Assad's side believe that if they give quarter it will be the end of them, while the opposition groups differ on many matters but not at all on the imperative of revenge
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 27 March 2012
"If government and opposition in Syria can be brought to accept the plan urged on them by Kofi Annan, the special envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League, there is one thing that can be stated with complete certainty. Both sides would be doing so in bad faith, the one with the intention of relinquishing not a shred of real control, the other in the hope of manipulating a post-ceasefire situation in such a way as to soon bring down Bashar al-Assad, his family and his associates.
Assad's side believe that if they give quarter it will be the end of them, while the opposition groups differ on many matters but not at all on the imperative of revenge. That revenge might conceivably be postponed, but it will not be renounced. The question, then, is whether such a patently artificial solution is worth pursuing. The answer is yes, for a number of reasons.....
....As the Syrian opposition meets to try to resolve some of its differences, and a big "Friends of Syria" conference convenes this weekend in Istanbul, Annan's diplomacy continues. But nothing is clear, including what the Syrian government has really decided to do. If the plan falls, that would not be a surprise. If it, or something like it, succeeds, it will only extend the conflict in a new form, but one which might reduce its human costs."