One of the weirdest stories about the Syrian insurrection is that the first few month Turkey and Qatar tried to pressure Assad to reform. When he didn't deliver they started supporting the uprising. According to the NY Times: Turkish officials say that in frequent talks during the revolt’s first months, Mr. Assad listened calmly to their criticisms, took personal responsibility for the government’s actions and promised to seek resolution. “Either he is a professional liar or he can’t deliver on what he promises,” said a senior Turkish official, speaking on the condition of anonymity."
It makes me wonder what these people were smoking. Have they never heard of international that forbids interference in the internal affairs of other countries? Did they ever consider that there are god reasons for those reasons as without them ruling a country would become near impossible? Did they consider that what they were doing was a violation of international law?
There were many indications that the uprisings in Daraa and Idlib were not about democracy. In the latter case Damascus and Aleppo - the big cities with the intellectuals - would have taken a more prominent role. In addition both cities had been the most important suppliers of Syrian Al Qaeda fighters in Iraq. The uprising also turned violent very shortly after it began. Finally there were from the beginning rumors about foreign involvement.
Given these developments the accent for reforms should have been on creating a more open climate with less repression and not on elections. Unfortunately the insurrectionists refused even to talk with the Assad government.