equipment.
The U.S. is currently urging the U.N. weapons inspection team to halt its work. The U.N. weapons inspectors insist that they must be allowed to continue their investigations and to determine actual facts.

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