Many people are rightly worried about the UK-USA-France military intervention, attacking a chemical weapons facility in Syria today.
After all, bold statements bolstering quite flimsy trinkets of evidence have been made in the most redoubtable manner, from the state-crested lecterns of some recent Prime Ministers and Presidents.
Yet Theresa May’s statement today is clear in terms of goal, and stolidly credible in terms of evidence.
Put simply, there has been no impulsive rush to renew unwanted war in the Middle East. Since the first chemical attack in 2012, indisputable evidence has been accumulated over five years by an independent body of specialist scientists: the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Because of this, both Mrs May’s and Mr Macron’s presentations, are likely to exercise influence and receptivity.
Not just towards a global cause of preventing the development, use and spread of chemical weapons. But also to protecting masses of innocent civilians from war crimes.
We should, of course, never condemn the right to self-defence.
But no sense of logic or morality can possibly support the deliberate flying and shelling of one’s own civilians, or territory, with nerve gas.
Whether in Salisbury or Syria, the normalisation of the use of chemical weapons (a designated Weapon of Mass Destruction) cannot be tolerated. Normalisation of such takes us back one hundred years. Or thirty years, if one is an Iranian, Shiiite or Kurdish Iraqi.
Mrs May has today steered well clear of previous errors by former leaders who a) called for regime change and therefore alienated potential internal and external allies, and b) not just provides compelling prima facie evidence, but signals conclusively that other unpublished intelligence (likely, human and technical) exists in spades.
Richard Bingley is Chairman of the New Security Alliance: