Would you be prepared to die in order to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria? Would you be prepared to risk your children or other family members dying if that would end the civil war in Syria? Politicians in the West seemed to be very casual when it comes to some form of military intervention in Syria. They seem to believe that “surgical” air  strikes in which only Syrians die will somehow result in Assad throwing up his hands and retreating into exile. The UK Parliament recently stepped back from the abyss but the Cameron Government may still find a way to intervene.  The fact that Assad has managed to remain in power surely suggests that the issues in Syria are far from clear-cut. Recent intervention in Arab countries has not gone well. Most now accept that life for the majority of Iraqis was actually safer before the 2003 invasion. The intervention was botched. The Libyans repaid the Western powers for their air support during the overthrow of Ghaddafi by smashing up the Commonwealth War Cemeteries and murdering the US ambassador. I don’t recall any reports that the perpetrators of anti-western acts have been punished. Libya has become a fiefdom of war lords. While there was no armed intervention in Egypt, there can be little doubt that Hosni Mubarak would not have been overthrown without the approval of Western governments. Now we see those same governments tacitly approving a military coup against a government which, by prevailing standards in the world, was democratically elected. The only way that the desired outcome, from the West’s point of view, can be assured in Syria is to put boots on the ground. And boots on the ground mean body-bags on the plane home. There is also the possibility of “terrorist” attacks on home ground. Western politicians should not be talking about starting something they don’t have the guts to finish.