U.N. chemical weapons inspectors at a hospital near Damascus on Monday.
On Tuesday, the White House reiterated that there is “very little doubt” the Syrian government broke international arms control agreements and used chemical weapons against rebel forces last week.
“It is not around the question of whether the Syrian regime is responsible,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said. “It is around the question of what is the appropriate response to this clear violation of international norms.”
President Obama is weighing intervention, and the military is “ready to go.” In an Aug. 13 poll by Reuters/Ipsos, more than 30% of Americans said they supported intervention if it was proven Syria used chemical weapons. But on Saturday — two weeks after the original poll and three days after the weapons were apparently used — the same pollers found that only 9% of Americans think Obama should act.
As Salon points out, comparing this astonishingly low level of support to other unpopular ideas or events in history isn’t exactly sound. But it’s worth putting the number in context.
At this moment, U.S. intervention in Syria is less popular than …
1. Congress in August 2012.
Just 10% of Americans approved of Congress’ performance that month.
2. Lindsay Lohan in 2007.
In the year of her two DUI charges, LiLo had 14% of Americans feel “somewhat sympathetic” and 3% feel “very sympathetic” toward her.
11% find polygamy morally acceptable, according to a 2011 Gallup poll.
A Rasmussen Report found that 11% of Americans believed communism was a better alternative to our system of politics and economics in 2011.
5. Gun laws right after the Sandy Hook school shooting.
According to a January 2013 Gallup poll, 12% are “very satisfied” and 31% are “somewhat satisfied” with current gun policies.
6. North Korea.
A March 2013 Gallup poll found that 12% of Americans view North Korea favorably.
In an Aug. 15 Pew study, 15% of respondents said they think having an abortion is morally acceptable.
8. Richard Nixon right before his resignation.
He had a 22% Gallup approval rating in August 1974.
9. The Vietnam War.
In November 2000, 24% of Americans said the Vietnam War was not a mistake.
10. The TSA.
In August 2012, 54% said they thought the Transportation Security Administration was doing either an “excellent” or “good” job.