117] This message was considered especially important for the military sector: the NSC wanted to enhance "the understanding of the Army leadership [in the Middle East], and secondarily, the enlisted personnel towards the purpose of U. military aid as a factor in strengthening their national independence." [Doc. funded the display of posters at schools, shops, and other public buildings "sponsored by the Iranian Government and . 16] Brochures related parables, such as the illustrated story of "two young Iranian boys who are faced with the choice between communism . Franklin Roosevelt directed in 1945, the year of his famous meeting with Saudi Arabia's King Abd al-Aziz, that U. influence in the Middle East be expanded, and proposed, along with his wife Eleanor, that American films be shown in the region. Disney as a patriotic duty could be interested in preparing such a film that could be used to defend democracy where the communist system is being touted loudly." [Doc. Ambassador Loy Henderson felt that the Iranian government was insufficiently aware of the disapproval that the U. press was expressing regarding its policies, and suggested that the VOA transmit critical U. editorials (while also conveying the rather contradictory impression that the U. was "generally sympathetic with Iranian aspirations for full econ and polit independence.") He also wanted to have the VOA transmit programs to Iranians making "friendly ref to Shah as their progressive leader." [Doc. (Following this report, the aforementioned agency head requested that a messenger deliver future USIE scripts to him, without cover notes.) [Doc. to transfer as much as possible of info activities to friendly Iran Govt institutions." [Doc. engaged in activities contrary to [the] interests [of] Iran." [Doc. Support with factual coverage and moderate, selected comment Iran GOVT efforts to quell disorder and GOVT exposés of Tudeh COMMIE machinations." [Doc. induced to sponsor" various film titles, "as apart from direct USIS presentation. news media could be useful tools for both direct and indirect manipulation of opinion in Iran. 107] Demonstrating "the overwhelming and increasing industrial and military strength of the United States" was viewed as one way of increasing its influence. It was "assumed that such a visit would be undertaken only with an enthusiastic invitation from the Saudi Government." [Doc. 70] Since one aspect of the Cold War was competition between capitalism and communism as systems for achieving development and prosperity, scripts prepared by USIE for broadcast by Iran's Department of Press and Propaganda "did not neglect to present the result of the latest research in the United States and to make rather prominent mention of the country. So a brochure prepared for Iranian consumption, illustrated by a dancing bear, contrasted Soviet statements and its "youth demonstrations" with the accomplishments of the "Free World" and the United Nations, including assistance for health care, food and clothing distribution, and rehabilitation training. 96] Radio Baghdad broadcasts, of probable USIS origin, denied Communist claims of social equality and accused the Soviet Union of hypocrisy, charging that, despite its stated support for peace, it "mobilizes all its material power for war. He also planned the first publication in Saudi Arabia of the Koran, according to the State Department, and asked ARAMCO to get him radio broadcasting equipment.127] Unfortunately, observers friendly to the American government in the region noted that economic assistance was being characterized as an effort by "Western imperialists to buy friendship." [Doc. 4] In Iraq, embassy staff wrote their own cartoon script, featuring a scary symbolic bear menacing prehistoric humans. 41] During this crisis, the State Department was acutely aware of the potential for negative reaction to American propaganda. It is believed that the American Embassy has been paying sums of money to the Press and Propaganda Department with a view to using that Department as a means of propaganda for the United States." The head of the department was on the U. 47] Soon thereafter, the Iranian Interior Ministry ordered the closing of all information and cultural centers outside of Tehran, including those belonging to the USIE. it is our intention in case we do suspend activities . 49] An Iranian official expressed regret to the American embassy about the closings but said that "Some fo[reig]n cultural institutions in prov[ince]s had . 69] In May 1953, Ambassador Henderson was at pains to assure the State Department that his embassy was conducting an effective propaganda campaign: it compiled "a list of 260 articles, features, editorials and commentaries which ha[d] been placed in the local Tehran papers, as well as provincial papers, on anti-communist subjects." In addition, "Individual Iranian governmental offices are . As an example: 'Azerbaijan Day' [on the Russian occupation of a part of Iran following World War II] has been shown publicly both by the Ministry of Education and the imperial Iranian Gendarmerie while the Department of Propaganda has refused to take part in the sponsorship of the film." [Doc. The State Department suggested that it could seek "to inspire editorials or articles in U. publications which can be useful in case Embassy should desire certain points of view brought out for benefit American public . In October 1950, the ambassador to Iran suggested an emphasis in propaganda on the "quick overwhelming effectiveness U. This is also true of the present new industries series which have covered such things as plastics, rayon, diesel engines, chemurgy, frozen foods and fertilizer." [Doc. It produces atomic planes, heavy guns, and tanks, and mobilizes and trains the army in preparation for war, and spreads fear and horror among the peaceful nations." [Doc. on armed invasion of Egypt motivated by principles morality and justice . A department official was helpful: "It was pointed out to him" that he needed to get people used to tuning in.Despite rhetorical claims, influential Americans tolerated and valued authoritarian rule.
