Henry Kissinger once said, “Opportunities cannot be hoarded; once past they are usually irretrievable.” 1 In Syria, a good opportunity for shared prosperity instead of war came in 2009. Before then, the international community had been reacting negatively to one wave of domestic repression after another in Syria. The first wave started in 2001, and the second started in 2006. After each wave of repression, the international community treated Syria like a pariah, and when Syria feels threatened by a hostile external environment, it almost always becomes intolerant of domestic dissent and cracks down with a vengeance. 2