Max Fisher writes in the Washington Post:
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll has finally found something that Americans like even less than Congress: the possibility of U.S. military intervention in Syria. Only 9 percent of respondents said that the Obama administration should intervene militarily in Syria…
A bit further down, he adds:
Strangely, 25 percent said that they support intervention if Assad uses chemical weapons. I say strangely because the United States announced way back in June that it believed Assad had done exactly this.
Is there something “strange” about the fact that Americans don’t unquestioningly swallow the U.S. government’s claims? “Encouragingly” would seem a more appropriate adverb here than “Strangely”. Not encouraging that a quarter of Americans would support a U.S. attack on Syria if it was proven that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons, since that would still be an illegal act of aggression, “the supreme international crime” under international law; but encouraging that Americans seem in this case not to be simply accepting as a matter of faith the government’s claims. This is an improvement from the government’s claims about Iraq’s WMD and the 70% of Americans who actually believed that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks.
Fisher offers insight into why he finds Americans’ skepticism inexplicable when he writes:
A large share of people who answered that the United States should intervene if Assad uses chemical weapons are apparently unaware that this line has already been crossed. Presumably, some number of these people would drop their support if they realized the question was no longer hypothetical.
His logic being: well, come on, people, the U.S. government already said Assad used chemical weapons, so it must be true! Fisher himself being one to accept the government’s claims unquestioningly, strictly as a matter of faith, it makes sense why he finds it “strange” that other Americans are a bit more skeptical.
Some people are just incapable of learning. Fool him once, shame on the government. Fool him twice, shame on Max Fisher.