DAMASCUS — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad presided over a ceremony celebrating the deaths of 60,000 of his own people this week. “We knew we had to do something really distinctive to commemorate this momentous occasion,” Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa told reporters on Monday. “So demolishing the small village of Salma is just the perfect fit. I can’t tell you how pleased Assad is to have finally gone over the 60,000 threshhold—he’s been so excited all week and keeps bandying about phrases like ‘Stalinesque’ and ‘full genocide.’ We try to tell him to just slow down and enjoy it, but you can’t stop a man who’s really set to fulfill his dreams.”
The small village of Salma had already become a “living hell” according to residents, who have spent the past year in increasingly desperate circumstances. Inhabitants of the town have regularly witnessed their neighbors being shot on the street and torn apart by shrapnel due to the continuous, random bombings the small village has undergone. The ceremony, which took place on Monday morning and consisted of a ribbon cutting followed by the demolition and bulldozing of the entire town, as well as the slaughter of all of its remaining residents, was considered “an absolute success,” according to government officials.
In his ceremonial speech, al-Assad acknowledged the help he had received along the way. “Now, I can’t claim full credit for all of this slaughter on my own,” Assad admitted, “I’ve had a lot of help from a lot of really wonderful people. To my family, the Ba’ath Party, my father—this one’s for you.” After the ribbon cutting, Syrian officials gathered to congratulate al-Assad on his achievements. “We stopped taking precautions to prevent civilian deaths about a year ago,” one government representative explained. “That policy shift really did wonders for productivity. But al-Assad’s commitment to his vision is what has really kept this mission going strong: he is just so determined to happily massacre his own civilians without any compunctions whatsoever, it’s inspiring.”
The event, while broadly publicized abroad, has received relatively little coverage in most U.S. news sources, however. When asked, representatives from both CNN and MSNBC admitted that while they would have liked to cover this story further they’ve just been swamped with more critical and timely issues like the fiscal cliff and the Kimye baby.