Reports that Iraqi Baathists, Iranian elements, and others have played a role in the workings of ISIS do not appear to be in keeping with the principle of ideological purity on which the Islamic State says it is based.
Tarek Aziz is gone and so are all senior Iraqi officials who might had served as an effective bridge between pre-2003 and post-Saddam Iraq.
Many journalists lost their lives as they pursued their noble profession that often placed them in harm's way every time their reporting caused some discomfort for a political or militant group.
It should be clear after four bloody years in Syria that if we are to make any progress moving forward, it is necessary to shed illusions and fantasies that have shaped too much of the discussion about the conflict.
The Islamic State's extremism, however, is now causing rifts in the alliance, with Baathist and Islamic State fighters competing
Eventually, Assad or his sons must renounce power; history teaches that no repressive regime lasts forever. But how long until this family falls? How long until "might makes right" is replaced by morality, until the pen and law and human decency really do triumph over the sword?
With the U.S. and Russia wrangling over Syria, it's time to see how closely you've been following the news with a special edition of our Week to Week news quiz.
Anyone who believes limited strikes will not escalate into larger scale commitment is underestimating the complexity of the conflict. And besides, the United States isn't even committed to a regime change.
The UN has pledged more than $1.2 billion for civilians affected by the conflict in Syria, as news comes out that 65 people were found dead in Aleppo, shot in the head.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which says it provides objective information about casualties on both