Washington blunders yet again in Syria
It is not reassuring that we know next to nothing about the details of the international conference on Syria that has been endorsed by the United States and Russia.
For the Obama administration, a conference would help initiate negotiations between the Syrian opposition and the regime, preferably leading to a transition away from Syrian President Bashar Assad.
For Russia, a conference must allow Assad to gain the upper hand in Syria.
Of course, the Syrian opposition can always say no to an international conference.
While the Obama administration does not want to push the Syrian opposition more firmly into the hands of radical Islamist groups, it probably feels that such groups could be contained if a consensus to resolve the Syrian crisis peacefully is reached at a conference.
The Russians in turn, have every intention of sending Assad to a conference well positioned to resist all efforts to make him step down. Indeed, the Syrian president will likely impose many conditions before agreeing to be present at a meeting that, he and the Russians know, the U.S. is keen to see succeed, since it would allow Barack Obama to resist mounting calls for greater involvement in Syria.
Read more: http://dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2013/May-16/217252-washington-blunders-yet-again-in-syria.ashx#ixzz2TbLNRe2o
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)