Yet that just didn’t happen. The West failed to get behind potential leaders; the Islamists were better organized and more willing to sacrifice their lives. It could well be argued that if anyone has to win it should be the rebels, since that would be a devastating defeat for Iran and Hizballah, because also the Sunni Islamist bloc lacks a patron to finance an aggressive anti-Western, anti-Israel program and to supply arms for it. But can one be enthusiastic about those who want to impose a new dictatorship, carry out ethnic massacres, include al-Qaeda, and might even use nerve gas to make propaganda?

Sadly, the truth is that in Syria there are Islamists all the way down.