. @ecfr wants "increased engagement" w. "societal" actors in #Assad territory "to empower Syrians to counter the worst effects of Assad’s rule."

Who are they kidding?

+ Using #COVID19 as cover is disingenuous; doctors can't even work to protect patients w/o regime intimidation. https://twitter.com/ecfr/status/1252540539834109953
#pt: "Societal" figures within #Assad-held territory always, without fail, trump their potential value in undermining regime oppression & corruption.

BUT their very existence as "societal" figures is intrinsically dependent on an unwritten agreement with the regime/mukhabarat.
#pt: On several occasions, I've been in the room when such "societal" figures pitch (in my case, to #European policymakers) for support -- We're independent... "your support will weaken the regime," they argue.

One owned a bank in #Damascus; another factories. Who believes them?
#pt: In #Assad-held territory, you can't own property, open a business, buy a car etc., without the approval of the state (i.e. the regime).

Same goes for charities, NGOs.

To argue in favor of backing such "societal" actors is to accept indirectly empowering the regime. Simple.
#pt: For some in #Europe, accepting such indirect empowering of the #Assad regime might seem like an acceptable outcome.

But it's driven by short-term motivations seeking "stability," which ignores what caused the post-2011 chaos in the first place: 40+ yrs of regime rule.
#pt: There are no easy policy options for #Syria, no doubt about it. But ignoring root causes & drivers of extremism in favor of [hoped for] short-term gains guarantees spillover problems in the future. 2011-2014 exemplifies that.

'What happens in #Syria doesn't stay in #Syria.'
. @diplocharlie is exactly right in this thread:


Key -- "How could international donors find new "avenues" to support civil society orgs when it’s been even impossible to preserve basic humanitarian neutrality?"

The @ecfr proposal "doesn't fly."
You can follow @Charles_Lister.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: