While the world awaits the authorisation of Congress for a possible US-led air attack on Syrian military assets, we might all do well to ponder what benefits, if any, can be expected from such a dramatic venture into the unknown.
What purpose does a limited, surgical strike on Syrian regime targets achieve and will it be of any lasting value?
Is this a temporary stay of execution, the precursor to a much larger and more concerted effort sometime later on?
Can the present path upon which Syria seems destined to travel ever become a detour towards peace, a return to some semblance of national normality?
Are the still somewhat hesitant steps being taken to counteract the further use of these chemical nerve agents sufficient for the task ahead?
What will we learn from this episode in our history? And have we discovered anything to our advantage in other such episodes, of which there have been so very many?
Is it a case of what cannot be cured must be endured or are we missing some vital lesson here, too focused on events and personalities to see the big picture?
Certainly a much bigger picture than the one currently on view.