Recently, I had the privilege of hearing Kofi Annan speak in New York. Freed from the constraints of office, armed with a newly-written book and perspective to view the world a little closer to the ground than from his previous perch on the 52nd floor of the UN building would allow, there was a sharper edge to him.
After a year or so of killing people in areas that protest his dictatorship, Assad apparently has agreed to withdraw troops from killing zones -- starting some 10 days after making his promise to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. What the hiatus does is give Syrian forces breathing space to further crush anti-government elements and destroy towns that harbour rebels.
The recent six-point multilateral agreement on Syria is a breakthrough for those seeking to end the country's horrific yearlong bloodbath. But despite overwhelming agreement that the killing must stop, a lack of shared opinion on whom or what to support now threatens to dash any hope of a ceasefire taking effect.