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Blood and Oil: The Middle East in World War I (DVD Review)

26 Nov, 2006 By: John Latchem

Blood and Oil

The Continuing Legacy of WWI

Is Islamic extremism an outcropping of a botched World War I endgame? The documentary Blood and Oil: The Middle East in World War I claims that it is. The film methodically recounts the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which stretched from Turkey to the Persian Gulf, as a result of the war.

With the Ottoman defeat and dissolution, Britain and France carved up the Middle East to suit their political and economic needs, ignoring centuries of cultural tension by assigning random borders to the region. Blood and Oil traces the aftermath of these decisions, which includes the establishment of Israel in British-controlled Palestine. While 9/11 isn't specifically mentioned, the implication is clear — resentment toward Europe's policies helped foster Muslim nationalism and, eventually, extremism.

The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq is thus seen as the latest in a long line of attempts by the West to reshape the region. There are no solutions offered here, just context. The film is available on Movielink and streets Dec. 5 on DVD ($24.95) from Inecom, which also is releasing World War I: American Legacy.


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