At the moment, the need to stop the bloodshed is far greater than any desire for perfect multifaceted Muslim nations. But, if there is a hope of fixing Iraq's damaged democracy and creating an Iraq and a Syria where Kurds, Shia and Sunni Muslims can live in peace together, then the UK and the US need to learn its lessons and keep our distance.
Will Warren dare to run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for the presidency? She repeatedly tells reporters that she is "not running" for president, but hasn't ruled it out. She is 64. If Clinton runs, wins and serves two terms, there won't be a White House vacancy until 2024, when the Massachusetts senator will be 75. It's 2016 or never.
Taking a picture with that newspaper was one of two things: either an act of stupidity by a busy, badly-advised man who wasn't thinking straight, or, much more worryingly, a cynical act of hypocrisy, shamelessly courting voters, in contrast to his own previous pronouncements on the values of the group which runs this particular newspaper.
A couple of weeks ago, Frank Field MP wrote an open letter to David Miliband about taking a harder (might I say UKIP) line on immigration. I wasn't impressed and wrote a reply - and Mr.Field subsequently replied to me. Below is my response to him.
I'm not a particularly political person. I am not a Marxist, a Socialist, a Conservative, a Liberal...I find it all a bit bewildering to be honest. And I'm not alone. For though most people have a plethora of views about the huge problems facing the country at the moment...
Let's start with one heretical thought: competition is disastrous in our education system and should be abandoned as a guiding principle. Instead what we need is cooperation - an informal co-operative of pupils, teachers, parents, communities working together to help achieve the best possible outcome for each pupil.
Dear Mr. Field, I read your letter in today's Observer with some dismay. If ever it was the time for the Labour Party to stand united, take on UKIP and reclaim its base, it is now.
Today, two of the major UK business organisations delivered more good news on the economy. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) announced the best UK growth figures in May since 2003, and the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) upgraded its forecast to 3.1 per cent for 2014, the highest rate since the 2007 crisis...
In the aftermath of local and European elections, Labour party introspection began immediately: in particular, criticism of the party's direction, its attitude to UKIP in both sets of elections, the coherence of its message, its policies and their presentation, and, last and most, criticism of Ed Miliband...
The BBC asked me this morning if the arrival of Ukip (and even darker parties such as the Front Nationale) in Brussels would be disruptive. I agreed that it will be. But disruption, creative chaos, real change, is just what our stale, failed political system needs, just as the angry voters, lashing out or expressing frustration by either voting Ukip or staying at home (as 63% did), need to be offered hope. Our political future doesn't look like the past. Happily.
If Ed doesn't get himself some new Public Relations drones, it might be one of the few options open to him come the next election. I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that's something that no-one wants to see.
We can all have a bad day at the office, but when the Labour Leader, Ed Miliband, had a really bad day in the TV and radio studios by not knowing much about food shopping bills or anything at all about the Labour Party Leader in Swindon - he didn't just sound unconvincing - he broke a number of important rules of politics and of media interviews.
The inept clairvoyant of news This week has proven that in a land of lily-livers, the man who doesn't look that yellow is king. So it is for Nigel Fa...
If they are going to get bigger the questions are going to get tougher, having had two decades to prepare for this it's remarkable they seem so disorganised. If they feel this is a hatchet job, a smear campaign, well get use to it because you're in the big leagues now and the less you're made of s**t the harder it is to smear you.
The three largest parties haven't taken on Ukip, but all too often pandered to it, seeking to pull back Ukip voters by outdoing it in rhetoric and policy. This is not only morally wrong, but politically stupid. By pandering to Ukip's stance on immigration and Europe, the three largest parties have helped to make its claims that immigration has "caused" low wages, has "caused" housing shortages, has "caused" crowded hospitals and schools seem plausible... It's not surprising that Ukip's nasty, simplistic recipe of 'blame the foreigner' has got traction.
If there is one thing worse than Euroscepticism or Europhilia it is Euroignorance. Pretending the European Parliament doesn't matter is a foolish and very British error.