There has been precious little to praise about the regime of Vladimir Putin in recent years. His actions in stoking civil war in Ukraine and annexing the Crimea region is criminal under international law, his crackdown on political opposition and dissenting voices has seen numerous state-sponsored and the oppression that can be experienced in Russia by ethnic and religious minorities, and the LGBT community, is shocking and criminally under-reported here in the west.
If you thought the Suez crisis of 1956 was a long way away, consider that there were joint Russia-China-Iran naval exercises this year, the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989 could be considered just a pause and the West versus the world's murkier and more dictatorial states is still a conflict in progress.
There is a great Arabic proverb: 'farkh al-bat awwam'. In English, 'the son of a duck, floats', or, 'like father, like son'. In Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's case, Mr al-Assad doesn't so much float as sink like a stone... Fifteen years ago today, Bashar 'inherited' the rule of Syria from his father, who, to be clear, wasn't much of a floater himself. Fifteen years on, Bashar has practically destroyed the country.
In a desperate bid to show himself as an influential player on the world stage, he recently claimed that his opposition to the US-led airstrikes against the Syrian regime, in response to Assad's use of chemical weapons, as a major foreign policy success. What Miliband does not know is that nobody takes him seriously and that his foreign policy 'success' will have no impact on the results of the British election.
It's worth remembering that the vast majority of horror-show videos from Syria in the last four years have shown atrocities coming from the government side. It seems we need a jolt to remind us of this. A "killer stat" (literally) like Ghadbian's. A sort of lightbulb moment. We need to shine a light on Syria.
Just after dawn prayers, my Twitter newsfeed was filled with breaking headlines confirming that the US along with its Arab allies had begun airstrikes against ISIS in the Syrian city of Raqqa. Both the Assad regime and the Obama administration have denied any collusion regarding this military offensive but if you scratch beneath the surface, it becomes relatively clear that there was a lot more collaboration behind closed doors than most would think.
The inconvenient truth is that the collective punishment of the Palestinian people in Gaza is a collective endeavour in its own right - led by Israel, enforced by Egypt, endorsed by Saudi Arabia. Pity the poor Palestinians. Their territories are occupied by the Jewish state; their cause is abandoned by the Arab world.