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Blood And Oil: The Middle East In World War I
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(Aug 18, 2010)
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s Islamic extremism an outcropping of a botched World War I endgame? Blood and Oil The Middle East in World War I methodically recounts how Britain and France carved up the Middle East to suit their political and economic needs and traces the aftermath of these decisions including how resentment toward Europe s policies helped foster Muslim nationalism and, eventually, extremism. --John Latchem, Home Media Retailing
A thorough documentary. Gives you the sense of how long the West has been fighting in the Middle East. --Joshua Berlow, The Cynicism of Diogenes
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Top Customer Reviews
Marty Callaghan is among the first to provide a much overdue perspective of the real historical forces we're dealing with today. "Blood and Oil" is a good primer on the interactions of the Western powers with the Arabs and Ottoman Turks during the war and the long-term ramifications of these actions. Until American policy makers understand these historical dynamics, we will be doomed to continued inept foreign policy -- like going on a roadtrip and using the wrong map.
Other resources I would recommend:
- PBS's "The Road to 9/11": provides an overview of the political forces that have shaped the Middle East during the 20th century
- PBS's "Lawrence of Arabia: The Battle for the Arab World": recounts T.E. Lawrence's work as Britain's pointman in cultivating Arab help in World War I in exchange for promises of Arab independence
- Jonathan Lewis' "The First World War -- The Complete Series": superbly made documentary series on all facets of WWI, including one episode on "Jihad"
- World War I: The "Great War": a college-level course taught by Prof Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, available on DVD through The Teaching Company
In this riveting and carefully researched video, Marty Callaghan shows us how, in the aftermath of World War I (which most Westerners think ended in 1918 - when strife persisted for several more years in the Middle-East) agreements were made, mostly between between France and Britain, which resulted in the carving of the old Ottoman Empire into artificial nations - Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, and Syria - which have remained hotbeds of political and military mayhem ever since. Oil was the black gold that motivated, and still motivates the West to constantly interfere in the Middle East, without taking into account its widely diverse population, without seeking to understand the complexity of its many cultures and ethnic composition. It is so much easier to lump all of its people as "Moslems" or "Arabs" - terms which, nowadays, are often, and very sadly, equated in the minds of many Westerners with a propensity for terrorism.
You do not need to have any background in history to enjoy and fully understand this documentary, which conveys complex events and intricate political dealings with great clarity and in a very compelling fashion. Some of the historical footage Callaghan dug up is very cool, as is the original soundtrack by Michael Goodis.
Ignore all that if it's happened to you; the only controversy this disc could ignite would be the careful avoidance, or potentially total ignoring of the Armenian Genocide from 1915-1917, said to be the inspiration for Adolph Hitler's Final Solution.
The documentary starts very much within 1914, and focuses on the "forgotten war" in World War I, that of the Ottoman Empire versus seemingly everyone else. Every major campaign from the failed Ottoman incursion into the Caucasus, the failed Ottoman incursion across the Suez Canal, to the political, military, and social developments throughout the war, from Winston Churchill's scapegoating for the disaster of Gallipoli, the taking of Baghdad, the massively successful push by Edmund Allenby past Gaza, and into Palestine and Jerusalem, and T.E. Lawrence's role in the Arab revolt.
The first 2/3s of the documentary, being almost wholly devoted to the Ottoman Empire and it's pisspoor management under the Three Pashas, and in-depth military coverage, strategies, movement, etcetera, followed by the seemingly heroic actions of General Mustafa Kemal in resisting the Allied attempt at stealing Turkish lands, and forcibly forming the Republic of Turkey.
These events prove to be highly significant to the last portion, which covers just how these events were directly responsible for causing the issue of the Western World intruding in the Arab World, and the introduction of Israel into the mix.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent historical summary. Having read T.E. Lawrence's "7 Pillars of Wisdom", having interest in the Three Pashas, and having spent time in Turkey with a desire to know... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Billy-Bob Bud-Brown
A good explanation of why things have turned out the way they did.Published 3 months ago by M. McHale
Was this made by a high school teacher or librarian? It stinks. There is no continuity to any of the sequences. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Splorer
Excellent historical background. Helps to understand what's happening today in the Middle EastPublished 10 months ago by BJ
So, what did we really go to war in the Middle East for? Would we really have any interest in this part of the world if it weren't for oil?Published 10 months ago by jim