Commentary: Friday evening, UK time, the US Secretary John Kerry, addressed his country and the world. His message was clear -- the US is positive that President Assad was behind the chemical attacks of Syrian civilians last week. The attack reportedly killed well over a thousand people, including more than 400 children.
As Kerry spoke he appeared visibly moved by the images of death and suffering he had viewed. Tugging at heart strings though does not prove who is responsible for any such attack. Cynics in the west would not be shocked to learn that US agents were pulling strings in Syria and manipulating the conflict. Personally the footage released by Bradley Manning called "Collateral murder" and showing murder by members of the US military in Iraq shocks me just as much.
It has been a strange day in the UK, with some such as former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown expressing shame at Britain's lack of enthusiasm for more conflict. Ed Miliband, who opposed Cameron, has been applauded by some and attacked by others. Pundits claim that Washington blames Ed for the temporary halt on action against Assad. In truth though members of the government, Lib Dems and Tories, voted against Cameron.
Ed Miliband and other Labour politicians listened to calls from the electorate and acted accordingly. Tory supporters may accuse him of politically motivated manipulation but Cameron was in part also playing that game.
Cameron however tried to jump the gun, no doubt swept along on the crest of a USA wave, before the evidence was in. Miliband and his party may have acted differently if the US weapons' inspectors had finished their work and firm evidence was on the table.
With UK newscasters asking if Britain's reputation is now irreparably damaged on the world stage you could almost laugh.
The UK has been stuck in US led conflicts for years. When we faced terrorism in the UK some Americans actively supported the terrorists, namely the IRA. If it is a case of the first time we say no we are abandoned, then so be it. As they tell you in kindergarten, with friends like that, who needs enemies?
Updates to follow