Americans don't seem to be as eager for war as some of their leaders are

Americans don't seem to be as eager for war as some of their leaders are

by digby

Now you can see why so many of the hawks are hysterical about ISIS:

Most Americans felt the United States should intervene somehow in Iraq, although overwhelming numbers oppose any U.S. troops on the ground in support of the Baghdad government.

There was little disparity in the overall response among Democrats, Republicans and independents.

Just 29 percent of adults felt the country should not get involved, even by sending humanitarian aid or weapons.

Thirty-one percent said the United States should provide humanitarian aid to refugees from the conflict areas and 21 percent said Washington should launch air strikes to support Iraqi government forces.

But just 12 percent said Washington should fund and support a multi-national intervention, 11 percent said the United States should send Special Forces troops to support Baghdad, 10 percent said it should provide weapons to Iraqi troops and just 7 percent said U.S. troops should be sent.

McCain and Huckleberry have their work cut out for them. But in the end, if the decision is made it won't matter what the American people think. It never does ... (And, frankly, once the decision is made the American people will probably come around. They always do. For a while, anyway.)

There was also this:

Nearly two out of three Americans say governments should not pay ransom to terrorists in exchange for hostages, despite the posting of an Islamic State video last week depicting the beheading of a U.S. journalist, a Reuters-IPSOS Poll showed on Tuesday.

Sixty-two percent of adults surveyed said they agreed with U.S. and British policy of refusing to pay ransom, in response to a question about the killing of American journalist James Foley and the multimillion dollar ransom demanded by Islamic State militants for his release.

I get it. But I'm increasingly torn about whether or not this is a reasonable approach. This article headlined, "Did America’s policy on ransom contribute to James Foley’s killing?" by David Rohde, the New York Times reporter who escaped from the Taliban, is very disturbing. He discusses the fact that abductions have become big business for Islamic extremists as European governments have been paying big ransoms over the past few years. He also discusses how disheartening it is for Americans knowing that their government will not help them:

In the days and weeks ahead, the Foley family will speak for themselves about their ordeal. But the payment of ransoms and abduction of foreigners must emerge from the shadows. It must be publicly debated. American and European policymakers should be forced to answer for their actions.

Foley believed that his government would help him, according to his family. In a message that was not made public, Foley said that he believed so strongly that Washington would help that he refused to allow his fellow American captives to not believe in their government.

A consistent response to kidnapping by the U.S. and Europe is desperately needed. The current haphazard approach is failing.

That breaks my heart.

I don't know the answer to this. It's entirely possible that paying would encourage even more kidnapping and brutality. It's also possible that it would save lives --- lots of them if it kept us from military action in response to the horrors of executions such as James Foley's. And then there's the money --- obviously financing terrorists is never a good idea. On the other hand, helping recruit more terrorists isn't either.

It's a tough problem and I don't think Americans have fully thought it through. Rohde says the whole system is full of holes with some private interests stepping in from time to time and the Europeans serving as pass-through entities, all of which says that this is a police in need of review as Rohde says.