The logic of New Forest West MP Dr Julian Lewis is hard to fault.

If we are trying to keep chemical weapons out of the hands of those who would use them against us, then why would we attack the Assad regime in Syria which is the only thing that stands between their, admittedly illegal, stockpile of the nasty weapons and terrorists attempting to grab them?

Even a punitive strike designed to damage but not story the regime might inadvertently scatter a few of the weapons around.

Far better, galling as it is, to leave matters alone and President Assad and his henchmen to go on gassing their own people.

Put simply, it is not in the British people's interests to strike against Syria.

Fair enough, and all very logical in a cold calculating sort of way.

But, but, much as I admire Dr Lewis and bow to his knowledge of military matters from his previous role as an opposition defence spokesman, there is another logic to be considered here. Chemical weapons have been outlawed by the United Nations and all decent civilised countries have vowed to prevent their use. If we turn a blind eye because it suits us to keep safe, them what value to we put on civilisation?

What if, for instance, when Hitler had rolled into Poland we had said, far better to keep our heads down as some of our people may die if we stand up to him?

Or, some 99 years ago, we had stepped aside when the Kaiser's forces rolled through Belgium, whose neutrality we had agreed to defend. To hell with honour and treaties, lets look after ourselves, we could have said.

But the British people have spoken, through onion polls, and their will is that we stay on the side lines, goes the argument in favour of doing nothing. Of course there weren't any opinion polls back in 1939, let alone 1914, but if there were then I think we can imagine that the view of the British people would have been to avoid war at all costs. Only we know what those costs would have most likely been: France and Russia quickly defeated, millions more sent to the gas chambers, no US intervention (the pro-German American ambassador to the UK, Joseph Kennedy was never keen we should be helped anyway) and an eventual war that would have seen us standing truly alone and probably gone down to defeat. Thanks goodness no one asked the British public if they wanted to fight Hitler or the Kaiser.

Sanity and logic then do not always provide the best solution. Turning away can and does lead to greater ills in the future.

We do not know how the vote in Congress will go at this point. But if President Obama, like Prime Minister Cameron, is defeat and the use of nerve gas on children goes unpunished, then the message to nasty regimes across the globe will be noted. The British people will have spoken, we won't do anything unless you threaten us.

I just hope that if that day ever comes, all of our friends don't decide to leave us to our fate ...for the very best of logical reasons.