After the Second World War, the old European order was replaced by a bi-polar world dominated by two superpowers.
Trouble is Great Britain was still behaving like a Great Power in the Middle East, overthrowing a democratically elected leader in Iran and attempting to replace a very popular but also very troublesome leader in Egypt called Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Along with France and Israel, Britain then seized control of the newly nationalised Suez Canal.
However, that was met with a reminder from the US that Great Britain was no longer a Great Power.
This as known as the Suez moment, and a Britain without the economy to sustain expensive overseas operations gradually pulled back it army and navy from the Middle East.
So, is the current conflict in Syria taking a similar turn with the East headed by an economically powerful China allied to the military power of Russia, reminding the West of its limits in a newly forming bipolar world?
Of course, it is too early to draw any concrete conclusions.
However, all the signs are there – an economically declining West which has invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and conducted low scale wars in Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen, is reminded by China and Russia of its obligations to international law, as well as, of course, its place in an emerging bi-polar world.