A Look Inside Saudi Arabia’s Elaborate U.S. Propaganda Machine

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

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Elements of the charm offensive include the launch of a pro-Saudi Arabia media portal operated by high-profile Republican campaign consultants; a special English-language website devoted to putting a positive spin on the latest developments in the Yemen war; glitzy dinners with American political and business elites; and a non-stop push to sway reporters and policymakers.

That has been accompanied by a spending spree on American lobbyists with ties to the Washington establishment. The Saudi Arabian Embassy, as we’ve reported, now retains the brother of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, the leader of one of the largest Republican Super PACs in the country, and a law firm with deep ties to the Obama administration. One of Jeb Bush’s top fundraisers, Ignacio Sanchez, is also lobbying for the Saudi Kingdom.

In September, the Kingdom helped sponsor opulent galas for Washington’s business elite at the Ritz Carlton and the Andrew Mellon Auditorium. The events were attended by King Salman, along with the chief executives of General Electric and Lockheed Martin, the chairman of Marriott International, and prominent think tank officials.

– From the Intercept article: Inside Saudi Arabia’s Campaign to Charm American Policymakers and Journalists

So what do you do when you’re a barbaric monarchy with a justice system remarkably similar to ISIS, but at the same time want to remain very close ally of the U.S. government? You create a sophisticated propaganda network, naturally.

This is precisely what the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has done, and the Intercept’s Lee Fang shined some light into this very dark and slimy corner.

From the Intercept:

Soon after launching a brutal air and ground assault in Yemen, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began devoting significant resources to a sophisticated public relations blitz in Washington, D.C.

The PR campaign is designed to maintain close ties with the U.S. even as the Saudi-led military incursion into the poorest Arab nation in the Middle East has killed nearly 6,000 people, almost half of them civilians.

Elements of the charm offensive include the launch of a pro-Saudi Arabia media portal operated by high-profile Republican campaign consultants; a special English-language website devoted to putting a positive spin on the latest developments in the Yemen war; glitzy dinners with American political and business elites; and a non-stop push to sway reporters and policymakers.

That has been accompanied by a spending spree on American lobbyists with ties to the Washington establishment. The Saudi Arabian Embassy, as we’ve reported, now retains the brother of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, the leader of one of the largest Republican Super PACs in the country, and a law firm with deep ties to the Obama administration. One of Jeb Bush’s top fundraisers, Ignacio Sanchez, is also lobbying for the Saudi Kingdom.

In September, the Kingdom helped sponsor opulent galas for Washington’s business elite at the Ritz Carlton and the Andrew Mellon Auditorium. The events were attended by King Salman, along with the chief executives of General Electric and Lockheed Martin, the chairman of Marriott International, and prominent think tank officials.

Kingdom-backed nonprofits have secured positive press through a number of channels. For instance, on September 21, Hussein Ibish, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, new think tank fully funded by the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, penned an opinion column in the New York Times heralding “A Saudi-American Reset.” In the piece, Ibish minimized “two years of perceived slights and supposed snubs” and insisted that “the new contours of a revitalized but evolving partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia are beginning to take shape.”

In what seems like a shameless lack of transparency, the New York Times ended the above mentioned op-ed with the byline below, failing to mention the fact that this think tank is fully funded by the Saudis and UAE, i.e., the fact that it was pure foreign propaganda printed by the New York Times.

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It should have read: “is a contributing opinion writer working on behalf of the governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” but of course, it didn’t.

The Saudi Embassy’s effort to shape media coverage is led by Qorvis, a consulting firm that has worked for the Saudi government since the months following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Qorvis’ recent disclosures under the Foreign Agents Registration Act show that it created an entire website — operationrenewalofhope.com — to promote the Saudi-led war in Yemen. It also “researched potential grassroots supporters in select states” and provided an ongoing effort to reach out to reporters concerning the Yemen war.

Well of course the Saudis needed as much propaganda as possible following the 9/11 attacks, given the obvious links back to the Kingdom. Recall:

The New York Post Reports – FBI is Covering Up Saudi Links to 9/11 Attack

Must Watch Video – Congressman Thomas Massie Calls for Release of Secret 9/11 Documents Upon Reading Them

Two Congressmen Push for Release of 28-Page Document Showing Saudi Involvement in 9/11

In July, the Saudi Embassy announced the launch of Arabia Now, an “online hub for news related to the Kingdom,” according to a press release. Since then, the site has work to promote Saudi Arabia as a bastion for human rights and progress, with posts claiming that the Kingdom is the “most generous country in the world.” While Saudi Arabian war ships blocked humanitarian assistance to Yemen, the Arabia Now news hub claimed that “Saudi Arabia was the only country that responded to the humanitarian assistance appeal launched by the U.N. to help Yemen by extending a donation of $274 million.”

Qorvis has contracted other firms to gauge public opinion, including Tuluna USA, an online survey company, and American Directions Group, a phone survey company founded by a pollster who previously worked for Bill Clinton.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Saudi officials have regularly appeared on cable news programs and at Washington, D.C., think tank events to reassure American audiences that the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen is in U.S. interests.

Here’s a user friendly graphic showing how some of this works.

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  • Rehmat

    Al-Qaeda, like Boko Haram, al-Shabaab and ISIS/ISIL are creation of CIA-Mossad to demonize Muslims and Islam for the benefit of the Zionist entity.

  • Ann Madhu Toulson-Clarke

    The US/UK’s latest pimp; they provide the money and buy ridiculously unnecessary amounts of arms from said countries, [that are just GIVEN to Israel whenever they ask] to supply whomsoever, albeit temporarily, that helps the ultimate agenda of cutting off Russia/Iran/Iraq/Syria from supplying Europe with their resources and replacing the long planned pipeline with the Qatari/Turkey one. Turkey’s recent behaviour lays it bare