Within the next week Members of Parliament will be voting on whether to launch air strikes against ISIS in Syria. With many Labour and Conservative MPs in support of extending air strikes into Syria, it is likely that the first bombing raids will take place towards the end of next week. But it has not been determined what the government wishes to achieve by bombing Syria.
I must say this; Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham and former Senator Joseph Lieberman have got it absolutely right on Syria. President Obama must listen to them and do the right thing. John McCain told the Dead Sea Conference recently: by arming the right rebels, there will be a chance for what McCain calls "level playing field".
Qardawi's call for jihad completely ignores the world as it is today: a world of nation-states. In order for there to be any progress in the Syrian conflict, Islamists of all colors and sectarian persuasions must throw out sectarian rhetoric. They must reconcile themselves with the idea that all Syrians are citizens and should not take the sectarian bait.
Although no weapons will be delivered before the end of the summer and the EU insists that only weapons shall be delivered that serve the protection of civilians. One wonders what kind of weapon that might be as there are hardly any - if at all - weapons out there that have a pure defensive character. Whether rhetoric needs to be underlined by action remains to be seen.
The longer the West remains inactive, the more Islamic extremists will join the war. Inaction by the Obama administration over the last two years had encouraged the regime to kill more than 60,000 Syrians and force the displacement of 2 million Syrians. By turning a blind eye, President Obama has in effect given the green light to Al-Qaeda and other Jihadists to enter Syria.
Walid Saffour is sitting in a light, minimalist office overlooking Hyde Park. A representative of the Syrian National Coalition of the Revolutionary Opposition, he seems like a cross between a gentle Syrian uncle and a seasoned diplomat. Yet while he is affable and polite, there is an intrinsic reserve about him.