Today, the UN resolution on the events in Syria proposed by the Arab League and backed by the USA, France, the UK and other states was vetoed by China and Russia (whose permanent roles on the Security Council give them great clout). Its not entirely unprecedented, but its definitely highlighted a number of tensions on how the world can react to what's happening in Syria.
President El-Assad's regime represents a number of different issues, and Syria is a very divided state with a number of different ethnic, religious and political groups with their own agendas. Assad's regime is largely dominated by his own tribal grouping, and who would replace him and what would happen over the long term is very uncertain - Assad's Baathist secular government is very much at odds with Islamist groups, but we shouldn't necessarily listen to the rhetoric that if El-Assad went it would lead to such a form of government.
In terms of international reactions, the news that the Syrian government's actions have just led to the deaths of at least 55 in the city of Homs has brought the matter to international attention again. However, while the British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said that the veto "lets the Syrian people down", China dismissed the idea (cynics might like to point out that China itself is hardly averse to using military power to put down protests).
The terms of the proposed resolution were actually pretty weak and generally toothless (and its highly unlikely any group like NATO would be willing to go for military intervention, following recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya). As in so much of international affairs and diplomacy, all is about positioning and larger moves.
Meanwhile, closer to the ground and away from the rarified air of the United Nations Security Council, the ordinary people of Syria are suffering as their country lurches toward civil war. Would the resolution have made any difference to their situation if it passed?