Obama sees Syria as one of the definitions of his presidency. But Syria is the battleground for a 21st Century proxy war. Iran, Saudi Arabia, many major players are there. And there is something else: Obama can't afford to do a 'W' and go in with all guns blazing. The president's past, steeped in vociferous opposition of the Iraq War, won't allow it.
I am not competent enough to speak about the legacy that will survive Mandela. Nor am I versed in the study of politics to fully appreciate just how extraordinary Mandela's achievements have been. I am qualified to call Mandela one of the most iconic figures of our time and perhaps the 20th century's foremost actor for egalitarianism and liberation.
I must say this; Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham and former Senator Joseph Lieberman have got it absolutely right on Syria. President Obama must listen to them and do the right thing. John McCain told the Dead Sea Conference recently: by arming the right rebels, there will be a chance for what McCain calls "level playing field".