It is as easy to insist on a political settlement in Syria or in Libya as it is to talk of crushing ISIS. In Syria and Iraq, ISIS gives every indication of denying the legitimacy of compromise, so the concept of settlement would be out of bounds. In Libya, where ISIS is present but far from dominant, there could (and, for their own self-interest, should) be more possibility of arriving at an initial settlement between the Dawn and Dignity rivals.
Libya is now in flames. This might seem to be a rather hyperbolic note on which to begin, but it is true. The country is spiralling out of control, and the city of Benghazi, the former rebel capital in the 2011 revolution against the dictatorship of Colonel Gaddafi, has reportedly been captured by Islamist militants and declared an 'Islamic emirate'.
Syria has been, by and large, relegated from the front page to the 'World News' sections of quality papers. Politicians no longer mention the fate of that nation and its occupants - and, if they can summon up the courage, they do so in mundane statements, of the sort which bloodlessly assert how truly awful it all is.
The crisis engulfing Crimea is a grave one. Vladimir Putin's armies have cut the region off from the rest of the nation, and are insisting on an illegal referendum in order to give elusive legitimacy to a brazen act of aggression. Now is not the time for the West to take options off the table - even rather unpalatable ones.
Putin may win permanent control over the Crimea, but at the cost of abandoning his hard-earned cover of non-interventionism that has coloured Russia's image in the international community, revealing an attitude of pure self-interest that cannot be reconciled with UN values of international peace and cooperation.
The fall of Morsi was a blow to those who wanted a stable and free Egypt, that's for certain, but there was a certain pleasure to be gained from watching the army - an institution viewed with distrust by a large number of the population for its support of Mubarak - stepping in to safeguard the future of democracy in the country. Personally, I was ecstatic, stupidly so.
While the US-Russian deal to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons is a welcome sign that diplomacy has a central part to play in this crisis, the retreat from early talk of military action also suggests a growing reluctance on the part of the US and UK to intervene directly in the Middle East. Whether this is a good or a bad thing, it is certainly something new.
The anti-intervention left and right have totally given up on the idea of the most powerful countries in the world being able to have any positive effect upon the world at large. In addition the anti-war movement claims to be on the side of peace, as if we occupy a world created by Disney, where the world is a simple choice between peace and war.
Syria - the death toll reaches 93,000, the US administration says it has firm evidence of nerve gas use by the Syrian government and further says it will supply arms to the opposition. Things are moving - but towards what? The debate is focused on the arguments for and against armed intervention. I think that may well be very misleading.
There is little evidence to suggest that sending in our bombers or arming the rebels will ratchet down, rather than ratchet up, the violence. Remember: weapons are fungible. We have no way of preventing the al-Qaeda-affiliated members of the opposition from getting hold of bombs and bullets supplied by Britain and France. Nor does anyone have a credible plan of action for the day after Assad falls.