... [I]nsofar as people do favor such a step, it’s almost certainly because they don’t understand what it might entail. But a war could easily involve the deaths of millions of people and the destruction of one of the world’s largest cities. South Korea, with American assistance, would undoubtedly prevail in such a conflict but the price paid in blood would be extremely high and the impact on the global economy could be extremely grave. Meanwhile, the world would be left with the very thorny question of what to do with the post-war DPRK. In some very narrow sense of what a “politico” might care about, these issues don’t matter. But even in pretty crass political terms, public opinion would clearly be much more impacted by reaction to the actual consequences of military action than to whatever kind of weird push polling Rasmussen wants to do.Yet, on the day when Pres. Obama said that the United States is not at war with Islam, the Washington Post-ABC News Poll shows that a majority of Americans think we should seek to improve relationships with Islamic nations. When asked if they thought it was important that Pres. Obama to try to improve relationships with Muslim nations, 81% of Americans thought it was important, compared to 18% who did not - this sentiment despite overwhelming self-professed ignorance to the Islamic religion; 55% do not have a basic understanding of Islam, and 49% have a negative view of Islam.
Despite two wars on Islamic soil, Americans seemingly desire more peaceable interaction with Muslim nations, assuming, obviously, that the improvement of relationships happens without military might. And, yet, in spite of these two wars, Americans seemingly are willing to further over-spread our military in order to intervene in North Korea. Is this just a recency effect, where the situational import of the most current potentially serious threat to America has overshadowed our current perceptions of our military operations in other parts of the world? Or, do we truly desire strong, peaceable diplomatic relationships with Muslim nations at the same time we are having a knee-jerk reaction to North Korea? Have we thought through the consequences of military intervention in the Middle East, and therefore desire peaceful relationships, while at the same time, a la Yglesias, have we not thought through the consequences of military intervention in North Korea? Any thoughts on what, if anything, is going on here?