Death continues to reign in Damascus. Hours after the Arab League called on the Syrian regime and opposition to hold dialogue within 15 days the killing machine went into action doing what it does best: Kill, kill and kill. Dozens of people were killed in Homs and elsewhere. And as this goes to print, there are reports of more carnage across Syria. Its as though responding to the desperate calls for peace by the league and the international community, the Syrian regime is rubbing it in. No amount of international condemnation and profound calls for restraint by the United Nations and Arab and Muslim countries have made any difference to the thick-skinned and callous clique in Damascus. More than 3,000 people have been killed in the murderous crackdown by the regime since March when the Syrians came out on the streets demanding their share of the Arab Spring. Nearly all of them were peaceful and unarmed civiliansmany of them women and children. So it is amazing to see the Arab League and leading UN member states like Russia and China continuing to treat Damascus with kid gloves. The two UN Security Council members vetoed the resolution moved by the United States and Europeans condemning the Syrian government for its crackdown on peaceful protesters. But even the US and its Western allies that had enthusiastically recruited themselves to the cause to liberate Libya have done little more than pay lip service to the long suffering people of Syria. As for the Arab League, having failed to persuade Bashar Al Assad to stop killing his own people, the least the pan-Arab body could have done was to suspend Syria from its membership, as has been demanded by the Gulf Cooperation Council states. What is the meaning of a 15-day ultimatum for dialogue given by the league? It has been rejected by both the government and opposition. While the opposition Syrian National Council has described the leagues proposal as a license to kill, the government has spurned the ultimatum saying it is capable of solving its problems internally. The Gulf states are right to reason that the Arabs and the world community have to exert as much pressure as possible on Assad to rein in his killing squads. Interestingly, one of the voices within the league opposing action against Damascus has been that of Yemen. Which is hardly surprising given the Yemeni regimes own recent history of violence and repression against its people. However, whether it is Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen or his counterpart in Damascus, they have to wake up to the reality that change has come to the Middle East. The age of endless and absolute power is over. This is the message that should be sent out to Syrias rulers. Instead of learning from the fate of Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Qaddafi, Assad has unleashed a reign of terror on a people who have silently suffered the Bathist tyranny for half a century. So how long is the world going to stand and stare as Syrias rulers paint the country red with their peoples blood? Turkey and Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia have had the courage to protest the carnage in Syria despite their historical ties with the country. Unless these voices become a global chorus, Syrian peoples nightmare is unlikely to end anytime soon. International silence on Syria will mean the loss of more innocent lives. Arab News editorial