While the Syrian people are being slaughtered, Asma al-Assad, the wife of thuggish dictator Bashar, has gone on an online shopping spree.
As reported by The Sun and other publications, the self-absorbed Asma was deeply concerned about ordering candlesticks, tables and chandeliers from Paris and instructed an aide to order a fondue set from Amazon.com — all while many Syrians faced food shortages and other hardships, not to mention bombs and bullets. And to think the vacuous publication Vogue wrote a suck-up puff piece ("A Rose in the Desert") about the glamorous Asma, her chic wardrobe and fashion sense.
This is the type of Marie Antoinette-like behavior that energizes and stimulates a revolution. It also causes many people, though they be realistic about the possible dire outcome if fundamentalist jihadists seize control in Damascus, to secretly hope the vicious dictator and his aloof wife meet the same fate as the French rulers in 1793.
The Syrian Army has used heavy weapons and artillery against its own people, killing and maiming thousands, including many children. This barbaric slaughter begs the question: Will the regime take the next step and use chemical or biological weapons against its own citizens? It's a sad, sad situation.
Still, as bad as the Assad regime is, and as blatantly as Assad and his Alawite henchmen are in Iran's vest pocket, it may well be the lesser of two evils. The greater evil could be a toppling of the regime and chemical and biological weapons falling into the hands of terrorists during the almost certain chaotic aftermath.
Ah, the Middle East. Ya gotta love it!
PORTENTS IN GAZA — Drowned out by the cacophony of the Syrian slaughter, $4 per gallon gasoline, and Republican primaries, recent rocket attacks on Israel by Iranian proxies in the Gaza strip and Israeli bombing retaliations apparently are a harbinger of bigger things to come between Israel and Iran. I'd better enjoy the beer-n-circuses --- er, BREAD and circuses, while I can, because who knows what our world will be like six months from now.
SPEAKING OF BREAD-N-CIRCUSES — The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, aka "March Madness," is in full swing and has brought tremendous entertainment in its first few days. For the first time ever, two No. 15 seeds have knocked off No. 2 seeds: The Norfolk State Spartans (who, ironically, wear green, just like the Michigan State Spartans), sent No. 2 seed Missouri packing with an 86-84 victory. The Tigers were one of President Obama's picks to make it to the Final Four. He's about as good at hoops projections as he is at economics.
The other upset really brought joy to my heart: The No. 15 Lehigh University Mountain Hawks defeated the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils, 75-70. I knew Lehigh was a tough team because way back in December they played at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich., and led the Spartans by 3 at the half before losing by a respectable 9 points.
As for my Spartans, they won their first-round game Friday against Long Island University-Brooklyn, 89-67, and will play St. Louis University on Sunday at 2:45 p.m. St. Louis is a hard-nosed, physical team, but it's nothing the Spartans haven't seen before, and I believe they will prevail by 10 or more points. More on that tomorrow.