Here’s my interview on Tammy Radio today with Claudia Rosett and her latest column on the fallout from Vogue’s astonishing profile/propaganda piece on the Assads of Syria. My thanks to Claudia for a great piece and a wonderful discussion. Enjoy!
It’s now 17 months since Vogue published its cover-story paean to the first lady of Syria, “Asma al-Assad: A Rose in the Desert.” Readers were treated to a profile of Asma up close, “the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies,” a dazzling paragon of understated style and philanthropic works, “on a mission to create a beacon of secularism and culture in a powder-keg region — and to put a modern face on her husband’s regime.” Asma, “glamorous, young and very chic,” was featured playing with her kids, whipping up home-cooked fondue with her jeans-clad husband, “the off-duty president,” and urging millions of Syrian youth to engage in “active citizenship.”
That was February of 2011. The following month, Syrians began engaging in a lot more active citizenship than the Assad regime evidently had in mind, rising in rebellion against the dynastic tyranny in Damascus. For 16 months now, abetted by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Syrian regime has been fighting back — with heavy weapons, arrests, torture and butchery, mutilating and murdering even children. To date, an estimated 19,000 or more Syrians have been slaughtered, and the killing continues.
Now, at long last, comes a recantation of sorts from the author of Vogue‘s “Rose in the Desert,” Joan Juliet Buck. To call it a full-throated apology would be inaccurate. Buck appears genuinely appalled by the carnage with which the Assad regime itself so swiftly and utterly discredited her labors to give it a fashion-plate human face. But her deeper sympathies seem reserved for herself, and her woefully bad luck that her Asma profile — which closed with President Bashar al-Assad, surrounded by singing children, ringing a peace bell — came out just before the monstrous character of the Assad regime hove into full view in the international headlines…