And everyone else, the UN, the Holy See, the House of Saud, are just onlookers, even as several players, from the EU to India, China and Japan, can think of nothing but finally normalizing everything with Iran.
The Syrian government, for its part, will be in Montreux; it had agreed to the conference long ago. Yet President Assad laid down; he won't "leave," as US President Barack Obama demanded. He won't let the foreign-sponsored "opposition" take over. And he may even contest the next presidential elections.
Assad went for the jugular when he said Geneva 2 should be about his own "War on Terror." Terror, incidentally, widely supported by the West.
So under this perspective, even Washington needs Assad not to go. The bottom line is that the only players who really want Assad to go are the House of Saud and the House of Thani in Qatar. Many in the West have now realized Assad must stay to fight "the terrorists."
The notoriously shady US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford -- who always pops up whenever the US is destabilizing something -- this time called an urgent meeting in Istanbul, supported by Turkey and Qatar, and pulled a "go to Montreux because I said so" shtick.
He just needed to follow the money. Those who won't travel -- a lot of Syrian National Coalition (SNC) hangers-on - will find themselves short of cash.
So listen to the sound of "patriotism" talking. The SNC, which was always rabidly against any talks with Assad, suddenly said they'll go, even though one-third of their shady members boycotted the Istanbul meeting.
What's even more farcical is what Ford may have told the SNC stalwarts -- still subject to much debate across the Middle East. If Ford really said that Bandar Bush's strategy has been a total failure (in fact turning Syria into an Al-Qaeda hub) then this points to the Obama administration, for all practical purposes, sharing the same objective as Assad's: fighting "terror."
Still, Geneva 2 won't "solve" anything. Iran and Russia will keep supporting Damascus. The desert wasteland from Syria to Iraq will keep being occupied by Bandar Bush-supported and Gulf-supported hardcore sectarian jihadis.
The war will keep spreading deeper into Lebanon. The government in Damascus won't collapse. The refugee crisis will soar. And the West will keep striking a pose of being concerned with "terror."
All that non-jazz in Montreux will come to nothing. And then some bureaucrat will call for a Geneva 3.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).