President Obama promised Tuesday that his plan to attack Syria is “proportional, it is limited, it does not involve boots on the ground.”
If he sounds a bit like a salesman, it may be because polls show tremendous opposition to military action, even if it’s just an airstrike and even if the Syrian government used chemical weapons.
Pew Research spoke to 1,000 adults over the weekend, and found that 48 percent of Americans opposed military action, while only 29 percent were in favor. Seventy-four percent of those surveyed said an attack was “likely to create a backlash against the United States and its allies in the region,” and 61 percent agreed an attack would lead to a long-term military commitment. A majority, 53 percent, said there is clear evidence that the Syrian government gassed its own civilians, but only 32 percent said the president has explained clearly why the U.S. needs to launch airstrikes.
A separate Washington Post-ABC News poll found an even larger proportion, 59 percent, opposed airstrikes and 70 percent were against giving weapons to Syrian rebels.