A World On The Brink – Episode Three

Featuring Dee Smith

A region diverse in culture and history, yet the source of many of today’s most violent conflicts. Episode 3 of A World On The Brink teases out threads from the tapestry of history to explain crucial yet less known factors—often missing from the popular narrative—which continue to drive conflict and change in the Middle East. These include the post WW1 redrawing of borders, the rise of Saudi oil wealth, the influence of Wahhabism, the formation of Al Qaeda, the resource curse and the rise of ISIS. https://www.realvision.com/world-brink-disclaimer/

Published on
10 November, 2017
Topic
Geopolitics, Middle East
Duration
65 minutes
Rating
70

Comments

  • VS

    Vignesh S.

    6 7 2018 11:23

    0       0

    "all religions can and do inspire wholesale and horrific violence at times"....how much ever i try to put it in context..huh!!! wow!!

  • BF

    Brad F.

    25 11 2017 14:00

    2       0

    I was enjoying this episode right up until someone said “we all thought Iraq had WMD”.

  • DH

    Dion H.

    18 11 2017 04:21

    5       5

    This is the shittiest analysis on the Middle East I've ever seen. Council of Foreign Relations hacks.

  • KA

    Kelly A.

    15 11 2017 22:25

    3       3

    Meh. And, this helps me be a better trader, how???

  • GM

    Greg M.

    15 11 2017 13:41

    8       2

    This wasn't as bad as some of the previous episodes. Some issues I have with the video are -

    - No mention of Operation Torch? The USA via the CIA helped installed the Shah and overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. This USA and British had to protect their oil interests.

    - The Arab Spring was helped and urged on by the CIA. The people overthrew Hosni Mubarak and installed a democratically elected government, albeit briefly. The Muslim Brotherhood won too seat elections so the Western Powers had the Military take control. YAY Freedom and Democracy.

    - Osama Bin Laden's goal was to bleed the USA dry - quote - "We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah," "using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers." "We, alongside the mujahedeen, bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat," "easy for us to provoke and bait this administration." "All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations,"

    To slap Dee Brown down - he said nobody could foresee the Arab Spring and the rise of ISIS - I retort Dee, yea nobody except the State Department and the CIA.

  • KS

    Kashyap S.

    15 11 2017 10:53

    5       9

    Experts? A true expert would have realised by now that 9/11 was not caused by a terrorist on an airplane but a planned US government program. Dud video. http://www.ae911truth.org/

  • KS

    Kathleen S.

    15 11 2017 01:57

    4       3

    More propaganda, CFR style slick and misleading - lies of omission that works well for a population that has been poorly educated on recent history.

  • SL

    Seth L.

    14 11 2017 23:19

    1       0

    Very good political history. Anyone looking for a philosophical perspective on the history of the region should check out Yaron Brook's lectures on the history of The Rise of Totalitarian Islam and A Brief History of the Middle East (5 parts) (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yaronbrook). I find that understanding the ideological drivers behind such historical events helps make more sense of the political developments.

  • DK

    David K.

    14 11 2017 13:39

    4       3

    The middle east analysis was comparable to the talking heads on tv - someone needs to do some research

  • MO

    Mike O.

    14 11 2017 12:22

    0       1

    I know I've shared a few thoughts (yeah, enough already some would say) ... but please allow me to suggest a book that might make for a good companion to read along with this video for some insights into the types of players that have been involved in the Middle East. It's called "Vulture's Picnic" and here is one Amazon reviewer's comments about it that I likely could not improve upon:

    "I'm well aware of the corruption that has pervaded American business and politics, but having it all grow to immense proportions page after page is rather devastating. The good news is that all of the disgusting facts are served with a generous portion of Palast's biting wit.

    Thank God for Greg Palast. If only he were a Federal prosecutor. Prosecutors take note. Palast has done your work for you. Now we just need the indictments. Palast is perhaps the best investigative journalists alive. Sadly, he is also one of a shrinking minority.

    Vultures Picnic is a massive expose of dirty dealings by Big Oil, greasy politicians and Big Banks. It should be required reading for every citizen on the planet. I cannot recommend it highly enough. That goes for all of his work."

    Check it out, if interested:
    https://www.amazon.com/Vultures-Picnic-Petroleum-High-Finance-Carnivores/dp/B00DF7LDOC

    Of course, after reading it, you might have to forgive Smedley Butler for being too kind in his thoughts that he shared in his book "War is a Racket" (see my reply to Kenneth B. down below).

    Enjoy!

    • MO

      Mike O.

      14 11 2017 13:48

      0       0

      Another of Palast's books that might be more germaine to the topic of this video is "Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans-Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild".

      It's a nice breezy read along the lines of Vulture's Picnic that you also may enjoy.

    • MO

      Mike O.

      14 11 2017 21:10

      0       2

      (There really should be a limit, BTW, on entries in comment sections ... or else some way to control old people with too much time on their hands and a keyboard from endlessly spouting off ... personally, having crossed into insufferable territory I will plan to refrain from further commentary, but have thoroughly enjoyed all of yours ... cheerio all!)

  • JW

    James W.

    14 11 2017 03:35

    7       4

    I'm halfway through this, and so far this is hands-down the most mundane and sorry to say, useless piece I have seen on RV. Why spend an hour iterating the most elementary aspects of a history that most of us have lived, and all others know full well. Not a spec of new or interesting information here. you could have saved your money on this one, guys - and our time. Maybe perhaps it at least allowed RV to practice their production values.

    • CM

      Chris M.

      15 11 2017 04:02

      1       0

      I agree. Nice little summary, but not a lot of new info and certainly the info was not something that would influence an investment decision.

  • WB

    Wes B.

    13 11 2017 19:24

    2       1

    Better that the first 2 episodes but how on earth was Jawad Mian not interviewed for this?!? Instead of Western professors it would have been nice to get more of an on the ground perspective. I think the ME is very misunderstood in Western Culture and I would have preferred to hear more of a ME perspective when explaining it. Good piece though.

