It does not really matter. Regardless of his recent assertions on CNN, Bashar is bound to squander any chance he is given. He is simply too riddled with incompetence and guilt to take advantage of anything.
I am not the only one who can see this now. Finally. Opposition groups in Syria can now see this too. Indeed, and in this regard, the Damascus Declaration, for all its imperfections, does come as a serious step forward, and does offer some reason for optimism, provided, of course, that its authors have some vision and plans for proceeding forward, and that they are not going to see in the Declaration the final summation of their contributions to this critical moment.
For this, opposition groups should learn how to play the media game more effectively. They need to select a few young spokesmen that can explain their point of view on the various satellite channels out there in hope of urging people to take to the street and take this whole process to a whole other level.
A scenario for a velvet revolution in Syria has always been discounted. I tend to discount it myself. Yet, and knowing what the future might indeed bring to the old country, I cannot but hope.
Still, caught between Islamists, nationalists, wishful thinkers and murderers, can a heretic truly be hopeful?