The peace process has begun with Syria! The NY Times restrains their exuberance in advance of the peace conference in Geneva:
“For any political conference to succeed in trying to defuse, much less settle, an intense conflict, the ground has to be laid,” said Dennis B. Ross, a former Middle East envoy. “An agenda needs to be agreed, the parties have to want some minimal achievement, the convening co-sponsors have to share some basic goals, and there has to be sufficient leverage on those doing the fighting to permit some compromises to be made. Most of these conditions are lacking.”
Added a Western diplomat involved in preparations for the talks: “We don’t have a Plan B.”
However, Plan C is for the delegates to spend a lot of time in local comedy clubs. John Kerry has contributed to the levity:
Unlike the Middle East talks, in which Mr. Kerry set a nine-month goal for completing a peace treaty, there is no target date for completing the Syria peace talks or establishing a transitional administration that could take over if Mr. Assad agreed to relinquish power. In a closed-door meeting with the Syrian opposition last year, Mr. Kerry noted that Vietnam peace negotiations had gone on for years.
Those would be the Paris Peace Talks that eventually led to a deal which the North Vietnamese ignored and the US abandoned. Quite the reassuring precedent, Johnny.