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Well, at least they're not French

The Saudi government is spending large sums of money to try to improve their public image with Americans. They've been hiring lobbyists and public relations firms by the truckload.

One of the government's American lobbyists, who spoke on condition that he not be named, said Saudi officials were deeply troubled by a perception in the United States that they were somehow complicit in the attacks.

"The fundamental problem the Saudis have in this country is the idea that they are not an ally," the lobbyist said. "For a country that has been an ally for 60 years, that's frustrating."

Gee, I wonder where we could have gotten the idea from that they're not an ally. Could it be, uh, the way they act? Here's a hint, and I won't charge them hundreds of thousands of dollars for the advice: don't fly planes into our buildings. Here's some more: don't run interference for Saddam Hussein when the president and the majority of the American public think the United States should act to replace him.

It's better advice than this ridiculous idea:

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.

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.

Yeah, that will make up for providing the money and manpower for Osama Bin Laden.

Fortunately, we're not as gullible as the Saudis seem to think we are:

So far, the publicity effort has failed to improve Saudi standing among Americans. A poll by Fabrizio, McLaughlin and Associates, a predominantly Republican firm, last week found that Americans' negative opinion of Saudi Arabia had surged to 63 percent, from 50 percent in May.

"It definitely went the wrong way for the Saudis," said Michael D. Cohen, the polling firm's vice president. "If I were them, I would say this has been a complete failure."

On the other hand, I guess we should be flattered -- at least the Saudis want us to think they're our friends. Our European so-called allies, with the exception of Britain, don't even pretend to be our friends.


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