I must say this; Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham and former Senator Joseph Lieberman have got it absolutely right on Syria. President Obama must listen to them and do the right thing. John McCain told the Dead Sea Conference recently: by arming the right rebels, there will be a chance for what McCain calls "level playing field".
The invaluable and hard-hitting Women Under Seige project, which documents male sexual violence in conflict zones worldwide, has produced a striking article on Syria's rape crisis. Shockingly, Syrian women and girls fleeing sexual violence in their own country are encountering further abuse, appropriation and exploitation once they have left.
Qardawi's call for jihad completely ignores the world as it is today: a world of nation-states. In order for there to be any progress in the Syrian conflict, Islamists of all colors and sectarian persuasions must throw out sectarian rhetoric. They must reconcile themselves with the idea that all Syrians are citizens and should not take the sectarian bait.
Although no weapons will be delivered before the end of the summer and the EU insists that only weapons shall be delivered that serve the protection of civilians. One wonders what kind of weapon that might be as there are hardly any - if at all - weapons out there that have a pure defensive character. Whether rhetoric needs to be underlined by action remains to be seen.
If it weren't for the God-awful mess in Syria, I suspect we'd be paying a great deal more attention to the God-awful mess in Iraq. We should be, anyway. This month alone, more than 500 people have been killed in almost daily bomb attacks, and last month was reported to be the most violent the country has seen for nearly five years.
I'm not denying that the war in Syria is a hell on earth for it's citizens, or that there have been war crimes committed against them. Though I suspect our government's push for arms sales to Syrian opposition forces may have less to do with the atrocities and inequalities of a foreign war and more to do with financial concerns closer to home.
For over two years now, European policymakers have struggled to provide a coherent response to the convulsion of violence that has befallen Syria. As with Libya in 2011, much of the debate has centred on the question of what role European states should play in protecting vulnerable civilians beyond our borders.