I honestly do not know if this is meant to be taken seriously. I don’t know who your sources are, QN, but these points you list for discussions seem to be a bit in the realm of fantasy.
Let me elaborate:
1. The opposition must end its calls to topple the regime. Ok. Fair enough. I think that one is a valid point that could possibly be compromised on not saying that it should. Or that it will be. But it’s possible.
2. Can you give me one example of “monitors agreeable to both sides” that’s ever been accepted and worked in the past? Where the losing party hasn’t come out complaining that the elections were not fair, and that the monitors were not impartial? Specially in the Middle East. You really think that is a realistic compromise that the Syrian regime and the opposition will agree to?
3. Televised negotiations: This one made me laugh out loud. In a part of the world where NOTHING is ever negotiated in public, you honestly think anyone will go for televised negotiations? This is the Arab world man! Accountability and transparency are non-existent. We don’t even have televised negotiations in Washington, where transparency and accountability are supposed to be one of the best in the world. You honestly think this can be done in the ME? What have these contacts of yours been smoking?
4. Yeah. This I can see being a semi-serious point of discussion. But this is somewhat predicated on item 1: Assad has to stay, but the opposition gets the premiership. Basically. In my mind, this would have been a feasible solution about 2 years ago. Now that so many lives have been lost in such a brutal way, I’m afraid there is too much hatred and too much radicalization (Sectarian above all) to make any kind of co-existence and reconciliation feasible. I can’t imagine how you could possibly convince the populace on either side that it’s now ok to now reach your hand out to the same people who’ve been butchering and raping and pillaging your “community”. I don’t see it.
5. Same point as 4, for me. All this talk of compromise seems like “pie in the sky” stuff at this point. I don’t see how you can get either side and their followers to compromise while having these kind of non-starter points (the main one of those being Assad staying in place). The Syrian regime is not a system that can be “tweaked” here and there to compromise with others. It has been built for 40 years around a kind of “all or nothing” approach around the Assads. I frankly don’t see how it can be made to work in any kind of watered down version. There really is no such thing as an “Assad-lite” system that would work at this point. Not after all the brutality of the past year or so.
Like I said, if this compromise talk had gone on over a year ago, before the worst of the atrocities, then yes, there could have been some room to work for both sides. But now, it’s gonna be a hard sell for either side to explain how they can compromise with each other.
Try explaining to pro-regime supporters why you’re willing to admit “takfiri terrorists, funded by Israel and KSA” into your government and giving them prime ministerial powers. Try explaining to your Alawite/Christian constituency why they shouldn’t fear Sunni extermism all of a sudden, after 2 years of brandishing those guys as bogeymen.
And on the flip side, if you’re FSA or opposition. try explaining to your supporters who have lost so much and have had their sons and daughters raped and mutilated why you are suddenly willing to accept leaving Assad the Butcher in office, just so you can get some dinky Prime Minister chair. Try explaining to your followers why these apostate Alawite shabiha who have been committing atrocities in your villages should be your best friends.
And then try explaining to your more extreme followers from Al Nusra or similar, why they should lay down their arms, and give up all they feel they’ve accomplished, while still having to accept not having religious parties in the next regime, and where they probably won’t be allowed to be part of this compromise govt.
There is simply no way any of these points listed here have a chance in hell of passing. Unfortunately.
Just being realistic here.