Just catching up here...
I think this is a good piece, although R2P is probably a bigger debate than the author suggests.
The Syria issue looks to be as much about resolving a US foreign policy credibility problem (as applies to other situations and regions) as it is about a problem of the Syrian people on the ground. The US foreign policy establishment is trying to figure out how to define a modern US commitment to deterrence all around the world -- including in Asia, where it supports the security of places like Japan and Korea. All this amidst a rightfully war-weary populace.
On the international law issues, my friend Jared Genser put out this piece last week with former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler: http://huff.to/1a6ZfNz
Others might be interested in the SyriaDeeply website, which Lara Setrakian and team have created over the past couple of years in an effort to create a source of more systematic and detailed coverage (beyond the 30,000 foot media cycles): http://beta.syriadeeply.org/