The damage caused to Saudi society - by the abrupt discovery of the extent to which extremism subsisted within, and (among the educated at least) by the shock of the vitriolic attacks from outsidewill be deeper and will take time to assess. Saudi credibility was severely damaged in the eyes of American popular opinion, as the spate of Saudi-bashing in the last quarter of 2001 proved. But, despite the marked tension, Saudi-American relations remain tao important to both sides to be allowed to deteriorate.