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The Failure of American and British Propaganda in the Arab Middle East, 1945–57

Unconquerable Minds

James R. Vaughan

Cold War History Series
General Editor: Saki Dockrill, Professor of Contemporary History and International Security, King’s College, London The Cold War History Series aims to make available to scholars and students the results of advanced research on the origins and the development of the Cold War and its impact on nations, alliances and regions at various levels of statecraft, and in areas such as diplomacy, security, economy, military and society. Volumes in the series range from detailed and original specialised studies, and proceedings of conferences to broader and more comprehensive accounts. Each work deals with individual themes and periods of the Cold War and each author or editor approaches the Cold War with a variety of narrative, analysis, explanation, interpretation and reassessments of recent scholarship. These studies are designed to encourage investigation and debate on important themes and events in the Cold War, as seen from both East and West, in an effort to deepen our understanding of this phenomenon and place it in its context in world history. Titles include: Günter Bischof AUSTRIA IN THE FIRST COLD WAR, 1945–55 The Leverage of the Weak Christoph Bluth THE TWO GERMANIES AND MILITARY SECURITY IN EUROPE Dale Carter and Robin Clifton (editors) WAR AND COLD WAR IN AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY, 1942–62 Saki Dockrill BRITAIN’S RETREAT FROM EAST OF SUEZ The Choice between Europe and the World, 1945–1968 Martin H. Folly CHURCHILL, WHITEHALL AND THE SOVIET UNION, 1940–45 John Gearson and Kori Schake (editors) THE BERLIN WALL CRISIS Perspectives on Cold War Alliances Michael F. Hopkins, Michael D. Kandiah and Gillian Staerck (editors) COLD WAR BRITAIN, 1945–1964 New Perspectives Ian Jackson THE ECONOMIC COLD WAR America, Britain and East–West Trade, 1948–63 Saul Kelly COLD WAR IN THE DESERT Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945–52 Dianne Kirby (editor) RELIGION AND THE COLD WAR


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The Failure of American and British Propaganda in the Arab Middle East, 1945–57
Unconquerable Minds

James R. Vaughan

© James R. Vaughan 2005 All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4LP. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. The author has asserted his right to be identified as the author of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. First published in 2005 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS and 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010 Companies and representatives throughout the world. PALGRAVE MACMILLAN is the global academic imprint of the Palgrave Macmillan division of St. Martin’s Press, LLC and of Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. Macmillan® is a registered trademark in the United States, United Kingdom and other countries. Palgrave is a registered trademark in the European Union and other countries. ISBN-13: 978–1–4039–4714–7 hardback ISBN-10: 1–4039–4714–7 hardback This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and sustained forest sources. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Vaughan, James R. The failure of American and British propaganda in the Arab Middle East, 1945–57 : unconquerable minds / James R. Vaughan. p. cm.—(Cold War history) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1–4039–4714–7 (cloth) 1. Middle East – Foreign relations – United States. 2. United States – Foreign relations – Middle East. 3. Middle East – Foreign relations – Great Britain. 4. Great Britain – Foreign relations – Middle East. 5. Cold War – Propaganda. 6. World politics – 1945–1955. I. Title. II. Cold War history series (Palgrave Macmillan (Firm)) DS63.2.U5V35 2005 327.1Ј4Ј09410956—dc22 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06 05 Printed and bound in Great Britain by Antony Rowe Ltd, Chippenham and Eastbourne 2005049329

Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction: The Business of Climate – Propaganda as the Fourth Dimension of Foreign Policy 1 ‘The Men and Machinery’: Building the Middle Eastern Propaganda Instrument 2 ‘Western Voices, Arab Minds’: Orientalism, Stereotypes and Propaganda in the Middle East 3 ‘National Projection’: Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 4 ‘Who Can Be Neutral?’: Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda in the Middle East 5 ‘The Less Said the Better’: Western Propaganda and the Arab–Israeli Dispute, 1945–56 6 ‘Equal Partners’?: Propaganda, Anglo-American Rivalry and the Nationalist Challenge 7 ‘The Last Trump’: Anti-Egyptian Propaganda from ‘Omega’ to the Eisenhower Doctrine Conclusion: The Failure of Western Propaganda in the Middle East Notes Bibliography Index vi vii

