Indeed, the underlying realities and the long oftentimes sordid history of the U.S. in the Middle East since World War II is rarely talked about 'in public'. This brief, limited, and inadequate glimpse emerged from now-retired Ted Koppel on Meet The Press on Christmas Day 2005:
TED KOPPEL: What's intriguing to me, Tim, is we're still talking about the war as though it were in a vacuum, and we're still talking about victory and what is to be achieved as though it were in a vacuum. ...while we did not go to war because of Iraq's oil, we did, in fact, go to war because it is absolutely essential to the national interest, not only of this country but also of the Europeans and of the Japanese, that the Persian Gulf remains stable. We have--when I say "we" I mean U.S. administrations going back to the Eisenhower administration--have been intervening in the Persian Gulf in one form or another--we overthrew the Iranian prime minister, Mossadeq--that is, the CIA did--precisely because we felt he was too close to the Communist Party at that time and we were afraid what that would mean if Iran became a Communist state. As long as we had the shah of Iran there, he was our surrogate. In fact, you may remember the Nixon policy was that the shah would be our surrogate in the Persian Gulf. When the shah was overthrown, we shifted our chips onto the Saudi board, and then it became the House of Saud that became our representative. The Saudis are, indeed, troubled. The royal family of Saudi Arabia is in deep trouble. Therefore, we need to have a stable Iraq in order to guarantee a stable Persian Gulf, and the name of that game is oil. Nobody talks about that.