The debate over #Syria sanctions has devolved into an infantile game.

Critics are right to raise humanitarian concerns (I do too, fwiw), but to imply that sanctions are the catalyst for ongoing human suffering is beyond disingenuous. Removing them would do next to nothing.
It's undoubtedly true that sanctions induce over-compliance & it's unquestionably true that Treasury could do more to safeguard against that.

But every serious analysis of #Syria sanctions makes clear: *the* cause of [ongoing] human suffering in #Syria remains #Assad's regime.
Can sanctions exacerbate specific effects of #Assad's 9-years of scorched earth policy? Yes.

But would removing sanctions on #Assad's regime provide a solution to the consequences of those 9yrs of maniacal destruction & ongoing corruption/cronyism/mismanagement? Absolutely not.
What has #Assad's regime consistently prioritized, even amid especially tight financial times? Weapons spending.

What has #Assad's regime consistently refused to prioritize spending on? National, critical infrastructure -- it prefers to rely on manipulating foreign aid for that.
So let's have a discussion about (a) how to make targeted sanctions more effective (b) within a broader, holistic policy & (c) to better safeguard against negative effects.

But let's also be honest about what removing sanctions would mean -- an emboldening of *the* key problem.
This raises a broader issue w. debate over #Syria policy:

- It's *very* easy to criticize, but it's a good deal harder -- & requires some courage -- to try to propose something new.

99% of criticism out there is just that: criticism. No alternatives offered, which is dishonest.
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