Reader Letter: American hegemony in action

These two 1948 films, Desert Venture, Parts 1 and 2, were made by Standard Oil of California about the finding and development of oil wells in Saudi Arabia. It is a classic piece of 1948 propaganda filmography, a great perspective of American hegemony in action, an understanding of the close and deep ties between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, as well as an understanding of why 19 of the 20 Sept. 11 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia, and why Osama bin Laden came from Saudi Arabia. Today, Saudi Aramco, the parent company evolved over 79 years is the richest corporation in the world with a net worth of nearly $1 trillion.

A personal anecdote: In the early 1960s, I was considering a job in Saudi Arabia as a pipeline guard. If I remember correctly, the pay was $1,800 a month salary (no taxes taken out) and found (room and board). I'd have to sign a 2-year contract or lose all the bonuses, which almost doubled the initial salary. The kicker was the rumors that a pipeline guard's average life span was less than a year. I chickened out and went my merry way back here in the good old USA.

The running length of both movies is nearly 28 minutes and the price of admission is a good sense of humor:


Edward Tomchin

Golden Valley