After the brutal murder of its captured pilot, Jordan says it intends to step up its air strikes against IS targets and to defeat "this terrorist organisation [that] is not only fighting us, but also fighting Islam and its pure values." The most useful role for the UK and other foreign powers would be to assist, with logistical, training and intelligence support, the efforts of Jordanian, Iraqi and Kurdish forces to defeat IS... Not only because it is a brutal, murderous sect threatening vital UK interests by infecting British-born fighters and others with the virus of its perverted ideology but equally because it is bringing misery to tens of thousands of people in both Iraq and Syria who now live in areas controlled by the sect.
The FAC report and Boris in Erbil are substantial gains for the burgeoning Anglo-Kurdish relationship, which is greatly assisted by a growing global realisation that the Kurds are a vital ally. On balance, last week in Westminster was good for the Kurds and their friends, and made much sweeter by the defeat of Daish in Kobane.
The stark starting point of the influential and bipartisan Foreign Affairs Committee's long-awaited report on the Kurdistan Region is that the future of Iraq as a nation state is in question as never before. It judges that the clock is ticking on whether Iraq can be stitched back into a functioning whole.
The Obama administration and the European Union must end their silence and inaction regarding these crimes and should adopt concrete steps to help the new Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi in evicting the Iranian regime from Iraq. Failure to do so will turn the Middle East into a quagmire of sectarian war with no end in sight.
Irrespective of those mutations, I still cling to the stubborn belief that the peoples of the MENA yearn for dignity and equal citizenship rather than cling to conditional patronage by their political and religious rulers or else control by self-obsessed Islamist groups. This is why I remain guardedly hopeful that a constructive dialogue in 2015 could help face those daunting challenges.