Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
14 April 2018, 21:02 | Updated: 14 April 2018, 21:12
Here we go again. Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump are deterring the Assad regime from indiscriminately killing people by indiscriminately killing people.
Of course, we don't use the same methods of killing that Assad used - that's the whole point, because after half a million deaths in the Syrian war, we finally found some that we object to.
They didn't mind when people in Syria were getting their arms and legs blown off and their bodies squashed under the falling ruins of what used to be their homes.
Two years ago, there had been 470,000 people dead due to the Syrian war after which the United Nations stopped counting.
Russia has been bombing the place for years and there was no urgent allied government action, no threats to attack from America or Britain or France.
The Syrian city of Aleppo looks like the film set of a disaster movie rather than an actual place where people still live.
Yet while it was being bombed back to the stone age and its people were being exterminated we didn't raise a finger, because those were deaths that we didn't see much on the news – they don't tend to show bits of bodies and mangled torsos on the telly in case they make you turn over.
They have no problem showing people dying with foam coming out of their mouth though, because there's less blood.
That's why governments are clutching their pearls and demanding that something must be done – they saw something that upset them on the telly.
For the people of Syria, they probably don't think it necessarily an improvement in their circumstances to be killed by a bomb to being killed by a gas attack.
The gas might kill them instantly, while a bomb might leave them dying in agony in a pool of their relatives' blood for days leaving their infant babies to starve to death.
It also seems a bit rich for us to rush to occupy the moral high ground while at the same time selling weapons of mass destruction to the Saudis, in the knowledge that they use them to blow up hospitals and schools in Yemen.
If the Prime Minister actually cared about the people of Syria, she might have done something after the first 100,000 deaths, or maybe the first quarter of a million, but the government carried on ignoring them and fretting instead about more important things like what a threat Jeremy Corbyn is to the pound in our pocket, or whether they'll be able to hose the homeless off the streets of Windsor for Hazza and Sparkle's wedding.
If the President of the United States cared so much, wouldn't he have accepted some of those poor homeless Syrians as refugees?
Perhaps, up to now, they were potential terrorists and allowing them in might embolden Mexico to send some more of its “bad hombres”.
But show someone foaming at the mouth on Fox News and the president does his nut and starts barking at the TV and threatens to attack Russia with missiles that are “nice and new and smart”, in something of a contrast to the man that OK'd their use.
Maybe one of those missiles would like to be the leader of the free world?
He actually tweeted “Mission Accomplished!” after the first night's strafing. How tone deaf do you have to be to repeat George W Bush's premature boast about the adventure in Iraq?
I know that no-one ever learns anything from history but was that long enough ago to count as historical?
Theresa May didn't wait until parliament got back from its Easter holidays before declaring that we were in on the latest western adventure in the Middle East.
She probably didn't want to risk asking parliament to vote on it and hearing the word “no”, as her predecessor did.
I wonder if the PM is keen to do whatever Donny wants because he is grumpy and temperamental and we need him to do us a favour on trade.
The World Health Organisation has said it believes 500 people were affected by the apparent attack in Douma on Saturday.
Five hundred die in a certain way on TV and we act – 500,000 die away from the cameras and our attitude seems to have been that we are busy, we've got other things to think about, we'll get to it later, where's Syria, what war?
Now things are different – the allies agreed it is vital that the use of chemical weapons should not go unchallenged, which is instructional to every murderous dictator out there.
The message is that you can do what you want and kill as many people as you like and leave whole towns in rubble and untold lives ruined, just don't use any gas because it makes us feel uncomfortable.
We will get all fighty when you kill a few people like that, while we'll look the other way if you kill hundreds of thousands in any other way.
Or at least the government will get fighty.
The public are not so gung-ho.
A poll taken after the gas attack had 22 per cent saying they are in favour of action and 43 per cent against.
But that can't possibly be, because that would mean that the PM is thwarting the will of the people and we know how she feels about that.