Since January, a group of some forty Syrian exiles have been meeting secretly at Ludwigkirchplatz 3-4 in Berlin, on the premises of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politk (German Institute for International and Security Affairs). While this think tank is funded by German employers, its meetings are bankrolled by the U.S. Departments of State and Defense. They are chaired by Steven Heydemann, a dual US-Israeli national, who has long worked for the CIA [1], before becoming a researcher at the U.S. Institute of Peace. This organization, which provides the formal venue for the meetings, is - contrary to what its name might suggest - a screen for the Pentagon [2]. Not surprisingly, the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs is associated with this project.

The program is labelled "The Day After Tomorrow. Supporting a democratic transition in Syria". In Washington’s Orwellian vocabulary, "democratic transition" means the replacement of an elected president who enjoys the widespread support of the Syrian people, Bashar al-Assad, with one picked by the Western powers, and the phrase "Day After" refers to the period following the overthrow of the Syrian regime by those same Western powers.

While the Syrian people were approving by referendum a new constitution [3], the task force was busy drafting another one. It also defined what would be the future policy of the Syrian government. The final document was presented by U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to the President of the Syrian National Council, Abdel Bayset Syda [4], at the third conference of the Friends of Syria in Paris, on July 6. Mr. Syda gave his agreement to the implementation of the "road map".

[1] Typically, such an activity was covered by the Ford Foundation, the U.S. Information Agency and the Freedom House.

[2] The U.S. Institute of Peace was created in conjunction with the National Endowment for Democracy, which is its counterpart. On U.S. Congress documents, its budget comes under the Pentagon, while the NED’s is attached to the State Department.

[3] “Constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic - 2012”, Voltaire Network, 26 February 2012.

[4] The Western press has made it ​​a habit of spelling Mr. Syda’s name by adding an "a", transforming it into "Sayda," to avoid confusion with the disease of the same name.