It argues that a more assertive campaign of self-promotion would reverse these views.
It says that the end of the Cold War led to neglect of "public diplomacy", resulting in a diminution of U. prestige and global effectiveness.(6) This is hardly the first time that the U.
The government has discussed ways to improve the U. image abroad with motion picture executives.(2) The White House established an Office of Global Communications to coordinate U. propaganda worldwide.(3) The Defense Department developed plans for an Office of Strategic Influence to sway international opinion, but backed off following published reports that stories placed by the Pentagon would include disinformation.(4) Further propaganda activities correlated directly with the Bush administration's planned war against Iraq are underway.(5) With the attacks, the magnitude of Middle Eastern disaffection for the United States was brought, violently, to the attention of official Washington, and a new focus on propaganda was one result.
According to the Bush administration, "a deep misunderstanding of the United States and its policies" created this hostility.
It wanted to protect and preserve Western control of Middle Eastern oil resources. The National Security Archive has collected a selection of documents illustrating aspects of this earlier propaganda campaign. propaganda efforts: in reality, intelligence outfits, including the then-newly created Central Intelligence Agency, handled a major part of these activities. The only things which can uproot communism in Iraq are deeds and not words." [Doc. 22] A working group on propaganda strategy recommended bringing Arab students to the U. provided material to Iraq's propaganda department for its dissemination: "By the direct subsidization of two newspapers, through special programs on Radio Baghdad, and through partial subsidization of two anti-Communist editors, anti-Communist information is being placed in public channels." [Doc. 119] In late 1953, opposition activities, including student protests, led Iraq's education minister to launch an anticommunist program focused on schools and universities.
They describe some of the goals, methods, and problems associated with propaganda in the Middle East. Nearly all of these documents are from the State Department or its missions in the region. Most of the selected documents focus on Saudi Arabia, Iraq, or Iran. 101] NSC objectives for the Middle East in the mid 1950s included a "material increase in the exchange of persons program, directed primarily to influencing the leadership of the countries concerned." (Travel restrictions hindered this plan during the Mc Carthy era; the granting of "leadership grants" to leftist journalists or politicians was inadvisable, for instance, since they were unlikely to receive U. S., for example, as a way of countering disaffection for the U. and dealing with a "rather general and dangerous lack of awareness of the communist problem and threat." [Doc. and allied regimes could also try to direct political activism in approved directions. The Embassy would prefer to lose the readability and retain the full impact of the bright red mass." An advertising campaign was planned to induce Iraqis to request the map, which would "give it added value." [Doc. The pamphlets will be issued without attribution, but no attempt will be made to hide the fact that they are produced by USIS." [Doc. The American embassy saw this as "an unparalleled opportunity to reach a priority target audience through Government channels." USIS suggested that the Iraqi ministry establish a college-affiliated institute of international affairs that would arrange and sponsor extra-curricular activities and "help channel the students' political interests into controllable lines," staffed, the embassy recommended, by a professor of Soviet affairs who "could assist in demonstrating to the students the nature of international Communism." The Iraqi ministry agreed to accept a Fulbright-funded American lecturer.
The embassy asked for "Disney-type animation" to enliven the tale. 62] Attempts to appeal to what were thought to be local tastes did not always achieve the expected results. It commented, "The discretion exercised in the embassy's relations with local distributors and exhibitor [of propaganda newsreels] is appreciated; and under the circumstances, the Department agrees that all caution is desirable." [Doc. Ambassador Henderson said that if Prime Minister Mossadeq were determined to carry out this policy it would "be preferable for us quietly to suspend operations with hope that after elections have been concluded and present state natl hysteria somewhat subsided we may be able quietly and unostentatiously to resume operations . 47] Likewise, a report on policy implementation noted, "our films, news releases, and broadcasts have emphasized economic" (as well as military) developments. 130] (These messages were not inevitably well received. Every day we listen to the lengthy talks on American rubber industry, automobile industry, tank factories and the fantastic amounts of money U. 122] In contrast, "America's moral, religious, economic and political strength was presented through the information media with emphasis on our hope and intent for peace." [Doc. had forced Britain, France, and Israel to back down following their invasion and occupation of Egypt. "It was suggested that at the outset the reading of religious material would probably be the best means of introduction." Prince Saud also confided that he foresaw giving more tangible form to Saudi leadership, including "plans which he did not wish to discuss in detail now to spark plug a pan-Islamic movement.
