In this public lecture, Richard Murphy draws on his experiences as U.S. Ambassador to Syria and Saudi Arabia and Assistant Secretary of State for the region to attempt a reply to this and other questions about the Middle East. What brought about the current chaos in the area? Did the machinations of the Cold War exhaust the region leaving it unable to develop new relationships between governor and governed? As Americans, how much should we criticize our role or even a particular Administration? This lecture is part of the World Disorder Lecture Series.