As civil war engulfs Syria talk of politics and diplomacy has fallen silent. But the West should be redoubling its political and diplomatic efforts, even as it offers indirect support for the arming of the rebels in Syria.
The eyes of the world are on Syria's bloody villages. But now the revolution is finally coming to the once quiet, now tense streets of inner Damascus.
Julien Barnes-Dacey has just returned from a visit to Syria, and returned deeply pessimistic about the situation on the ground, with hopes for a political solution appearing all but dead.
The case of Syria shows that Europe maintains a limited ability to shape its Southern neighbourhood. For the time being it remains a fairly insignificant political actor in the unfolding Syrian crisis.
No one wants to deal with dictators. But one year after the Syrian uprising began, the harsh truth is that Bashar al-Assad maintains the upper hand and the opposition – with its international backers – may have little choice but to cut a deal with him if they want to ease the Syrian people’s suffering.
For so long a reliably boring country in the middle of a tumultuous region, there are signs that Jordan may soon become lively as demands for political reform and the wider impact of the Arab Awakening begin to reach Amman.
Are the days of the Syrian president numbered? Despite popular opposition and growing international isolation, Assad's eventual demise is by no means assured.