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.
With the Sochi Winter Olympics well under way and the conduct of our global leaders and their policies firmly in the spotlight, I thought it'd be helpful to produce a guide to some abiding political principles, quotations and notes that aspiring politicians and politicos can use to make sense of the madcap crazy political world we live in. Enjoy.
If it weren't for the God-awful mess in Syria, I suspect we'd be paying a great deal more attention to the God-awful mess in Iraq. We should be, anyway. This month alone, more than 500 people have been killed in almost daily bomb attacks, and last month was reported to be the most violent the country has seen for nearly five years.