Real Source of Middle Eastern extremism: the United State (best PBS doc in a long time)

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by Trotsky, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Trotsky

    Trotsky Social Capitalist / Capitalistic Communist

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    I'm admittedly a bit of a partisan when it comes to siding with Iran over Saudi Arabia, but I was really impressed to see that PBS Frontline's recent documentary "Bitter Rivals" gave a relatively objective recounting of the United States' role in the rivalry and in turning two moderate countries into far more conservative societies and, more importantly, facilitating the spread of Wahhabi extremism throughout the Middle East: the same Sunni extremism that would birth Al Qaeda and, more directly, ISIS.

    I was especially impressed by how many ex-CIA and ex-US government figures were interviewed on the horrible decisions made by the government. The documentary did a great job of tying the concurrent events of the two (three) nations together. For me, it was extremely helpful in taking a less partisan view of the events and, more or less, giving some slack to the Sauds.


    In a crude play-by-play of one of the best PBS documentaries I've seen in a very long time:

    >1950 - Iran is a moderate secular government; Saudi Arabia is a theocratic government which is headed by the world's most conservative major Islamic sect, but that is still relatively secular and is modeled after the commercialist society of the United States, with which it has an economic relationship.

    >>Disillusioned with the expropriation of its resources for British profit, the Iranians elect secular social democrat Mohammad Mossadegh. Mossadegh seeks to nationalize Iranian oil, which at that time is British-owned. Mossadegh is very popular with secularists and moderate Muslims, but is disliked by the conservative religious factions in Iran. The United States and Britain fund a coup of Mossadegh, partly conspiring with Shia fundamentalists, and reinstates the Shah. The Shah violently oppresses the Iranian people with his security forces, which are armed and trained by the US.

    >>>The Shah is later overthrown by the Ayatollah Khomeini, with the support of Islamists and secular leftists. The Islamic Revolution is carried out and Iran becomes a theocratic country. Iran's Revolution is supported by Shia and Sunnis across the region, including Saudi Arabia. Iran seeks, first and foremost, to eradicate US influence from the region.

    >>>>The Iranian Shia government, angered by the Saudi's financial relationship and cooperation with the United States and Brits in the previous events, seeks to undermine the House of Saud by painting them as corrupted Western puppets, insincere in their apparent espousal of Sunni doctrine.

    >>>>>The Saudis respond by returning to an 19th century style-ultra-conservative Wahhabi ideology, rallying their citizens against Shi'ism and instituting ultra-conservative Sharia law and, armed by the United States, violently suppressing their Shia minority.

    >>>>>>Wanting to hedge the region against nationalization and against Iranian influence, the United States and Saudi Arabia spend billions of dollars constructing Wahhabi mosques and spreading Wahhabi religion throughout the Middle East, most notably in Afghanistan, Iraq, and most notably Pakistan.

    >>>>>>>In order to gain influence in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United States train and arm Afghani resistance fighters to the Soviet invasion in the 1980s. One of the Saudi freedom fighters sent to Afghanistan is one Osama bin Laden. After the Soviets are rebuffed, local government control is handed over the extremist Wahhabi sects that were most aligned with the resistance.

    >>>>>>>The United States and Saudi Arabia side with Saddam Hussein in his invasion of Iran. After the Iranian forces repel the Iraqis and advance into Iraqi territory, Saddam begins widespread use of chemical weapons and regular torture and imprisonment of citizens of the Shia majority.

    >>>>>>>>9/11 happens. The majority of the 9/11 perpetrators are Saudi nationals. In the aftermath, the US turns on Saddam Hussein, against the passionate wishes of the Saudi regime.

    >>>>>>>>>>The Sunni extremists that were earlier empowered throughout the region begin to jockey for position, but are foreclosed by an uprising of a formerly suppressed Shia majority population. Iran quickly gains diplomatic control. The United States makes a grave tactical error by promulgating political restrictions in post-invasion Iraq that banned Ba'athists, mostly Sunnis, from holding office.
    >>>>>>>>>>>Sunni extremists respond with a series of terror attacks, and the Sunni extremists trained across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, and the entire Middle East to be militant sectarians vow a sectarian war.


