Friday, March 16, 2012

Enabling a Butcher By Seeing the Pretty Side of Him and His Missus

That's what the shallow lamestreamers and stupid Obami have been doing, writes Frida Ghitis on the CNN site:
Al-Assad and his wife have been deftly playing international public opinion from the beginning. A Washington Post article in April 2000, a few weeks before he became president, describes him as "soft-spoken and congenial, a fan of Faith Hill and Phil Collins ... mapping his own path by trying to address the social and economic demands of the next generation." Two months later, The New York Times explained that "thanks to an orchestrated campaign in the state news media to credit him with fighting corruption and promoting a more open economy, Dr. Assad also is seen as a beacon of hope for a new, more relaxed Syria."

The image held for years, even if the reforms never quite arrived. In 2005, the Bush administration withdrew the American ambassador to Syria, and European countries froze relations with Damascus for its role in the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

But the Obama administration and many in the Washington establishment and in Europe still believed that al-Assad was a closet reformer. As recently as April, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said members of both parties "believe he's a reformer." And Sen. John Kerry, who has met al-Assad about half a dozen times, said he expected that al-Assad would enact meaningful reforms.

Over the years, al-Assad's wife, Asma, cast a spell on the media. In February 2011, Vogue magazine published a glowing spread about the fashionable first lady entitled "A Rose in the Desert." The article explained that "In Syria, power is hereditary" but called the al-Assads "wildly democratic."

Asma has always been key element of the propaganda effort...
No surprise there. It's purely a matter of, well, optics. She's so chic and glam while her hubby, the former ophthalmologist/current mass slaughterer is a fright with his Spock ears, no chin, and eyes that are way too close together.

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