our friends the saudis

A few months ago, I made a little crack about our friends the Saudi’s. I was trying to help them come up with a little tourism jingle. (It had been reported that the royal family had signed a multi-million contract with an American firm to wage an all out public relations campaign.) The best marketing slogan I could come up with was, “Fifteen out of nineteen September 11 terrorist can’t be wrong: Saudi Arabia!” (If you’ve got a better one, send it in.)

I dislike the Saudis, and not just because three-quarters of the terrorists that attacked the U.S. on 9-11 were brought up there, under their fantastically progressive regime. I didn’t like them before they altered the skyline of New York. For a long list of reasons why, just look here.

Well, this evening, I sat down here at the computer to answer email and I decided to look at today’s webstats report, just to see whether or not people were still coming to read this stuff. Well, everything looked about as I would have expected until I got to the bottom of the report and saw that I’ve had 37 visitors so far this month from Saudi Arabia. I’m not quite sure what to make of that, but it concerns me. I wonder who would even have internet access in a country where there is no such thing as freedom of speech, and women aren’t allowed to drive cars.

Here’s what Human Rights Watch had to say after visiting Saudi Arabia: “Freedom of expression and association were nonexistent rights, political parties and independent local media were not permitted, and even peaceful anti-government activities remained virtually unthinkable.”

I can’t imagine that reading MM.com is OK when there’s not even freedom of expression. (“You, in the corner, was that an expression?! It looked like a smirk. That better not have been a smirk, young man.”) My hope is that these mysterious Saudi visitors of mine are either US military personnel wasting their time, or oil industry people doing the same. I fear, however, that it’s folks within the House of Saud.

Someone at their PR firm is probably getting their ass reamed out right now.

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