Robert Fisk: Bloodshed will go on as West fails to learn from mistakes
Bashar al-Assad will get away with it. He got away with Deraa. He got away with Homs. And he'll get away with Houla. So will the armed opposition to the regime, along with al-Qa'ida and any other outfits joining in Syria's tragedy. Yes, this may be the critical moment, the eponymous "tipping point" of horror when Baathist collapse becomes inevitable rather than probable. And dear Mr Hague may be "absolutely" appalled. The UN, too. We all are.
But the Middle East is littered with a hundred Houlas.
And what if Mr Assad's soldiers let their Alawite militia do their dirty work? Didn't the Algerian FLN regime use "home guard" units to murder their opponents in the 1990s? Didn't Gaddafi have his loyalist militias last year?