As I have mentioned before the previous demands of the Arab League to Syria made no sense. They basically demanded Assad to surrender. And as that wasn't likely to happen they were a recipe for a civil war.
With first the observation mission and now a plan that looks for a Yemen-like solution - including amnesty for Assad - the chances are better. However, the plan is still somewhat unrealistic:
- amnesty for Assad is fine, but what about all the people who work for the regime. Many assume even that Assad is just a figurehead. In that case he wouldn't be able to accept a solution where only he gets amnesty.
- replacement of Assad by his deputy is a reasonable idea. But I wonder whether there isn't someone else in the present elite who enjoys more trust amongst the opposition. On the other hand: this should be the result of negotiations; not a precondition for it.
- the plan still foresees democratic elections in a few months. That is not feasible. The country has no democratic traditions and no existing parties. Just as in Egypt and Tunisia it would mean that the Brotherhood will win as they have the best organization. But this organization is not built for democracy so the result might very well be a new dictatorship. In addition the conflicts are much too sharp: democracy is only possible when the main parties are prepared to compromise. Elections at the moment would simply mean a revolution by ballot box and result in mass harassment of all those who are even remotely connected with the present government. It would be much better to focus on values: more freedom, less political prisoners and less torture.
So the best idea would be to have a transitional government with a minority representation for the opposition that initially focuses of make the country more free and more civilized. Elections should be held when the government thinks the time is there, but it should be understood that that will take at least two years.