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Trained as a physician, Bashar Assad traded that in for becoming a butcher of humans, and tying the Alawite sect more closely into the Syrian army and government, a process begun by his father.

Every time I see a picture of him, which is far too often these days, I am struck at how butt-fucking ugly the man is. Seriously ugly like something is wrong in the genetic department.

Reading abut how tight and fundamentally secret the Alawites are, I wondered if it was an intermarrying issue. Amateur geneticist that I am.

I could find nothing conclusive to support that hypothesis. And I suppose I must abandon the hypothesis, at least for now.

I was reminded of the intermarriage issues that arose in the Spanish Hapsburg dynasty. Philip IV of Spain was as butt-ugly as Bashar. He enlisted the incredible painter, Diego Velasquez as a court painter. What could have gone through Velasquez's head?

"I was very successful in my bodegones, where I painted simple people doing ordinary things, and now I have to glorify this hideous family!" (ok, maybe the princess was not half bad)

In addition, he painted the court dwarfs/jesters. Was he thinking how their deformities were pretty much equal to that of the royal family?

Some images have incredible power. I recall how the picture of the orange-haired James Holmes in his early stages of arraignment, kept popping up so frequently, I started to avert my eyes from them.

I'm getting the same vibe from Bashar Assad pics, now.


When you read the title of this diary, who did you think I was referring to?

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