Jewish Journal


What Americans Really Think About Syria- Part 4

by Shmuel Rosner

June 2, 2013 | 7:11 am

A Free Syrian Army soldier standing next to a rebel flag, Aleppo, May 29, 2013, photo by Reuters

In parts 1 and 2 and 3 of “what Americans really think about Syria” we concluded, based on several polls, that “Obama is on safe ground as he decides to ignore the red line he drew, a line he didn’t quite intend to draw”. Even though the last update was from last Thursday, a new poll, from Friday (Gallup) gives us a reason for yet another update. It will be short.

Gallup found that "Sixty-eight percent of Americans say the United States should not use military action in Syria to attempt to end the civil war there if diplomatic and economic efforts fail, while 24% would favor U.S. military involvement". But as we were thinking about adding Gallup's numbers to our table, choosing the right category wasn't easy. Gallup asked:

Suppose all economic and diplomatic efforts fail to end the civil war in Syria. If that happens, do you think the United States should – or should not – use military action to attempt to end the conflict?

We don't have a category of "military action". We have – in our table of polls – "air strikes", "sending troops" and "become involved". So basically, thinking about the new poll and the table, we tried to imagine the respondents' perceptions as they answer Gallup's question. After some hesitation, we decided to add the new round to the more general "become involved" category. It fits in nicely, and shows that the numbers haven't changed much in recent weeks – about a quarter of Americans would like to see American action in Syria, close to seventy percent wouldn't.

Here's the updated table-


The Poll/ question

YouGov, April 30

Reuters, May 1

Pew, April 28

NYT-CBS, April 28

CNN-ORC, May 17-18

FoxNews, May 18-20

Gallup, May 28-29

Aid to rebels

12% (51% no)







Air strikes

16% (49% no)







Sending troops

5% (68% no)







Become involved


10% (61% no)


24% (62%)


23% (68% no)

24% (68% no)

If chemicals are used


27% (44% no)

45% (31% no)


66% (30% not justified)



Were chemicals used?

40% (6% no)








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