Generally speaking, I think you're right.
Ānanda, when one dwells contemplating gratification in things that can be clung to, craving increases. With craving as condition, [the rest of D.O. chain] comes to be…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. (SN 12.52-57, 12.60)
In addition to that standard explanation that goes from enjoying to craving, Buddha also provides an alternative - when you enjoy and relish something, your mind "settles" in that...
Where there is fondness, relishing, & craving [...], consciousness settles there and grows. Where consciousness settles and grows, there is descent of name-&-form. Where there is descent of name-&-form, there is growth of tendencies. Where there is growth of tendencies, there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is the production of renewed becoming in the future, there is future birth, aging, & death, together, I tell you, with sorrow, affliction, & despair. (SN 12.64)
And in slightly different words:
Bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating gratification in things that can fetter, there is a descent of consciousness. With consciousness as condition, name-and-form comes to be... [the rest of D.O. chain goes here] Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. (SN 12.59)
So, in my understanding, when you enjoy and relish something, your mind "settles" in that. When it settles, it takes something as a position, it assumes this is how things "are supposed to be". It then identifies with that position, "this is me, this is mine". Then from this position grow all kinds of problems, like:
- things change, you want to keep it the same but you can't - therefore you suffer.
- someone else found pleasure in some other experience, and settled in that - now their idea of how things are supposed to be is different from yours, so when you two get in conflict you fight - therefore both suffer.
So the problem with pleasure is this very "settling" of the mind, which takes its experience far too seriously and reifies it as absolute reality, "how things are supposed to be".
In Mahayana we say, you can experience pleasure as long as you see it as empty and therefore don't settle there. As long as you clearly see that the experiencer is a construct of mind, the experience is a construct of mind, the whole situation is a temporary arrangement, and the "pleasantness" of it is an illusion. When you see all that, you can still watch it, like when a grown-up watches a magic show where he knows all tricks. He can still kinda enjoy it - but not in the same naive way as kids do.
If he feels a pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘It is impermanent’; he understands: ‘It is not held to’; he understands: ‘It is not delighted in. [...] If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it detached; if he feels a painful feeling, he feels it detached; if he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he feels it detached. (SN 12.51)
So, to answer your question, I don't think pleasure is only bad because it can't satisfy craving permanently, and if we look very carefully, I don't think we can say it is only bad because it fuels craving directly (although Buddha did speak about that too, as we can see above). Most importantly, from Buddha's explanations it seems that the big, "strategic" problem with pleasure is that it provides a comfortable ground for the samsaric mind of objectification and identification to grow on.
Now, you are asking, how is it possible for a non-Buddhist to realy appreciate this insight. I think the "tactical" part, about pleasure being unable to permanently satisfy craving and about pleasure increasing the craving, can be explained through the modern concept of addiction. You can say: "It is easy to get addicted to pleasure, but don't get addicted or else you'll want more and more, and will suffer when you can't get it".
The "strategic" part is harder to explain in modern language, or really in any language. Perhaps you could say, "Getting used to pleasure (really to anything "good") is dangerous, because first it becomes an anchor, then a reference point, then the center of your reality. And then you start measuring everything else against it, which determines your behavior. Then you're no longer shapeless and free, instead you are shaped and very vulnerable. Pleasure shapes you and makes your reality rigid. Once you have shape, you are mortal." - see, this part is hard to explain and hard to understand.