David Blair makes an excellent point on the Syrian crisis:

The essential problem is that Britain and her allies have two incompatible objectives [bold mine-DL]: they want to hasten the downfall of President Assad, while also bringing the country’s bloodshed to an end. You can’t do both at the same time [bold mine-DL].

Accelerating the end of a regime as ruthless as Syria’s will inevitably entail more violence. If you choose this option, you are effectively placing Assad’s political demise ahead of the need for peace.

This is what I was saying in the earlier post. Western governments would like to see Assad removed and to stop the violence, but there is a good case that they cannot have both. Elliott Abrams has made it clear that removing Assad is the higher priority for him:

The goal today is more simple, and more old-fashioned: to defeat our enemies.

Of course, the people who will probably end up suffering the most from this defeat will be Alawite and Christian civilians, who have never done us any harm.