By Tony Karon
"The Arab League called Wednesday for "urgent measures" to protect Syrian civilians in the face of violent repression by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. But lest anyone take that as an echo of the call that legitimized the NATO-led military operation in Libya, the League's statement also rejected "all foreign intervention" in Syria. Still, signs are growing that Syria's escalating power struggle is more likely to be be settled by outside forces than by the Syrians themselves.
Through more than nine months of escalating repression that has killed as many as 3,500 people, the regime has not been able to suppress the uprising. Weekly protests continue; the scale of regime assaults on the city of Homs suggests it remains an opposition stronghold; and a dramatic series of overnight attacks Wednesday by soldiers who've crossed over to the insurgent Free Syrian Army -- including a brazen guerrilla assault on a Syrian intelligence base on the edge of Damascus -- suggested that civil war is already a reality......"