masthead-highres

Friday, December 05, 2003

Thoughts on Saudi Arabia's PR Campaign

Thoughts from our vice president, David Ridenour:
Have you heard those radio commercials that the Saudis have been running? They may wish to consider limiting their lying to when it really matters. The little lies draw attention to their big ones.

In one of the commercials, they talk about how they are moving toward democracy, increasing economic freedom, eliminating "intolerance" from school textbooks, etc. -- we know that's all bogus.

But then, to make the point that their efforts are only the beginning of a sustained march toward liberalization, they note that our space program didn't begin until John F. Kennedy gave his speech about landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s.

Alan Shepard piloted the US's first manned space flight on May 5, 1961 (Freedom 7) -- twenty days before Kennedy's speech. Freedom 7 was part of Project Mercury, which was launched in 1958.

...It's not like Project Mercury was a formal space program or anything.

The commercial also suggests that blacks didn't have civil rights before Dr. Martin Luther King. I guess the Emancipation Proclamation didn't advance the civil rights one iota. Nor did the 13th Amendment. Nor did the many state civil rights initiatives, such as a bill passed by the Alaska territorial legislature in 1945 prohibiting "whites only" accommodations.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was 16 at the time a young Alaskan native, Elizabeth Petratrovich, successfully pushed through this civil rights measure. I think we can be fairly certain that a teenager living thousands of miles away from Alaska in Atlanta, Georgia had nothing to do with it.

If the Saudis can't tell the truth about basic facts of American history, they certainly won't when it comes to their own history of aiding terrorists, violating human rights, etc.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:20 AM

Copyright The National Center for Public Policy Research