1 11 48 70 97 128 160 192 238 250 296 309


Mark Gudgeon. R. the Dwight D. Professor Martin Alexander. Maryland. Thanks and appreciation to Tom. University College London. advice and constructive criticism at various stages of the project. Colleagues and support staff from the Department of International Politics at the University of Wales. Staff at the National Archives in Kew were invariably a model of professionalism and efficiency. Stefania Longo. Professor Peter Hennessy and Professor Scott Lucas. Angus and Jenny Meryon. quite simply. and the United States National Archives in College Park. an institution which made the arranging of summertime research trips that much more difficult. all of whom offered greatly appreciated suggestions. parents and grandparents.Acknowledgements I wish to extend my deepest gratitude to Professor Kathleen Burk and Professor David French for their invaluable guidance during my years within the History Department at University College London. I also extend my sincere thanks to Professor Nicholas Cull. Dr. Kansas. Eisenhower Library in Abilene. Aberystwyth. Aberystwyth have been a constant source of academic inspiration and material support. without whose unwavering support this project. vi . I would like to thank my brother. Graeme and Rachel Davies. could not have been completed and to whom this book is therefore dedicated. Finally. as were the archivists at the BBC Written Archives Centre in Caversham. Marcus Hall and all the members of Talybont Cricket Club. Gerald Hughes. The undertaking of numerous research trips to the aforementioned archives would have been impossible without generous research grants from the British Academy. Björn Weiler. John Haywood. Peter Jackson and Dr. Camilla. Eva and Anna Morgan. and the University of Wales.

formerly Public Record Office. Caversham British Information Services Middle East British Middle East Office Central Intelligence Agency (US) Central Office of Information (British) Cultural Relations Department (British) Dwight D. Kew.Abbreviations AFME AIOC ANA ARAMCO AUB BBCWAC BISME BMEO CIA COI CRD DDE ESB FO ICE ICFTU IDF IIA IIIS IPD IRD IRI ISD JIC LPS MAC MEDO MEID MOD MOI NAPRO NEA NEABS NERSC American Friends of the Middle East (US) Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (British) Arab News Agency (British) Arab-American Oil Company (US) American University of Beirut BBC Written Archives Centre. Eisenhower Presidential Library. UK Bureau of Near Eastern. South Asian and African Affairs (US) Near East Arab Broadcasting Station (Sharq al-Adna) Near East Regional Service Center (US) vii . Abilene. Kansas (US) Egyptian State Broadcasting Foreign Office Information Coordination Executive (British) International Confederation of Free Trade Unions Israeli Defence Force International Information Administration (US) Interim International Information Service (US) Information Policy Department (British) Information Research Department (British) Office of Research and Intelligence (USIA) Information Services Department (British) Joint Intelligence Committee (British) London Press Service (British) Mixed Armistice Commission Middle East Defence Organisation Middle East Information Department (British) Ministry of Defence Ministry of Information (British) National Archives.

George Washington University National Security Council (US) National Union Party Operations Co-ordinating Board (US) Office of Educational Exchange (US) Office of Information and Cultural Affairs (US) Office of International Information (US) Office of War Information (US) Public Affairs Officer (US) Psychological Strategy Board (US) Political Warfare Executive Regional Information Office (British) Secret Intelligence Service (British) Special Operations Executive Syrian Popular Party Trades Union Congress United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation United Press United States Educational Foundation United States Information Agency (US) Information and Educational Exchange Program (US) United States Information Service (US) United States National Archive.viii Abbreviations NSAGWU NSC NUP OCB OEX OIC OII OWI PAO PSB PWE RIO SIS (MI6) SOE SPP TUC UNTSO UP USEF USIA USIE USIS USNA VOA WFTU National Security Archive. College Park. Maryland (US) Voice of America (US) World Federation of Trade Unions .

