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August 29, 2002

Screed Worried Saudis Try to


Screed

Worried Saudis Try to Improve Image in the U.S.

The Saudi government has spent millions of dollars on well-connected lobbyists and national television advertisements since Sept. 11 in a drive to improve its image among Americans and is poised to spend more as the anniversary of the events approaches.

"Millions for pretense, but not one cent for pursuit" pretty much sums up the entire Saudi attitude towards the war on terrorism.

Saudi officials said the publicity was intended to counter intensified anger or skepticism among Americans toward their country, which was home to 15 of the 19 hijackers and which has clashed publicly with the Bush administration over a possible attack against Iraq.

Assuaging the anger would like, hard? So we're not going to do that, ok? Plus it's like a lot easier to pay someone to tell you how good we are than to actually do anything? Duh, that's what money's for? It worked with the imams, and they're a lot more a pain that you people are, ok?

(Editor's note: Apparently I was channeling some sort of Saudi Valley Prince here, but that's ok, because we know they like the malls)

A striking sign of the Saudis' eagerness to reach out to the United States has been an 11th-hour scramble within the royal family to find a gesture of solidarity with the American people on the anniversary of the attacks.

Nothing substantial, you understand. Just a gesture, like offering to clean up the cat puke on the carpet once you're positive that wife's almost done with it. "Honey, can I get that for you?".

The royal family has considered presenting the racehorse that won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes this year as a gift to the victims' families, according to one adviser to the family. The horse, War Emblem, which was owned by Prince Ahmed bin Salman, who died in July, would be part of the commemoration at Ground Zero.

They're awfully sorry about the little mixup, you know the one where 15 of their citizens helped kill thousands of ours? But everything will be ok, 'cause they're gonna give us a pony! Apparently the image the Saudi's have of us is more Lisa Simpson than Dirty Harry. And that's bad, because you know how the Saudi's treat women.

In all, the Saudis have hired several public relations firms and have already spent more than $5 million, according to new Justice Department filings.

Five million? That's like giving a panhandler eight or nine pennies wrapped inside a dollar. You're just doing it to make him go away. Five mil is nothing to the Saudis, which means that we're nothing to the Saudis. Total Saudi effort in the War on Terrorism so far? Pocket change and a pony. "But's such a nice pony! You can ride him whenever you want, and feed him apple and sugar cubes!"

These firms include one of Washington's most prominent, Patton Boggs, which received $170,000 in the first six months of this year, according to the filings. Patton Boggs is especially known for its contacts among Democrats. It was founded by Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., a well-connected Democratic lobbyist, whose father, Representative Hale Boggs, was majority leader, and whose sister is the journalist Cokie Roberts.

If you'd like to contact Patton Boggs and ask them why they're profiting from the deaths of thousands of Americans, you can call them at 202.457.6000. Their website features the PattonBoggs motto, which is "seeing things differently". You witnessed the collapse of the World Trade Center and saw tragedy. They saw a profit opportunity.

If you like to talk to Mr. Boggs directly, his email address is tboggs AT pattonboggs.com.(munged because even war profiteers don't deserve spam).

(Notes: Mr. Boggs has given $3000 to the DCCC since August of last year)

The Saudi government has also hired Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, a firm founded by Robert W. Strauss, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, paying out $161,799 in the first half of 2002, the filings show. Frederick Dutton, a former special assistant to President John F. Kennedy and a longtime adviser to the Saudis, received $536,000 to help manage the Saudis' handling of the aftermath of Sept. 11 — and he has a continuing contract with that government.

Because if there's one American firm willing to sell out the country for cash, there's another one that will do it cheaper. That's the glory of capitalism.

Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld
202.887.4000
Email addresses

The Saudis have also turned to lobbyists with Republican credentials, hiring James P. Gallagher, a former staff member for Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, and the media-buying firm of Sandler-Innocenzi, which has strong Republican connections.

Can't find anything definitive about Gallagher, he may be the president of the University of Philadelphia, or it could be a guy with the same name.

Sandler-Innocenzi
Candidates who also hired them. I wonder what they'd say about using the same firm as a group that sponsors hatred of all things not Islamic.
Email: gibson AT sandler-innocenzi.com

Adel al-Jubeir, an adviser to the Saudi government and a key figure in the new effort, said his government was appropriating the techniques of an American political campaign to overhaul its image in this country. The strategy involves hiring a new publicity team, being more accessible to the press, sending officials on speaking tours, cultivating research organizations inside and outside the Washington Beltway and polling Americans on their opinions.

"appropriating the techniques of an American political campaign"? We can expect them to start slinging mud any day now.

.......

In one ad produced by the public relations firm Qorvis Communications, the Saudi and American flags are hoisted together while a narrator intones over soothing piano music: "In the war on terrorism we all have a part to play. Our country has been an ally for over 60 years." A second ad shows Saudi leaders meeting with an unbroken string of American presidents since Roosevelt.

Qorvis Communications, which presented Saudi Arabia with a short-term and long-range media strategy, is paid $200,000 a month.

The company, whose other accounts include the campaign to allow for oil exploration in the Alaskan wildlife refuge, has distributed position papers featuring friendly remarks by Bush administration officials toward Saudi Arabia.

Qorvis does a somewhat better job of hiding e-mail addresses than the others, perhaps because they realize how slimy they are.
Karen Vahouny Partner, Qorvis Communications kvahouny AT qorvis.com
Douglas Poretz Partner, Qorvis Communications dporetz AT qorvis.com. (Note: According to OpenSecrets, Peretz gave $500 to Rep. Thomas Davis on the 9 month anniversary of Sept. 11th.)
September 11th is just around the corner. On that day, do you really want to see commercials telling you how good the Saudis are, how much they feel your pain? If not, reach out and touch the bastards that take blood money to make them.

Update: Bill Quick read the same story.

Maybe if your royal family stopped funding people like Osama bin Laden, the murderer of thousands of Americans, and stopped paying to build madrassa schools around the world to teach your savage Wahabi version of Islam, and cooperated with the United States in its War on Terror, and allowed us to use the bases we built for you against our (and your) enemy Saddam Hussein -
But no. That would be too obvious, wouldn't it? Better to offer us a race horse bred, born, and rasied her in the United States that you bought with your greasy Oilbag bucks

Spoons knows what we can do with the horse. return the horse... Corleone style.

Laurence has a timetable of events
Horse offered to families of victims.
Governor Pataki and Former Mayor Rudy tell Saudis to go fuck themselves.
Cynthia McKinney writes letter telling Saudis that they need the horse for other things in America.
Saudis present Cynthia McKinney with horse.
America tells Cynthia McKinney to go fuck herself and the horse she rode in on.

The MCJ offers some free advice
Why not employ a woman as your foreign policy spokesperson? You can still get your lies viewpoint across and you might even convince a few people here that you don't think women are nothing more than two-legged baby vending machines.

Posted by Bigwig at August 29, 2002 12:05 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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