As well as the expected vain pontificating and sabre-rattling, there has been a good deal of wise commentary on Syria, intervention and change in the past week or so -- seeking to get to grips with the hard politics of the situation, while not losing sight of the fact that it is suffering humanity (all of it, not just 'our' portion of it) that should always be the litmus test of effective action.
The videos and photos showing children suffering and dying in what appears to be a poison gas attack in a Damascus suburb shock the conscience and may serve as just cause for taking military action says Tobias L. Winright. However, when invoking the 'just war' tradition, as some have, directly and indirectly, other criteria must also be met for an intervention to be justified. They are not being so met.
William Harold Coltman was the most highly decorated ‘other ranks’ British soldier in the First World War. In official terms that makes him an extremely brave man. Remarkably, he never fired a shot. As a conscientious objector he opted to become a stretcher bearer and saved countless lives. He never took a life.