Despite the prevailing attitude that says that the first steps to Geneva are theoretically underway, the writing on the wall speaks of obstacles emerging on their own and of obstacles that many are deliberately planting.

There are probably even more fundamental difficulties than those that place the fate of the international conference at the mercy of a preemptive test of wills. It is still difficult to determine exactly where this conference is heading. This is especially true because the outcome of that test will determine the terms of the conference’s course. Those terms will add more limitations that are difficult to overcome or ignore.

The current conversation about America’s immature behavior in regard to a political solution has not been limited to the U.S. administration’s own hassles, which stem from their inability to see the situation clearly. There has also been talk of mistakes in their assessment of the power and importance of certain individuals, and of the roles played by those nations permitted by America to participate. Indeed, America noticed her mistakes late — perhaps too late in many respects. There is no benefit in noticing mistakes and taking no steps to rectify them.

America is either unable or stubbornly unwilling to learn from its past experiences, instead relying on bankrupt methods. The United States puts itself in a hole by thinking or imagining it can try the same old things but get a different result, and by dithering and wasting time to bet on a change that could salvage everything possible from the people, forces and organizations — even countries — in her toolkit.

Thus the dilemma that prevented the first conference is still firmly ensconced, more firmly than before. The balance on which America depended has crumbled to nothing. The ambiguity that provided America with an excuse has now ended. Today the U.S. finds itself in a stalemate it has been trying to escape from for months now, where the choices are limited to two avenues. It could pressure its mercenaries in the opposition to attend the conference with absolutely none of their demands being met, or it could stall for time waiting for a change that will never come.

America did not consider the political embarrassment it would suffer upon the revelation of the hollowness of what the opposition represents, which it portrayed as if it was organized and comprised of people. America has become more certain than at any time in the past that those “favors” from Qatar and Turkey were in fact mere imitations in the service of crumbling schemes, schemes that can bring no additional weight to the negotiating table. After all is said and done, it is clear those schemes have exhausted whatever use they had. There is not one forum for their use and they most likely have become as obviously weak as a piece of paper. The U.S. administration will not hesitate in removing itself from the equation, and the Saudi alternatives are no better!

The dilemma that faces the American administration stubbornly remains in all the reliable alternatives, so America still possesses veto power over the international conference — but it is not prudent to change horses midstream at the peak of political volatility. Regardless of America's belief in whomever they chose as their agent, they are nothing more than their tools. When the Americans truly realize their tools are broken, there will be serious consequences dangerous to America’s image and the sum of its political influence in the international equation. This will be the first time the United States of America’s influence can be truly calculated, after three years of open confrontation on the world stage.

Practical realities dictate a difficult and perhaps impossible schism. Preliminary conclusions are trending toward the certainty of that impossibility, and that certainty is greatly reinforced today. Indeed, the U.S. administration bet on tools and methods that did not stand the test of time. It cannot come up with a coherent, viable policy despite the effort by many to alter the course of prevailing winds — or at least adjust its role and position, which is what postpones progress on the announcement of a clean break from the past.

It follows that every sign we see regarding the steps America is taking confirms that those steps are backward instead of forward. If they turn toward the international conference then they shall surely hijack it onto a backward course at last, and every day that passes will seem farther away than the last.