No one should have been surprised that Russia committed their military to the task of saving their ally in Syria from defeat. And no one should now be surprised if Saudi Arabia steps up its support for the Syrian opposition; or if the opposition attacks Russian forces in Syria.
With the exception of a few intellectuals who truly believe in the democratic system of governance based on Western-like principles, the majority of the Syrian opposition forces appear to be as ruthless as the regime they are fighting to overthrow.
The battle for Syria demonstrates that what started as a peaceful call for change can lead to the disintegration of an entire country, and creation of a new geopolitical reality. If it can happen in Syria, it can and will certainly happen elsewhere.
Although all of Syria's neighbors have been negatively impacted by the country's crisis, Iraq's sectarian tensions and the religious, historical and cultural bonds between Syrians and Iraqis connect the two states' political fates.
"I can see my toes..." was scribbled in Arabic on a piece of torn cardboard smuggled out of a Syrian jail. It was the third note my grandfather, a Syrian general, was able to send to his wife, my grandmother, by bribing one of the guards.