Akin to Robert Baer's other bestselling work See No Evil, this book is equally insightful and gripping. The subject matter for this work of his, is the complicated, often worrying relationship between successive U.S. administrations, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and its ruling family the house of Al Sa'ud.
Being a former CIA operative who's fluent in Arabic (among other languages), Baer drew on his years of experience having worked in the region, to chart his country's unhealthy appetite for easy access to perceptively cheap Saudi oil. He poignantly reminds us that 15 of the 19 hijackers who perpetrated the 9/11 atrocities where Saudi Nationals. Developing the narrative, articulating thoughts, penning down facts and presenting personal experience from his field operations, the author skilfully explains the culture of bribery that exists in the Al Sa'ud family, its woeful human rights record, its direct or indirect financial support of Islamic fundamentalist groups and sponsorship of Wahhabis - the powerful Islamic sect which is so popular in Saudi Arabia, and with extremists groups such as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
According to Baer, U.S. addiction to Saudi oil and the ever increasing need for energy security, has made the world's only remaining super-power to turn a blind eye to all of this over the years. That's despite being well aware of the fact that its "Petrodollars" may ultimately find their way to those preaching a hatred of America and harbouring plans to attack its citizens and interests.
This book is just as balanced as See No Evil, in the aspect that Baer is not looking to score political points or castigate either side of the American political divide. In that, he believes that politicians on both sides are to blame for sticking their hands in the "Saudi cookie jar."
The author put his life on the line for his country, and continues to fight on now with a pen instead of a rifle by making a series of ground breaking revelations. I was gripped by this book. It demands to be read and the author needs to be heard, if we are ever to appreciate the magnitude of how serious the issue of energy security is, when pitted against the backdrop of the mess in the Middle East in general and Saudi Arabia in particular.