I have heard more times than I can count, especially since the start of the Vienna peace process on Syria last November, that Syrians are simply "tired of war" and that it is time to give up on the Syrian Revolution's core demand for the departure of the Assad dictatorship.
For over ten years, we've been asking - begging - world leaders for a hero. Over a hundred Iraqi churches have been demolished. At least another hundred in Syria.
Jihadists have found a new way of employing the game for propaganda and recruitment purposes. A recent jihadist video suggested that an apparent Portuguese fighter in Syria was a former French international who had played for British premier league club Arsenal.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the hopes in 2011 of a new dawn sparked by the toppling of autocratic leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen were little more than pie in the sky. Nevertheless, the genie of inevitable change has been let out of the bottle.
At this point, we have no ally in Syria with any strength or credibility. The U.S. has a choice of backing the Islamic Front, which it finds repugnant, or it can acquiesce to Assad's continued rule. Another bad choice. The January peace conference in Switzerland will be a farce if it even occurs.
This issue remains one of the most important international topics today, and thus warrants all of our immediate attention. Yet many Americans, especially teens my own age, don't really know what exactly is happening in Syria.
Now, after more than 100,000 dead and hundreds of thousands more uprooted from their homes or taking refuge in Turkey and Jordan, the muddled situation is becoming clearer.
"Did you get a receipt? Go ask for a receipt," Aref told a young woman in his group of about eight after she dropped off
Even before arriving in Syria, it was clear the Syria of 2010 was long gone. On my flight to Southern Turkey, I sat next to a Free Syrian Army fighter.
In this lawless heart of Africa, an area larger than France and Belgium combined, the Lord's Resistance Army has found safe haven in the Central African Republic to operate and recruit.