According to Sami Kulayb of Al-Mayadin (and he supports the Syrian regime but has good sources on that side and also with Gulf regimes during his years at Aljazeera), there were five mistakes of the Syrian opposition which harmed its cause: 1) the fragmentation of the opposition and its disunity and that each member of the leadership wanted to be the sole undisputed leader (I am paraphrasing and not translating). 2) That it quickly departed from the resistance and anti-Israel camp to appease the West, and that its declared war on Hizbullah and Hamas made it easy for Hizbullah to intervene in Syria. 3) that it relied on democratic Gulf regimes to help it in its declared agenda of democratizing Syria. 4) that the liberals accepted to take a back seat to the Islamists in the leadership (of the exile opposition). 5) that it believed that it can overthrow the regime by force for arms. I don't necessarily agree with the is analysis but it is an interesting take. I think that the biggest mistake was to turn the opposition movement into a shop for GCC regimes from the outset. All mistakes followed from that. Don't forget the flood of money and corruption: Michel Kilu (the Syrian dissident) recently alluded to that in the leaked tape and talked about those who enriched themselves from Qatari money. I would also add: their blatant sectarian language and rhetoric which scared other Syrians and also rallied Shi`ites in the region. I would also add: the way they governed areas under their control which led some people to choose the Syrian regime as the lesser of two evil. I would also add: the fact they never had a credible consistent message and would engage in double talk. I would also add that they never offered a concrete vision of the future of Syria.