Syria's first couple is on an Instagram spree. Asma al-Assad, the Vogue centerfold wife of brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad, has posed for six photographs in the last 24 hours, smiling serenely in preppy sweaters as millions flee her nation and thousands perish. Four days prior, after U.N. weapons inspectors left Syria, @syrianpresidency uploaded four pictures of Bashar. The images earned close to 8,500 likes and hundreds of comments in English, Arabic, and other languages.
When Assad joined Instagram in July, the State Department characterized it as a "despicable PR stunt" designed to "gloss over the brutality and suffering." So who’s following the account, anyway? With the help of Google Translate, here's what Mr. and Mrs. Assad's followers said to them this week. (Or at least, what their followers said that hasn't been deleted.)
Asma's Comments by the Numbers:
References to Asma's beauty: 4
References to murder: 11
References to the murder of children: 5
"God bless": 9
"Shame on you": 3
"What a babe": 1
"God bless": 1
"Shame on you": 0
"Your murdering waddle neck leaves much to be desired": 1
Most Violent Asma Fantasy: "Hope they rape you and then kill you. Pray to Allah, Jesus, Buddha, or whoever, I think you should. Fucking poodle."
Most Violent Bashar Fantasy: "Twisted sick freak. We got a Tomahawk missile waiting offshore with your fucking name on it you piece of shit murdering bastard."
Most Full-Throated Asma Support: "Asma you are my favorite first lady at the world! I love Essad and you! Greetz from Belgium and Turkey! God bless you @syrianpresidency."
Most Full-Throated Bashar Support: "I'd cry like a little girl if I ever met him ... Allah I saw him in my dream and he wouldn't let me kiss his hand so I kissed his knee."