House Of Bush House Of Saud by Craig Unger

1377 Words6 Pages
Since September 11 2001, the world has changed dramatically in several ways. War, paranoia, and instability in the Middle East are all direct consequences of 9/11. Many people blame the Bush administration for a great deal of these changes for the worst. This book seeks to throw light on the nature of that administration and, above all, its relationship with Saudi Arabia, the largest oil exporter in the world, possessing an estimated 25% of all known oil reserves. House of Bush, House of Saud is a title that suggests a conspiracy, but this book does not belong to the conspiracy genre. Instead, it tries to plot the relationship between the Bushes, senior and junior, together with their associates, and the elite Saudi families. Sometimes the link seems a little questionable, but for the most part this is a very powerful, well-researched book that leaves the reader enlightened and a little disturbed. The reader will certainly view the Bush administration and American policy-making with a different perspective in future.

The close relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia goes back 60 years, but what engendered its special intimacy was the oil crisis of 1973. Starting in 1970, American oil production began to fall and the country was increasingly dependent on foreign oil. Saudi Arabia became critical to the maintenance of the American way of life. A large proportion of the petroleum dollars that flowed into the bank accounts of the Saudi royal family because of the oil price hike, were invested in the United States. Unger estimates that since the mid 1970's, 85,000 extremely rich Saudi Arabians have invested a total of at least $860 billion dollars in American companies. Houston Texas, the oil capital of the United States, has benefited more than any other city and now has a significant Saudi presence.

The Bush family has had connections with oil industry for years. George H. Bush bought an oil company in the 1950's and sold it, at a striking profit, a decade later. His confidant and lifetime collaborator, James Baker, is similarly connected with the oil business. Being a partner in Baker Botts, a big Houston law firm that represents oil-industry interests. When Bush began to put together his presidential team in 1978, it was based on a new political network in Houston, that of Big Oil. His son George W. Bush's administration has taken this much further, nakedly representing the oil industry like never before.

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