Nightly News   |  September 06, 2013

Mixed emotions on what to do in Syria

NBC's Kevin Tibbles takes the temperature of Americans who are weighing the options on whether the U.S. should intervene in the Syrian conflict.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> so here's where we are. the president has asked congress for a vote. each member of congress deciding if they support this military strike . but what about the american people ? what would they say to the president or their representatives? do they support this strike? today our cameras were out gathering opinions. nbc's kevin tibbles reports tonight from st. louis . kevin , good evening.

>> reporter: brian, people here in st. louis and across america have opinions about what their country should do. they are mixed and heart felt. the start of a new day in middle america , st. louis , gateway to the west . and the short-order staff at chill willie and mac is frying up a frenzy. over eggs and burgers, customers talk politics and syria and the threat of a u.s. attack.

>> something should be done, but as far as --

>> should the united states be the one to do it?

>> we're always helping everybody else .

>> i think they should send the message what they're doing is wrong to their people. that's what i think.

>> reporter: you don't want to go.

>> no.

>> reporter: not even a military strike .

>> no. i don't see the end game here.

>> reporter: and some in missouri say show me. the president seems to think that mr. assad used chemical weapons .

>> he does think that. i've heard him say that. but i don't see any proof.

>> everything is looking like ten years ago when we went to iraq.

>> reporter: at one table, a mother worries about his son in the army.

>> my son is in arm yir boot camp . for him going over there i'm a little concerned.

>> reporter: for others, some are cynical will.

>> it doesn't matter, they're going to do what they want to do.

>> reporter: across america from the vietnam war memorial in the capital --

>> in theory, i think we should do something, we should punish him, but in real life , it's a no-win situation.

>> reporter: -- to san francisco 's golden gate bridge park.

>> i mean, if you see someone being beaten on the street, are you going to hold a conclave to decide who should go and help that person?

>> when we have big disasters, no one kocomes to our aid. we're always going to someone else 's aid.

>> reporter: ordinary americans discussing what their country should do. back at chili mac's for owner chris snyderman, the question is not what to do but how could this ever have happened?

>> come on, it's chemical weapons .

>> yes, it's chemical weapons . why does he want to do that? can you please tell me that?

>> reporter: these conversations aren't just taking place in diners or across dinner tables. twitter says americans are tweeting some 100 times a minute about the crisis in syria. brian?

>> kevin tibbles in st. louis for us. kevin , thank you. by the wait, you can see more opinions and send your own at a special section of our web site called " taking sides ".