PBS Frontline: House of Saud




 
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Boots
 
February 10th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 

Topic: PBS Frontline: House of Saud


I saw this on PBS (educational TV) the other night. I have to say that this was the most well done piece yet I've seen on what has and is happening in Saudi Arabia. I certainly learned more than a few things. Much of what was shown backed up my beliefs about this issue but also shed some light on aspects I had been unaware of, such as the foundation for the Wahhabism and the very early stages of US and Saudi relations. I'm sure it will be repeated soon so if you get PBS, be sure to see or tape it. For those who don't get PBS and those who want an an excellent overview of it right now go here:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/saud/
February 11th, 2005  
Chocobo_Blitzer
 
I've seen the commercial for it, looked pretty good. Could you expand more on what was reassured and what was new to you?
February 11th, 2005  
rOk
 
 
Does anyone of you have an option to tape it, transfer it to digital form and then maybe share it with the rest of us (through the internet-and no not through e-mail).

I know I'm asking a lot but I'd really like to see this documentary.

Thanks
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Boots
February 11th, 2005  
Whispering Death
 
 
Hrm, some of those Frontline episodes are really really well done but others are almost Micheal Moore in how biased they are. For example, they had the best explination of how the Europeans are struggling with muslim terrorists but the piece they did on Rumsfeld was a complete character assasination hatchet job.
February 11th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Well, Blitzer, I'll start with what was new to me as that was mostly the early stuff.

I knew about the region's early affiliation with Great Britain and France but didn't know how they came to be displaced by the Americans. It basicly came down to the fact that the US was willing to pay more for the rights to the oil and do more for building the nation. The second part being the most important to the Saudies. They needed an infrastructure to become a real nation. The Europeans were unwilling to do little more for them than provide basic needs like water and electricity. The US gave them universities, government training, military training, and industrial training. This all started in the 1930s and had progressed to the point that Roosevelt had given King Abd al-Aziz an assurance in writting that the US would do nothing that would ever be against Muslim interests. Three weeks later he died and Harry Truman became President. When Israel became a nation in 1948 Truman recognized it formally. The Saudies saw this as a betrayal on America's word and it became the heart of dissatisfaction among many Saudies with the US.

The other part I found revealing is the Faustian arrangement that King Abd al-Aziz made with the Ikhwan. These are the origins of today's Muslim extremists. Their destruction at the hands of King Abd al-Aziz through the intervention of the ulama is what has led to the fostering of extremists in Saudi Arabia in later times. The Saudies feel sorry for the destruction of the Ikhwan and allowed many extremist teachers displaced from their own nations to seek refuge in Saudi Arabia. It was with the understanding that they behave themselves. Over time they became more and more provocative such that ordinary Saudies feel betrayed by these extremist teachers now and actions are being taken against them. It is a slow process though and they have to act with care or risk civil war. The extremists have every advantage in not waiting and the Saudies need to take their time - thus the conundrum the Saudies are now in.

What made me reassured more than anything was the overwhelming view from young Saudies today who want the prosperity, technologies, and most of the lifestyle of the West. Time and again they were saying that they want these things and know that reform is the only way to achieve them. Most Saudies young and old were to varying degrees on that course. It was just the pace of this that was most of what is still up in the air. They want to keep their heritage while moving on into the 21st century.


rOk, you can purchase the video here:

http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index...ed_viewProduct
February 14th, 2005  
Chocobo_Blitzer
 
Ah thanks much, that was insightful.