Late last month, only 9 percent of Americans supported a U.S. intervention in Syria even if chemical weapons attacks were confirmed, according to a Reuters/IPSOS poll. Just over a week later, after the gauntlet of pro-war propaganda from the Obama administration, Congressional leaders, and the media, that number is up to 29 percent, according to Pew. Still a minority, but nowhere near as small.
That is a testament to the power of propaganda and the sway of political partisans. It’s worth noting that the process is still ongoing, as we await the Congress’s vote on the authorization of the use of force.
Up to 74 percent of Americans expect a backlash against the U.S. and its allies if the Obama administration intervenes; 61 percent believe it will lead to a long-term military commitment in Syria, despite administration denials on that score; and only 33 percent believe the bombings will actually be effective in discouraging the use of chemical weapons.
Those are extraordinary numbers, especially in the sense that they pretty accurately reflect expert opinion. Earlier today, I wrote that the RAND Corp. published a study concluding that bombings are unlikely to effectively protect civilians and run the risk of instigating a regional war and greater U.S. involvement.