IN ALL the ramped up rhetoric over Syria, the question is not just what should Obama do about it, but also how much support does he have in the American public to launch military action?
Eli Lake has a post up today that will give you pause.
A recent New York Times/CBS poll presents real issues for Obama on Syria, but also the neoconservatives in the Republican Party who simply won’t take a hint.
While the public does not support direct military action in those two countries right now, a broad 70 percent majority favors the use of remotely piloted aircraft, or drones, to carry out bombing attacks against terrorism suspects in foreign countries.
Sixty-two percent of the public say the United States has no responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria between government forces and antigovernment groups, while just one-quarter disagree. Likewise, 56 percent say North Korea is a threat that can be contained for now without military action, just 15 percent say the situation requires immediate American action and 21 percent say the North is not a threat at all.
Interesting statistics on drone use, isn’t it.
What’s really alarming about the NYTimes/CBS poll is this headline: Poll Shows Isolationist Streak in Americans.
This is traditional media at its worst.
The New York Times cannot distinguish between isolationism and intelligent anti-inverventionism. Looking at the Bush administration’s ineptitude at utilizing American military power, is it any wonder the American public wants to stay well away from getting involved?
AtlanticWire pulls some analysis from the polling:
In an interesting wrinkle, however, the poll also asked how closely the respondents were following the news. Sixty percent said they aren’t following it closely at all. Yet among the measly 10 percent who say they are following the news “closely,” 47 percent agree that the U.S. has a responsibility to act. If you’re actually aware of the ongoing atrocities, chances are more likely (though still not great) that you think America needs to do something. (In a Pew Research poll released yesterday, 45 percent of those polled said they favored U.S. military action if proof of chemical weapons use is found, but none of those survey takers were really paying attention either.)
Dissecting it on a clear and present danger path, North Korea is no threat to the United States. As for Syria, the world community cannot allow Bashar Assad to commit additional war crimes with impunity by poisoning the population through chemical weapons.
Obama’s Libya model has to be percolating in his mind.
Besieged on all fronts, lame Duck being lobbed, President Obama has lost on gun background checks, there are whispers about 2014 and Obamacare abandonment by Democrats, with Karl Rove smacking his lips at Republicans taking the Senate.
A foreign policy win like taking out the Assad regime is just what the political doctor might order.