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Monday, June 17, 2013

Pew: More Americans than ever oppose arming Syrian rebels, 'let Allah sort it out'

It's not that the American people love Bashar al-Assad or even want to see him stay in power. It's that they - like many Israelis are not convinced that the Syrian rebels are going to be any better.

A newly released Pew poll shows that 70% of Americans oppose arming the Syrian rebels (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). That's up from 65% in December 2012 and 63% in March 2012. While most Americans agree that the US should help people who are opposing an authoritarian regime, an overwhelming majority (60-25) don't believe that the rebels would be any better than Bashar al-Assad, while only a bare plurality (49-46) believes that the US has a moral obligation to do what it can to 'stop the violence.' And there's very little partisan divide here - this is not a 'wedge issue.'
There is very little partisan divide in attitudes about the conflict in Syria. Majorities of independents (74%), Republicans (71%) and Democrats (66%) oppose the U.S. and its allies sending arms and military supplies to anti-government groups in Syria.
Nearly identical majorities of Democrats (69%), independents (69%) and Republicans (68%) also believe that U.S. military forces are too overcommitted to get involved in another conflict. Independents (66%) and Republicans (64%) are most concerned that the opposition groups in Syria may be no better than the current government, but 52% of Democrats also agree with this statement.
By a 58%-38% margin, more Democrats agree than disagree that the U.S. has a moral obligation to do what it can to stop the violence in Syria. Republicans are split with 49% saying the U.S. has a moral obligation to do what it can to stop the violence, and 48% saying it does not have this responsibility. Most independents (53%) disagree that the U.S. has a moral obligation to stop the violence in Syria.
The survey, conducted from Wednesday, June 12 through Sunday, June 16, found no significant trend in opinion about Syria over the course of the five nights of fieldwork. In the first two nights of interviewing 69% opposed arming Syrian rebels, in the final three nights of fieldwork 71% were opposed.
In fact, most Americans don't seem to care a whole lot about what's going on in Syria. Perhaps Sarah Palin got it right and best reflects how Americans feel about what's going on in Syria.

Let's go to the videotape.

Read the whole thing

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