It seems that you may be replying to a different article than the one I wrote. I made it clear who sponsored the group in the interest of full disclosure, but I am not a member or organizer of their. It was the only way, simply, for a US citizen to get into Syria and see for oneself.
That said, we met a very wide range of people of varied background and those are the views that I quoted. My opinions are my own.
You regurgitate the mainstream, even “liberal” view in the US. I am no apologist for Assad, but in my opinion the main threat is now foreign intervention and the possibility of an Islamist regime imposed on Syria. “Democratic forces,” which certainly exist, are divided and insignificant on the battlefields, where the future of Syria is being decided.
Maybe you are indifferent as to whether you prefer to live under a secular authoritarian regime or a radical Salafist state where secular people and religious or ethnic minorities have no place, but most Syrians are not. Neither am I. If there is no other real option for now — and there appears not to be, practically speaking — I would prefer the Assad regime, which may hopefully evolve, to a Saudi-Wahhabi religious state any day.