Bashar al-Assad is responsible for some of the most heinous war crimes of recent times, including the use of chemical weapons, the mass imprisonment and torture of political opponents, and the indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas causing massive casualties. Yet the unpalatable reality must surely be that, despite his grim record, he remains indispensable in the search for an end to the conflict.
The sighs of exasperation at Britain's continuing ambivalence over its EU membership can be heard all the way from Lisbon in the west to Bucharest in the east. It's not as if our EU partners don't have other things to worry about, above all the still unresolved matter of Greece's slow slide towards bankruptcy.
Theresa May and David Cameron say the Queen's Speech will contain proposals to limit the 'harmful activities' of extremists and to promote 'British values' and to stop activities that would undermine democracy. As simplistic political rhetoric it sounds a very obvious and desirable thing to do. Who can argue against that idea? But - it could be damaging to the very thing it is intended to protect.
We've hit the part of the General Election campaign that really starts to get on my nerves. The funny thing is, I genuinely think this vote could be one of the most interesting in the UK's history, given how disillusionment with large swathes of the political spectrum has resulted in no one party looking capable of gaining an overall majority...
We can, with our technology, our material and our enviable financial position, intervene on the right side. We can fight the aggressors, the fascists, and rescue Iraq from the scourge of Islamist violence. But this is only possible in coalition, in alliance. Leaving the Kurds to fight the Islamic State alone is immoral; abandoning Iraq is equally bad; and letting the United States shoulder the burdens of internationalism alone fails the very definition of the term.
When the history books come to be written, someone will doubtless compare the self-immolation of the Tunisian street-seller Mohamed Bouazizi on 17 December 2010, which sparked the wave of Arab uprisings, with the shot fired by the Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip that killed the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. Each was a single act that no one could have foreseen would lead to the appalling carnage that followed. And each reshaped the world, destroying great political powers and sowing the seeds for future instability.
The five things you need to know on Tuesday 22 July 2014... 1) MILIBAND TAKES ON THE ISRAELIS Ed Miliband hasn't had much to say about Israel's ...
Education secretary Michael Gove recently declared that all 20,000 primary and secondary schools in the UK, stating that this government 'will put the promotion of British values at the heart of what every school has to deliver for children'. But this raises several questions, most importantly: what actually are "British" values?