Let us remember, first, that there seem to be no genuinely good sides in the Syrian conflict. This is a contest as to which of the various bad apples is the strongest. And that, in a dictatorial state reputed to have the largest remaining chemical weapons stockpile in the world.
(I am moved to ask: how much of that stockpile came across the border from the sister Baathist state, Iraq, in the delays leading up to the renewal of major hostilities in 2003?)
However, we need to be thinking three- moves- ahead geostrategic chess here.
As in, the Syrian regime is an Iranian client state, with Iranian proxies deeply involved in the conflict.
So, I ask: what if the latest atrocity is being used -- or was even instigated -- as a smokescreen to distract from and hide Iran's closing sprint to the nuke finish line?
(Which, is known to be ongoing.)
1400 -- including 400 children -- have been murdered through use of chemical weapons, with question-marks on whodunit.
We have the West as an obvious house divided.
Mr Cameron in the UK just lost a war vote -- it seems, the first time that has happened in the UK since the 1780's.
But there is more.
We have an Iran noted as a decades long ruthless terrorism sponsor, also known to be up to its eyeballs in the Syrian chaos.
The global attention -- through a horrific terrorist act -- is suddenly focussed on the Syrian mess, with all sorts of nasty possibilities.
Israel has been threatened with attack to hold it hostage against the behaviour of western powers. (I suspect, the Israelis will make the simple conclusion that any aggressive action by Syria is -- by implication of the principle that the cat controls its paws and claws, an act of war by Iran.)
And all the time, that same Iran is sprinting hard for the nuke finish line, even as we speak.
I doubt it.
And we had better be thinking about consequences of an irresolute, divided and confused West confronting a nuke armed Iranian empire spreading from Tehran through Baghdad to Damascus and Beirut -- or at least southern Lebanon.
And here in the Caribbean, we need to remember that Venezuela is allied to Iran.
A mess, one we had better think through very, very carefully, and fast. END