Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Monday, March 27, 2006

I went to see the movie Syriana last night, and thoroughly enjoyed a geo-political tour around the US-Middle East oil politics, much of which I consider to be racked with corruption and undue political influence.

The status quo in the Middle East, and particularly, Saudi Arabia, with the Saudi Royal family reaping in billions in oil money from the West, and spending negligible amounts on the infrastructure and welfare of their own state, is nothing short of a modern tragedy. This is encouraged by the West, especially the US, for the socio-political stability of continuous oil supply and the political advantages of limiting supply to key international competitor states. The real losers here are the Saudi people, but I have no naivete about the fact that the political stakes are simply to high to alter its course.

The only weak point I thought was the outline of the two Pakistani boys getting caught up in a suicide bombing after losing work on the oil fields. I thought it a bit too contrite, and thought it a bit too forgiving of Islamic terrorism. The fact that the boys had little real interest in Islam (backed up by the scene of the one boy drinking) and then went along with the whole plan out of a emotional duty to those who had shown them 'love' masks the real fanaticism of suicide bombers and Islamic terrorists in general.

All in all though, a fantastic film, well worth the Oscar nominations, and your forty rand.