The proposal includes a plan for a "democratic transfer" of power in stages. This seems to be an improved version of the proposal presented in the past, according to which elections for the president of Syria will be expedited and President Bashar Assad will not run again .Disarmament and an end to Assad's power? Though American adversaries are calling this a "counter-proposal" to the threat of US military force, you can see how it seems to me like they are waving a white flag.
In another proposal, which was reported in Haaretz last week, Syria will agree to completely remove its inventory of chemical weapons from the country and transfer it to Russia or another country. This proposal is also expected to be discussed in the meeting between Putin and al-Muallem.
The report goes on to say that Syrian rebels have discussed a proposal for Russia to remove Assad from power while still protecting some of Russian interests in Syria. The rebels will in return ask the United States to call off the attacks, and if the US doesn't, they would fight against US. The last part is irrelevant of course, the United States will not need to take military action if both its military goal (an end to large scale chemical attacks) and beyond (full disarmament) as well as its diplomatic goal (regime change) is accomplished in one fell swoop.
I should caution that this is still at the level of chatter and certainly still developing, but if this is true, it will have been an incredible foreign policy coup for the President and his administration. By putting the world on high alert that America means business - this is why it is all the more important that Congress stands by a strong response - now that Assad has crossed the reddest of all red lines, Barack Obama may have convinced America's ardent foes that they better come up with something if they hope to save face. And if this is what they are coming up with, this president may become the first to actually turn the threat of force into a bloodless real solution.
This isn't to say it's a done deal, and I still believe that if this doesn't happen, then the president still will need to make good on the threat of military force. I still believe the world cannot stand by and watch what Syria did to their own civilians and their own children. But I also hope this works out. This will be in the best interest of the world, and the look of sheer embarrassment on the faces of Alan Grayson and Ron Paul will be great extras.