Forced to listen at last
Developments in the Middle East are a step in the right direction. Western governments were restrained from taking military action mainly by the realisation that the majority of their voting publics don't support it. The UK and US rushed to war in Iraq, lying to the public while ignoring UN weapons inspectors who couldn't find any WMDs. The current situation looks similar, where the US and its allies were preparing to attack without waiting for inspection teams to report the evidence.
Last week the public may have punished Western leaders for having deceived them before, but I think mainly they just don't believe the case that's been put to them makes any sense. Bashir al-Assad is a thug and has killed many of his own people (maybe also with chemical weapons). However, apart from the refugee issue, the existing situation doesn't threaten anyone outside Syria. It certainly poses no threat to the US, Europe or Israel. There are worse regimes that might have to be dealt with soon, Better to save the warheads for when there is a real threat. There is no logic to military action here, and I am delighted that Western public opinion appears to recognise this and has made its voice heard. Now, if they can just get the Russian plan to work.