Buying Night Tables and Downloading Chris Brown While Homs Burns

Abby Zimet

The Guardian got a cache of private emails, apparently from Syria opposition activists, showing that while Bashar al-Assad's government was slaughtering civilians, blowing up makeshift hospitals and displacing an estimated quarter of a million people, he and especially his wife Asma were busy buying stuff online. She: hundreds of thousands of dollars of handmade furniture, gold necklaces, candlesticks, chandeliers, high heels, artwork. He: iTunes and Harry Potter. He was also joking about "reforms," looking at BulletBlocker armored clothing disguised as a blazer, and sending her - weirdness alert - woe-is-me song lyrics from country singer Blake Shelton.

"I've been a walking heartache / I've made a mess of me / The person that I've been lately / Ain't who I wanna be."

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