Hillary the realist
Some would say (and I would agree) that Secretary of State Clinton's diplomatic overture towards Syria is overdue. And as if to reassure potential critics, Clinton also made it clear that she has no illusions about the challenge of dealing with Bashar Assad:
(New York Times) But in a region where even small steps take years to negotiate, officials sought to tamp down expectations of rapid progress. “It is a worthwhile effort to go and begin preliminary conversations,” Mrs. Clinton said, noting Syria’s wide influence in the region, as well as its troubled history with the United States. Yet, she cautioned, “we have no way to predict what the future of our relations with Syria might be.” ...
“We don’t engage in discussions for the sake of having conversations,” Mrs. Clinton said, after a meeting with the Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni. “There has to be a purpose to them; there has to be some benefit accruing to the United States and our allies."