To the discerning viewer, this movie is a comprehensive exposé of the global pandemic of corruption. The story line explicates how the criminal capitalist cabal is able to use all aspects of corruption to serve its ends:
- The murderous operations of the CIA
- Selling weapons to terrorists and then killing them before they can use the weapons
- Taking out a troublesome Near-Eastern leader who threatens their oil dominance plans
- Murdering a rogue CIA officer
- Corrupt approval by the U.S. "Justice" Department of a clearly illegal corporate merger
- Collusion of a corrupt "investigator" of the merger and the head of his law firm and the two CEOs of the merging corporations
The movie reveals that most persons who might act strategically against the cabal--such as disillusioned CIA agents and savvy energy consultants--are not intelligent enough to see what the cabal is doing. Because of their lack of understanding they're unable to avoid negative repercussions from the cabal's crimes or work positively to defeat its demonic machinations.
CIA agent Bob Barnes (George Clooney) sells two missiles to Mid-East terrorists, one of which he immediately explodes, killing the terrorists. The other missile is taken to Iran. The heir to an Emirate gives an oil contract to China, cutting out a U.S. company that promptly fires its immigrant workers and merges with a small American oil firm that has landed a Kazakhstani oil contract. The Department of Justice suspects bribery, and the oil company's law firm finds a scapegoat, one of their own attorneys. Bob Barnes becomes the fall guy for the CIA. He is stupid enough to threaten a James Baker-type dealmaker for most of the large oil companies, and winds up murdered by the CIA, along with a troublesome Sheik.
Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon), an American energy consultant, parlays the death of his son into a contract to advise a rogue sheik the CIA wants dead. Bryan advised the prince how he can make his country better with the oil revenues once he becomes Emir. The oil companies don't want Nasir to become Emir, because he wants the U.S. military bases out of his country, and he wants to build the country's infrastructure. Nasir also wants to make peace with others countries in the Persian Gulf and not waste money on unnecessary items such as expensive warplanes. Once they're united, they would control their own destiny by controlling their own oil.
A jobless Pakistani joins a fundamentalist group and becomes a Jihadi terrorist, ultimately ramming the errant missile into the newly-merged oil company tanker compound while the merger is being celebrated by the corporate fatcats.
"Syriana is a thriller of corruption and power related to the oil industry that tells four parallel stories: the CIA agent Bob Barnes with great experience in Middle East that falls in disgrace after an unsuccessful mission dealing missiles in Lebanese Republic; the investigation of the attorney Bennett Holiday related to the merge of two American oil companies, Connex and Killen; the traumatic association of the energy analyst Bryan Woodman with the son of a powerful emir of Emirate; and the social drama of the Pakistani immigrant worker Wasim Khan that is fired by the oil company."
"Though a work of fiction, Syriana gives a truer picture of life in the Middle East--as well as in the political and financial centers of the US--than the sum total of all the broadcast news in the United States since the start of the 'war on terror. . .
"It is to the credit of the producers . . . that they do something rather unfashionable in film today: make real demands on the viewer's attention and thought. They assume, if not extensive historical knowledge, at least appreciable interest in history and politics.
"The film's success in its US release seems to be an indication of both a continuing political shift to the left among broad sections of the people and a growing recognition of the criminality of US foreign policy. "
The movie assists the perceptive viewer to understand the immense power of the demonic cabal and how any operations against their machinations must be based on full understanding of the entire world situation and careful planning of non-violent actions. The plot-line is so complex that a viewer can become confused, similar to the confusion of the characters who are enmeshed in chaotic events that contain no self-explanation.
"Gaghan relies on Clooney's agnostic heroism to lure viewers into his maze. When they get there, they will find not a conventionally satisfying movie but a kind of illustrated journalism: an engrossing, insider's tour of the world's hottest spots, grandest schemes and most dangerous men."
Richard Corliss, Time Magazine review of Syriana