    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/bitter-rivals-iran-and-saudi-arabia/
     
  2. Trotsky

    Trotsky Social Capitalist / Capitalistic Communist

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    One of the aspects of the documentary (I only summarized the first part) that I found insightful is how the battle between Iran and Saudi Arabia is far less about Islamic doctrine (it never was, if you ask any intelligent citizen from either country) and is mostly about the direction of the region: neoliberal Sunni domination, underpinned by Western support and Western benefits, or a multi-sect future of an independent Middle East. The documentary also seemed to imply that the Saudi regime is somewhat hapless is reaping what it has sowed with its fundamentalist networks.

    I really wonder, too, how the plummeting value of oil will affect the stakes in this chess match, as Western interests become less economic and more diplomatic.
     
  3. Gregolian

    Gregolian .45 ACP Platinum Member

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    Watch this and you'll probably enjoy it:



    Pretty sure there's a second part that recounts everything up to King Hussein's death.
     
  4. Trotsky

    Trotsky Social Capitalist / Capitalistic Communist

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    I already like it just by the name.

    Will watch. Thanks!
     
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  5. Kafir-kun

    Kafir-kun Three Tailed Pasha

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    I think Iran is better poised for the MidEast after oil when compared to Saudi Arabia and most of the GCC.
     
  6. Gregolian

    Gregolian .45 ACP Platinum Member

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    It focus's a ton on the effects that WWI had and how that shaped everything that happened after WWII and beyond.
     
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  7. Trotsky

    Trotsky Social Capitalist / Capitalistic Communist

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    Yeah, I definitely think you're right.

    And that bodes well for the region, as Iran is perpetually teetering towards secularism, while the Saudi population has been made pretty docile between the indoctrination and authoritarian beatings.

    Also, Iran's government, despite its turn towards neoliberalism in the recent decade, has been pretty fucking impressive in its competence. The shit they have achieved with the world against them is admirable.
     
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  8. dragonsfly

    dragonsfly '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

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    The shiites are the closest thing to pacifist and they can't walk by themselves hence they need a parent to guard them all the time
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  9. Kafir-kun

    Kafir-kun Three Tailed Pasha

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    I like that the Saudis call the Iranian government the Safavid regime. Its probably meant as an insult but it makes the Islamic Republic seem more badass.

    The region looks like its heading towards a rematch between the Ottomans and Safavids. Don't know who to root for...
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Limbo Pete

    Limbo Pete Super Samoderator Belt Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    PBS does some fantastic work
     
  11. Gregolian

    Gregolian .45 ACP Platinum Member

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    The IRA
     
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  12. ShinkanPo

    ShinkanPo 風 林 火 山

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    I am rooting for that Moghul
     
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  13. Kafir-kun

    Kafir-kun Three Tailed Pasha

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    I know its fucked up but I kinda admire them. Kinda crazy how they were able to wage a terrorist campaign against one of the worlds great powers into the 90s and actually got concessions from it.
     
  14. Anung Un Rama

    Anung Un Rama The Right Hand of Doom Platinum Member

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    This is an outstanding documentary so far; I'll have to finish tomorrow. Looks like they have a whole series. Cheers @Trotsky
     
  15. Gregolian

    Gregolian .45 ACP Platinum Member

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    What's even crazier is they're still sorta around, just not active
     
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  16. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre Steel Belt

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    I'd rather extricate than understand. Buncha other folks' drama. Best of luck to 'em.
     
  17. Prutfis

    Prutfis Master of pups

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    The US certainly had a hand in the giant fuckup that is the ME. The Reagan doctrine certainly didn´t help either.
    And you really screewed the pooch with Iran, by far the best possible ally in the ME

    Leaving the ME unchecked can become other peoples problem really quickly. Case in point, 9/11.
     
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  18. LogicalInsanity

    LogicalInsanity Gold Belt

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    All the shas men is a fantastic book on this very topic.

    Opened up my eyes regarding a national hero, Mohammed mossadegh
     
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  19. LogicalInsanity

    LogicalInsanity Gold Belt

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    And props to Ron Paul for mentioning this coup during the Republican primaries in 2012
     
  20. curryjunkie

    curryjunkie mixed marital arts...

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    same shit, different country, for an agency with the word "intellegence" in the name, they sure do fuck up a lot

    [​IMG]
     
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