Ukraine, Syria, Anywhere: "We the People Here Don't Want a War"

May 8 2014, 3:30pm CDT | by

The late great 1960’s pop singer Bobby Darin hid away in Big Sur for months following the death of Robert Kennedy and revelations about his own life. In the process of finding himself and changing his music to more of a folk style, in 1969 he penned one of the great anti-Vietnam War anthems of the era, A Simple Song of Freedom:

Now no doubt some folks enjoy doin’ battle
Like presidents, prime ministers and kings
So let us build them shelves
Where they can fight among themselves
And leave the people be who like to sing./>/>/>/>

Come and sing a simple song of freedom
Sing it like you’ve never sung before
Let it fill the air, tell the people everywhere
We, the people here don’t want a war./>/>/>

It’s like a lot of Americans have just emerged from Big Sur because there is clearly no will to go to war. History will record that this is not an Obama Phenomenon but Americans still in the midst of the Post-Vietnam Era. Indeed, when Zogby International first began to do daily tracking among American voters a few weeks after the tragedy of 9-11, we found very strong support for launching a war on terror, but we tested intensity levels of support for such a war by adding hypothetical durations incrementally. Initially support for the war on terror was 91%. But if such a “war on terror” were to last 6 months to a year”, support fell to 77%? How about 1-2 years? 67%. What about more than 2 years? Down to 57%. And we were still in September 2001.

We were still doing daily tracking in the lead up to the War in Iraq in March 2003. Support and opposition for going to war were evenly split 48 hours before the beginning of the “shock and awe” bombing. Once American bombs and boots hit the ground, Americans rallied. They had learned another powerful lesson from Vietnam about abandoning fellow citizens who make extreme sacrifices in their name. But six weeks after the war began, support began to wane.

The flashpoints today are numerous and so are the horrible videos. How do human beings simply watch the events in Syria? The Ukraine? South Sudan? For God’s sake, the brazen kidnappings of schoolgirls in emerging Nigeria? And we sit there? Is there a failure in leadership? Should the President be making a stronger case for American-led interventions?

The facts are clear. The United States can become involved militarily only if certain conditions are met. Do we have sufficient resources to make a difference? Will our involvement make a difference? Will we make it better? Perhaps, above all, will it be quick? Those are very tough questions and they did not fly in Iraq, Afghanistan, or even Libya after a while. It is hard to find a positive response to any of the questions in Syria or Ukraine. Remember, when Ronald Reagan was faced with a similar situation in Lebanon after the bombing that killed 254 Marines, he chose instead to invade the island of Granada and pull out of Lebanon altogether.

But the real question is whether or not the American people will support it. And on this, a new poll by Zogby Analytics (893 likely voters, May 2-3) provides the haunting answers and questions.

“Do you agree or disagree that the United States should use whatever means it can to prevent Russia from establishing control over eastern Ukraine?”

Agree  — 29%
Disagree – 36%
Not Sure – 35%/>/>

This is one area where all parties are in lock step. Democrats are wary: 34% agree, 33% disagree, 33% are not sure; Republicans are wary 29% agree, 41% disagree, 30% are not sure; and independents are wary 23% agree, 36% disagree, and 40% are not sure. The poll shows no one group ready to serve as an anchor or a prod to other groups.

Is there anything America is ready to fight for?, The Economist asks in its latest issue. The Zogby Analytics poll has not found it yet.

I am sure, the “anything” would have to involve some direct threat to American lives and interests. And no case has been, nor perhaps can be, made for that.  So for now, in the words of Bobby Darin:

I say, let it fill the air, tell the people everywhere
We, the people here don’t want a war
/>/>

Bobby Darin – Simple Song Of Freedom Lyrics | MetroLyrics/>

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Copper essential for resting brain too
New York, Nov 27 (IANS) A new study has found that proper copper levels are essential to the health of the brain at rest.
 
 
Dogs clearly listen to what we say
London, Nov 27 (IANS) Dogs pay attention not only to who we are and how we say things, but also to what we say, shows a study.
 
 
Eye's 'glassy' proteins behind sight deterioration
London, Nov 27 (IANS) The age-related long-sightedness could be due to proteins in eye-lens that are converted from a fluid solution to a solid glassy state, making the lens more rigid, says a study.
 
 
Novel sound device to enhance wireless technology
New York, Nov 27 (IANS) Engineers have now developed a chip on which both sound waves and light waves are generated and confined together so that the sound can efficiently control the light.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Zenit keep hope alive with vital away win over Benfica
Lisbon, Nov 27 (IANS) Russian Premier League front-runners Zenit St. Petersburg gave themselves a realistic chance of qualifying for the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League for the second consecutive year after...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ex-lawmaker faces charge for plotting Venezualan president's murder
Caracas, Nov 27 (IANS) Former Venezuelan lawmaker Maria Corina Machado will be charged for her involvement in an assassination plot against President Nicolas Maduro. One of Maduro's fiercest adversaries, Machado was...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Modi, Nawaz shake hand, meet briefly at SAARC retreat
Kathmandu, Nov 27 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif Thursday shook hands and met briefly during the retreat at the Saarc Summit. "Yes, they have met and shook hands at the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Eye's 'glassy' proteins behind sight deterioration
London, Nov 27 (IANS) The age-related long-sightedness could be due to proteins in eye-lens that are converted from a fluid solution to a solid glassy state, making the lens more rigid, says a study. Around the age of...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Dortmund coach Klopp disappointed at loss to Arsenal
London, Nov 27 (IANS) Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp was disappointed after his team lost 0-2 to Arsenal in the Champions League at the Emirates Stadium here. "It took a while to get into the game. It was the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Novel sound device to enhance wireless technology
New York, Nov 27 (IANS) Engineers have now developed a chip on which both sound waves and light waves are generated and confined together so that the sound can efficiently control the light. The novel device platform...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Daily coffee may cut Alzheimer's risk by 20 percent
London, Nov 27 (IANS) Researchers have found that drinking up to five cups of coffee per day may help curb Alzheimer's risk by 20 percent. Caffeine in coffee helps prevent the formation of amyloid plaques and...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kindle Black Friday 2014 Deals Live Now
As expected Amazon will have a huge Black Friday sale on the Amazon Kindle eBook reader and the Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets. The Kindle Black Friday 2014 Deals are live now. Amazon will offer the Kindle Fire HD 6 for $79...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Mandzukic's hat-trick fires Atletico Madrid to pre-quarters
Madrid, Nov 27 (IANS) Atletico Madrid secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, thanks to a 4-0 win at home against Olympiacos at the Vicente Calderon Stadium here. Atletico kicked off the game...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Atletico Mineiro clinch their first Copa do Brasil title
Belo Horizonte, Nov 27 (IANS) Atletico Mineiro clinched their first Copa do Brasil title by defeating local rivals Cruziero 3-0 on aggregate in the two-legged final. Brazil international striker Diego Tardelli struck...
Read more on Sport Balla