It was lost. Angus Malcolm. p. head of the Foreign Office’s Information Policy Department (IPD) had argued two years previously that Propaganda and diplomacy are complementary instruments of policy and [our policy objectives in the Middle East] can best be achieved by a combination of both. the greater part of this position seemed to have been lost. This fact does not as yet appear to have been appreciated in Britain. In 1953. but as a result of the action of human ideas. Her victorious armies were in peaceful and friendly occupation of the whole Arab world. … Twelve years later. much less analysed. Britain and the Arabs (1959). economic and military elements of Western strategic policy in the post-war Middle East have been the focus of much scholarly attention in recent years. … Moreover there will be occasions when the 1 . and almost without firing a shot. 400 This book is about the role of propaganda as an instrument of foreign policy and the erosion of Western prestige in the post-war Middle East. the Drogheda committee of enquiry into the British overseas information services argued that propaganda could never stand alone as a viable substitute for policy. John Bagot Glubb.Introduction The Business of Climate1 – Propaganda as the Fourth Dimension of Foreign Policy Britain … finished the Second World War in 1945 in a blaze of glory. The pages that follow investigate the psychological dimension of American and British policy in the Middle East between 1945 and 1957. not as a result of physical defeat. The diplomatic.

the chairman of a seminal 1953 enquiry into American overseas propaganda. Propaganda has been considered. but is inherent in every diplomatic.4 Such ambiguity is indicative of the difficulties that practitioners and academics alike have experienced in providing a straightforward definition of ‘propaganda’.5 As the committee’s executive secretary. at a 1955 conference. Abbot Washburn.7 . then there was no point in propaganda being ‘separated out and handled by “cold war specialists” ’. When the Jackson Report emerged in June 1953. What Frank Ninkovich once termed ‘the diplomacy of ideas’ has remained a neglected aspect of foreign affairs when it should rightfully be considered as the ‘fourth dimension’ of foreign policy. it stated clearly that ‘the “psychological” aspect of policy is not separable from policy. this relationship between propaganda and diplomacy has been ignored. once observed that There is widespread agreement on both the terminology and functions of the diplomatic. His committee came to envisage a huge range of government actions and agencies as having a part to play in the psychological battle with the Soviet Union.6 The committee’s influence in this regard can be seen in the subsequent deliberations of Nelson Rockefeller’s ‘Planning Coordination Group’ which. as something peripheral to or detached from the main thrust of policy making. there remains much to be said for Jackson’s formula. announced that ‘Our … concept of psychological strategy is not that of a separate course of action.3 William Jackson. Jackson. economic and military means of promoting national objectives. if at all.2 The Failure of American and British Propaganda primary object of our diplomatic action should be to provide material for our propaganda. There is also general agreement that there is a fourth area of national effort. if there was ‘psychological warfare (cold war) content in every official act’. economic or military action. Jackson was later to chair the Eisenhower administration’s 1953 committee of inquiry into American overseas propaganda. Vague as it is. somewhat imprecisely.2 Too often in academic considerations of Western policy towards the Middle East. explained. Thereafter the trouble begins. but of an integral component of all our policies and programs … designed to further US security’. eventually defined this ‘fourth area of national effort’ as the act of ‘influencing public opinion by any means whatever’. There … are no “national psychological objectives” separate from national objectives’.

