At least 7,500 civilians have died in Iraq this year, the death toll surging because of the war in Syria and the failure of Sunni-Shiite reconciliation.
Just as a 2010 protest sparked an Arab uprising for democracy, Tunisia shows that an Islamist party in power will peacefully step down.
But is that a problem?
So far, the American humanitarian response for Syria has been its best success during the crisis. But with the UN making a record appeal for aid as refugee flows escalate, US empathy will be tested again.
The UN asked today for $6.5 billion for Syria, its largest appeal ever for a single crisis. A breakdown of what's been requested, and where it would go.
The Free Syrian Army, the US hope for 'good' rebels to prevail in Syria, is in disarray. The chances for a negotiated settlement to Syria's brutal civil war just got dimmer.