  • JC

    JAMES C.

    13 11 2017 16:04

    1       0

    I doubt this started with WW1 and the lines, what drove the Ottoman Empire to their choices in WW1 and why? The subsequent discovery of oil did create an unbalance of power amongst the competing sects/forces of Islam however a "Resource Curse" is not a correct term for a massively disproportionate wealth effect. The effects of disproportionate wealth is also displayed within the USA (and other nations/states) as the apparatus of the state is directed towards the support of commercial and political enterprises and the associated views and narritivies. The resulting (and increasing) concentration of wealth is no less a curse on western societies as is evidenced by rising political discord and polarization of views. There is more to learn of ourselves here, even if it is only seen in the behavior of others.

  • PJ

    Peter J.

    13 11 2017 10:50

    0       0

    Not a lot in this that I wasn't already aware of, but was put together very well and is an excellent overview of where we have come from and what the current problems and issues are. I enjoyed it thoroughly but would agree with the Jesse H below in that it did have a lack of input from the region itself.

  • AG

    Alex G.

    13 11 2017 05:28

    1       2

    Educational and informative per ussual keep it up

  • JH

    Jesse H.

    12 11 2017 23:36

    19       0

    Enjoyed this one more than Episodes 1 and 2 - some interesting commentary and discussion. That said, I am concerned that the views being portrayed here, once again, are highly US-centric and represent an entirely Western take on the issues. When discussing an entire region of the world with a very complex historical, cultural and societal backdrop, I would think it essential to interview people who are actually from the region or at least based there for a very long time (and not just within the walls and formalities of an embassy). For example, imagine if we had conducted an entire review and discussion of American history from the Declaration of Independence to the present day, and ended up interviewing only Saudis, Iranians and other Middle Eastern observers. It's awkward to the point of absurdity. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, and sadly this is the arrogance and/or myopia for which many outside observers rightly fault American observers (and I make this assertion as an American).

    I'm afraid that the strong aspects of this documentary were overshadowed by this core point for me. If you only tell one side of the story, or leave out a key perspective in the story, you cannot produce a compelling documentary.

  • MO

    Mike O.

    12 11 2017 23:32

    5       4

    A thought occurred as I read the comment by Matt S. below who talked about the "given" that Bin Laden carried out 9/11 and that he was "killed and conveniently buried at sea".

    The term "conspiracy theory (and theorist)" ... does anyone know where it originated?

    I thought that the timing of the JFK assassination document release might be a good time to broach this subject.

    I'd like to suggest that you take a look at an article; here are some thoughts from the author in it:

    "Having read JFK and the Unspeakable several years ago, I’ve been thinking about assassinations for quite a while and I’ve seen how “conspiracy theory” is used to shut off debate, to signal that we’re entering “the unspeakable” zone. So I began to wonder if the use of the term Conspiracy Theory might be a conspiracy itself.".

    Here is the article: https://projectunspeakable.com/conspiracy-theory-invention-of-cia/

    It seems that the term "conspiracy theory" was coined to stifle anyone who might question the Warren Report on the JFK assassination.

    Now, that is interesting.

    I came across the details of a CIA operation called "Operation Mockingbird": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird

    If you read that Wikipedia article, you will see that George H.W. Bush issued assurances that the CIA would no longer be involved in any attempt to influence the media.

    I found it interesting, then, to learn of a German journalist who claimed that his career was built on the information that was fed to him by the CIA.

    I believe the person that I had heard about is detailed in the following article (will update this, if not): http://americanfreepress.net/perpetual-war-and-the-global-media-psyop/

    Anyway, if you think you are getting the straight story from any media sources ... I would suggest that you think again (this includes, by the way, the so-called "alternative" media ... EVERY media source has to be corroborated independently in order for any credibility to be ascribed.

    Again ... just my thoughts ... YMMV.

    • MO

      Mike O.

      12 11 2017 23:39

      1       2

      Wow ... just a suggestion RVTV ... perhaps an "edit" feature for comments would be helpful as I see that I jumped from one topic, "conpiracy theorist", to another "Operation Mockingbird". This may be confusing for some who don't take time to read the article (this operation involved placing journalists into media outlets, or feeding existing journalists in outlets with information that the CIA wanted to "put out there" into the general public consciousness ... in order to control the narrative of a given topic of interest.

      Perhaps many will not be aware that this was being done (they only know that Russians are trying to subvert OUR media now ... those scoundrels).

      These small comment boxes are hard to navigate and see whether a complete thought is contained within a comment ... so, sorry for any lack of consistency (I'll try to compose separately in a notepad window or such before posting in the future).

    • MO

      Mike O.

      13 11 2017 00:45

      1       2

      Wow ... I see that even my reply was not clear ...

      In my comment above I should have said: one thought occurs regarding "conspiracy theories" and another, related thought occurs about "Project Mockingbird". Then I should have tied the two together with some overarching point that I had in mind (which totally escapes me now).

      An edit feature might help.

    • MO

      Mike O.

      13 11 2017 03:39

      0       2

      An alternative might be a "delete" button, for those who realize (after the fact) that some ideas were half-baked and better left in the oven for a while.

    • MO

      Mike O.

      13 11 2017 13:37

      1       2

      I guess my point might have been (had I been able to make it succinctly) that the CIA has been seen to discredit sources by labeling them "conspiracy theorists" while at the same time they have been the source of information themselves. This is a recipe for thought control (I guess that why it was labeled "psy-ops") and it may be helpful to have a healthy skepticism regarding some information.

      @Raoul Pal, please feel free to delete this comment and these replies as it must be tedious to wade through it all to get to a point that adds little overall value to the discussion, although I do feel that a little control to allow editing and/or deletion would be good.

  • KB

    Kenneth B.

