* the drafting of a constitution approved by referendum;
* a coalition government, presumably until the holding of "- elections scheduled for 2014.
One Congressional staffer on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee emailed late today that the Obama administration may well be willing to accept Bashar Assad's "Damascus Opera House" formula given the fast changing geopolitical reality in the region and the military stalemate on the ground in Syria. Both facts suggesting that there is no realistic alternative to the current elected government or that there is much of a realistic prospect that the regime will throw in the towel or collapse anytime soon.
The Congressional staffer, who works on US-Middle East issues, also believes that the incoming Secretary of State, John Kerrey and the likely new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who will face a tough Senate confirmation fight, but will likely survive it, would go along.
In contrast to President Assad's speech this morning, one of the leaders of the so-called opposition, George Sabra, did not appear capable of offering much to aid the process of ending the current crisis in Syria. Said Mr. Sabra, "No one could possibly think about dialogue or working with this regime in any way. It is not a possibility. It is out of the question."
Sabra's may not be the evolving international view.