When Americans think of the Middle East in the present day, we immediately think of bloodshed and violence. The Fertile Crescent was home to various empires that spanned several nations, with Babylonia, Assyria, Persia, Canaan and Phoenicia later becoming autonomous countries that would remain enemies millennia later; the nations that are now Iraq, Syria, Iran, Israel and Lebanon will possibly remain both political, cultural, and religious rivals for centuries more. As complex as the history of the Cradle of Civilization may sound from the average point of view, it is actually quite simple to explain: one area wants the other dead or suffering. For example, countries aligned with Israel and Saudi Arabia want nations aligned with Palestine and Syria to be either nonexistent or poverty-stricken. United States involvement can have both positive and negative outcomes. Backing the deposition of a dictator can result in either prosperity and peace or rampant poverty and brutal dictatorships. Although the region has been rife with conflict for thousands of years, Western involvement is truly a double-edged sword. As stated in a recent PragerU video made by Dennis Prager, “It’s simple. One side wants the other dead.” All of the benefits have their disadvantages.