No easy options on Syria
Just when it seems as if things couldn't get any worse in the poor, benighted country of Syria, they do. The massacre of at least 220 civilians in the village of Tremseh by Syrian air force helicopter gunships marks a new and dangerous escalation of the 18-month old conflict.
As things go from bad to worse in Syria, it is clear that if the situation hasn't already reached the stage of full-scale civil war, then it is perilously close. As the experience of two of Syria's neighbouring countries, Lebanon and more recently Iraq, demonstrates, once ethnic and religious civil war takes root it is virtually impossible to eradicate.
So far the international community's efforts to end the bloodshed have ended in failure.