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FROM THIS EPISODE

Franklin Roosevelt made a deal to insure special American access to Saudi Arabian oil in return for US military protection. But our dependence on Saudi oil makes America vulnerable, politically as well as economically. Can the United States depend on Saudi Arabia as an ally in its war on terrorism, or is a corrupt royal family buying off terrorists to stay in power? We look at the history of the American-Saudi alliance and consider whether it suits US interests today in the age of 21st Century terrorism, with Middle East specialists and political scientists.
  • Newmaker: Washington Reacts to Anthrax - Despite disruption of daily activities at the US Supreme Court, Justice and State Departments by the recent discovery of anthrax spores, the government is sending increasingly positive signals to the rest of the country. Freelance writer and Washington commentator Elizabeth Drew talks about business, politics and life in "post-panic" Washington.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Selling America Overseas - With the appointment of a new Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, the US has adopted a "Madison Avenue" approach to selling its image oversees. Political scientist and author Nancy Snow counsels that a bottom-up technique would generate a more sympathetic response than the bottom-line tact that plays into foreign criticism of the US.

Office of Homeland Security

"The Geopolitics of War"

Institute for Defense Analysis

Middle East Policy Council

The Nation

Oil Monarchies: Domestic and Security Challenges in the Arab Gulf States

Propaganda, Inc.: Selling America's Culture to the World

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