these terms are all considered as falling within the inclusive category of ‘propaganda’ – the psychological dimension of Western diplomacy in the Middle East. The historian who seeks to gauge the effectiveness of propaganda enters a conceptual and methodological minefield.8 Certainly. Those seeking theoretical precision could do worse than to adopt Jowett and O’Donnell’s definition of propaganda as ‘the deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions.Introduction 3 The Jackson Committee’s assertion that ‘policy’ and ‘propaganda’ were to all intents and purposes indistinguishable must be regarded as something of an exaggeration. however. particularly if it is directed at a foreign audience. One may identify propaganda policies. ‘public diplomacy’. to all intents and purposes. In the narrative that follows. even the formulation of policy itself can all be considered forms of propaganda. ‘information work’ and ‘mass persuasion’ all have their place within the field of propaganda studies. their insistence that propaganda must represent a deliberate attempt to shape perceptions provides a useful reply to Oliver Thompson’s assertion that ‘it is unwise to insist on the words “deliberate” or “systematic” in any definition of propaganda’. unmanageable. but it is very difficult to gauge how the propaganda is received. In this book the ‘fourth dimension of foreign policy’ is conceived of as the psychological and persuasive activities pursued by governments as part of the broader strategic policymaking process. It is for precisely this reason that terms such as ‘psychological warfare’. ‘public relations’. alongside the more obvious techniques of image and information manipulation through print and broadcasting media.9 Even when one does insist upon the words ‘deliberate’ or ‘systematic’. since Thompson’s approach risks of opening up the field of study to such an extent that it becomes. As Andrew Defty remarked in his recent study of British anti-communist propaganda in the early Cold War. educational exchange. Official vocabularies and rhetoric. and assess the output of the propaganda agencies. It is notoriously difficult to assess the impact of propaganda. the range of activities falling within the field of study remains daunting.10 . The term ‘propaganda’ is understood to encompass the range of techniques by which governments sought to influence overseas public opinion for the benefit of their wider national objectives. cultural activities. manipulate cognitions and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist’. ‘cultural diplomacy’.

motives and expectations’. it draws almost exclusively on Western government sources and does not try to ‘get inside the heads’ of Middle Eastern leaders and peoples. in response to a question about the United States. This is not to suggest that the historian seeking to gauge the effectiveness or impact of Western propaganda in the Arab world cannot find plenty of evidence upon which to draw. attitudes. the focus of this book will remain on the formulation and execution of British and American psychological strategies and the manner in which these strategies combined with the general direction of policy making in the often vain pursuit of national interests.13 . cultural and psychological struggle has opened up fascinating new opportunities for historical analysis. these factors remain important. one might choose to support the general thesis of this book that Western propaganda largely failed in the Middle East to fulfil its psychological objectives. It focuses instead upon the role of propaganda as an integral part of the policy-making process because it is in the context of policy failure that the historian can best understand the problems that beset Western propagandists in the Middle East. One of the most significant developments in recent Cold War scholarship has been the shift away from the examination of the defence. To be sure. media and cultural studies have been instrumental in developing an interpretation of the Cold War as ‘a war of words.11 Nevertheless.12 In addition to the valuable work being done by a new generation of Cold War historians. scholars in the fields of communications. replied simply. Indeed. and most of the remainder had only the most naive notions concerning its nature. ‘The United States? What is it? Where is it?’ The Columbia researchers were startled to discover that 15 of 26 respondents to their survey ‘literally had never heard of the United States. As a result. with the story of the Jordanian interviewed in 1951 by social scientists from Columbia University who. diplomatic and economic factors upon which international historians have traditionally concentrated. Rawnsley asserts. it is ‘no longer possible to discuss the Cold War in any meaningful way without considering the importance which its main actors attached to the persuasion of public and political opinion. This book concerns itself with the formulation rather than the reception of Western propaganda and makes no claim to have solved the problems inherent in any effort to appreciate the impact of propaganda upon a foreign audience. As Gary D. perceptions. images. distance and peoples’.4 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Embarking on an analysis of the ‘failure’ of British and American propaganda in the Middle East between 1945 and 1957 therefore requires some clarification. at home and overseas’. but the manner in which recent studies have interpreted the Cold War as an ideological.

