Russia says arming the Syrian rebels would breach international law. I suppose when you have a permanent, unilateral and unquestionable veto on every UN Security Council resolution, international law is whatever you say it is.
Although I can’t help feel they might just be saving us from ourselves this time around. Assad is deplorable and overdue for some people’s justice, though I would hope for a little more humanity than the Libyans showed Gaddafi. But I somehow doubt that after the dust settles, the (undoubtedly heroic) Syrian rebels will want to be our friends even if we arm them now.
That said, freedom is worth defending even if we aren’t really friends.