Blood and Oil, by Michael Klare

A review by Thom Hartmann

If you want to understand what’s really behind the current goings-on in the former Soviet state of Georgia, immediately buy Michael Klare’s DVD, produced by the Media Education Foundation, “Blood and Oil.”

America’s romance with oil began in the 1860s, when Colonel Drake drilled the first well in Titusville, Pennsylvania, finding a new and cheap replacement (when refined) to replace whale oil, which was spiking in price as a lamp oil because of the overfishing of whales. Within a few decades it would also be heating homes and powering automobiles and, later, trains and electric power stations.

America had vast reserves of oil, and by the early 20th century we were pumping it at an incredible rate. With virtually no imported oil whatsoever, we built most of today’s modern industrial infrastructure, and it wasn’t until World War II, which burned through fully a third of our petroleum reserves, that an American president began to consider how necessary this fuel was to America’s future and how to secure stocks of it outside the United States as our stocks fell.

That president was Franklin D. Roosevelt, and he cut the original deal with the proverbial devil – the king of Saudi Arabia.

This movie then meticulously documents how every president since Roosevelt has put oil front and center in our foreign policy, how the potential loss of it led directly to the first Gulf War, which led directly to Osama Bin Laden attacking the US (multiple times), and led to today’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Even more eerie, the movie – made months ago – posits that any day now we’d see both China and Russia getting into the international oil acquisition business in a big way, leading to conflict in the region around Georgia. (And did I mention Iran and Darfur?)

I don’t want to give away too much of this brilliant documentary, as there are a number of really jaw-dropping moments. My only criticism of it is that it doesn’t include any mention whatsoever of Jimmy Carter’s valiant efforts to move us off oil and into alternative power, particularly solar, which were then rolled back when Reagan took office.

That shortcoming aside, this is an absolutely necessary – and totally riveting – documentary that every American must see to fully understand the events unfolding around us in today’s world.

-----

This review originally appeared on Buzzflash

Index of Buzzflash articles

Add comment

Login or register to post comments

What Do Democrats Really Want?

Thom plus logo Thomas Friedman, the confused billionaire, told us decades ago that "free trade" is what made the Lexus a successful product when, in fact, it was decades of Japanese government subsidies and explicit tariffs that did so.

Latest Headlines

Who rejected United States-North Korea peace talks?

There were conflicting reports on Sunday regarding a recent proposal for United States-North Korea peace talks which was allegedly made before North Korea"s recent nuclear test

U.K. Pound Falls As Markets Get Brexit Jitters

Bloomberg said on Monday the pound had sustained its biggest fall against the dollar in 11 months

Clinton: I'll defend Israel but push for 'two-state solution

Hillary Clinton believes both Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz "missed the mark" with their approach to the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Through compelling personal stories, Hartmann presents a dramatic and deeply disturbing picture of humans as a profoundly troubled species. Hope lies in his inspiring vision of our enormous unrealized potential and his description of the path to its realization."
David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning, and When Corporations Rule the World
From Screwed:
"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the ‘cons’ have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne magazine