Meanwhile the news is all about Syria. Star Trek seemed to have the answer to most things 30 years ago, and the prime directive tells more developed civilisations to keep out of other's wars. Theirs is a typical civil war, as was Tunisia, Egypt and the rest, and the opposition is so far worse then the government in nearly every example. And if we get involved in them then we get caught in their dirt and defence is about that, defending your own shores, and everything else should be down to diplomacy or keep out altogether. We've seen the results in Korea and Vietnam and despite sanctions for longer than my lifetime Cuba is no different now from the beginning of the revolution. If countries are acting badly it's their problem and not anyone else's, even if they really did understand them, which we clearly do not.
These are tribal states, democracy has never been a part of their culture and are generally driven primarily by Islam, which provides the law itself without the need for governments to legislate as well. The only differences will be to what extent this runs a country in the Arab world, or just about money and power. But whose problem is it? Theirs. Why we haven't learnt from Korea and Vietnam and seen the utter waste of resources over Iraq and Afghanistan tells me it is not about helping anyone but making money. Arms dealers need wars to use and buy them, and if you keep going to war at the drop of a hat they at least will keep going. Oil is only relevant as constant unrest in the middle east always keeps the price up, far more so than OPEC restrictions alone. So they are happy to send in the troops to cause a spike in the oil price every now and then, as if they don't get enough already, but as some Arab states have also spent more than they earn even with the oil some need a specific price to make a profit which will not be attained in a free market.
So the simple rule is keep out of other people's shit. If you choose to visit a bombed sewer don't expect to come away not covered in it yourself. These countries are the relative sewers of the world, the people who take over are usually as bad or worse as the previous ones, such as in Tunisia, Egypt and Afghanistan where women are still stoned to death as rape victims accused of adultery. Nothing will change, Islam makes the law and nothing can rewrite the koran as it is fixed in stone, and unlike the bible is not a translation. Those rules are written directly in the language of the followers and fixed for all time. If it means it also becomes a motivation to rule every related country then that is what will happen however many troops flood them every time they're arguing over sunni v shia. It's not our problem and trying to fix it can never change the minds of millions of people across the world who know no other way of life and have seen ours and want to wipe it out. If they put the energy into fixing similar problems in their own countries we may actually be able to sort them out more.