including valuable insights into British propaganda during the Palestine affair. British and American policy making in the Middle East had a psychological dimension that has been ignored by historians for too long.17 Other important studies of radio propaganda include Michael Nelson’s study of Cold War broadcasting18 and Peter Partner’s official history of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Arabic Service. Zionism. Nelson confines his analysis to the efforts of Western broadcasters to reach beyond the Iron Curtain leaving Partner to provide a wide-ranging account of British broadcasting in the Middle East. but in the context of the post-war Middle East. Taylor’s Munitions of the Mind (1995) and Selling Democracy (1999) make only passing mention of the Middle East (mainly in the context of the 1956 Suez Crisis). but both are superior to Oliver Thompson’s Easily Led. for historians to investigate the relationship between diplomacy and propaganda in terms that extend beyond the more obvious ideological contours of the Cold War. It is essential. two notable examples of which are C. The 1945–57 period not only saw the extension of the Cold War to the Middle East. nationalism. manages to overlook the Middle East completely. it seems an especially relevant call to arms. which. the Arab–Israeli conflict and the rivalries and tensions within the AngloAmerican relationship itself. ideology and diplomacy.16 Rawnsley has also published a comparative study of British and American official broadcasting and a fascinating article on British grey and black broadcasting during the Suez Crisis. This negligence is reflected in the absence of any substantial monograph on British or American psychological operations in the Middle East.Introduction 5 It is in the light of these developments that Scott Lucas invited historians to go ‘beyond the stale and unrewarding evaluation of propaganda as an adjunct to policy’ and to engage fully with the relationship between propaganda.15 Even the excellent and wide-ranging collection of essays on Cold War propaganda in the 1950s edited by Gary Rawnsley has little to say about operations in the Middle East apart from Rawnsley’s own study of the BBC’s External Services during the Suez and Hungarian crises. Among general histories of propaganda.J. British policy in Palestine has inspired some important articles and essays. it became entangled with the politics of anti-colonialism. Morris’s study of . the non-aligned movement. therefore.19 In these. it also witnessed the conjunction of an intriguing set of strategic. diplomatic and cultural forces.14 This exhortation could serve as the impetus for research projects in a number of regions and periods. in a chapter entitled ‘Decolonization and the Cold War’. When the global competition between the Soviet Union and the West spilled over into the Middle East. Philip M. In this respect.

Scott Lucas.25 From within the intelligence studies fraternity. in a ground-breaking monograph on Suez Crisis propaganda. Anthony Gorst’s essay on Sir Gerald Templer has exposed the importance of the psychological dimension to British military planning. as well as examining clandestine operations in 1953 at the moment of the AngloAmerican coup against the Iranian Prime Minister. nevertheless makes several important revelations about British psychological operations against Nasser. also note the role of propaganda at various points in their narratives. meanwhile. Ground-breaking studies in this field have focused upon the exposure of intelligence agency activities in supposedly non-political enterprises. although the Middle East necessarily remains somewhat peripheral to the main thrust of his argument. although less thoroughly researched than Defty’s book. Mohamed Mossadeq.27 Another group of texts has sprung from the conception of the Cold War as an ideological and cultural conflict in which propaganda had a vital role to play in promoting democratic values and the Western ‘way of life’.22 It is perhaps predictable that the Suez Crisis has dominated analysis of post-war British propaganda in the Middle East. in the best single-authored accounts of the crisis.21 Lashmar and Oliver’s history of the Foreign Office Information Research Department (IRD). Kenneth Osgood and Shaun Parry-Giles have all developed important analyses of US propaganda policy in the early Cold War.20 Andrew Defty’s extensive research into British anti-communist propaganda in the 1940s and 1950s has unearthed much important material pertaining to psychological operations in Iran and the Arab world. Within the voluminous Suez literature. concentrated primarily on the manipulation of domestic public opinion and comprehensively dismantles the case that Eden failed to understand the role of propaganda and the media in the modern world. presenting valuable accounts of the difficult transition from a wartime programme to a peacetime propaganda instrument geared towards fighting the Cold War battle of ideas.28 the role of American cultural exports and exhibitions within the Cold War struggle29 . Richard Aldrich and Stephen Dorril have provided invaluable accounts of intelligence and propaganda during the Suez Crisis.24 Tony Shaw.23 while Kyle and Lucas.6 The Failure of American and British Propaganda the Attlee government’s publicity policy before the establishment of Israel and Susan L.26 A survey of the literature on American post-war propaganda reveals an extensive and growing body of work on the Cold War but little in the way of detailed analysis of psychological operations in the Middle East. Carruthers’s work on propaganda and terrorism in post-war Palestine.

