There is little evidence to suggest that sending in our bombers or arming the rebels will ratchet down, rather than ratchet up, the violence. Remember: weapons are fungible. We have no way of preventing the al-Qaeda-affiliated members of the opposition from getting hold of bombs and bullets supplied by Britain and France. Nor does anyone have a credible plan of action for the day after Assad falls.
Certainly the April bombings point to a young man who was filled with a self righteous hatred that allowed him to strike out at innocent men, women and children--maiming and killing them with no sense of conscience. Did this hate have some of its origins in either his or his brother's drug use and a wish to destroy those who he later blamed for corrupting him?
The French military intervention in Mali since mid-January and much of the official discussion of Mali in the UN and among Western governments seem to have been driven by a quite narrow and short-term view of the issues the country faces. As in anything, if the problem is mis-diagnosed, the solution will probably mis-fire.
The longer the West remains inactive, the more Islamic extremists will join the war. Inaction by the Obama administration over the last two years had encouraged the regime to kill more than 60,000 Syrians and force the displacement of 2 million Syrians. By turning a blind eye, President Obama has in effect given the green light to Al-Qaeda and other Jihadists to enter Syria.