A very good piece on Syria in the Guardian by Seumas Milne:
Intervention is in fact already taking place. The Saudis and Qataris are reported to be funding and arming the opposition. The Free Syrian Army has a safe haven in Turkey. Western special forces are said to be giving military support on the ground. And if that fails, the UN can be bypassed by invoking the “responsibility to protect” civilians, along Libyan lines.
But none of that will stop the killing. It will escalate it. That is the clear lesson of last year’s Nato intervention in Libya. When it began, the death toll was 1,000 to 2,000. By the time Muammar Gaddafi was captured and lynched seven months later, it was estimated at more than 10 times that figure. The legacy of foreign intervention in Libya has also been mass ethnic cleansing, torture and detention without trial, continuing armed conflict, and a western-orchestrated administration so unaccountable it resisted revealing its members’ names.
He also makes the point that while the West characterized the Russian and Chinese veto against the UN resolution as a mandate for more atrocities, it actually pressured the Syrian National Council (SNC) to agree to Russian mediation for talks. Not that one can really bank on the good will negotiations of a dictator, but he’s right about that pressure: a senior member of the SNC said publicly on Tuesday that they now agree to talks and Russia “should provide a roadmap for such a dialogue.”
He also covers arguments against intervention that I’ve outlined here.