recent events in the Middle East have begun to inspire research into the history of American propaganda in the region. IRD and Central Office of Information (COI) respectively. Christopher Mayhew and Sir Fife Clark provide fascinating insights into the activities and organisation of the IPD. but the tendency is towards institutional histories and there is little to be found in the way of analysis of activities and operations in the Middle East. Gregg’s illuminating essay on Eisenhower’s Suez Crisis speech of 31 October 1956.Introduction 7 and the role of private enterprise within the Western bid for cultural supremacy. has had the unfortunate effect of transforming the high officials of American policy into ‘the exotic “other” of post-colonial studies’. A number of studies of the United States Information Agency (USIA) and the Voice of America (VOA) are now available. Irene Gendzier’s study of American post-war Middle East policy. detailed analysis of American propaganda in the Middle East remains hard to find.34 On a more encouraging note for future scholarship. On the British side.33 More recently. Isaac Alteras’ account of US–Israeli relations during the Eisenhower years and David Lesch’s survey of US–Syrian relations and the Middle Eastern Cold War all contain useful information regarding United States Information Service (USIS) and USIA operations.30 Even so. as Matthew Connelly has pointed out. the tendency towards ‘seeking out the voice of the subaltern’. An interesting consequence of this has been the provision of a valuable online resource in the shape of a collection of documents edited by the National Security Archive team at George Washington University. admirable enough in itself.31 The Middle East has flickered on the radar of the group of American scholars dedicated to analysing the rhetorical aspects of presidential leadership. although none match the level of detail contained in Mark Gasiorowski’s study of US–Iranian relations.32 Similarly. a small number of more traditional diplomatic histories have occasionally concerned themselves with American propaganda activities. the ‘cultural turn’ in US diplomatic history has encouraged new approaches to the US post-war encounter with Asia and the Middle East but. Douglas Dodds-Parker’s memoirs contain a small but important section on the difficulties encountered by British propagandists during the Suez Crisis and are complemented by the more extensive examination of Britain’s psychological warfare . Robert Marett.35 The memoirs of various British and American officials constitute an alternative source of information about Western propaganda that historians of the Cold War have often overlooked. most clearly in Richard B.

