The response of the US, the UK and other Western countries to the Syrian crisis has been slow, nervous and, compared to their actions elsewhere, utterly lacking in conviction and leadership.
John Kerry, the man who tried to be America's President and now its new Secretary of State, announced today that the United States will more than double its aid to the Syrian opposition and begin sending non-lethal aid directly to the rebels. The opposition had hoped to get weapons and is disappointed.
So the rebel Military Council can look forward to "an additional sixty million dollars in non-lethal assistance". Kerry mentioned medicine but failed to spell out the night vision gear, communications equipment, and armoured vehicles expected to be sent to the rebels.
The US may also do more to train rebels at a base in the region.
But the aid has come perhaps a year after the US might have given it. Last winter, Washington became very alarmed by the successes of an Islamist group, Jabat al-Nusra, which was proving itself to be the most effective force on the rebel side.
Panicked by its advances and the policy conundrum this presented to the US, the Americans decided to do nothing more to help the rebels.
So, a year on, this new US aid will go directly to those rebels, the "Free Syrian Army" (these days it is a very loose umbrella term) as opposed to other groups within Syria.
It remains to be seen whether this will even-up the battlefield against Bashar al-Assad, or simply give the non-Islamist rebels more firepower for the in-fighting that will almost certainly follow if and when Assad goes.
And the US is little better. There are no F16's above the skies of Damascus, challenging President Assad's warplanes. There are no (known) special forces liasing with Syrian rebels in government held territory.
No, the West is reaching its hand out towards the flame of Syrian war, but pulling it back as quickly as it can. Calling from the sidelines for Assad to go, failing to bang opposition heads together to form a united front against him, failing to do anything for the best part of a year, then sending paltry, unaccounted sums in "non-lethal aid" doesn't add up to a policy the West can ever coherently defend.