• I Don’t Know What This Is

    September 6, 2014

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State

    The blog about the State Department I always wanted to be is Diplopundit. The anonymous writer manages to point out State’s dumbassery without resorting to terms like dumbassery, quite an accomplishment.

    So I tip my hat to Diplopundit for pulling up the video below. It was made by the U.S. government with your tax dollars. The stated purpose of the video is to somehow encourage more students from Saudi Arabia to come to the U.S. for college. Education is a huge business now in America, and foreign students from places like Saudi pay top dollar. So while the goal to bring more of their money to the U.S. is a noble one, how this video helps is beyond me. Have a look.

    Oh where oh where to begin? First question of course, is how could this possibly cause a Saudi to decide he wanted to throw his lot in with these people? What would be the key selling point? The gratuitous use of English to communicate with a foreign audience? The broken English of the Saudi student applicants? The hard to read subtitles? The nearly endless parade of stereotypes? The poncy Marilyn Monroe thing near the end? The Saudi guy dressed like a 1970s pimp? Yes, that would be the winner.

    Anyway, enjoy the video and have a laugh. After all, you paid for it.

    BONUS: We all do remember one of the last times the State Department went out of its way to get more Saudis to travel and study in the U.S., right? That was the Visa Express system that facilitated the travel for several of the 9/11 hijackers. And that episode didn’t even need its own cartoon advertisement.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Stephen said...


      Dear Mr. Van Buren,
      It is with the greatest sadness in my heart, in all sincerity, that I have to report that this video symbolizes what has gone wrong with the American government, society and culture, not to mention foreign policy. It all has become a very poorly done cartoon. Look no further than Jen Psaki or Marie Harf. Not long ago Chris Hedges said when empires decline they go insane. In this case it is actually worse. Ours has become infantile. For the record, as a sixty year old, lifetime left winger, this country was pretty good to me. That is over now and I can only mourn.
      Best Regards

      09/6/14 1:59 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      quote”So while the goal to bring more of their money to the U.S. is a noble one, how this video helps is beyond me. Have a look.”unquote

      Noble? Please Peter..spare me. There is nothing “nobel” about this. What it is, is disgusting. While DOS has been shilling for US Corporations forever, I find this one particularly galling, for many reasons. One, most of the foreign elite send the kids to big universities in the US, UK, and elsewhere, while the under privleged masses will never see the inside of a university. Even here, if you are lucky, you might get a scholarship, but most working class kids who do manage to get “accepted” must fund their education with massive debt. Debt that now, the PTB will send a SWAT team to arrest you should you fail to keep up your payments, post graduation. However, in this case, for the DOS spending money that is “borrowed” in the first place, to make a stupid video in the hopes of attracting potential rich Saudi students makes my blood boil. For every foreign student, an American student is knocked out of the running.

      Second, the mere fact that Saudi Arabia is one of the Muslim countries that behead, behand, flog, and torture their citizens for alleged crimes, notwithstanding stoning women for adultery, to me it is reprehensible for State to shill for US Universities to Saudi Arabia in the first place, and the Universities themselves putting profits ahead of human rights. Fuck these scumbags. As far as I’m concerned, there should be a visa BLOCK on every single nation who use these sadistic barbaric practices on human beings. After all, every Secretary of State in my lifetime has preached to these countries on their “human rights abuses”. Except..Saudi Arabia..at least that I know of. And we all know why too.

      As to tax payers paying for it. They don’t. Their great great great great grandchildren will though. I mean, the US government has indebted the future tax payers to the tune of 100 Trillion dollars or more. All the taxpayers are paying for now..is INTEREST on US debt. Debt, brought on by continuous wars, which you of all people should know, is due to all those stinking criminal Corporations whose no bid contracts have virtually bankrupted the US.

      wait..I gotta stop. My blood pressure is sky high.

      This makes me so mad I could virtually slap Kerry. Notwithstanding every person at State who is responsible for this fucking bullshit….

      09/6/14 5:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Yeah, ‘Amrika 101’ is bad lol. The “you need education” part was also cringe-worthy along with ugly characterizations — of both cultural sides.

      It’s not worth doing a video — the families who send their kids to the US to study do so for particular reasons. This silly cartoon video was just business for some contracting company

      And how much did this piece of art cost we tax-payers?

      09/7/14 12:45 AM | Comment Link

    • Liz said...


      All excellent comments.

      Yes, that made me sad, too.

      09/8/14 4:02 AM | Comment Link

    • Expat said...


      @ pitchfork: “For every foreign student, an American student is knocked out of the running.” Sorry, bro, ain’t true. That’s a typical anti-furner myth about in’tl students. FYI, two-thirds of all international students in ‘Murika are enrolled in business programs or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—the STEM fields, most of which are fields in which ‘Murican students are underrepresented. (Source: Brookings Institution) Ur off the mark on this one.


      09/8/14 9:36 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      09/8/14 6:22 PM | Comment Link

    • Helen said...


      I am so embarrassed as an American…

      09/9/14 11:49 PM | Comment Link

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