Want an inside glimpse into the mind of one of the world's most embattled leaders? Look no further: Bashar al-Assad has joined Instagram.
It seems the Syrian president has completed the social media trifecta, adding the photo-sharing site to his online persona, already fueled by his Twitter and Facebook pages. It's no Chechen president posing with his pet tiger, but Assad's Instagram does paint an enlightening picture of the leader's circles in the war-torn country.
Forget what you've heard about the death toll reaching 100,000, or more than 1.8 million refugees fleeing the country, or entire towns destroyed in the conflict. What conflict? It's quite obvious that according to Assad's PR machine, Syrians simply adore their leader:
Human rights groups might claim that children are the "forgotten victims" of the Syrian conflict -- but just look at how happy they are. You literally can't contain their smiles:
And that UN report from June detailing the unprecedented levels of domestic violence and restricted mobility Syrian women face must have been mistaken. Syrian girls enjoy widespread educational opportunities that allow them to dream of one day becoming college graduates -- or even first lady.
So can we finally lay to rest all that talk by the U.S. and the UK about Assad using chemical weapons? Really -- does this look like a man who would gas his own people?
We didn't think so. Besides, it's not like Assad's Internet minions are particularly adept at propaganda, or anything.