What if Assad had resigned (or been killed) instead of sacrificing his country by killing hundreds of thousands of his people, forcing millions to flee the country, and destroying their cities? That would have been an epic turn of events and an example for the rest of the world to follow.
At some point, very urgently, in world political evolution, an international court must be established with the authority to remove national leaders who wield such destructive power against their own people or those of other nations. Eventually, those who directly support such a leader are equally responsible and must also be replaced by other leaders who will negotiate peace and carry out acts that will benefit all of those placed under their trust, rather than merely dominating them.
Democracy, conceived as an indirect way of self-governing for the benefit of all its citizens, cannot flourish in a world constantly in contention with itself, with leaders coming from self-serving ranks of business, the military or the fanatic religious who perpetuate practices of a feudal society. The world desperately needs new leadership coming from the ranks of humanistic teachers and managers, scientists, spiritual and judicial advocates - people who value life and are guided by present realities of the necessity for universal cooperation to make the world a better place.