To advocate regime change without a plan for the future would be criminally negligent. What we can do is to influence, support and invest in the people of Syria.
Thank God for great European leaders, like Merkel, whose idiosyncratic approach to border control played such an understated role in last year’s Brexit vote.
The US rightly considers it to be the world’s biggest state sponsor of terror – and it has too often played a malicious role in the geopolitical morass of the Arab world.
Here is a people who maintain a firm desire to persist with their finely-balanced political system and build their government’s capability.
This is better way of dealing with both migration and the terror threat than the patchwork measures taken so far by the EU.
So much of the present crisis – and of the intervening suffering – can be traced to our failure to move decisively against Assad two years ago.
There is much more to the country than the political controversies which are the focus of most reports.
Tehran’s approach of destabilisation and domination threatens a nuclear arms race and the destruction of Israel.
There are means of intervening there, but they are very limited indeed.
TV coverage, Muslim demographics and electoral pressure are helping to move the balance of opinion.
How can we work with a country that for far too long has provided funding, training and weapons and a safe haven for militant groups in the region?
The Gulf Co-operation Council could play a useful role.