Patrick Cockburn, The Independent | March 14, 2012
The conflict in Syria is bound to last for some time. ++ Too many countries are waiting around for someone else to take action. ++ Turkey and Jordan refused to be drawn in by creating safe havens along the Syrian border. ++ Assad's armed forces are able to hang together but not put down the rebellion everywhere. ++ The regime cannot risk mass Sunni defections from the army by carrying out a large offensive. ++ In the end, the regime's survival might be threatened by sanctions but authoritarians can sometimes work around such restrictions.