What happens way over in the Arab world almost always has an impact here in tangible ways, whether it’s Syrian refugees amassing at the border or setting up residence in St. Louis, or Saudi Arabia teaming with Russia to make global oil prices skyrocket. A lot of readers might have ignored last week’s Arab League summit, but it’s exactly in that arena where the region’s future course is being set. The summit was particularly noteworthy, and not in a good way, for the way the Arab world’s most notorious human rights abusers welcomed fellow abuser Syria back into the fold.

The summit offered no heady commitments to improve human rights. Instead, leaders kissed and forgave mass-murdering Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, deliberately ignoring the blood on his hands.