    12 11 2017 17:27

    6       5

    The US does the same with recruiting the poor and rural in their military. The marines are every bit as fanatical as the jihadists.

    • MO

      Mike O.

      13 11 2017 18:02

      4       0

      Pretty bold statement Kenneth that is sure to ruffle a few feathers. Next you may be quoting people like the two-time congressional medal of honor recipient, Smedley Butler who said:

      “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”
      ― Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier

    • MO

      Mike O.

      13 11 2017 18:07

      1       0

      For those who may not know, Smedley Butler was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

    • MO

      Mike O.

      13 11 2017 21:29

      2       0

      I realized (afterwards) that my reply above may only be marginally related to the point you made, Kenneth, i.e., "marines being fanatical as jihadists", which I construed (somewhat) as mindlessly carrying out the will of those who send them into battle.

      Butler's quote is a bit of a stretch at being related to this and so I also realized that I took the opportunity to make a point that I wanted to make using your comment as a pretext for doing so. I also realized I had done so in replies to other comments having even less of a connection to my reply.

      That may be trolling (I'm an older guy now and I don't do social media or participate in forums) and may be what Gary O. was referring to in a comment lower down. My apologies if so and if any found this to be irritating.

  • MS

    Matt S.

    12 11 2017 13:50

    7       9

    I felt episode 3 was less nauseating than the previous 2 - the facts are still erroneous and one-sided - the "given" that Osama Bin Laden actually carried out the 9/11 attacks (which he claimed he did not, before he was killed and conveniently buried at sea)

    Anyway.... my opinion:

    Islam has major problems. Don't bring the problems into Europe.

    • MO

      Mike O.

      13 11 2017 17:03

      1       1

      Since I'm probably already considered a conspiracy nut by most of those who have read my comments, I'd like to reply that this may be the whole point, Matt.

      Here is a quote from the article linked below: "The BBC reported in 2012 that “Peter Sutherland told peers the future prosperity of many EU states depended on them becoming multicultural.” Sutherland is honorary Chairman of the Trilateral Commission in Europe and also the UN’s migration chief."

      https://www.technocracy.news/index.php/2015/11/05/mass-immigration-is-on-the-verge-of-destroying-europe/

      I think that they may think that the goal of achieving multiculturalism outweighs any short-term problems of bringing antagonistic cultures together (or forcing them together, depending on your views).

  • JW

    J W.

    12 11 2017 11:24

    12       1

    Watching these has been an exercise in frustration, mainly because they have interesting nuggets (Bin Laden's conversation with the Saudi government comes to mind), but then veer wildly off into well produced segments with light analysis. In the Hound of Baskervilles, the key clue was "the dog that didn't bark", meaning that it's not what you say that is wrong, it's what you leave out that is important.
    Ignoring the Lebanese civil war (of 1975 or so), the effect of Iran moving from secular to religious, the rise of Hezbollah as an Iranian proxy, the back and forth of Iran trying to re-assert influence in the region post Iran-Iraq war were things that were material oversights. Leaving a key regional power like Iran out of the discussion was inexcusable.
    Other things, that might be up for more debate would be something like "did Bush the Younger and Petraeus really stabilize Iraq and then Obama's team lost it or not" would be an interesting back and forth. From reading on the ground reporters like Michael Yon, and from what is presented, I am unconvinced that ISIS would have been able to start had the US ground forces (or even perhaps just the air forces) not focused on leaving so quickly, but I could be wrong.
    Beyond that, though, given Dee's deep connections with the foreign service and intelligence services, I would have liked to understand what team Obama was thinking on the move away from previous US allies like Israel, Saudi etc in the interest of deepening the Iranian relationship. There might be some insight there that would be missing from normal TV that is available to any of non-RVTV viewer. Certainly the resource curse (aka the Dutch Disease) could have been skipped altogether, with a simple reference to other videos or wikipedia.
    Finally, the ongoing insistence that "all religions have bloody wars", while true, doesn't match up to the level of insight that I would like to see. How would ISIS be different than Aum Shin Rikyo, or any other death cult that uses terror? Why is ISIS using a (corrupted) version of Islam, while the Palestinaians were primarily secular? Is Hezbollah, Daesh or Hamas a better example of a terrorist organization using a mix of religion and power?
    We can do better than this, but in many ways I'm glad that RVTV is trying new stuff. Like other commenters, I too feel we would do well to have someone like Burbank interviewed for this as well.

  • MO

    Mike O.

    12 11 2017 10:20

    7       3

    I'd like to mention one more thing to those who may be open to the suggestion that they may not have learned the whole story (or enough of it to even fairly judge things) in their formal history schooling.

    I heard an interview of James Bradley, author of the book "The Imperial Cruise", some time ago. He is the son of one of the marines on Iwo Jima who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi. He wondered why his father even went to war ... which led to this book, about a 1905 diplomatic cruise to Asia arranged by Teddy Roosevelt.

    He talks about the motivation of Teddy and other US leaders and that "race theory" (which was prevalent at that time) played a large role in their thinking. They believed that the Aryan potency of their race was the reason for European domination and was impelling them to pursue further US expansion into the far east (to the "impotent" races ... solely to improve them you understand).

    He mentions the vast wealth that also lured them and the fact that the British empire relied on the opium trade to run the empire (it comprised 20 percent of the budget and they had one million Indian farmers growing it to export to China). He mentions that FDR's father-in-law, Warren Delano, was the opium king of China who, along with others like William Huntington Russell (founder of Yale), made vast fortunes trading drugs.

    He mentions the Spanish-American war and US brutality in the Phillipines and the takeover of Hawaii, so that the US could position itself closer to these resources. He also mentions the fact that FDR later appologized to Spain saying that he knew that they had not sunk the Maine (i.e., admitting that the pretext for the war was in fact a "false flag").

