- The Washington Times - Friday, August 30, 2013

Fully 50 percent of Americans responding to a new poll from NBC News say they don’t want to get involved in military action in Syria.

Another 8 in 10 also say that if the White House wants to take military action, it should first seek — and receive — permission from Congress, NBC News reported.

At the same time, the American public is more open to the idea of taking military action if that action is confined to shooting cruise missiles from Navy ships, the poll found.

The poll, conducted over two days, comes as President Obama is stepping toward the side of military intervention, based in part on his belief — as stated by Secretary of State John Kerry — that President Bashar Assad did attack rebel forces outside Damascus with chemical weapons, killing hundreds of civilians in the process.

The poll specifics: 50 percent say no to U.S. action, no matter what. Forty-two percent support a U.S. military intervention. But if U.S. military action is defined as simply launching cruise missiles from ships, then 50 percent favor that, and 44 percent oppose.

Another 58 percent agree with this statement: The use of chemical weapons by any country is a violation of a “red line” and therefore requires a significant response from the United Stats.

What’s clearest from the poll is that 7 in 10 Democrats and 90 percent of Republicans — about 79 percent of respondents — say the president needs congressional approval to take any action at all.

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