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The Battle for Saudi Arabia

Program #ABAS003. Recorded in Berkeley, CA on August 19, 2004.

Audio sample:
Saudi Arabia is a most unusual country. Its oil reserves are the largest in the world. It is run like a privately owned business operated by the Saud family. Hundreds of princes and their hanger ons preside over a nation without a constitution. Patriarchy, misogyny, oppression, censorship, religious intolerance characterize this feudal regime. Since Saudi Arabia functions as a virtual petrol pump for the big oil companies, the U.S. turns a blind eye to what Amnesty International calls "gross human rights violations." Fundamentalists in the kingdom funded Islamic militant networks, jihadis and the Taliban in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. Many of these jihadis have now turned their guns on the princes in Riyadh and their allies in Washington.

Speaker(s):

As'ad AbuKhalil

As'ad AbuKhalil, a native of Lebanon, is a leading expert on the Middle East. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the American University of Beirut, and his Ph.D. from Georgetown University. He teaches at California State University at Stanislaus and at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC/Berkeley. He is the author of Bin Laden, Islam & America's New War on Terrorism. His latest book is The Battle for Saudi Arabia.

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