    He mentions that Teddy and our British allies goaded the Japanese into their expansionist behavior, as they had been isolationists up until then. He mentions that the first "Pearl Harbor" attack by Japan was actually on the Russians in 1904, a sneak attack, that Teddy heartily approved of.

    He also says that he does not blame any of these guys, or their behavior. They thought they were being patriotic and doing the right thing in all of this.

    He also said that he was angry at getting a degree in history and having never heard a word of this. He ended up having to spend countless hours in the libraries of Harvard, Yale and other ivy league institutions to read the actual writings of the people involved, along with other supporting material written at the time ... all of which is documented in the book (40 pages at the end).

    So, while this video on the Middle East is likely very accurate in what it portrays from history, I wonder what it leaves out. Certainly the motivation of the US and Britain in the 19th century was not fully portrayed, if Bradley's book is any indication.

    I invite you to take a look at the book, which at least one of top reviews on Amazon says is "very well-written, but conveys a one-sided view". That may be true, but it is the side that is never taught.

    Check it out, if interested:

    https://www.amazon.com/Imperial-Cruise-Secret-History-Empire-ebook/dp/B002P8N0UC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510481153&sr=8-1&keywords=the+imperial+cruise

  • RT

    Rune T.

    12 11 2017 03:42

    2       1

    Dissapointing western view points not addressing the realities of what is really happening.

    • MS

      Matt S.

      12 11 2017 15:26

      5       1

      please share what is really happening (I'm not being sarcastic)

  • MB

    Martin B.

    11 11 2017 21:14

    5       7

    Heavy censorship of these comments. Very disappointing RVTV. I guess you didn’t mean it when you said you are different...

    A real shame.

  • dg

    darius g.

    11 11 2017 20:47

    8       0

    Definitely the best Word on the Brink episode so far – I think that this is because giving the contributors more time to impart their thoughts/opinions makes for more thorough and in-depth viewing, rather than having more contributors with less time each, only able to add soundbites.
    I’m interested how little time Iran was given in the episode, especially given how the country’s leadership is given so much time on Western media. It seemed like an oversight unless the implicit message was that Iran hasn’t played such a crucial role in the region over the past 50 years. Given the number of times that the Sunni-Shia divide was referenced on the surface however, it was a shame not to explore this divide in more depth at least to address the subject and its effects on the geopolitical balance in the region.

  • AP

    Armin P.

    11 11 2017 18:56

    3       1

    Great improvement since last episode. Digging deep into the root causes of the regional dynamics, linking history, geopolitics, psychology and technology went pretty well.
    Best commentators were Dee Smith, the ex-ambassador, the Nicosia professor, the NYU professor and the energetic lady with the dress.

    Thanks for giving Dee Smith more time to speak (why does he always have to take the tube or check his emails?)

    People to stop bringing along (most of them caused backlash against episode 2) for their general comments, bringing very little value, occasionally bragging or losing it:
    - Mr Jeremi Suri and his books - "We did not create a cult arm for public service..." "After 9/11 so many people came to me to do something..."
    - Mr Micah Zenko and his books
    - Mr Stewart Patrick - that much length to explain the resource curse?
    - Mr James Hollifield - "There were great hope about the Arab Spring, some of the people back then including me were very pessimistic..." - Tapping yourself on the back pal
    and the craziest:
    Virginia Gerrard - this passage 8min from the end, what was this about? Find a toolkit to deal with our tribalistic impulses??

  • TE

    Tito E.

    11 11 2017 18:43

    10       0

    Much better episode. One thing though: The Balfour declaration, formation and ongoing spread of Israeli settlement is every bit as much as the Sykes-Picot agreement cause for troubles in this region.

    Ask any arab on the planet whether Israel-Palestine is 'a side issue', and i think you'll get a different answer from the one here.

    • MS

      Matt S.

      12 11 2017 15:20

      8       0

      I couldn't help seeing the parallels betweens the Sykes-Picot agreement and the plans for the European Union.

      Ignore the history of the area, disregarded the existing borders and cultural differences between the peoples, split them and in the case of Europe, infiltrate their communities with people from radically different cultures so as to destroy an sense of oneness and coherence. This allows "new leaders" to come to power and reign over the region as THEY see fit.

    • JW

      Jeremy W.

      13 11 2017 09:03

      0       0

      It is a big issue at the local level. The average Arab citizen will consider it major. At the higher level it is less so. I.e. Saudi Arabian leaders despite saying anti-Israeli things to their citizens, work hand-in-hand with Israel behind the scenes. They don't seriously care about the Israel-Palestine issue. Nor is the Israel-Palestine issue the main driver for why Iran and Saudi Arabia have been in proxy wars with one another for the past 30-40 years, or the general turmoil in the region. It wasn't why the Iranian revolution occurred. It wasn't why the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. It wasn't why Saddam invaded Iran or Kuwait. It wasn't why the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. The specific Israel-Palestine issue wasn't the main driver of any of these. It's an issue, but in the grand scheme of things it does tend more towards side issue than main issue in my opinion.

    • JW

      Jeremy W.

      13 11 2017 09:10

      0       0

      The reality is the turmoil in the Middle East is due to dozens upon dozens of side issues. That is how complex it all is. You can't just deduce it to one or two main issues. I.e. Israel being a state has altered the landscape and dynamics of the region, undoubtedly. The Arab–Israeli conflict completely altered dynamics / foreign politics in the region. It completely altered the positioning of the US, and how it interacts in the region. So yes, it is true that the establishment of Israel itself has influenced the region greatly. But I still argue, as before, that there have been dozens upon dozens of other drivers, independent of Israel, that have also greatly contributed, all culminating in what we see today. In reality it's impossible to really measure.

  • RA

    Robert A.