proved difficult to sustain in the face of some convincing counterattacks. provides a fascinating dynamic for investigating the psychological dimension of Western policies towards the Middle East and informs much of this book’s analysis of the Anglo-American response to Arab nationalism. while Wilbur Eveland’s account of his involvement with US intelligence in the Middle East is a valuable source for those seeking information on the CIA’s propaganda projects in the Cold War Middle East.37 Perhaps even more interesting is the Egyptian perspective on the conduct of propaganda in the Middle East to be found in the memoirs of Abdel-Kader Hatem. say.36 On the American side. The term is not entirely satisfactory as a means of encapsulating the wide variety of arguments that have been put forward.41 The conclusion that Anglo-American regional rivalries could. particularly the Eisenhower years. but it does provide a useful organisational concept for categorising many of the recent scholarly contributions.38 Far more historical research has been done on British and American diplomatic policy and the dynamics of the Anglo-American political relationship in the Middle East. co-exist with the requirements of the Cold War alliance. The result has been the emergence of a body of work characterised by its appreciation of the complexities of British and American policy objectives and its view of the AngloAmerican relationship as an intriguing patchwork of friendships and rivalries. as marking a concerted American effort to replace Britain as the dominant Western power in the region. however uneasily. conflict and co-operation. the diaries of James Hagerty and Emmet Hughes’s account of the Eisenhower administration cast light upon a publicity-conscious President’s use of rhetoric. On one side of the debate there is a school of thought that sees the period. It is precisely because of the complex nature of the Anglo-American relationship in the Middle East that this book sets out to compare British and American rather than. to adopt Ritchie Ovendale’s phrase.39 The argument that British decline in the region was accelerated by clumsy American anti-colonialism and misplaced sympathies for anti-Western nationalists has. perhaps. In recent decades. Nasser’s Minister of Information. an indication. British and French propaganda strategies in the region. examining.8 The Failure of American and British Propaganda operations during Suez included in Bernard Fergusson’s The Trumpet in the Hall (1970).40 but it is nevertheless clear that the partnership in the Middle East was far from harmonious. a body of work has emerged. however. of how historians have traditionally treated propaganda as a peripheral element of Western policy. To a great extent. and much as it may have irritated both . the ‘transfer of power in the Middle East’.

An exclusive focus on anti-communism is liable to produce a distorted impression. anti-communist propaganda’. thus invariably neglecting some of the thornier.S.42 although one can argue that he does not go far enough. the collective identity of ‘the West’. The theme of conflict and co-operation within Anglo-American propaganda policy towards the Middle East is also dealt with in some detail in Chapter 6. and in many ways more interesting issues in post-war Anglo-American relations. There is clearly a need to consider Anglo-American propaganda co-operation beyond the Cold War framework. investing . the study of British and American propaganda in the Middle East has much to tell us about the nature of Anglo-American relations in the post-war era. this can be explained by the acceptance of Western policy makers of an analysis of the region and its peoples that was steeped in an ‘Orientalist’ tradition which attributed characteristics to the ‘Arab mind’ that had little to do with the everyday issues that politically conscious Arabs deemed important. Indeed. One of the major themes of this book is the extent to which British and American officials misunderstood their Middle Eastern audiences and subsequently pursued psychological objectives that were fundamentally unsuited to the prevailing climate of opinion in the region. This theme is investigated in more depth in Chapter 2. In part. since it seizes upon an issue where there was general Anglo-American agreement.Introduction 9 British and American officials at times. both with specific reference to the Middle East and in the broader sense of the ‘special relationship’ itself. the regional propaganda efforts of the two nations were bound together by necessity and design. Defty thus makes an important point in observing that there has been ‘a certain myopia with regard to the relationship between British and U. mutual economic and political interests as well as mutual economic and political rivalries make the separation of British and American propaganda policies a rather arbitrary and senseless enterprise. Cold War objectives. This subject is addressed in more detail in the final section of Chapter 1 as part of a general survey of the development of the British and American propaganda ‘machines’ in the post-war era and their adaptation for Middle Eastern conditions. The result was the development of British and American psychological strategies for the Middle East that played up the threat of communism and Soviet imperialism. when the analysis turns to the psychological challenge posed by the growing appeal of Arab nationalism. A second factor was the tendency of both British and American officials to impose a strategic agenda upon a region that was often unwilling or genuinely unable to recognise it.

