Remember Asma al-Assad: the Western-educated family woman, philanthropist and style icon? You remember, right? Well, Walter Russell Mead has pointed out the remarkable difference between her reaction to Israel’s 2009 Gaza incursion, aimed at stopping Hamas’ bombardment of Israeli civilians, versus her reaction to Syria’s 2012 “unrest”, aimed at preventing her husband from being overthrown.
In January 2009, a prominent political icon took to CNN to express moral outrage over the actions of a Middle Eastern government attacking civilians. It was a moving performance, filled with pathos and righteous anger.
… The source of this searing moral critique? Asma Assad, wife of Bashir Assad. Her target? Israel during its 2008 incursion into Gaza to halt the Hamas rocket fire which had forced a million of its citizens into underground shelters.
The immensity of Ms Assad’s hypocrisy is only fully appreciable today. While her husband oversees the slaughter of over 5000 of his own civilians, the lovely Assad is standing by her man. After remaining silent since the killing began in March 2011, she today released a statement to the international press. It is a veritable profile in moral courage:
Mead points to this quote from an email sent by Assad herself (my bold):
‘The President is the President of Syria, not a faction of Syrians, and the First Lady supports him in that role,’ she told The Times.
‘These days she is equally involved in bridging gaps and encouraging dialogue. She listens to and comforts the families of the victims of the violence.’
Well that’s nice of her, she’s providing
cold comfort to all the victims of her husband, who she stands by resolutely.
Watch the video below of her remarks on Gaza, overlayed with facts in Arabic (includes English translation) about the slaughter going on in Syria right now whose victims she is “comforting”.