CIA in Syria since the 1940's.....usually with bad intentions.

Miles Copeland is an interesting figure, from the CIA. 

He wasn't particularly well educated for an organisation that prided itself on its elite university credentials, and intellectual prowess.
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However he is more important for another reason, which would fundamentally effect the Middle East, as it would suck in the USA into the Middle East eventually in a military capacity.
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He is linked to the recruitment of Saddam Hussain in the 1950's, where the CIA helped him escape Iraq into Lebanon for training, and then to Nasser's Egypt for further training. Then sent back to Iraq.....to become the eventual leader of the country, in effect by 1968, and officially by 1979. With the CIA's encouragement from Jordan in 1979, his invasion of Iran in August 1980 with 500,000 men, and then his invasion of Kuwait, with further encouragement from the CIA (Don't worry Habibi,     about the USA, we don't get involved in Arab family feuds)...in August 1990.
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Saddam was recruited by the CIA in the 1950's, and Miles Copeland had a role in that (Adel Darwish)

Unholy Babylon: The Secret History of Saddam's War: Adel Darwish ...(1991)

Miles Copeland and the CIA also recruited Nasser just after the war, and he obviously was no less an important figure for the history of the Middle East.
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Just after WWII, the USA was the most powerful nation on earth accounting for 50% of the worlds GDP in 1945, and maybe 60% of the worlds oil consumption and so forth. The Middle East was largely influenced and managed by the evil British Empire. The USA thought given its new status it should have some say in the regimes of the Middle East. So this translated into getting rid of some Arab monarchies which were traditionally (Egypt, Iraq and Libya) pro-British, and replacing them with local radical ''strongmen' such as Nasser from the Egyptian military (IF you don't want the CIA to interfere with your country, keep your military well away from the USA....WELL AWAY....THIS includes training especially, arms procurement and financial aid).....and Saddam Hussain who was the enforcer muscle for the Socialist Party of Iraq, and a certified psychopath of the type much beloved by the CIA....Charles Taylor, General Noriega etc.

The 1953 CIA involvement in the coup against the Democratically elected Mossaddegh government of Iran, where the CIA was invited by the British to participate in his overthrow further whetted the CIA appetite for covert management and overthrow of existing regimes in the Greater Middle East.
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In the 1970's through the Jewish British super spy Bernard Lewis embedded at Princeton University,  slowly persuaded the American big baby that sponsoring Islamic Fundamentalists would be more profitable for the empire and help the USA win the Cold War....."Clash of Civilization' "Arch of Crisis'. So the baton of Islamic fundamentalism was passed from the British empire to the USA.....and critically Israel in that decade also started funding and arming Hamas.......against the Socialist Secular PLO, many of whose most prominent activists were Christian Palestinians.