The Coming Film 'Kingdom' Calls Out Saudi-born Terrorists

Universal Pictures and Director Peter Berg are set to release "The Kingdom" nationwide on September 28th.    

The action movie stares straight down the deep well of Saudi-born terrorism, including an opening sequence detailing a Wahhabi timeline-of-influence upon the Peninsula, beginning with the recapture of Riyadh in 1902 by Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud.  Filmed during the summer of 2006 in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., the production company apparently found no love in Saudi Arabia for its "the time we live in" (to quote Berg) story. 

The film stars Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper and Jason Bateman as an elite group of FBI agents that head to Saudi Arabia following a terrorist strike at a U.S. civilian compound.  Foxx leads this "critical evidence response team" looking for clues that will uncover the source of the strike, which takes the lives of oil workers and Saudi security forces that were in place to provide protection for the Americans.

The timeline features an offer by Usama bin Laden to protect the Kingdom from hostile Iraqi forces during that country's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.   He was turned down in favor of the same offer from the American government and it's military.  Accordingly, nineteen terrorist attacks on U.S . interests are cited during the decade to follow culminating with the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.   This beginning sequence ends by making the point that 15 of the 19 hijackers that day were from Saudi Arabia.

This film marks the first straight-forward appearance of Islamic terrorists on the big screen since the September 11th attacks.   Hollywood has until now shied away from this reality, choosing to ignore "the time we live in."  Universal and Berg are to be commended for at least dealing with reality, although, at the end, there is an attempt to equate the blame for the world's hostility.   The film throughout greatly captures the nature of our enemy (including the absence of innocence; women and children are targets and instruments of terrorism), and, therefore, makes this "equal blame" attempt fall woefully short; it lands on deaf ears for my eyes have all ready seen the truth.  

J. James Estrada blogs at Writings from the Think Well
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