Last week I visited the Domiz refugee camp for the third time in six months and saw many children at school and play. Once again, I was struck by their cheeriness and resilience. I wanted to find some of the children I met in June but the camp has mushroomed since then from 50,000 to 75,000 so it would have been difficult.
The destruction of Syrian chemical weapons (CW) has started. In a breakthrough moment in Iran-US relations, the two Presidents talked on the phone and the foreign ministers sat down to discuss Iran's nuclear programme. Though the connection has received little comment in the western news media, these two welcome developments are deeply linked and close to inter-dependent.
At no point in the last two-and-a-half years has the spectre of Iraq been more sharply evident than in the events surrounding Secretary of State John Kerry's statement of the United States' intelligence and national-security case for limited military intervention in Syria following the apparent use of chemical weapons in attacks on Damascus...
All of us have a visceral, emotional reaction to the use of chemical weapons. It repulses us... Yet there's a question that must be asked: why are we more offended by the killing of civilians with chemical weapons than we are by the slaughter of far greater numbers of civilians with conventional weapons?
The point is not just that missile strikes won't prevent Assad from carrying out attacks with chemical weapons, nor will they help bring the Syrian conflict to a much-needed close, but that our political leaders in the west occupy very little moral high ground when it comes to condemning the use of such horrific weapons.