    11 11 2017 16:45

    19       0

    I think John Burbank in an RV interview a couple of years ago discussed the work he and his team were doing for Investing in the Kingdom. As I recall he was beginning to implement his strategy and gearing up for more substantial allocations as time went on. In light of the recent “purge” (I guess that’s a decent word for putting a 32 billionaire under house arrest and closing the private airport) and the grand strategy of this 32 year old wunderkind it would sure be great to get John Burbank back on to give us an update on this thinking. John was the first notable person to have a really strong opinion on Saudi investments that I recall and the case he layed out seemed quite compelling. Now that Dee has given us some great history and background perhaps it’s time to get John Burbank back on to give us some trade and timing ideas?

    • GR

      Guido R.

      13 11 2017 07:35

      2       0

      I, for one, never thought Burbank made a compelling case simply because I live and work in the Middle East and, for the life of me, I cannot see what he sees.

      My fundamental misgiving regarding Saudi Arabia in particular is the sheer lack of any independent institutions and total absence of an objective regulatory framework be it legal, penal or commercial.

      Too, the fact that Saudi Arabia should have been kept in a deliberately obscurantist bubble over the past century has produced a population that is completely detached from the realities of the global community and is therefore singularly incapable of adapting to, never mind embracing, those basic principles that allow collaborative productive endeavour to take hold.

      As I said before. If anyone feels that the time to invest is when blood runs in the street, this might indeed be a prime time to invest in Saudi Arabia.

      Regardless of how the country evolves in the next 30 years however, do not expect that investors may be able to rely on the intellectual skills of the local population other than as consumers AND do not expect that a functioning institutional base will magically appear in useful time.

      As MBS demonstrates, Saudi Arabia is a country where being "well connected" not only has a limited shelf life but it also comes with potentially unacceptable risks. This is not about to change. Not in Saudi Arabia.

      If you survey the social and economic dynamics in other more progressive Arab countries, the only conclusion is that Saudi Arabia and Saudis do not stand a chance to promote those attitudes and put in place the infrastructure necessary to become a net contributor to the wider human cause. Certainly not in useful time for potential investors in the country.

  • SR

    Steve R.

    11 11 2017 08:13

    2       0

    Absolutely brilliant! Just love this series, compelling viewing!
    Can't wait for the next episode!

  • dj

    daniel j.

    11 11 2017 08:12

    5       2

    I would prefer to see this episode more of an analysis format, with more charts and statistics, then a story format. I believe that would improve the format significantly.

  • GO

    Gary O.

    11 11 2017 05:49

    2       14

    Keep it coming guys! This episode was the best yet. You should shoot this video to the MSM so they can get their facts in history correct!

    Fuck all the trolls!

    • MO

      Mike O.

      11 11 2017 12:02

      0       4

      Now, now Gary ... let's be sensitive ... trolls have feelings too.

      Perhaps you may want to consult the following for an alternative phrase to express your sentiment more gracefully: https://thoughtcatalog.com/jim-goad/2014/12/400-euphemisms-for-sexual-intercourse/

    • MO

      Mike O.

      11 11 2017 15:29

      3       4

      Gary, I feel a little badly about my reply above and apologize for the sarcasm (and for the sarcasm in most of my comments, actually). That probably rises to the level of being a troll, and for that I apologize.

      However, most of the comments here that question the narrative of this admittedly excellent video (in terms of quality and content) were made respectfully I would say and I hope you may agree.

    • MO

      Mike O.

      13 11 2017 17:27

      0       0

      (Actually, I meant to say "most of the comments *by others* [not me] were made respectfully ... perhaps I wasn't clear as I can't imagine why anyone would dislike this sentiment)

  • JL

    John L.

    11 11 2017 03:03

    3       2

    RV have really upped their game. Well Done. Not just with this episode, but the numerous other recent releases.

    So glad I'm blessed and privileged to be on board, Thank you.

    Thirsty to learn.

  • kd

    kevin d.

    11 11 2017 02:35

    9       9

    Terrible!
    Spinning the same approved narratives. It's so boring now.
    We simply refuse to point to the little man behind the curtain. He's been there the whole time, but we can't talk about him, can we?
    Can't imagine anyone taking this series seriously.
    The only entertaining value was watching how carefully the interviewees chose their words.

    • DS

      David S.

      11 11 2017 18:01

      5       0

      Can you name the little man you think is behind the curtain?

  • DS

    David S.

    11 11 2017 02:34

    0       2

    All of Dee Smith's videos are excellent, insightful and alarming about human nature. It may be impossible, but I would like to see some possible approaches to improving the world in a future installment. DLS

  • RA

    Robert A.

    11 11 2017 01:12

    11       2

    This third segement was quite an improvement to the first two, IMO. I very much enjoyed the history lesson and with the events of the past week in Saudi this primer seems quite apropos time wise. I can’t help but believe that Milton, the RV Founders and Dee heard some of the “spirited” feedback from the RV community with regard to the first two segments and made some necessary course changes with this 3’d segment resulting in, at least from my perspective, a MUCH improved product. Thanks again for the history lesson—it was much appreciated.

  • RP

    Rod P.

    11 11 2017 00:19

    19       3

    "We truly believed Iraq, had WMDs" - This was a country so broken and impoverished, that 500,000 kids died from disease and starvation as a consequence of its wars with Iran and the US.. and the death of the children were specifically caused by 10 years of sanctions by the west. Just ask Madeleine Albright.

    Iraq was barely functioning and was a threat to no one, except itself... the American elite used the trauma of the the twin towers as the cover story for their plan for full spectrum dominance. First country to fall would be Iraq, with many more to follow. The 'the birth pangs of a new Middle East' as Condoleezza Rice stated ..."And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

    I do not believe that any of the last 25 years of war making happened by mistake, this was all done by design.

