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In 1958, nationalistic military officers overthrew the Western-supported monarchical government, and established a republic. Ambassador Burton Berry wrote, "This approach has not, however, had the popular reaction expected and future Government anti-Communist newspaper articles and pamphlets can be expected to place more emphasis on the anti-nationalist, rather than the pro-Zionist, aspect of Communism." [Doc. 6] By October 1950, the American ambassador could speak of the "close coordination which [is] now effective between [the] embassy and [the] Iranian Propaganda Department." [Doc. Iran situation receiving little press attention and materials needed help create reaction favorable new regime, U. I have arranged an informal relationship here which can be used if propaganda experts desire to have something said or played in Iran which should not be directly related to the U. Government." In addition, an "ad hoc 'Iran Propaganda Committee' to serve as a forum for ideas and a center of attraction for all persons involved in propaganda activities related to Iran" was established. 112] In November 1953, Ambassador Henderson requested an approach to "one of the three American publications having most influence in Iran; namely, New York Times, Time Magazine and Newsweek" requesting that it carry an article written by the embassy pointing out that "Wily Dr. 110] Victor Weybright, founder of the New American Library of World Literature, Inc. your staff in which the primary motivation is to be of service to the international aims of the country." Though he "leaned over backward everywhere" not to involve the government in distributing literature, at his request "your people in Washington are making available to the American Book Publishers Council, a list of the key scholars and intellectuals abroad who might well receive review copies of certain American books." [Doc.Among the initiatives undertaken by the new government were measures to end foreign monopoly control of Iraq's oil resources. 10] But in November, Iranian Propaganda Director Bahram Shahrokh stopped Voice of America (VOA) as well as BBC relays on Radio Tehran, saying that his predecessor had been too friendly to foreign powers.(10) In December, Iran's prime minister told the American embassy that he expected Shahrokh to retain his position for some time. embassy and USIS developed propaganda accentuating "popular support" for the shah "as demonstrated by [the] events of August 19" (the coup) and "continued ovations and praise in meetings with small groups as well as broader public appearances," and they planned to "develop material along same policy lines for immediate distribution Iran and media and for use by Department and USIA [United States information Agency] in [the] U. 108] The USIA asked to be provided with all "press materials supporting agreed themes for possible further exploitation U. Mosadeq" had an "attempted policy of open blackmail against the free world . (publisher of authors ranging from William Faulkner to D. Lawrence to Ayn Rand to Henry David Thoreau to Ian Fleming to Mickey Spillane) was an enthusiastic ally of the government (he had worked in a U. government propaganda office in Britain during World War II.) He visited the Middle East in 1951, and then reported to a State Department public affairs officer that "we are now working on a number of forthcoming books at the suggestion of . 36] Weybright was told, "certain projects aimed at stimulating the commercial distribution overseas of United States books constitute one approach to which we are devoting considerable attention and effort.It argues that a more assertive campaign of self-promotion would reverse these views.
55] Image versus Reality The idealized image to be projected in the Middle East of a freedom-loving America was contradicted by the U. government's mutually beneficial relationships with autocratic regimes in the region.
Britain appointed Sunni Muslims rather than members of Iraq's Shi'a majority to staff its administrative infrastructure. At the same time, the Public Affairs Officer and the Information Officer" would "endeavor constantly to point out effective local anti-Communist lines other than those which might ultimately react unfavorably against the United States." [Doc. ambassador noted that the Iranian government was "extraordinarily cooperative" in providing radio facilities for American broadcasts reaching "Soviet people in sensitive Caucasian and Central Asian areas." [Doc. A late 1953 Newsweek story described insular and conservative Kuwait, improbably, as a new soft spot for communism, and reported that "a Kuwait union organizer" attended a World Federation of Trade Unions conference in Vienna. But it noted that even if the story were untrue (perhaps derived from a Soviet broadcast "picked up by a monitoring service" (not identified)) the article "may have done some immediate good . 74] Several years later, a State Department officer commented that "In a number of cases we have found it extremely helpful to call on AFME to sponsor certain visits which we as government were not able to sponsor.
