“Have you wanted to do something to help the Arab Spring but weren’t sure how? This is your chance.
In September, 2012 two famous freedom fighters from the Libyan revolution, American Matthew VanDyke and Libyan Masood Bwisir, will travel together to Syria and join the rebels on the front line against the dictator Bashar al-Assad. ”
“What is the purpose of this project and what will VanDyke and Bwisir be doing in Syria?
[Among other things, filming] Masood Bwisir entertaining and improving rebel morale with his famous revolution songs, including new ones or variations of his Libya songs modified for the Syrian revolution”
This kickstarter application reads like an audition to be picked as a character in a first person shooter. Drop a coin and hit the spacebar to select this character for the Syria level.
It feels as though the rewards should have been 25$ gets a magazine clip for AK. 100$ gets a new AK. 1$ buys chai on a hot Syrian day.
I mean, I like crazy … I just think that this kickstarter is crazy in an both old and interestingly novel ways. I spent a little bit of time trying to relate to the mind that generated this project proposal.
From here, it’s not such a distant jump to imagine crowdfunding mercenaries in third world places? Now imagine, two competing factions engaging in such fundraising, eg “campaign contributions”? I’m surprised Kickstarter has allowed this project up on the site, and I am glad that the funding has begun to stall out at the final moments.
Matthew, if you read this, why don’t you just reach out to Vice Magazine and get an advance from them to cover your expenses?
On a related note, I highly recommend you read Campaigning on the Oxus by Januarius Aloysius MacGahan.
He was an American reporter for the New York Herald Tribune who covered the Russian Army campaign in Central Asia in the late 1873 as a 29 year old. Starting from a remote Siberian town, he galloped 2,000 miles through the dessert to join the Russian forces invading Khiva. His writing is engrossing. On the way, he documents a visit to a Khan’s harem, and when he finally arrives, his engaged journalism takes him to the battlefield, where he participates in the slaughter of the sword fielding savages with his own rifle.
Those were the good old days!