Aren't they always? Still doesn't deter from the fact that a few thousand Frankish knights from a thousand miles away routed a force ten times theirs in their own back yard. Even with Saladin uniting them for a short time, the Crusaders fell due in part to their own hubris and infighting.
Western European knights - in particular those of Scandanvian/Viking descent - were I believe the most potent military units of the time. In the Medditerreanean world alone, Norman (i.e. the descendants of the Vikings who invaded France who went on adventuring) knights:
1. took Southern Italy from the Romans in the mid-1000s. This led to intrigues between the Romans, the Normans, and the Pope in Old Rome and was decided in the Norman's favor by their military superiority.
[this led to immense cultural change in the area. In the religious sphere alone, the Normans imported the new Christian liturgies and practices of Northern Europe which eventually became medieval Latin Catholicism. This culture apparently quickly absorbed the local Latin Christian practices, and despite occasional Norman rulers patronizing "Greek" Christianity in the area, within a few hundred years that culture was a shadow of itself and only exists as ruins today. This is of particular concern to me because I'm descended from these folks]
2. invaded the Balkans and Greece in the mid/late 1000s, taking the second most important Roman city of Thessalonica, causing huge numbers of deaths and a military disaster for the Romans as great, perhaps greater, than the near-contemporary defeat by the Turks at Manzikert which led to them imploring Old Rome for assistance. The Romans decided to fight the Normans first rather than the Turks, likely because the former were closer to Constantinople while the latter were way off in western Anatolia. This led to the permanent Turkish annexation west-to-mid Anatolia, which in the long run was the more strategically important area.
[as I recall, the Normans had ambitions of taking the Roman throne in Constatinople for their own]
This led the Pope to call the crusade. The Romans again called on the Pope's military assistance, in the hopes they could stabilize Anatolia and use the Pope's influence to curb the Normans. But a grand design to retake Jerusalem was something the Romans had not called for, and which led to:
3. significant numbers of Norman knights being one of major military powers in the First Crusade, inevitably leading to a feud between the two sides. One can dispute which side was the most duplicitous (politics back then were even more dog-eat-dog than today), but one cannot fault the Romans for not trusting a large Norman army in its territory at such a time. This bad blood quickly led to open feuding, leading to the political/sectarian debacle after the Siege of Antioch.
Either way, this was in the end disastrous for almost all the Christians in the Middle East. Good numbers of them died in the wars, the "native" Chalcedonian patriarchs (often rightly considered Constantinople's agents) were kicked out. Chalcedonians IIRC were systematically disenfranchised, though the Maronites, Armenians, and perhaps to a lesser degree the Syrian Christians did get some benefits under Latin rule. But by the time the Muslims returned they were all considered
[note: all the above is from memory. I don't have access to my reference books at the time. The main one I can recall from this are some of the more recent scholarly histories of the period as well as a large three volume book on the "Melkite Greek Catholic Church" translated by that church's present Bishop Nicholas in the US. And as an aside, one of the most loyal and powerful Roman military units of the time were a group of Scandanavian-Anglo Saxon knights]
As for the OP and the query on modern day Middle Eastern Christians in the wake of the current Arab uprisings:
I'm not Middle Eastern but I know many who are, and you can google plenty of views from them. Generally, they are against any western involvement and would rather things stay the way they were in the late 1990s.
That being said, this comes from people who are essentially physical or mental hostages to the pre-uprising status quote. The regimes which have lost power due to the uprisings were corrupt, ideologically void, economically bankrupt, and often outright evil regimes which stoked sectarian fears to keep themselves in power (the Middle East has long been governed by tribal/sectarian divide and rule - Baathist Iraq and Syria were/are arguably the worst of such regimes). Claims that the regimes protected Christians as well as claims that the end of the regimes will be a new bright era for the Middle East are IMO equally naive.
IMO, the regimes were not tenable and the uprisings of the past year and a half or so were inevitable since the regimes would never give in. Assad's days are numbered too no matter how things go; the only question is how much of Syria will go with him and what kind of a Syria will come after him.