Damascus butcher or Washington's designated reformist
In February 2011, the French magazine "Vogue" ran an apologetic report on Assad's wife and her husband titled: "A rose of desert". A month later on March 27, in the midst of Syrian protests and its brutal repression by the regime, Hillary Clinton said on the CBS program “Face the Nation” that "members of the U.S. Congress from both parties believe Assad is “a reformer.”
With no surprise, the Vogue's report was later removed from the Magazine's archive but you can see a copy of the article here. It painted a lovely family who dedicate themselves to bring prosperity and peace to Syria.
A few months later, Washington's designated "reformer" has exceeded any possible and imaginable butchery against his people. While the Vogue's report could only be attributed to financial reasons, Washington's belief that he was a reformer could be blamed on naiveté and wrong analysis produced by "special interests" that guide US policy in general and its relations with Middle Eastern dictators in particular.
By reading the following excerpts from the Vogue's report and remembering Assad's butchery, we should hope that for the sake of people's democratic aspirations, the US policy of befriending false reformers in Syria, Iran or elsewhere come to an end:
“Asma al-Assad is a rare combination: a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement. Paris Match calls her “the element of light in a country full of shadow zones.” She is the first lady of Syria.”
“Two nights later it’s the annual Christmas concert by the children of Al-Farah Choir, run by the Syrian Catholic Father Elias Zahlawi. Just before it begins, Bashar and Asma al-Assad slip down the aisle and take the two empty seats in the front row. People clap, and some call out his nickname:
Two hundred children dressed variously as elves, reindeers, or candy canes share the stage with members of the national orchestra, who are done up as elves. The show becomes a full-on songfest, with the elves and reindeer and candy canes giving their all to “Hallelujah” and “Joy to the World.” The carols slide into a more serpentine rhythm, an Arabic rap group takes over, and then it’s back to Broadway mode. The president whispers, “All of these styles belong to our culture. This is how you fight extremism—through art.”
Brass bells are handed out. Now we’re all singing “Jingle Bell Rock,” 1,331 audience members shaking their bells, singing, crying, and laughing.
“This is the diversity you want to see in the Middle East,” says the president, ringing his bell. “This is how you can have peace!”