What if the Middle East had a war and nobody came?
Middle Eastern conflict in one form or another - phoney war, proxy war, asymmetrical war, no-holds-barred insanely destructive war - has become part of the natural order of world affairs, much as the Cold War used to be.
And if relations between Russia and the West deteriorate much further, we could have hot and cold running wars which, 36 years after the Camp David Accords and 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, would be grim testimony to the human race's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
So why is the region always teetering on the brink of war, at war, or picking up the pieces after the last war while re-equipping for the next? Usually for one or a combination of the following reasons:
• The existence of Israel and the non- or stunted existence of Palestine, neither of which is acceptable to many Muslims.
• The rise of militant jihadist Islam.