Among the more ominous reports from or about Syria today is one from the LA Times that middle-class, educated Syrians are becoming ambivalent about the anti-Assad rebels, especially given the increased evidence of jihadists among them.
Hassan Hassan in The National also comments at length on the jihadis' presence among the rebels. Although, he says, their presence is sometimes overhyped in the Western media, their ability to provide social services to people has enhanced their appeal. But perhaps his most foreboding comment comes at the end:
The bottom line is this: the longer this crisis goes on, the more time radical forces from all sides will have to dig in.
Meanwhile, reports the NYT, the main opposition group in exile, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, met Saturday but was unable to fashion a transitional government. The disconnect between this bunch and the rebels doing the actual fighting remains too broad.
Meanwhile, displacement and exile has rendered hundreds of thousands of Syrians miserable. Hungry, wet, cold, impoverished, children and the elderly at risk of death by illness or exposure. They have no prospects, can see absolutely no light on the horizon. Hence, frustration, anger.
That's a perfect breeding ground for people preaching extreme solutions. It's also lousy raw material with which to fashion a new political and social contract when the time for that comes.