December 3, 2013
As adventures go, it might seem that there are few more worthy causes than fighting for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal dictatorship in Syria. This, after all, is a government that has waged a merciless campaign against its own citizens, with children regularly tortured to death and whole neighbourhoods razed to the ground by conventional – and occasionally non-conventional – weaponry.
With the death toll now well past 100,000 after nearly three years of bloodshed, it is easy to understand why so many young men and women in the West, incensed by the Assad regime’s disregard for human life, would want to offer their services to help overthrow this vile regime.
Just like the Spanish civil war in the Thirties, the Syrian conflict has all the makings of an international cause célèbre, with well-intentioned volunteers willing to risk their lives fighting to defeat a dictator.