Why do we insist on ignoring what stares us in the face? The suicidal fanatics who threaten to kill us in the name of their perverted brand of Islam are not refugees from Syria, or deranged zealots from the mountains of Pakistan: they are, with only very few exceptions, men and women who were born in our hospitals, educated in our schools and who grew up in our cities... Many of the attackers were already known to the police. Some had records as petty criminals. Others had clear links to identifiable terrorist groups. So as we still struggle to comprehend the crime that was committed in Paris last Friday night, perhaps we should start by examining what is going on under our noses.
Over the summer we saw an inspiring groundswell of public sympathy towards refugees. We must not let terror dampen that spirit. Now is the time for a coordinated response to the refugee crisis that will help, not hinder, those fleeing war and persecution. President Hollande has shown us the way.
A day of discussion yielded that plan in the form of the second Vienna statement, as well as agreement on an International Syria Support Group which would drive the plan forward. Nothing in this world is perfect. Critics have lined up and will continue to do so to pick holes in the plan and tear it down (that's what they do after all). But I think it's good, and here's why.
We don't have to like Putin to realise that a united front against people who rape children and behead Christians is the best idea for a safer world. We joined forces with Stalin to defeat Hitler because he was an immediate threat and that pragmatic attitude is what we need now.
The Coalition have in no way presented bombing as a 'golden bullet' for this crisis. It is part of a multi-faceted response that includes aid, funding, political engagement and taking some extremely vulnerable refugees. Our willingness to misunderstand why we are being asked to get involved, and what we are being asked to do by extending this mission to Syria is embarrassing... The outrage over Paris. The tears over Aylan Kurdi. The resolve after Ankara. It all means nothing unless we are prepared to cross the threshold and accept that military action has a part to play in creating the time and space for a political solution to peace in Syria.
I love France! I lived my early teenage years in this country and pursued my secondary and tertiary education in its institutions before I was fortuna...
If terror was the aim of the Paris attack, it has undeniably succeeded, leaving the French, British, and US government with a dilemma over how to respond, both in terms of security measures at home and their role in the conflict in Syria.
Today we are facing the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. There are more than two million children who have been made refugees as a result of the ongoing conflict in Syria. That's two million stories of children like Rose. And their lives matter - because if those children's lives don't matter then how can my child's life matter. If those children aren't important then my child can't be important. Either every child's life matters or none of them do. So in sharing their stories, I'm also asking you to take notice and to do something about this. We have to step up to this humanitarian crisis and we have to act.
Since 2011, when the Syrian crisis begun, gradually developing into a civil war (nurtured by internal as well as external forces) the number of dead is estimated around 220,000. It is important to clarify that there is no way to ascertain that number. The UN ceased publishing their own estimates by 2014 as there was no way to verify the actual numbers.
Such organised state gangsterism has apparently now taken such a hold in Syria that the Damascus government has become partly reliant on the revenues it produces. It's a clear example of a vampire state feeding off its own people.
Without a greater effort from Western and European policymakers to consider the impact of Saudis' bombing campaign, millions of refugees will soon be fleeing famine, water shortages and war, and joining the millions of refugees from Syria risking everything to reach the borders of Europe. If the West is unable to see Yemen as more than just a threat to their security, discussions on how to support it will go hand-in-hand with how best to bomb it.
You can argue, and argue legitimately, that after Gaddafi's death the international community should have moved in to Libya. We should have done more, spent more and saved more. The flow of refugees and of bodies washing up on Libya's shores might have been a little stemmed.
What began as a civilian uprising against the brutality of the Assad regime quickly became a bloody, complex civil war that shows no sign of abating... No-one with an either ounce of humanity or a concern to prevent further escalation of an increasingly dangerous conflict can say this is none of our business.
Syrian Opposition groups have opposed the brutal Assad regime for years but came together and swelled in numbers in 2011... So just who are the Syrian Moderate Opposition now? What do they want and who are they fighting? Below we attempt to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the Syrian Moderate Opposition.
In the wake of a new climate of increasingly high-definition digital terror, we must question the use of propaganda and special influence methods in modern warfare. States are dangerously trespassing on the prohibition on propaganda for war. We must seek to avoid creating a mirror image of ISIS.
Many parents in Syria worry about sending their children to school because of the dangers on the road to or at school itself. In 2014 alone, at least 60 schools were attacked, sometimes deliberately. In total, 5,000 schools cannot be used for this year. This is because they have been destroyed, damaged, converted to shelter the displaced families or used by the warring parties.