Watching Libya

March 03, 2011, 11:20 PM GMT+0

Americans are paying attention to the crisis in Libya - all but 16 say they have heard about the protests and fighting there - but according to the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, most really don't want the United States involved in any way that could be dangerous for Americans.

Asked what the international community should do now in Libya, only 12 favor military intervention there. More - 19 - would do nothing at all. Far more would support applying sanctions against Libya (something already approved by the United National Security Council), providing assistance in evacuating refugees (which presumably could include some Americans), enforcing a No Fly zone there and providing humanitarian aid.

Although Republicans and Democrats often disagree, there is little difference between them on this question. However, Democrats are more willing than Republicans to provide humanitarian aid to Libyans.

Perhaps one problem is that most Americans believe the Libyan people don't like them. In fact, majorities think that the people in most Middle East countries have unfavorable views of the United States. In addition, in the case of Libya, six in ten say that country is either unfriendly to the United States, or an enemy.

President Obama's actions so far meet with general approval from Americans. By 42 to 35, Americans approve of the President's response to the protests in Libya.

Overall, 44 of Americans approve of the way President Obama is handling his job. 48 disapprove. There hasn't been much change in recent weeks.

Image source: flickr (Gilad Lotan)

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