Has anyone ever noticed how belatedly the civilised world reacts to crimes against humanity, how fragmented and ponderous are its moves to counter, interdict or sometimes even just censure such flagrant violations of international law?
Is there some general reluctance to address so much evil when and wherever it first starts to appear?
Are instances of mass murder so appalling that the mind is numbed, simply unable to grasp the full enormity of what has happened?
Could it be that, in all these horrors, we see and recoil at some darker aspect of our innermost selves?
Or might it be because there is no set agenda in place, no programmed response to direct against such circumstances, no fixed policy to call upon when the very worst in human nature is encountered?
Currently the Obama administration is engaged in fashioning some suitable riposte to forestall any further deterioration in the Syrian civil war. Many have doubts about the proposed course of action and its outcome. Will it be too little, too late? Or too much and too soon?
Either way, this approach now seems to be the only stock in store – until something better comes along.