It is not easy to overthrow a dictator, especially one who is willing to do anything and everything to stay in power. Even in the internet age, the creation of a shadowy National Initiative for Change in Syria, will have little effect. If the regime is willing to shoot demonstrators, the price of demonstrations will eventually prove to be too high, and the demonstrations will stop.
Here are the ingredients for the overthrow of a totalitarian regime:
- The regime is morally constrained and will not employ extreme force.
- There is a well organized group of dedicated revolutionaries who are prepared to use all means necessary to gain power.
- There is strong support from outside either in the form of overt or covert military and propaganda aid.
Two examples of success would be the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Iranian Revolution of 1979.