As has frequently been the case in the last two-and-a-half years, I found myself this past weekend caught in an intense conversation about the ongoing civil war in Syria. This time it was with a supporter of the al-Assad government. He was relentless, insisting that there was no choice but victory, at any cost, especially since the government has been facing foreign fighters from "83 countries."
It's a common refrain I've heard in different variations from all sides of the conflict -- there is no choice but victory. As the world debates the efficacy of a military strike against the al-Assad government in response to its use of chemical weapons on civilians, the fighting on the ground shows no signs of abating. It is clear that the Syrian people are caught between a zero-sum political game being played by the regime and rebels, and their respective backers.
Despite lofty rhetoric from a number of countries, diplomatic efforts towards a political solution should have been more vigorous.
Calling for an immediate cease-fire on all sides is the only path towards peace. But will the United States and other key players go down that road?
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