the syrian bride: all in the family

It wasn’t because of his dancing ability, or his sexy cinema noir looks, or the jew jokes at the dinner table in which he always forgot the punch-line, or his absolutely ribald yet compelling attempt at yodeling; does she laugh when he juts out his chin when angry and smile when he turns in profile in front of the mirror? Does Bashar watch Gary Cooper in High Noon? Does he have Walter Mitty dreams of closing the seventh game of the world series?  Helas, we will never know. And what to make of Asma?

Gillray. Harmony Before Matrimony. 1805. Read More:

More money than Mubarak it appears: …Rumored to have a wealth of 40 billion dollars, the First Family’s Funds are equivalent to 5 times the economic production capacity of Syria. The fortune of Syrian President Assad alone distributed around Swiss banks amounts to approx. 1.9 billion Swiss francs (about 2 billion dollars). The monthly income of the average Syrian citizen is a lowly $200.

The family is soaked in purported corruption, and while ties between Syria and Lebanon are quite in the open, there are even links between Bashar al Assad and Lebanon’s Harriri, through ownership of the Lebanon central bank. The President is said to maintain the Bank of Lebanon’s central files in with all their irregularities, compounding Lebanon’s status of consistent instability. Source: Read More:

---The Tête à Tête from the Marriage à la Mode series (No. 2) Date 1743 Medium oil on canvas

The thesis of the Asma argument is based on her Westernized image. A sort of people’s princess, a desert rose who would invite citizens to sign up on a waiting list for her hand-me-down couture clothes. Its all propaganda. In truth, there had been a liberalizing, certain reforms, but when that valve was opened, change is never fast enough,leading to instability and turbulence. That, at least according to the theory of Henry Kissinger which in his talk at the Munk debate in Toronto sketched out a global chess game between China and the West in which economically insignificant countries like Afghanistan and Syria have significant importance within this context.

---The last time we saw her, was in a Vogue magazine article, where her London based public relation office had arranged (and payed) for an extensive article covering the life, accomplishments and beauty of Asma…. bad investment Asma, Vogue has deleted this article off their website after the first day your husband butchered the syrian people… Anyway, she is back in London out of harm’s way while hubby crushes Syria’s democracy movement. The irony is that she was very outspoken about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, where she had an interview with CNN, using her London accent to talk about the gruesome conditions and killings that Gaza had to suffer… and portray herself and her husband as “humanitarians”. ---Read More:

That is, the fear of China becoming  the world’s single dominant player for the first part of this  century with Western implication throughout The Middle East and Eurasia as a claim staking exercise. Niall Ferguson made the brilliant point of offering a countervailing theory to the convention of thinking of democracy with the paradigm of Western terms. Democracy, he asserted has different yet plausible variants elsewhere in the world though it appears alien and even incomprehensible within our accepted culture. I would say it resembles more a Veblenn style technocracy with democratic features, but not dissimilar to what the West has installed in Italy and Greece. Ferguson said the Chinese electoral model would resemble Singapore. This appears to be the basic template that Syria was attempting to articulate.

Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, and his wife Asma Bashar, left, look at the crown of Emperor Rudolf II, the Holy Roman Emperor from 1576 to 1612 at the Treasury chamber of Vienna's Hofburg palace, on Tuesday, April 28, 2009.Read More:

But back to Asma. There is no doubt Assad is stubborn, dull, monotonous, and obsessed with rigid frameworks. But, it may also be a myth that Asma, the woman under the tyrant is simply caught up in the criminal actions of her husband. As the Zimbardo Stanford experiments and others have shown, within a the right circumstances, she could be just as eager and willing to turn the screws on her fellow citizens as the linchpins in the regime.

---Using the metaphor of youthful innocence as a means to reveal the age-old violence that continues to permeate our times, Gottfried Helnwein produces impeccable realist paintings that send shivers down the spine. Casting children in the roles of both perpetrators and victi

f war and terror, the LA-based artist strikes a sensitive nerve with his haunting visual narratives. Young girls disturbingly sport Nazi uniforms and wield guns in the direction of dolls, while simultaneously being bandaged at the head and lying in pools of blood. ---Read More:

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