In Via Meadia‘s view, there are very few fighters in Syria who “share our values”, as Romney put it. Meanwhile, Washington has signalled that it can’t work with the SNC in its current form. The group is obviously too detached from the fighting to be called the real leadership of the Syrian rebellion. Washington has also (so far) rebuffed calls for a no-fly zone in Syrian airspace, “safe zones” on the ground, providing weapons directly to the rebels, or sending in American troops.

So what can Washington and its allies do, exactly? It sounds like Turkey will request that Patriot missiles from NATO be stationed on its border with Syria. This and other signs of a Turkish military buildup might threaten Assad, but they won’t really help the rebels. David Cameron, in addition to suggesting that Assad be allowed out of the country, said that the UK and its allies should try to communicate directly with rebel brigades.

It’s a bad situation with no good policy options for President Obama. But the pressure for Washington to take a more active approach is building as the scene on the ground changes by the day.