By Dr. Radwan Ziadeh
The worst thing in political negotiations is to lose your agenda and allies by recognizing your opponent and the legitimacy of his role in a crisis.
Thus, the Geneva conference needs more prudence and deliberation to determine the correct attitude towards it. The U.S., which considers itself a friend of the opposition, must exert pressure on the opposition to attend, before revealing what the conference's final objective. If not, the opposition could lose out on two key points:
The first is that it will lose the already weakened confidence of the rebellious street, which wants a solution for the crisis, but doesn’t want to enter negotiations that will keep Assad in power after all that he has done to Syria and Syrians.
The second is that it will change the image of the Syrian revolution, which began as a peaceful revolution for freedom and dignity, but evolved into an armed conflict between two sides. We have to find a political solution to the crisis as the thing that consistently strengthens the voices of those reluctant countries that call for arming the Free Syrian Army, but say there must be more time for political negotiations, giving them time to work things out, before giving them qualitative weapons.
Faced with these risks, the benefits and losses should be weighed with great accuracy, because without doing that we might enter the dark tunnel of political negotiations, without any light at the end, and lose all what we’ve achieved on the way.