Assad is the last one standing of a line of despots, to be sure, but despots, which kept law and order in a fashion in their countries, they ruled with an iron fist, but if you sang their songs, you could live there in relative security and prosperity.
In Gaddafi's Libya students could get post secondary education tuition free and young couples received a gift of $50,000 when they got married. Was it envy or fear of being compared to that, which motivated our overthrow of this "despot"?
What we left behind in our "attempt to change governments" behind is nothing but chaos and destruction.
I make here a fearless prediction: Should there be a peace accord in which Syria will be split in two with Assad governing 1/2 and 'who knows who' the other half, probably one of our "democratic" implants, there will be a mass migration toward the part ruled by Assam.
On another note: Russia is the only foreign power in Syria legitimately, by invitation of the Syrian Government.