In a week when there have been claims of another chemical weapons attack by forces working for the Assad regime in Syria western action looks imminent. What form that will take is not known. Certainly France and the UK seem hell bent on action. Their stance seems to be that action is long overdue.
Friday the USA seemed to be taking a more cautious approach but today President Obama will meet with his security team in Washington to assess the situation and decide on the next step. US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said Mr Obama had asked the Pentagon to prepare military options for Syria. What they are is any person's guess. As US naval forces in the area are beefed up it looks like the time for direct action has finally arrived.
The USS Gravely, USS Barry and USS Ramage are already deployed in the Mediterranean and they will be joined by USS Mahan.
It could be little more than a show of strength and bluff. History is scattered with instances of would be battles halted in their tracks. The question remains though, who attacked the Syrian rebels? Was it an inside job or was it Assad?
Angela Kane, the UN's disarmament chief, has arrived in Damascus to push the Assad regime to allow weapons inspectors to the sites of the alleged chemical attacks.
The images of people dying and corpses of cows and dogs piled high, each group huddled together, are shocking. This time they seem real and irrefutable but surely the west must ascertain who launched the attack before it wades into another conflict?
For a long time Syria has looked as if it had the potential to create global war. Today Russia still maintains that the chemical attack was launched by forces other than the Assad regime. Iran, a long time ally of Syria, claims that there is "proof" the chemical attack was launched by the rebels. Iran has warned the west against taking action.
Syrian leader Assad may have few allies but he still has some powerful ones in Russia, Iran and China.
In the early days of the Syrian civil war many pundits hoped that Assad would be removed quickly or remove himself from power. It is now abundantly clear that neither will happen. Perhaps like Gaddafi in Libya he is prepared to die fighting for the rule of Syria?
Looking at our involvement in Egypt, Libya and the Arab Spring we can hardly pat ourselves on the back and proclaim job well done. The region is in tatters and people continue to suffer. And as always waiting in the wings is Israel. One country that the west, but especially the USA, are committed to protecting. Israel and oil are key matters in the crisis.
At one time many western citizens would sit back and let their governments wade into battle, blindly trusting that they were doing the right thing. For many people that trust has gone. We no longer trust politicians from whatever political party. We know that as Tonto may have said "they speak with forked-tongue".
It is ironic that at a time when western governments plead poverty and expect the general public to suffer austerity measures there is always a will and money for conflict. What a waste of both resources.