From The Independent: So, what do you think of your husband's brutal crackdown, Mrs Assad?
"Vogue magazine famously called her a "rose in the desert", while Paris Match proclaimed she was the "element of light in a country full of shadow zones". But when Syria's glamorous First Lady invited a group of aid workers to discuss the security situation with her last month, she appeared to have lost her gloss.
"During the meeting, British-born Asma al-Assad – who grew up in Acton and attended a Church of England school in west London – came face to face with aid workers who had witnessed at first hand the brutality of her husband's regime. Yet according to one volunteer who was present, the former investment banker and mother of President Bashar al-Assad's three children appeared utterly unmoved when she heard about the plight of protesters.
"We told her about the killing of protesters," said the man, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution. "We told her about the security forces attacking demonstrators. About them taking wounded people from cars and preventing people from getting to hospital ... There was no reaction. She didn't react at all. It was just like I was telling a normal story, something that happens every day."
This is what Angie Nassar in Now Lebanon has to say about Madame Assad's response:
“It’s like she has no soul…
"So there’s a difference between empathy and actually feeling someone else’s pain, right? I mean, I can look at a picture of a mutilated dead body and empathize with the idea of being in that situation, but I don’t know what it actually feels like to be a mutilated dead body. I also don’t know what it feels like to be the smug wife of a psychopathic murderer. Emotional detachment at any cost? There’s an entire industry of women who do this on a professional basis. It’s called prostitution. Here’s looking at you, you heartless wench.”
Let them eat cake?