Broad public opposition to Syrian strike includes US soldiers on social media


image“I didn’t join the Navy to fight for Al Qaeda in a Syrian civil war!” reads the placard covering the face of a US sailor decked out in full military regalia.

As leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached an agreement yesterday on a draft authorization for the use of military force in Syria, numerous photos are making the rounds on social media depicting soldiers protesting an impending invasion of Syria.

The photos are evidence of the broad popular opposition to a strike on Syria. The American public is against a strike by 48 to 29 percent, according to Pew’s latest poll.  At yesterday’s Senate hearing, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul reported that nobody he saw in 40 cities during his August break was for attacking Syria.

I haven’t had one person come up to me and say they’re for this war, not one person. We get calls by the thousands. Nobody’s calling in favor of this war. I didn’t meet one when I was home all month. I went to 40 cities. I didn’t have one person come up and say — do they all agree it’s a horrendous thing? Yes, we all agree that chemical attacks are a horrendous thing. But people are not excited about getting involved, and they also don’t think it’s going to work.

And then there are troops on social media. From Australia’s Business Insider: Some US Troops Appear To Be Posting Photos In Protest Of Syrian Intervention

Photos of service members have apparently popped up on Reddit, seemingly in protest of Syrian intervention. (Since they are not identified, it’s impossible to verify they are indeed serving in the military.)

The basic argument is that the line between moderate rebel factions and al Qaeda-affiliated ones are somewhat murky in the two-year-old civil war, so the U.S. should stay away from intervening on the rebel side (even in response to a large-scale chemical weapons attack).


It’s also worth noting that, while some military members may agree with the message of the photos, many don’t agree with using the uniform to bolster the argument.

More photos here.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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