WASHINGTON—While they acknowledged that getting behind such a plan might take a little convincing, the American populace admitted this week that they could, in all likelihood, be talked into another war.
Citizens across the nation told reporters that, at present, they do not want the country to be involved in a foreign conflict, but given the right combination of reassuring political rhetoric and reasonably conclusive evidence, they could definitely see themselves getting on board with the idea and supporting a large-scale military engagement sometime in the near future.
“Another war definitely isn’t my first choice, but if the president made a nationally televised address in which he looked directly into the camera and said that swift action against a brutal foreign regime must be taken, then sure, I might go for that,” said Minneapolis resident Elizabeth Compton, who noted that if the nation’s top leaders stated it would be a limited operation and would be led by a coalition of some sort, then she would be willing to hear them out at the very least. “In fact, as long as the president referred to it as a noble cause and mentioned something about protecting American interests or preserving the principles of democracy around the world, I think I could certainly come around to it.”
“And assuming he used a firm tone of voice and had an assured look on his face while talking about the U.S.’s moral obligation to oppressed peoples, then, yeah,” she continued, “I’d say that would probably seal the deal.”
Although they agreed it would likely take several days in which they heard various permutations of the sentiment that we have to take the fighting to them before they can take it home to us, the nation’s 317 million citizens said they could definitely picture themselves eventually warming up to a plan that would deploy thousands of servicemen and servicewomen overseas and earmark billions of dollars for a mission with no defined timetable.
According to a nationwide poll, three quarters of Americans acknowledged they could be coaxed into another war provided proponents avoided the word “war” altogether and instead referred to it as a “combat operation” or a “preemptive strike,” while 81 percent said they wouldn’t put up too much of a fuss at all if Pentagon officials stated that the targeted regime might be harboring terrorists, extremists, evildoers, enemies of freedom, or similarly described groups of individuals.
Additionally, a full 92 percent of Americans claimed that they would by no means be opposed to signing on for a full-scale invasion in the event that such an action were repeatedly cast as a response to events that could be categorized as “atrocities.” These individuals added that officials wouldn’t even have to twist their arms too much so long as their claims were supported by pictures or footage of refugees fleeing their homes with only what possessions they could carry, particularly if they had several frightened young children in tow.
“Look, I’m not just going to buy into something like this because I hear a couple TV personalities droning on about it—I need to see a four-star general appear on Meet The Press and declare that we must act decisively, and then I need to see that clip of him saying those words played again and again on different news shows,” Phoenix resident Christopher Thornton said, noting that he could definitely get behind the plan if proponents offered some sort of grainy photo that looked conceivably like a stronghold or a chemical weapons storage site. “Then I’d need to see some trusted high-ranking official make some sort of point about America’s longstanding leadership role in geopolitical affairs. And supposing he made sure to praise the troops for their selfless sacrifice every step of the way, he’d have me in his corner sooner or later.”
“Honestly, by the time he said that ‘We didn’t choose this war; this war chose us,’ I’d pretty much be good to go,” Thornton added.
Members of the U.S. populace also told reporters that another war would be right up their alley if the national news media used words and phrases similar to the ones spoken by politicians and military leaders. Moreover, the American populace said they’d most likely be fine with using ground troops if, after listening to a very short and general description of the operation, they then heard leaders loosely transition to an impassioned commentary about patriotism in which they mentioned that the freedoms we all enjoy have been the result of sacrifice.
“Look, if they want me in on this thing, it would really help everything along if a few op-eds or radio hosts painted the enemy as nothing but a murderous tyrant who must be removed, without once touching on the feasibility of establishing a new government once that adversary is gone,” said Dale Rodgers of Toledo, OH. “Then, by the time I watched a panel of cable pundits agree on the importance of supporting our leaders in times of conflict, I’d be primed for Congress to pass a joint resolution authorizing an open-ended military campaign, especially if it was called ‘Operation Eternal Justice’ or something like that. Yeah, that would do the trick.”
“You know, I’m actually getting more and more into the idea just talking about it right now,” he added.