Developments in Syria are evidence that the West allowed too much time to pass before using its influence to affect the outcome of the conflict. The possibility that Western efforts could make the situation worse always existed. But the recent scramble to sort out the good from the bad among the rebels seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad shows just how dangerous the conflict has become.

World Citizen: U.S. Grapples With Worst-Case Scenarios in Syria

By , , Column

Recent developments in Syria are evidence that the U.S. and the West allowed too much time to pass before using their influence to affect the outcome of the conflict. The choices were never easy, and the possibility that Western efforts could make the situation worse always existed. But the recent scramble to sort out the good from the bad among the rebels seeking to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad shows just how dangerous the conflict has become from the point of view of Washington and Europe, to say nothing of Syrians who wish for a future free of dictatorship of any kind.

It is no surprise the U.S. has decided to recognize the Syrian National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people: Conditions on the ground are such that the fall of Assad is now being spearheaded by al-Nusrah, a group of fighters loyal to al-Qaida, whose name we are likely to hear more often in the days ahead. ...

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