Already 100,000 Syrians have died in this war and two million have become refugees. Sending cruise missiles will not end it and if the regime were to fall, chemical weapons could get into the hands of Al Qaeda. The best way forward is to go back to the plan to work with the Russians for an end to the fighting and a political transition.
The media's role in the Iraq 'road to war' was to be relentlessly critical of weapons' inspectors, particularly whenever they came up with the 'wrong' findings as far as the pro-war-Iraq-has-WMD- lobby were concerned. Weapons' inspectors are back in the headlines, following allegations of use of chemical agents in Syria - are they going to get caught in the cross-fire again?
We are all angry and upset at the terrible pictures of the atrocity in Syria. Poison gas is a cowardly and inhumane weapon. Its use against civilians is especially despicable. Instinctively we all want to punish the perpetrators and ensure there will be no repeat of this mass slaughter. That's the emotional reaction. The rational one is to measure the consequences of our using force in the Syrian Civil War.
Last time Britain and USA went to war without a UN mandate it created a human catastrophe that cost hundreds of thousands of lives, billions of dollars and badly damaged the West's credibility at home and abroad. 10 years later it's Russia and China that are likely to veto any UN Security Council resolution authorising military action, and this time it's Cameron and Hague arguing that intervention could be legal without UN approval...