    The term Yinon Plan refers to an article published in February 1982 in the Hebrew journal Kivunim ("Directions") entitled 'A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yinon_Plan

    Yea, Israel is just a side issue?
    From an article in the Haaretz, a cut and paste blurb from the article.
    "White Man's Burden
    The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it's possible. But another journalist, Thomas Friedman (not part of the group), is skeptical
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/white-man-s-burden-1.14110"

    I will add this; Neoliberalism conceived in 1947 as an economic model for the west, and its intellectual companion, the Neo-Conservative movement - the NeoConservative 'think tank world' was the militarist intellectual force that would insure that markets in other countries would be agreeable to the Neoliberal world view, by force if necessary.

    And to top it all off, a massive dose of postmodernism to keep us all off balance and confused.

    • MO

      Mike O.

      11 11 2017 02:40

      6       7

      Rod, clearly you are a hater and your thoughts should be ignored immediately and completely. You should get with the program of bringing democracy to the world as the means for solving all of the world's problems.

      For my part, it was interesting to hear that the explosion in the Maine (Spanish-American War) was seen to have occurred from the inside (from the shape of the hole in the ship). I was also intrigued to learn that the admiral and general (if I remember correctly) who were on duty on Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked (and who were charged with dereliction of duty) demanded a court marshall and were ultimately acquitted as evidence was produced that their superiors knew of the attack beforehand:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Short
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Husband_E._Kimmel

      I was also surpise to see a video of Robert "Strange" McNamarra talking about how the Gulf Of Tonkin episode never happened): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HODxnUrFX6k

      I'll leave conclusions for others, as I have already made mine.

      p.s. I could go on and talk about "Operation Gladio" ... but, I will leave that to anyone who may want to pursue alternative narratives. For everyone else, this is a great video and explains everything about the world that you ever wanted to know.

    • Av

      Ad v.

      11 11 2017 09:29

      0       1

      The 500.000 dead children because of sanctions line is historically inaccurate:
      https://psmag.com/news/the-iraq-sanctions-myth-56433
      http://gh.bmj.com/content/2/2/e000311

    • MO

      Mike O.

      11 11 2017 12:32

      2       4

      It's good to know the truth about this, Ad v., but this actually (in my mind) strengthens Rod's argument above regarding the spurious reasons for the war (for the record, I agree totally with Rod's sentiment, lest anyone miscronstrue the facetious first line in my reply above).

      I think you might also agree that Madeleine Albright is made to look like a complete dolt in the first article you shared. This may be the rare case where appearances are not deceiving, though.

    • RP

      Rod P.

      12 11 2017 17:37

      4       0

      Ad v., thanks for the update on the 500,000 figure. As Stalin has said, “If only one man dies of hunger, that is a tragedy. If millions die, that’s only statistics.”

      Brought to mind another controversial 2006 study published in the Lancet which estimated that 655,000 Iraqis had been killed, as a result of the war in Iraq. A study done in 2013 stated with 95% accuracy, that the war caused between 48,000 and 751,000 excess deaths. Yikes?

      The takeaway from all this, is that these insipid creatures in this video, who pontificate about our tribalistic instincts and how they must be moderated; they do so from a position of wealth and safety... that safety and wealth is allotted to them because of enormous savagery over the last hundred years - Colonialism and neo-colonialism. Were rich, because we were tough and extraordinarily vicious.

      This series exposes the internal narrative in the west for what it is, out of synch with the times.

      In the west, we have rebelled against the limits of history, culture, race, biology, gender, and spirituality and most importantly, the limits imposed on us by nature - and to what good purpose?

      Now we have a society that consumes and values nothing, we don’t care about each other, we casually talk of the end of the white race and casually talk of the of the opiate crisis killing off a generation, with comments like this – “In other words, their whiteness is all they have left.” Then rub their noses in it, by tearing down all their historical icons and popular culture insulting them with movies titled, “Dear White People” (No virtue signalling here) Whitey has become surplus to purpose - look to the twentieth century for examples of what happens to groups who are deemed surplus. (Basket of deplorable) Intersectionality, makes all the above disappear in a haze of complexity and justification.

      In the last episode we had a upper class white twit extolling the virtues of emigration and how that fact improved productivity in England - yet another commentator in the same episode, commented that high productivity and loss of jobs was do to advances in technology. I assume this contradiction survived the editing room, to illustrate the complexities of the competing bullshit.

      All and all, I did enjoy this primer for global dysfunction; mostly it helped to clarify my thinking on some of these issues.

      Mike O, I was able to discern your sardonic nature by the context of your comments – I have to rush off now, my psychiatrist awaits my arrival – I’m sure he has some chemicals to put this old white guy right ☺

    • MM

      Michael M.

      14 11 2017 16:20

      0       0

      It's truly great to know there are other fellow travellers here Rod. The demographic decline of Europeans is *the* issue of the 21st century, and anyone that waves it away with the idea we can simply be replaced without horrendous strife, conflict and misery for everyone either has a vested interest in seeing us replaced, or is simply not a serious thinker.

  • SW

    Scott W.

    10 11 2017 22:46

    5       9

    I was hoping this concluded with "thank you for watching this series, it's been a pleasure to have provided this content for RV..." rather than "in the next episode we'll discuss..."

    • MS

      Matt S.

      12 11 2017 14:57

      0       0

      KInda know what you mean.... it needs to be put to bed as soon as is possible (even though this ep wasn't too bad)

  • RB

    Randy B.

    10 11 2017 22:45

    6       0

    Unlike the prior two episodes, this one was a welcome change that did a decent job of summarizing many of the historical origins of the problems being experienced in the Middle East and fortunately did not greatly soft-peddle the often unfortunate involvement of the U.S. and other Western powers in making those problems far worse. There was far less CFR slant or propaganda in this episode and there was a good measure of truth expressed and for that kudos are appropriate. Let's hope future episodes exhibit the same candor.

    • JO

      John O.

      11 11 2017 21:29

      2       0

      Reduced CFR slant (until the incoherent anti-nationalism anti-populism pitches near the end) might be because the CFR's Cocaine Import Agency's phenomenal work across the Middle East is best left unsaid or denied. Dictators, "moderate rebels", civil wars and overthrows just "spring up". But petrodollar enforcement and competing gas pipelines should have got a mention.

