Other than the politicians. (Of course they did know but pretend that Assad will suddenly see the light and beg forgiveness and spend the rest of his days making up for his brutality, in order to either milk weapons contracts ie. Russia, or avoid spending $ defending civilians as long as they can (other western nations).
This will end in the two ways it always does. Assad will kill as many rebels and civilians as he can before he either:
1. Stubbornly refuses to give up his power and ends up with a knife up his wazoo like Kadaffi, or hanged like Saddam.
2. Escapes in time and lives the rest of his days comfortably in some tropical paradise mansion.
But then we all knew Saddam had no WMDs and was no threat to the U.S. long before Washington admitted it as well.