Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Blood and Oil The Middle East in World War I|
Actor: Marty Callaghan
Genres: Educational, Documentary, Military & War
"Blood and Oil - The Middle East in World War I" examines the devastating conflict and Western political intrigue that laid the foundation for wars, coups, revolts and military interventions in the Middle East. After t... more »
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History Every American Needs to Know
Erin Campbell | Minneapolis, MN | 12/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you want to understand what the United States is up against in the Middle East, watch "Blood and Oil." The primary reason U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 has been wholly ineffective is the administration's ignorance of history and other cultures. The "war on terror" has repeatedly been likened to World War Two and the Cold War -- analogies that don't hold up. However, the real antecedents lie in World War One. In the West's last gasp of colonialism, Britain and France apportioned this region between themselves, creating the artifice we now call the Middle East. Since that time, Arabs (and Persians) have chaffed under this unwanted arrangement. Much of the volatility in that region today has grown directly out of the accords made during and immediately after World War One.
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"
A Tale of Manipulation and Sorrow
David Saltzman | 02/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Blood and Oil" reveals the energy politics that guided the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East and Caucasus. The film, perhaps controversially, uncovers how Russia, Great Britain and France exploited ethnic and religious differences to fuel revolts against the Ottoman Empire, so that the West could dominate certain petroleum-rich areas, from Baku in Azerbaijan to Mosul and Kirkuk in Iraq. One track followed very closely in the film is that of the Russians (from the east) and French (from the south) instigating the Armenian Revolt, 1885-1920, that killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims, mostly Kurds, in eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus, the Ottoman response to which brought terrible suffering upon the Armenians. The film also delves into the British-engineered Arab revolts from the Sinai, to Palestine, to Baghdad. "Blood and Oil" draws acute parallels between the British invasion of the Middle East in WWI and the present US occupation of Iraq, both of which seemed designed to redraw the region's borders under the guise of self-determination and human rights, but of course in line with energy objectives of the West. The ethnic and religious feuds of one hundred years ago still haunt the region today, raising the question whether the War to End All Wars actually created a peace to end all peace, as David Fromkin argues in the documentary."
Discover the origins of the current mayhem in the Middle-Eas
Elisabeth Donato | 01/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Blood and Oil" is an eye-opener and, as such, a documentary which should be viewed by every American (and I would even say by every Westerner) and, more crucially, by everyone in our political system who is involved - directly or indirectly - in making decisions regarding Iraq and our mostly unenlightened policy in the Middle-East.
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."
Review of Blood and Oil
M. Diamond | 01/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent and compelling documentary of events leading to the middle east crisis that we have been feeling for the last almost 100 years. The video footage is well done and the narration is clear, not cluttered, and informative. The entire DVD is very objectively done and I found I could not stop it once I started. And I am not a war buff or one who likes war documentaries. Everyone should see this DVD to understand why we're in Iraq now and how the way the US has gone in there (and Afghanistan as well) is unlikely to help and will probably exacerbate an already bad situation."