Despite threat of a military attack from the United States, and tens of thousands of protesters calling for his ouster, the past few days have been business as usual for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – at least according to Mr. al-Assad himself.
For the past few months, Mr. Assad has gone to great lengths to project an image of normality – that he remains in control of the country and that everything is fine.
In an interview earlier this week with Le Figaro newspaper, the president arranged to sit down with the French reporter in a Damascus home with minimal security. “By showing no visible security around him, the head of the Syrian state wanted to show he’s not hiding in a bunker,” the reporter wrote after the interview.
Nowhere is this more evident than Mr. al-Assad’s Instagram account, where photos of the Syrian president and his glamorous wife Asma are regularly posted of the couple attending official functions and carrying out their duties as if the threat of war did not exist.