Is Bergdahl a deserter? A traitor? Is he, as some critics in the US have implausibly suggested, a real-life incarnation of Nicholas Brody of the TV series Homeland, a captured US serviceman who may have switched sides? Or is he one more casualty of war, a man whose wounds can't be seen but are real nonetheless? It's perfectly possible, of course, to be both.
Remembrance Sunday was a time to reflect for veterans on lost comrades in arms, for family and friends to recall loved ones to mind and for all to honour the service past and present of armed forces throughout the Commonwealth. Gradually humanists are being allowed to take part in services, though this is still far from the norm.
Wearing a poppy is not a comment on politics or military intervention. I doubt that everyone who wears a poppy agrees with all aspects of British foreign and military policy dating back to the first ever Poppy Day in 1921. If you object to British foreign policy, about the worst way you could express that is in a decision not to wear a poppy, because that decision only impacts on some of those who face consequences of the policy - whether or not they agree with it - not on those of us who are actually responsible for the decisions.
The students of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut resumed classes on January 3, less than a month after the massacre that killed 20 of their fellow students and six staff members. At the newly refurbished school in a neighbouring town, administrators prepared for the students' return with stuffed toys, on-site counsellors, and a team of friendly, bouncing golden retrievers.
It is abundantly clear to all, including the Iranian regime, that the West has intent to cause regime change in Iran. The new sanctions announced this week are a clear step towards that goal. It is the beginning of moves that the Iranian freedom movements have been asking the West for for some years.