While awaiting congressional approval for a military shot across the bows of the Syrian regime, Mister Obama must be undergoing some anxious moments at this point in time.

But it has to be wondered why his options appear so severely limited, restricted as they are to this one course of action and apparently to no other.

Is force still the only way to contain certain situations? If it is, then that suggests a woeful lack of imagination in a world where many such matters might benefit from an altogether different and much more enlightened approach. The dilemma here comes about through the absence of any universally recognised regulatory system; there is no catch-all facility in being, nothing with the power to redirect all those states and nations who have strayed far from the fold of what is, broadly speaking, international practice and principle.

To resolve this omission will require a whole new upgrade in the field of human interaction and our understanding of what next moves should then be made.

My own dilemma at present consists of being laid low, or at least horizontal by an attack of sciatica in my right leg.

I get these bouts from time to time and, normally, the remedy consists of a day or two’s bed-rest and a rapid return to normal thereafter. This time, however, the symptoms have persisted for nearly a week and self-medication has only partially alleviated them. I therefore intend to visit the doctor tomorrow, an extremely rare event, the last such occasion being sometime back towards the end of the 20th century.

I am expecting a diagnosis that may involve stronger painkillers but certainly not amputation of the offending limb.

The Obama administration might do well to re-diagnose their own procedures and seek out a second opinion on whatever ‘surgery’ they may be contemplating after getting the green light from Congress.

And even more so if there happens to be no green light.