A USIS mobile film crew in Iraq reported some positive reaction to a film that used puppets representing figures from traditional folklore to enact an anticommunist parable, but many viewers were evidently appalled, decrying "these terrifying dummies. 45] These circumstances were made clear in an Iranian newspaper account in early 1952 reporting that "the Department of Press and Propaganda has been run by the American Embassy . A highly critical report by an Iranian newspaper -- called "leftist" by the U. embassy -- on American propaganda complained that Radio Tehran served the interests of the "Yankee World" and broadcast "USIE-originated absurdities . 130] Present-day American predilections for unilateralism, for disregarding the United Nations, and for unequivocally supporting Israel, make it unlikely that Middle East policy decisions could be used to win over popular opinion among Arabs and Muslims today, but the 1956 Suez crisis presented the Eisenhower administration with such an opportunity. Following the crisis, USIA recommended emphasizing the "Strong U. He said it could do a great deal of good in the Muslim countries by causing them to work together as a unit." The U. official assured Saud that "his information about Islamic unity was very interesting and we would be very glad to know more about it when his plans were more clearly formulated.
This was a fundamental component of the decades-long U. 28] But suggestions that American propaganda should be distributed in the kingdom were viewed skeptically by U. These officers were the nucleus of what later became Ba'thist domination of Iraq's army.) (9) By 1954, however, the American embassy was expressing disappointment with the government of Iraq: "The constant hope of USIS officers that an indigenous distribution channel for non-attributed anti-Communist material could be opened with government help has never, until now, materialized." One problem was the government's view that the most effective way of spreading the anticommunist message was "to demonstrate its links with Israel and with world Zionism. also wanted Iranians to understand that it was necessary for the British-Iranian oil dispute to be settled on terms acceptable to the West: the article noted that "There seems to be a failure on the part of many of them to realize how necessary it is for them to stand behind their Government in a determined attempt to solve the most important problems of the country before the emergency aid which the United States has extended to Iran is exhausted." [Doc. to have decided he will accept long-standing British advice that he should have a British security expert to set up an anti-subversives department . For example, Ambassador to Iraq Burton Berry said in 1952 that "we, as propagandists, can only do our best to keep alive the hope in the Arab world that a political solution [to the Arab-Israeli dispute and continuing colonial interference by Britain and France] on the part of the United States is possible.
S.-Saudi "special relationship." Britain created Iraq as a national state after World War I by consolidating several provinces of the collapsed Ottoman empire, and established a monarchy, the short-lived Iraqi Hashemite dynasty, by installing a World War I ally from Arabia to rule as a king amenable to British interests. Since support for Zionism is also linked in the public mind with the United States any such campaign creates a sort of neutralist 'plague on both your houses' attitude and could stir up increased enmity against the United States at the same time." However, the government provided "the only possible indigenous channels" for propaganda, and "All other channels must be opened and oiled by means not within the proper scope of USIS," so it, along with the embassy, decided to support the Iraqi campaign "by supplying raw material for the consideration of the committee and by such verbal advice on techniques as may seem appropriate. 114] (The collaboration of American media, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time, and Newsweek, with "the intelligence community" was discussed, post-Watergate scandal, in a report prepared by the congressional Church Committee and in more detail in a Rolling Stone article by Carl Bernstein.) (11) Press helpfulness is also illustrated by an incident involving Kuwait. consulate sources observed that there was "no evidence of increased Communist activity in Kuwait--or for that matter of any Communist activity" or any indication that any Kuwaitis had been to Vienna, or that there were any Kuwaiti unions. in that the [Kuwaiti] Director of Public Security appears to have been enough frightened . We can do this by emphasizing the growing interest in contemporary Middle East political problems on the part of Americans;" to do so he recommended "the channel to the activities of the American Friends of the Middle East [AFME]." [Doc.