David Blair writes: If there is a Marie Antoinette of our age, it must be Bouthaina Shaaban, the odious “media adviser” to Syria’s regime. When asked about the medieval sieges currently being imposed on a million Syrians in rebel-held enclaves by her master, Bashar al-Assad, she did not actually say “let them eat cake” – but she might as well have done.
There was “no need” for food aid in Syria, declared Ms Shaaban during a press briefing last Thursday, and the inhabitants of the towns and refugee camps blockaded by her regime could do without “macaroni” and “tin fruits” from the United Nations.
One suburb of Damascus, known as Daraya, has been subjected to a particularly pitiless siege since November 2012: during the whole of that time, the regime has allowed only one aid convoy into the area – and even that was prevented from carrying any food.
But the well-nourished Ms Shaaban blithely described Daraya as the “food basket of Damascus”, adding: “There’s nobody starving in Daraya.” [Continue reading…]