Monday, February 6, 2012

Thoughts on Syria

When our diplomats flee the embassy in Syria today, the last to leave will be our U.S. Marines assigned to provide security to the embassy. Last July, when the embassy was attacked the Marines defended the embassy from protesters. Today, "The United States closed its embassy in Syria on Monday and withdrew all staff members amid escalating mayhem in what American officials called the Syrian government’s unbridled repression of an 11-month-old uprising that has become the bloodiest conflict in the Arab revolts." (NYT Feb 6, 2012)

Two thoughts. First, in Senator Jim Webb's script - Rules of Engagement - the Marines opened fire on the protesters and Col. Hodge, played by Tommy Lee Jones, was unfairly court martialed.

Second, Vogue Magazine still has egg on its face from its March 2011 puff piece on the Assads.
As described in Around Town:

“Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic — the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies. Her style is not the couture-and-bling dazzle of Middle Eastern power but a deliberate lack of adornment. She’s 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.” (Around Town 6-22-2011, Valley Sun)

“The first impression of Asma al-Assad is movement — a determined swath cut through space with a flash of red soles. Dark-brown eyes, wavy, chin-length brown hair, long neck, an energetic grace. No watch, no jewelry apart from Chanel agates around her neck, not even a wedding ring, but fingernails lacquered a dark blue-green. She’s breezy, conspiratorial, and fun. Her accent is English but not plummy. Despite what must be a killer IQ, she sometimes uses urban shorthand: “I was, like. . .”

The article came out in late February 2011. When the atrocities in Syria became public knowledge, Vogue Senior Editor Chris Knutsen staunchly defended the piece, saying, “The piece was not meant in any way to be a referendum on the al-Assad regime. It was a profile of the first lady.”

And then, Vogue took the article (and wonderful photos) off the Internet!

As Wall Street Journal writers Bari Weiss and David Feith quipped, “Apparently Vogue missed the trend: Dictators are out this season.”

That’s why my dog, the ever-stylish Miss Audrey Hepburn, does not subscribe to Vogue.

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