Over the following decades, the British-established order was contested by a wide range of opposing factions, including Shiites, Kurds, Communists, and nationalists, the latter including, by the 1950s, followers of Ba'thism, an ideology calling for unity among all Arabs, development, technology, and resistance to foreign and neocolonial interference. 118] Iraqi government pamphlets with "heavy emphasis on the links between Communism and Zionism" were disseminated using a USIS mailing list. sought cooperation from Iran both for propaganda directed at Iranians and for propaganda broadcast outside the country. 8] For domestic propaganda, the embassy recommended that "There should be the minimum of open USIE activity and the maximum use, if necessary without attribution to USIE, of indigenous, Iranian channels." [Doc. 111] The infrastructure available to exploit new propaganda opportunities in Iran included a "P area of the Department of State" that used "the Department's News Division in dealing with local correspondents, a Historical Division, and offices which deal in the placement of magazine articles and arrangements for official speaking engagements." There was also "a confidential American agency [the CIA was only a few years old when this document was created] which is sometimes in a position to provide assistance in the propaganda field. When the Iranian people finally realized the situation, under the leadership of those loyal to the Shah and to Iranian institutions, the forces opposed to alliance with or domination by the communists arose in wrath . Exchanges under such auspices tend to give the individuals concerned an independent status which enhances their effectiveness in whichever Middle Eastern country may be concerned." Occasionally, it would be necessary for this appearance of impartiality to be real: "We recognize that to retain AFME's independent appearance its leader should express objective viewpoints on U. Government policies and actions." However, any such divergence should be "restrained". 134] After the British and American-sponsored coup in Iran, the local USIS office requested additional staffing for the Iran America Society, in order to extend "our operations into a number of special classes for high ranking ministry people and others in our prime target groups." The society had "contributed greatly toward our objectives" as "a very strong center in which pro-American sentiments can be widely and efficiently developed with much less chance of the label 'American Propaganda' being affixed." [Doc.
The shah, who did not support his prime minister's attempts to assert Iranian nationalism, fled the country in August 1953. 60] Propaganda goals were to be achieved by controlling information and manipulating its interpretation. The other boy leads a productive life beneficial to his country." [Doc. Thus, Secretary of State Dean Acheson said in 1950 that U. propaganda should seek to refocus Arab attention on internal social and political problems and divert it from the Palestine conflict, an issue that immeasurably complicated U. The United States Information and Educational Exchange Program (USIE) was to pay his salary and control editorial content, seeking first to "establish credence," and then to gradually "develop and use more direct hard-hitting anti-Sov[iet] material." [Doc. S.-backed Iraqi magazine was planned as well, "To make Iraqis aware of the dangers of Soviet imperialism" and to induce them to ally militarily with the West. 62] American publications also could be useful: an embassy public affairs officer touring ravaged areas of predominantly Kurdish northern Iraq in 1953 (oppositionist activities seeking Kurdish autonomy were periodically suppressed) observed that American magazines, requested by a local leader, "may be as good propaganda as any we put out . 118] Iraqi government officials promoted nationalist ideology as an alternative to Communism, which appealed to activists seeking political and economic reform. Ambassador to Iran Loy Henderson remarked that libraries made "major contributions toward molding public opinion in accordance with USIE objectives." [Doc. Whence did the Americans snatch you, Hoja, to make fun of you? The Iranian Government would reap the public credit for our program while our benefit would be realized through helping to raise the standard of living and thereby a certain measure of political and economic stability would be the result. Subsequently, propaganda opportunities vastly improved. In September, the embassy noted that "USIS Tehran reports that with the recent change in government the attitude of the motion picture Censorship Commission toward anticommunist film material has apparently changed so that it may be possible for USIS in the future to obtain official permission to show some anticommunist films . In the government's view, foreign observers did not appreciate U. values and accomplishments; therefore, a major purpose for propaganda should be emphasizing to the world America's role as a beacon of freedom for the world. 130] Pacifist sentiments calling for banning the bomb were not welcome. The reaction of the leftist paper is interesting only in that the pasting up of the sign by the 'Partisans of Peace' would appear to confirm the community of interest between the paper and the Communists." [Doc. Thirty thousand pamphlets were produced, but "only 3,000 copies [were] distributed because communist propaganda on germ warfare died down and it was deemed advisable to let the matter lie unless it were revived." [Doc. 59] A USIE program for Iran recommended "Development of specialized materials which tend to instill among religious elements a friendly attitude toward the West and antipathy for Communism," although "In the case of religious leaders (mullahs)" American influence "cannot be direct and it may never be appreciable." [Doc. expected to be able to rely on anti-Communist religious leaders in Iraq as well. 76] The State Department arranged for Radio Jidda in Saudi Arabia to broadcast religious programming in the Tatar, Uzbek, and Azerbaijani languages. This in effect is the impression that we desire to give.
