January 14th, 2013
02:59 AM ET

Mission impossible? Creating the 'Syria of the future' right now

By Jill Dougherty

On Syria, Russia and the United States agree on one thing: The only way the civil war can be solved is politically with a transitional government.

But there's the rub: the U.S. insists president Bashar al-Assad can't be part of that government; Russia says it's up to the Syrians to decide, but the opposition won't deal with any government that includes al-Assad.

No matter how many meetings Moscow and Washington have, they get hung up on this crucial point. But now U.S.  diplomats say they're not waiting. They're trying to foster creation of a transitional government on the ground, even before al-Assad might go. As State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland puts it: "Creating de facto, particularly in liberated areas, the Syria of the future that the Syrian people want."

Nuland describes it as "both a top-down process and a bottom-up process happening at the same time in Syria."

Bottom-up, local coordinating councils are taking over and providing services to residents in towns and villages liberated from government control.

Nuland says the Syrian Opposition Coalition is "beginning to identify specialists within its ranks who can do things like ensure that the lights stay on, that citizen security can be restored, that food and water and power and jobs can be delivered, that fire services stay in place, that hospitals run - these kinds of things."

As part of the top-down approach, U.S. diplomats say the Syrian Opposition Coalition has contacts with technocrats working in the ministries of the central government who, as Nuland explains, "don't have blood on their hands" but "quietly oppose what the regime is up to."

These government workers, they say, may oppose al-Assad but don't want the Syrian state to collapse.

"So the degree to which we can be helpful in supporting the Syrian Opposition Coalition's efforts to get folks ready to maintain the functions of the state (and) can connect them to people inside Syria, whether they are at the federal level or whether they're at the local level ... we stand a better chance of the state not fracturing," Nuland said.

Will it work? If it does, U.S. diplomats hope it could allay some of Russia's fears about a chaotic end if al-Assad is violently pushed from office.

Will it work in time?

"We'll just have to see how this goes forward... but we're not going to wait for this process to be completed to get started on support for a better Syria inside Syria," Nuland said.

soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Home Care

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    March 2, 2013 at 6:08 am | Reply
  2. wjmccartan

    Bibi your master blows Satanayua, you don't represent anyone with your misinformation you inbred towel headed turd wrangling, stool eating, followers of a false profit named moe ham mud, go back to the cave from whence you came, and remember the drones are coming, the drones are coming, ha ha ha al al al oh crap, go smoke another donkey there morons.

    January 15, 2013 at 8:34 am | Reply
    • More Proof We Own You

      you're wrong wjmccartan . . . .I, Bibi Your Master, am not a towel head. I am a faithful and loyal zine-0-ist. I live in tel-aviv.

      It is you, who is the towel head.

      I think you must be persian, or an arab . . . . wait! I know. You are some dumb American . . . .right?

      That's it . . . .you're a dummy American.

      January 16, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply
      • dronescoming4u

        You know the muslims are getting desperate when they resort to posting blatantly false information on news articles hoping some random person will actually believe them. Hahaha how pathetic you are..you own us? you guys are running for the fields like the dogs you are whiIe I f.ked your wife and wiped my c.u.m off her face with her black jihab. Now she wants to move to America because she likes the big d.cks and not you dirty rag heads that smell like donkey sh.t all day.

        January 17, 2013 at 12:13 am |
  3. kafantaris2

    "Syrian authorities were engaged in 'a systematic campaign' to hamper medical care through bombing and closing hospitals and intimidating, torturing and killing doctors who help the wounded."
    And we thought Hitler was bad.

    January 14, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Reply
    • Plopped

      Assad isnt goat-crap compared to Hitler, Hilter would of creamed the whole country by now and probably its neighbors too just for practice. Not a Hitler fan , just a realist.

      January 14, 2013 at 11:46 pm | Reply
  4. U.S.M.C. 1371

    We the US need to stay out of it and let them win or lose their own freedom. Its a sad day when the leaders in Russia want to let the people decide their own fait but we don't. But that's what touch get when you elect trash into the White House.

    January 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Reply
    • BigShiz

      You dont deserve to call yourself a marine,you cowered.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:20 am | Reply
      • wjmccartan

        Most of these posts are made by towel headed idiots, bigshiz, don't let them get to you, just have some fun with it. Enjoy your day, even the so called marine is on of them, just watch the snowflake, it doesn't change no matter what they call themselves.

        January 15, 2013 at 8:40 am |
      • U.S.M.C. 1371

        Did you serve? if not stfu

        January 15, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
      • BigShiz

        I don't need to serve to know someone who calls a president who saved us from total economic collapse,killed bin Ladin and saved our auto industry trash is a coward. That guy who killed those Sikhs in Wisconsin was trash and he's just like you, a racist coward.

