On the other hand there comes a time when human decency demands action. Night after night on the news we are witness to mass graves being filled with mostly women and children. Government troops are slaying the population with impunity while the world sits back and watches.
Man's inhumanity to man. Which is worse? What the Syrian army is doing to it's own people or what the rest of the world is doing by doing nothing? My blood really boils when our government officials are asked why we don't intervene in some capacity and we're told it's because we "don't know who these people are", meaning the opposition. Does it matter?
Leveling the playing field need not mean American boots on the ground. It could mean providing arms. Or air power. Something! We're supposedly smart people. But then we're supposedly compassionate too. The UN is once again a toothless tiger because Russia opposes everything so there will be no help there. We could do as Bill Clinton did in Bosnia when he got to the point when enough was enough. He went it alone.
As for not knowing who the opposition is, I don't buy it. The Wall Street Journal had an article on it just today. If they know, certainly our government knows. A lot of what has been happening in the Middle East doesn't please us. We seem to ignore their culture and beliefs and act so surprised when they actually elect Islamists to government. Why not? They are Islamist countries! The important thing is they were given the opportunity to vote. We can't dictate the outcome and should quit trying. Look what we have in Afghanistan.
One thing of which I'm fairly certain is that the people of Syria will long remember who helped them - and who did not. If I'm going to bet on who a new government will be more friendly toward, regardless of ideologies, I'll bet on those who helped.