In the spring of 1921 I was sent to the Colonial Office to take over our business in the Middle East and bring matters into some kind of order. At that time we had recently suppressed a most dangerous and bloody rebellion in Iraq, and upwards of forty thousand troops at a cost of thirty million pounds a year were required to preserve order. In Palestine the strife between the Arabs and the Jews threatened at any moment to take the form of actual violence....Thus the whole of the Middle East presented a most melancholy and alarming picture.
--Winston Churchill, "Lawrence of Arabia", Great Contemporaries, 1937
But, let us not succumb to a sense of futility. Imagine how much worse things would be there if the forces of civilization were to give up.