Syria: why I remain optimistic

I have just been reading this extremely powerful piece: . I agree with it. And yet, especially after talking with my friend the Syian democracy protester Odai Al-Zoubi, I am more optimistic for a positive outcome than is this piece.
Why? ‘The image’ makes one important difference from 1982; it has contributed for example to the Arab League mission, which (though ultimately a failure) pressurised the regime for a while, and it has contributed now to the UN mission, which (though under severe threat: ) promises to have a stronger effect still.
Clearly, one cannot believe a word that Assad says; they are shelling Homs even now. One cannot in any meaningful sense negotiate with such people, any more than one could with Gaddafi; and yet, the power of the image plus the power of the nationwide struggle (very different from 1982, which was sequestered to one city) mean that this revolution is harder to put down:
So I remain somewhat optimistic; I think that there is every chance that the democratic revolution will succeed, at least in getting rid of Assad. I think that, under the glare of the world’s view, with UN observers, with people rising up across the nation and demonstrating, the regime will start finally to crack before too long. Some of them will look for a way out – and they may well sacrifice the venal Bashar, as their way out.

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