Over the past five years, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his glamorous (and infamous shopaholic) wife Asma have put a lot of time and money into portraying themselves as sexy, sophisticated progressives. Obvious appeal aside — both members of the English-speaking couple are undeniably attractive and more accessible to Westerners on a superficial level — you'd think that would be a difficult feat, given that Syria is one of the worst places in the Middle East right now, not only for dissidents but for the reporters struggling to cover their strife. Yet, multiple incidents indicate that hot people speaking our language are verrrry good at distracting us from bloody massacres of thousands of people.
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