Iran seeding permanent chaos is an ugly future, and the West must consider the alternatives. Will the West turn a blind eye to Assad’s massacres, hoping to fight him another day, or will it stop the blackmail and confront Assad with whatever means possible? If President Barack Obama calls for regime change in Syria, will Assad sink? And if he stays afloat, what contingency plans can secure the president’s words?

Further, what roles can countries in the GCC and Israel play? All will suffer greatly if Assad survives and Iran appears to be winning against the West. Another win by Iran will turn the Middle East into a swamp of terror, which may mean even steeper gas costs for U.S. consumers.

U.S. supremacy is being challenged in ways never seen before by the likes of Iran and other countries eager to see the U.S. on its knees. The Europeans, addicted to Russian gas, will have to weigh their options carefully before they start on another path like the one they have taken in Libya. Absent Assad calming the Syrian street without a grand-scale massacre, the Syrian conflict will continue to bubble.

Now that the conflict has been internationalized, the West has no choice but to find a means by which both the Syrian and the Iranian regimes are defeated: it’s in everyone’s interest, including U.S. consumers.