The nearly a quarter of a million people who have arrived in Europe this year represent a massive headache for the authorities in both Italy and Greece, who are desperate for more help from their EU partners... The real scandal is not how many people are huddled in Calais hoping to get to the UK, but how few we are allowing in.
There is a great Arabic proverb: 'farkh al-bat awwam'. In English, 'the son of a duck, floats', or, 'like father, like son'. In Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's case, Mr al-Assad doesn't so much float as sink like a stone... Fifteen years ago today, Bashar 'inherited' the rule of Syria from his father, who, to be clear, wasn't much of a floater himself. Fifteen years on, Bashar has practically destroyed the country.
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.