Both, the Syrian and the Libyan regime, have faced uprisings from their people - both of which have been put down violently in heavy-handed crackdowns.
And yet the international community has intervened militarily in Libya, but not in Syria. While NATO pounds targets in Libya, Syria is hit only with sanctions.
In the Syrian case, the UN, US, the western countries and even Turkey have been far more muted, asking only for Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, not to use excessive force on demonstrators.
Why? What is the difference between government crackdowns which both target their own people?
Inside Story, with presenter Kamahl Santamaria, discusses with Mouin Rabbani, an independent Middle East analyst and a contributing editor of Middle East Report; Richard Weitz, a senior fellow and director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute; and Yusuf Kanli, a columnist at the Hurriyet Daily News, a Turkish newspaper.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, May 1, 2011.