‘Ridiculously photogenic Syrian soldier’: A weapon of mass seduction

Sex sells — but can it sell a bloody Middle Eastern revolution pitting disparate armed factions against an entrenched autocrat? Last year’s successful overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi turned Libya’s rebels with a cause into international sex symbols. Now Syrian rebels are getting the star treatment, with one particularly dashing combatant starring in his ...

625299_120815_syriatop.jpg
625299_120815_syriatop.jpg

Sex sells -- but can it sell a bloody Middle Eastern revolution pitting disparate armed factions against an entrenched autocrat?

Last year's successful overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi turned Libya's rebels with a cause into international sex symbols. Now Syrian rebels are getting the star treatment, with one particularly dashing combatant starring in his very own internet meme -- "Ridiculously photogenic  Syrian soldier." With his nonchalant stride, close-cropped dark hair, chiseled chin, and steely-eyed intensity, this freedom fighter's sculpted physique gives us some ideas about the guns of the Syrian opposition.  An RPG rests casually on one sculpted shoulder, prompting one caption-er to posit:

Sex sells — but can it sell a bloody Middle Eastern revolution pitting disparate armed factions against an entrenched autocrat?

Last year’s successful overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi turned Libya’s rebels with a cause into international sex symbols. Now Syrian rebels are getting the star treatment, with one particularly dashing combatant starring in his very own internet meme — “Ridiculously photogenic  Syrian soldier.” With his nonchalant stride, close-cropped dark hair, chiseled chin, and steely-eyed intensity, this freedom fighter’s sculpted physique gives us some ideas about the guns of the Syrian opposition.  An RPG rests casually on one sculpted shoulder, prompting one caption-er to posit:

While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton skipped meeting with the Syrian National Council while visiting Turkey this week, we’d be happy to draw some red lines of our own with this coy comrade. And although observers are bracing for the implications of spillover from the conflict throughout the region, we’re … actually pretty worried about that, too.

Perhaps the beleaguered uprising will finally grab headlines now that its most attractive proponent has been identified. Just one more reason the world should keep an eye on Syria — in this case, a very close eye indeed.  

Cara Parks is deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy. Prior to that she was the World editor at the Huffington Post. She is a graduate of Bard College and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and has written for The New Republic, Interview, Radar, and Publishers Weekly, among others. Twitter: @caraparks

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