  • MB

    Martin B.

    10 11 2017 22:07

    1       1

    Did anybody else notice the graffiti on the apartheid wall cutting people off from hospitals, water and family? ‘SILENCE IS COMPLICITY’?

    If so, then what is censorship of comment?

  • TM

    The-First-James M.

    10 11 2017 20:39

    5       1

    Beats me how anybody can give negative feedback on what I thought was a fantastic Episode 3 of the series. I look forward to re-watching this with my one time Peshmerga Kurdish friend from Northern Iran.

    • MO

      Mike O.

      10 11 2017 21:04

      2       4

      That's what I tell everyone about the excellent history education that I received growing up in America.

      It beats me, too!

      p.s. If you never heard of John Taylor Gatto, I recommend his many fine commentaries on the US educational system, like this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeEWPbTad_Q

      (much longer commentaries and videos with John, with a plethora of intriguing details are available ... I've spent hours myself listening to him)

  • MO

    Mike O.

    10 11 2017 20:31

    6       5

    A well-crafted narrative, I must say (almost makes me want to believe it).

    Reminds me of a quote said by Father Merrin in The Exorcist: "Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon. We may ask what is relevant but anything beyond that is dangerous. He is a liar. The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful. So don't listen to him. Remember that - do not listen.".

    There was a lot of truth in what was said and a lot of the truth unsaid (Rumsfeld said we don't do nation building? What a hoot!). Who knows what else was mixed in.

    I'm far more inclined to accept the explanation of things as given by John Perkins (Economic Hitman) than a lot of what is in here.

    There was a reason that the predecessor of the CIA, the OSS, was nicknamed "Oh, So Social", since it was comprised of the economic aristocracy of the US. One only has to read books like "The Devil's Chessboard", about Allen Dulles and which describes the rise of America's secret government, to know that there is a lot more going on that few are aware of.

    But, as they say, YMMV.

  • MB

    Martin B.

    10 11 2017 20:29

    1       1

    Ignorance of historical fact and ad hominem to dismiss the very foundation stones of the problems today. Very shabby indeed. Even the term ‘semitic’ is stolen.

  • .

         
    • Av

      Ad v.

      10 11 2017 19:59

      0       1

      Anti-Semitism in RV comments. Level of discourse is going down fast here.

  • RN

    Robert N.

    10 11 2017 16:32

    1       0

    For extended analysis of these themes centring on Afghanistan, check out the BBC's "Bitter Lake" documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRbq63r7rys

    • MS

      Matt S.

      12 11 2017 14:51

      0       0

      Ah, an Adam Curtis doco.

  • GR

    Gregory R.

    10 11 2017 16:30

    2       0

    Yes the is world more of a SNAFU than ever but hopefully Dee will provide us with some synthesis or even actionable themes in his summation.

  • GR

    Guido R.

    10 11 2017 16:00

    9       0

    Not to hijack the discussion away from finance but there is a lot of bunkum in this analysis.

    What is missing and would be interesting to explore, is the fiscal drivers that underly the West's geo-strategic interests.
    .
    Lest we forget
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2McsLW-IHH8
    .
    Not that this TV interview made the first page in the Western press...

    • GR

      Gregory R.

      10 11 2017 16:44

      15       1

      Guido: You are spot on .. but give Dee a break. The CIA's hands are so dirty that the if he told the truth he would never get another government contract or even 'forced' to commit suicide.

    • MO

      Mike O.

      10 11 2017 20:53

      2       5

      Thanks for sharing, Guido. It confirmed suspicions (and other information) and certainly did justice to Hillary and her role.

      It's a real shame that the election was stolen by the Russians and that we could have had her to carry on the legacy of her predecessor, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Barak Obama. What greater work could have been done ... one can only imagine.

    • GR

      Guido R.

      12 11 2017 09:04

      0       0

      .... I never know whether Mike O. has his tongue firmly planted in his cheek... or not...

    • MO

      Mike O.

      12 11 2017 13:42

      2       0

      Alas, Guido, I've been known for a little bit of sarcasm from time to time ... but, I am trying to be better. :)

  • GR

    Guido R.

    10 11 2017 15:28

    7       1

    Syrian "civil" war? Libyan "civil" war?

    • Av

      Ad v.

      11 11 2017 09:35

      2       1

      The Spanish "civil" war is still considered a civil war even though major powers were involved on all sides. So yes, a civil war happens and major powers move in to fill in power vacuum. Syria, and to a lesser extent Libya, are both examples of this.

    • GR

      Guido R.

      13 11 2017 05:03

      1       0

      ... mmmhhh... yes and no Ad v. .... not particularly relevant because our latest ventures are state instigated and driven and, amongst other things, involve physical infrastructure (like army bases) and regular armies. Anyway, it cannot be claimed that there was a "power vacuum" in any of the lands of our most recent adventures.

      What there is however, is a centrally owned monetary system that is hitting the buffers and that now, arithmetically speaking, requires some rather unorthodox and morally questionable stratagems to keep it propped up.

      Although only tangentially relevant, these days I have with me a person whom is supposed to be building a hospital in the presumed Kurdistan area with funds coming from one of the large "humanitarian" NGOs. This person is however patiently biding her time in the neighbourhood because, get this, the NGO informs her that Syria has not yet relinquished sovereignty over the chunk of land where they are supposed to build the hospital.

  • JG

    James G.

    10 11 2017 14:33

    9       0

    Much more to my liking ...more information especially in the form of history ...much less of what seemed to be propaganda in the last episode

    Great ...more please

  • RL

    Radu L.

    10 11 2017 14:28

    0       0

    on the same topic https://www.amazon.com/All-Shahs-Men-American-Middle/dp/047018549X

  • CL

    Cameron L.

