Many believed 2012 would be Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's last year in power, but at the outset of 2013 the conflict appears locked in a stalemate with alarming fatality rates.
The plan from UN special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is unlikely to gain traction without more concessions to the Syrian opposition.
NATO condemned Syria for firing Scud-type missiles yesterday, which Syria denies doing. The UN says the violence could result in as many as 1 million refugees over the next six months.
On Monday, Obama strongly warned Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad not to use chemical weapons as rebels advance on Damascus. What is the national interest in threatening US action? Obama must sort out the moral purpose.
Some eye-catching video shows a disciplined jihadi militia on the move in eastern Syria after ransacking a regime artillery base.