The current moral argument regarding Syria is limited. The red line of chemical weapons is plotted on a wider graph of violence. Morality is relevant to the whole graph, not just the red line. For too long, innocent Syrian people have suffered greatly and lost lives at the violent hands of the regime.
If the US attacks Syria on its own, it won't be the first time in a solo operation after a British rejection. UK politicians have short memories when trumpeting the Special Relationship. Some may recall Bill Clinton's first foreign trip as President was to the UK to seek support for operations to end the bloodbath in Bosnia after four years of carnage and NATO/UN fence sitting.
As the drums of war beat once more for yet another strike on a Middle Eastern capital, one cannot help but be reminded of similar events exactly a decade ago that heralded the US invasion of Iraq. However, this time we have learnt from experience to ask the right questions and not to repeat the same mistakes... Haven't we?
Like that embarrassing uncle who ruins every family social gathering with his propensity for saying and doing the most outrageous things, offending everyone in the process, up pops the former prime minister in a recent interview with the BBC lamenting the recent parliamentary vote which led to Britain's historic break from Washington's coattails on the matter of military intervention for the first time in a generation.
The debate about bombing Syria is, in part, about the shock-and-awe policy of politics: most of us remember the shock-and-awe blitzkrieg unleashed over Baghdad as a curtain raiser to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Shock-and-awe, known in military parlance as Rapid Dominance, is a doctrine developed at The National Defense University of the United States in1996.
You're watching TV and a fundraising appeal for Syria comes on. There are shocking images and no one can deny the serious needs of the men, women and children on the screen. But you don't reach for your debit card at the end. Something in you has not been moved quite as much as when you saw such an appeal for the tsunami victims in 2004.
The depth of intelligence and information on the chemical attacks that have been released underlines a stark contrast with the 1920s when, for instance, there were no satellites and modern communications. There is also a clear contrast in the intelligence evidence that has been assembled compared to that about Iraq a decade ago.
Last Thursday, the House of Commons defeated the government motion to use force '"if necessary" by 285 votes to 272 in light of the government's belief that the Assad regime used chemical weapons against its own people. From across the political spectrum, yesterday was heralded as a wonderful day for parliament.
Earlier this week, the United Nations declared Syria's refugee crisis the 'humanitarian calamity' of the century. Every day, roughly 5,000 refugees flee Syria with little more than the clothes on their backs. The number of Syrians who have left their war-ravaged country has risen to more than two million. A year ago, that number was 230,671.