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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Syriana; Liberal Drivel or Relevant Political-Thriller?

I would argue the later.

While some are concerned that George Clooney's starring in the film means it will be a Bush-bashing, anti-Corporation propaganda piece I know the movie is loosely based on Robert Baer's book "See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism" (that's what this article on Fox News said, but I have a feeling the movie is probably based on Baer's other book "Sleeping With the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude") .

At any rate, I've read about 60% of Baer's Book See No Evil and I would say for anyone wanting to know what goes on with the inner-workings of the CIA, this book is a must-read.

Syriana is a thriller but it can be a bit confusing. The basic story is that an oil company has set up shop in the Gulf, just as a merger is going through. The local royal Arab family is in the middle of a succession as the Emir (king) is about to step aside for one of his two sons: an idiot, and a sensitive, forward thinker. (Guess who gets the job.) Clooney plays a CIA agent who’s a little over the hill and washed up. But he’s onto the fact that the government and the oil companies are trying to stay in control through the manipulation of who becomes king.

Basically "Syriana," writer/director Stephen Gaghan, former CIA agent Bob Baer, and producers George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh have made a thriller for people who read The Financial Times and The Economist. For me, especially considering Hollywood never comes up with anything original anymore, this is reason enough to pay 8 bucks.


This is Bob Baer, a picture taken during one of his stints as an officer in Lebanon. In his book "See No Evil" Baer successfully tracked the bombing of the CIA headquarters in Beirut, whicdecimateded the CIA's intelligence gathering in Lebanon for decades, back to terrorists funded by Iran and Yasser Arafat. Really his book is a must read for anyone who is really interested in the way terrorists operate, especially by people who think there was no link between Saddam Hussein and UBL.

The Trailer is here.

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