I assume that Assad has constructed a golden parachute. He could bail out and land in a well feathered nest in any one of several countries. But, if he did so, his minority tribe would almost certainly lose and suffer terrible retribution. So far Assad is hanging tough and so are his followers. We often bandy the term, "existential threat" lightly, but there are many people fighting for the very life of their families, themselves, and their country as they know it.