Manage episode 294298861 series 2929792
In 1932, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud granted permission for the American oil company, Standard Oil, to begin drilling for oil in Bahrain. The vast oil reserves which exported billions of barrels annually, would provide the Kingdom with American military protection from it's Arab and non-Arabic neighbors. However the hegemony in the region would suddenly come under intense conflict, as Israel would declare independence in 1948. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia would begin a race for American geopolitical influence which started under the Woodrow Wilson administration. Over the next 40 years tens of millions have been donated to Washington lobbyists, billions in oil exports and millions from rich Saudi businessmen which would continually pressure American foreign policy to favor the Saudi Royal Family. The Lobby began to take hold during the energy crisis between 1973-1979, which the Saudis finally realized their potential to use their leverage of threatening to switch sides to the Soviets, in order to exert more political clout in Congress.
To speak more precisely on the matter of Saudi Arabia's influence in American politics, is Dr. Mitchell Bard, the Executive Director of the nonprofit American–Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, and the director of the Jewish Virtual Library. He is the author of the book "The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East". In this episode Dr. Bard gives us a descriptive history about how the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia became a country without any legitimate influence, to one with an enormous amount of financial and political clout in Washington D.C which began in the early 20th century.
The Arab Lobby (Mitchell Bard): https://www.amazon.com/Arab-Lobby-Invisible-Undermines-Interests/dp/0061725978