    10 11 2017 14:14

    11       0

    Just in case anyone missed it being busy with work, at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Conference hosted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia that ran from the 24th-26th October last month, Saudi's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud announced publicly for the first time his plans to build a "hyper-tech" $500bln mega city by 2030

    Bin Salam is returning Saudi to a moderate open Islamic country, open to the modern world and his quote: "open to all the religions", massive implementations to eradicate Islamic extremism being put in place immediately, 70% of Saudi’s population is less than 30 yrs old. Bin Salam is clearly seeing that the US dollar being the worlds reserve currency is nearing the end of its life, the petrol dollar era that Kissenger established in the 1970s with Saudi has almost come to an end, china announced it's new petro yuan last week that is launching in 2 months, Saudi needs to move it's income dependency off oil, hence the massive new push to open up its boarders to the world to invite foreign capital and investment for the first time since 1979.

    Japans hot on the scene moving in with capital, the Blackstone Group is getting massively involved, Boston Dynamics is talking about using the project as a test bed, getting robots to contribute to construction development and security. It will be the first city on earth to have more robots than humans.

    The new city, called Neom, will be built on the Red Sea coast, connecting to Egypt and Jordan. Their constructing the new $500bln city on the "free zone" economic concept shown in Dubai and Hong Kong where the zone will be exempt from tariffs, have its own regulations and laws, operating separately from the rest of Saudi. Bin Salam also announced late last month that local authorities must prepare to issue female applicants driving licenses, the royal decree is to be implemented by the end of this month.

    Massive changes taking place. And that’s not even mentioning the HISTORIC purge and the Iranian/Lebanese/Hezbollah backlash that’s started since the end of the conference.

    All three days of the conference are uploaded to the “Future Investment Initiative” Youtube Channel, here’s the Conference highlights (10min) : https://youtu.be/5e7Q0CaKoX8
    NEOM official press video (1min): https://youtu.be/jwDTC644y_c

    http://futureinvestmentinitiative.com/en/home

    • CL

      Cameron L.

      10 11 2017 15:02

      1       0

      Research and Press here: goo.gl/Cgugyn

    • MO

      Mike O.

      10 11 2017 16:18

      2       2

      Wow. Thanks for these insights.

      I had no idea why the sudden hostilities were brewing and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were directing their citizens to leave Lebanon. Nor the underlying reason that Saudi Arabia seems to be partnering with Israel (although I can understand the underlying cause being, as it has always been, the enmity between Shia and Sunni and the power struggle going on for dominance in the region ... as for Israel, it seems that the prospects of having Iran as the locus of power and their projecting it through the terrorist activities of Hezbollah against Israel would be enough to partner with Saudi Arabia.

      What blows my mind, though, would be the prospect of an open Saudi Arabia that would tolerate all religions.

      It is most interesting to hear not only the "geostrategic" interests involved, but the equally important cultural reasons (that's not really the right word, but you get my point).

      Thanks for sharing, Cameron.

      (p.s. haven't watched this video yet ... just wanted to see what people were thinking about it, since the other parts have had, let's say, "mixed reactions").

    • RG

      Remi G.

      10 11 2017 17:08

      3       0

      Thanks Cameron, I really appreciate the sharing of research data from past Video topics.

    • MS

      Matt S.

      12 11 2017 14:13

      0       5

      Thanks for interesting research Cameron... what a horrific vision of the future these people have. I actually think I'm now on the side of Wahhabist extremists who will no-doubt try to destroy this mega city! What odd times we live in.

    • CL

      Cameron L.

      12 11 2017 15:31

      1       1

      A horrific vision?

      So a horrific vision = The world’s first special zone spanning 3 countries, a clean slate to lead the way creating the world’s first global city hub designed from scratch for the 21st century exemplifying the future of human civilization by enabling technology to serve human needs creating a safe environment with quality living. An open society free to all the religions including Judaism and Christianity. All the Infrastructure pre-planned for the fourth industrial revolution with roads planned for autonomous vehicles and buildings pre-designed with drone landing docks, all with the beautiful view of the Red Sea with stunning beaches and world-class scuba diving were they have schools of parrotfish. Were women will be able to drive and swim freely without being fearful of persecution and punishment. A vision that will provide jobs for many, a place for innovation, business and investors, situated in a place that is less than 9hrs flight from 90% of the major airports in the world ??

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKIa7J5HZws

      This ^ = a Horrific vision, and makes you want to side with the Wahhabist extremists and destroy it?

      Perhaps you missed the point mate
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ww0a94f5wM

      @Raoul Pal, is there a ban button for the trolls ?

    • MO

      Mike O.

      12 11 2017 20:10

      0       0

      Having been questioned myself as to whether or not I was actually serious in my reply, I would suggest that an indication in a reply might be helpful, such as an emoticon, for people when they are replying:

      :-J (toungue-in-cheek) or emoji

      In the absence of a reply, I would give Matt S. the benefit of the doubt and read his other comments (where I seem to detect a bit of sarcasm).

  • PU

    Peter U.

    10 11 2017 14:02

    2       0

    Very good! Dee does a great job.

    Wish RV would release all episodes at once!

  • Nv

    Nick v.

    10 11 2017 12:02

    19       8

    What a brilliant history lesson. Thank you, I learnt a lot

    • MO

      Mike O.

      11 11 2017 03:19

      5       2

      I saw the "Hotly Debated" flag over 11 likes and zero dislikes and wondered what the debate was about (this may change, but is what shows now).

      Anyway, I'll bite (and register a negatory vote) ... check out this article about education and lessons and then let me know what you think about critical thinking (vs. indoctrination): https://www.tysknews.com/Depts/Educate/public_school_nightmare.htm

      (does anyone else love George Carlin and his videos... I thought he was brilliant)

  • OV

    Owen V.

    10 11 2017 11:57

    13       0

    This is such a well done and thought provoking series. Well done Dee and the RV team.