Anna Borshchevskaya of the Middle East Quarterly has a detailed essay on Assad and the Syria he forcefully leads against the will of its people that is worth reading.
Entitled “Sponsored Corruption and Neglected Reform in Syria”, the well-analyzed piece delves into the mechanics of the Syrian economy and the heavy baggage it drags behind in the form of corruption. The cake is just so large but with corrupt people in power, one can only assume who ends-up with the short stick every draw for every month. When is the breaking point? Somewhere soon on the horizon.
Assad cannot fix Syria because extending misery to millions is his goal. It keeps them chasing their daily calories instead of chasing politics. He does not want to fix corruption because it redistributes wealth along lines of political loyalty while adding to the misery index against the common man. Even if he is secure in his hold on power as it appears today, he knows that the Assads have systematically engaged in every act of horror imaginable against the Syrian people and his job is to delay as far as he can the day of reckoning when the people will rise to punish him and his cronies for what his father, his uncle, and he did to Syria.
Further, it is not advisable for Israel to strike any form of peace with Assad. On the surface, he looks strong because Iran is backing him and because the other players (i.e. Obama, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Sarkozy) are all wishful thinkers. The moment the Iranian regime falters, Assad would look frail and naked. Because, sooner or later, that will be obvious to all, Israel has no interest in striking a peace with a minority-controlled regime ruling with brute force whose future will always be uncertain. In the case of Egypt and Jordan, the rulers represent their people.
Add to this the fact that Iraqis, Lebanese, Jordanians, and Israelis have all suffered from the Assad terror machine and the conclusion to wait Assad out becomes pragmatically valid. No Arab ruler likes Assad of Syria (With the exception of the al-Thani of Qatar who have yet to do the math on the number of Qataris who will stand by them when their time comes up)..