The tools used included financial assistance, pamphlets and posters, news manipulation, magazines, radio broadcasts, books, libraries, music, movies, cartoons, educational activities, person-to-person exchanges, and, of great significance for the Middle East, religion. 96] In Iraq, the American embassy used a mailing list, mobile film units, and "certain prominent anti-Communist religious leaders" to distribute propaganda brochures. It was presumably not expected that Ba'thist ideology would become a prominent factor in Iraq's evolving anti-royalist political climate.) Plans were developed for an "intimate working relationship" between the Voice of American and Radio Tehran, and much of the material for "special programs on Radio Baghdad" was supplied by the USIS. 71] During weekly cultural programs at the American embassy's library, "no opportunity to point out how Soviet Russia controls her creative artists is overlooked in the music program notes." To feature anti-communist books, the embassy placed "a special shelf in a prominent position in the Library" labeled "IN VIEW OF INQUIRIES RECEIVED, THIS SHELF IS RESERVED FOR PUBLICATIONS EXPOSING THE AGGRESSIVE OBJECTIVES OF COMMUNISM AND THE METHODS EMPLOYED BY INTERNATIONAL COMMUNISM AND BY ITS AGENT IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES." [Doc. In addition, the successful penetration of the country on this level would ultimately provide a sound foundation for the dissemination of information about the USA and its policies." [Doc. Thus, a strategy session seeking ways to mitigate Arab distrust proposed that the Voice of America utilize "Lincoln's Gettysburg address--they swallow that hook, line and sinker -- United Nations, freedom, away with slavery, and that sort of thing." [Doc. The American embassy in Tehran was joined by the Iranian government in waging a coordinated campaign against a Stockholm-based anti-nuclear peace petition. the United States is eager to share with the rest of the world the benefits derived from atomic research, and towards this end the AEC plant at Oakridge, Tennessee is shipping radioactive isotopes to collaborating institutions throughout the world." An Iraqi newspaper story describing the display noted that it included "pictures depicting the atom in the service of humanity! 77] Biological warfare was also a sensitive issue: the American embassy in Iran prepared pamphlets on the topic "as a rebuttal to Communist germ warfare propaganda" [presumably North Korean, Chinese, and Soviet charges that the U. 96] Militant interpretations of Islam as espoused by groups like al-Qaeda terrify Americans today, but for decades the Middle East's religious tradition was viewed as a valuable asset that could be exploited to achieve American ends: as President Eisenhower said in a letter to a confidante, "the religious approach offers . 6] (Soon thereafter, the embassy reported that two mullahs had begun public anticommunist sermons in Tehran, and that others had been sent to the Tabriz and Kurdish areas for the same purpose.) Plans called for playing up "Moslem prosecutions by Communist satellites and Soviet and Soviet-Communist attitudes toward religion." [Doc. After sponsoring (evidently) the composition of a Christian-themed oratorio, it planned to approach Beirut's Armenian Seminary to obtain lyrics. 53] Identification of a "common moral front" among various faiths and American values was encouraged: in Iran, the embassy distributed an eclectic brochure with a mosque on its cover called "Voices of God", containing quotations from the Koran, the Muslim poet Hafez, Jesus Christ, the Biblical prophet Isaiah, the Chinese philosopher Mo Tzu, the Buddha, the Sanskrit Bhagavad Gita, Abraham Lincoln, and Mahatma Gandhi. IIA promoted the colloquium along these lines and has given it financial and other assistance because we consider that this psychological approach is an important contribution at this time to both short term and long term United States political objectives in the Moslem area." Government officials even saw a role for the U. in guiding Islam's modern-day evolution and revitalization: "Among the various results expected from the colloquium are the impetus and direction that may be given to the Renaissance movement within Islam itself." [Doc.