KARIN LAUB AND ZEINA KARAM
[Huffington Post - November 3, 2012]
DOHA, Qatar — Over the coming days, Syria's anti-regime camp will wrangle over reorganizing its ranks, as the United States pushes a proposal to create a new leadership body with fewer Syrian exiles and more military commanders fighting on the ground to bring down President Bashar Assad.
Anyone watching the Syrian Civil War right now through the eyes of Western media is like some guy who figures he knows what WWII was all about because he just watched Inglourious Basterds. The Syrian narrative being presented on the nightly news is of brave rebel fighters battling oppressive dictator Assad whose forces go around shelling civilians and murdering babies. And while some of that is certainly true, the real devil lies in the details and omissions [Enlarge image]
But there are serious doubts whether the divided and ideologically diverse factions can come together into a structure the U.S. and its allies can work with.
Hundreds of Syrian opposition figures are taking part in a five-day conference starting Sunday in the Qatari capital Doha, seen as the most serious push yet to forge a united front to help end the 19-month conflict that has killed over 36,000 people and left much of the country in ruins.
For the United States, it represents an opportunity to overhaul Syria's fragmented opposition leadership, which is widely seen as petty, ineffective and cut off from the events on the ground. Washington hopes a more cohesive and representative body can provide a reliable partner, buffer against interference by extremists and help bring Syria's allies Russia and China on board with change.