But the opposition also needs to accept the prospect of a solution that involves safe passage for the president and those around him. The rebels may defeat the regime but it is also possible the regime will hold on to power much longer, and kill many more Syrians.

Justice at the cost of more bloodshed? It’s a tough question, especially to those who have lost dear ones. But it is a question the opposition needs to discuss, publicly.

Where does Syria as a country fall in this equation? If the ruler and those around him are spared, people will take revenge on his supporters. Who then would be put on trial? Would the hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled their homes, some after losing family members, simply return and live beside those who have supported the regime? Answers to such questions will determine whether Syria will be saved from itself.

At least 10,000 pro-regime Syrians, including a few of the regime’s top masterminds, have been killed. That does not nearly equal the number or pain of the regime’s victims, but people should be reminded that the suffering has not all been on one side.