The Assads are not the only ones facing isolation. The protesters are being isolated as well – and in that splendid isolation imposed on all, they are left to fend for themselves against a killing machine that remains well-oiled and well-committed to the task at hand. Moreover, the Assads have their supporters in the international community, even in isolation. The protesters have none. The Assads keep getting arms, the protesters keep getting words. Impunity on the hand, frustration on the other, add a dash of rebellious hope, and, voilà, a civil war unfolds.