Parliament, by delaying the rush to war has done a further great service by winning vital thinking time. This has enabled all of us, especially Government, to better comprehend the incredibly complex, multi-dimensional nature and history of the regional conflict... The evil of Islamic State must be beaten, their cruelty plumbs new depths of inhumanity and immorality, self-justified by perverted religious fundamentalism. To defeat them cannot happen on the battlefield alone. To do that we need to be smart and not repeat the mistakes of the past.
There can be no doubt that the Syrian crisis is spiralling out of control, and that US and EU attempts to develop anything that remotely resembles a coherent approach have been woefully inadequate. But it is not too late. Now is the time for our government to step into the vacuum; now is the time for our Prime Minister to show some leadership, and to start engaging in pro-active diplomacy in Moscow, Tehran, Washington, Ankara and Riyadh; now is the time for a roadmap to peace and stability... Clearly, we will have to compromise with Moscow and Tehran, and those compromises will certainly cause us discomfort along the way. The Syria crisis is a blood-soaked game of shadows. We must now learn and adapt to its rules; and we must start playing to win.
There has been precious little to praise about the regime of Vladimir Putin in recent years. His actions in stoking civil war in Ukraine and annexing the Crimea region is criminal under international law, his crackdown on political opposition and dissenting voices has seen numerous state-sponsored and the oppression that can be experienced in Russia by ethnic and religious minorities, and the LGBT community, is shocking and criminally under-reported here in the west.