        January 16, 2013 at 2:56 am |
      • U.S.M.C. 1371

        Your not going understand but, he spent money that our great grand children will be paying back to save a industry that would have had government protection under bank ruputcy laws. The job market has done nothing their are still millions out of work. When did President Obama join Seal Team 6?And for your retarded race comment you might want to know what race someone is before you mouth off. I am darker then Mr. Obama.

        January 16, 2013 at 6:06 am |
      • BigShiz

        Bush spent that money,you obviously dont know what your talking about. The economy and the deficit are too different things. And to grow the economy you have to spend money to stimulate it(ask any economist) then when the economy is healthy you can cut spending. That's what Regan did that's what Clinton did. With the bush tax cuts and the loopholes Americans are paying less tax than any time in our history. You need to educate yourself. No one likes a house slave.

        January 16, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  5. Jack Davey

    The continuing lack of military intervention by the West is incredible. The establishment of a no fly zone would swiftly bring Assad's Nazi regime to an end as it would lose its military advantage, this will save lives as basic services are reestablished and people able to return home. The internally displaced and refugees outside Syria are suffering from lack of shelter and provisions, and from the winter. These people need to be looked after immediately, why isn't the West doing more for them? As for those against the West helping the FSA, and who support the regime along with Russia and China, (such as the previous comment), these people sound like holocaust deniers. No doubt many are regime trolls, but they keep appropriate company now that Marine le Pen from the French national front has also declared her support for the regime. Also, how come France can intervene militarily in Mali but not in Syria?

    January 14, 2013 at 5:09 am | Reply
    • Bibi Your Master

      I love this photo and I love chaos. We are the best at destabilizing peaceful governments, both friend and enemy. We are the Isralies and the CIA and moussad do good work to achieve our goal of world domination. We planned all this misery and death decades ago. Yeah!

      Russia . . . check!
      Germany . . .check!
      United State . . . check!
      Palestine . . . check!
      Iraq . . . check!
      Lebanon . . . check!

      Coming Up:
      Syria . . . . gonna get em!
      Iran . . . . . gonna get em!

      Opps! I mean we're going to sic the US Marines on Iran. In Syria . . . we'll deceit, assassination, lies, bribery and our regular SOP.

      We are so smart . . . yeah . . .we are the zine-0-ists and we own the world. No one can stop us now!!

      Soon, we're going to take all your guns away just like we have taken all your rights away!

      Yipppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

      January 14, 2013 at 9:50 am | Reply
      • BigShiz

        If you can name one middle eastern country that treats people better than us is like to hear it. Punk

        January 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
      • The Bibi

        @ big shiz . . . the answer is israel you big dummy!

        Free health care.
        Free education
        Cheap prosti tu tion
        Free security supplied by the dumb Americans
        Free money from dumb Americans
        and we get to wipe out Arab towel heads.

        Yeah . . . .we are so bad!

        israel forever! just keep the money coming . . . .we laugh at you in tel-aviv

        January 14, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
      • Satanayau

        To Little girl big shiz . . . the answer is israel you big dummy!
        Free health care. ha ha ha!
        Free education – yeah!
        Cheap prosti tu tion – Mmmmmmm.
        Free security supplied by the dumb Americans . . . LOL!
        Free money from dumb Americans . . . . cha-ching!
        and we get to wipe out Arab towel heads . . . . he he he!

        Yeah . . . .we are so bad and we know it! We are the israelies

        israel forever! just keep the money coming . . . .we laugh at you in tel-aviv

        Oh yeah . . . punks in and rock sucks!

        January 14, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
      • BigShiz

        Hey bibi we all know your not Hebrew. People who spread hate are all the same. As far as I'm concerned all the hateful Muslims and all the hateful Jews will be side by side in hell with each other.

        January 14, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
  6. Wim Roffel

    Anyone who supports an uprising in another country has blood on his hands. It is one of the most immoral things a man can do.

    The Syrian opposition has until now shown itself completely incapable of governing the area they control. Basically they are just a bunch of guys with a grudge against Assad but without a vision. Without foreign support their uprising would have followed the path of all peasant revolts – that of a straw fire that starts fast but also ends fast. It is very nice that the opposition is starting to try now to be responsible. But with many reports pointing to increasing corruption and crime among the rebel troops it will hard work just to prevent further deterioration of the situation.

    Nuland is dishonest. He doesn't want to exclude just Assad. He wants to exclude everyone with "blood on his hands". That is a very arbitrary criteria that if honestly applied would include the opposition leaders but you can be sure they will be not be included. Instead they will receive power on a silver plate.

    January 14, 2013 at 4:46 am | Reply
    • mojacar

      they want to exclude anyone who wont sign up to a u s puppet government giving the countries assets into the hands of u s corporations and limiting the development of better relations with china and russia .this is nothing more than a u s backed coup attempt

      January 14, 2013 at 5:02 am | Reply

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