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Was oil the target and propaganda just a ploy?

Reader comment on item: Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World

Submitted by Mark J. (United States), Apr 15, 2010 at 03:42

It's also likely that besides convincing the Arabs that the Nazis were on their side in preventing Jews from settling there, the Nazis also had bigger, but unspoken, visions. The Arabs were possibly not aware that oil was the key Axis objective in WWII and the reason behind the North African campaign. Feeding propaganda to third world Arabs would have worked to help them in their goals.

We know that the aim of Germany's war machine was always the oil of the Middle East and the Caucasus, their Eastern front. The Allies and Russians were so fearful that the Nazis would capture the oil fields, it was assumed that they would first burn and dynamite the fields, and choke the wells with cement. Saddam Hussein had the same idea when he set fire to his oil wells as he retreated from American forces. But in any case, the Axis always aimed to keep as much of the oil resources for themselves while at the same time preventing the Allies from getting them. Oil access was also the trigger for Japan bombing Pearl Harbor and caused the West to lose its large oil fields in the Far East.

Roosevelt was aware of the oil potential in the region and met with Saudi Arabia's King in private meetings. After the U.S. inspected Saudi Arabia's oil resources and learned that they had many billions of barrels in oil reserves, he had the Allies conduct massive offensives to remove the Nazis from Africa and the Japanese from S. E. Asia, primarily to guarantee access to oil. After returning to the U.S. after one meeting with Saudi Arabia's King, Roosevelt sent a letter to the King reiterating his pledge that no decision would be taken with respect to the Palestine issue without fully consulting with the Arabs, writing "I will take no action in my capacity of Chief of the Executive Branch of this government, which might prove hostile to the Arab people."

It does not take a great stretch of the imagination to assume that the Nazis would likewise do whatever the Arabs sitting on top of these oil reserves wanted. With Jews fleeing Europe and attempting to reestablish their ancient homeland, the Nazis were able to create a convenient alliance with Palestinian muftis and continue their war against Jews. The propaganda war may have been a ploy aimed at befriending the Arabs by feeding them anti-Jewish propaganda in order to later take control over their oil resources.

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