which provides a fascinating field for further research and analysis.10 The Failure of American and British Propaganda enormous amounts of time and money in regional Cold War propaganda campaigns. by its very nature and history is open to numerous interpretations and definitions. It is an area to which I hope to turn my attentions in subsequent work. to the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. Chapter 4 investigates the often futile efforts of Western propagandists to awaken the Middle East to an alleged communist threat and to involve the region in the Cold War struggle. It is particularly regrettable that I have been unable to devote more attention to the conduct of Western diplomacy and psychological strategy in Iran. The ‘Middle East’ is a term that. through the Levant and the Fertile Crescent. Chapter 5 examines Western propaganda policy towards the Arab–Israel dispute. One further clarification is required. These themes form the central part of this book. Turkey and Iran. but which fundamentally failed to address the key issues that dominated Middle Eastern politics – the Arab–Israel dispute and the conflict between Arab nationalism and foreign ‘imperialistic’ interference in the region. . The final chapter examines Western propaganda to the Arab world in the 1955–57 period when the shortcomings of British and American diplomatic and propaganda strategies over the previous decade were effectively exposed and the Arab world shifted markedly away from the Western camp. Occasional references will be made to events and sources in the peripheral states of North Africa. noting how the questions of nationalism and imperialism constituted a severe (if not intolerable) strain on AngloAmerican partnership in the region. The main focus of this book is upon Israel and the Arab states stretching from Egypt in the south-west. arguing that the dominant characteristic of this policy after 1948 was a tendency to avoid and marginalise rather than address the question of Israel in publicity output directed at the Arab world. Chapter 6 looks at the development of British and American psychological strategies for dealing with the ‘problem’ of Arab nationalism.

From total war to Cold War: American and British propaganda machines after 1945 The transition from war to peace was not an easy one for American propagandists. Robert Marett. the number of governmental and private actors involved makes any analysis of Western propaganda during the Cold War impossible without first presenting an overview of the responsible agencies. The first section examines the changing role of propaganda after the end of the Second World War and the renewal of large-scale overseas propaganda programmes in the early Cold War. 177 The British and American propaganda machines that emerged after 1945 were sprawling and complex entities. The second examines how these post-war propaganda machines were adapted for operations in the Middle East. But the line will be of no value unless there exist the men and machinery to put it across. p. A final section investigates the extent to which British and American propagandists succeeded in pooling their resources and engaging in joint operations in the Middle East. This chapter examines how the transition from the Second World War to the Cold War transformed the West’s approach to mass persuasion and dictated the shape and organisation of the post-war propaganda instrument in the Middle East. Through the Back Door (1968). Indeed.1 ‘The Men and Machinery’ Building the Middle Eastern Propaganda Instrument Anybody of average intelligence can think up a propaganda line to suit a particular situation. Confronted with deep public and Congressional scepticism 11 .

over the winter of 1945–46 the machinery for a new Office of International Information and Cultural Affairs (OIC) was assembled within the State Department’s Office of Public Affairs under Assistant Secretary of State. Benton had just 2648 OIC staff at his disposal. of the unfortunate consequences of neglecting the overseas information programme. These reforms were accompanied by major cuts in funding and personnel.000 for OIC activities in the second half of the year and the House of Representatives responded to Benton’s 1947 request for $26.7 The first real signs of revival came when Congress passed the Smith– Mundt Act in January 1948.12 The Failure of American and British Propaganda about the conduct of peacetime propaganda. By mid-1946. OWI had operated on an annual budget approaching $80. but as Scott Lucas has written.S.4 The American overseas propaganda services may have escaped death.000.000. At its wartime peak.000. the American propaganda agencies had employed a combined total of 5963 personnel. Bolton observed. they remained ‘close to comatose’.000. there was ‘a tragic lack of information about America.8 .025. William Benton.3 It seemed for a time that the very survival of the programme was at stake and OIC’s Pat Allen later complained that even this post-war ‘holding operation’ had been ‘practically junked’ in 1947.000. Frances Bolton. In July 1945.S. should be left to private agencies of information’. inspired by the belief that ‘responsibility for telling foreigners about the U. with information about our policies and about the American way of life. … Penny-wise and pound-foolish have we been at a time when all the world wants to know of us’. when conservative Republicans with little time for Benton’s fledgling OIC gained control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.1 The Congressional assault.2 intensified. through mass information media.000 by slashing the allocation to just $10. In 1946. President Truman abolished the Office of War Information (OWI) on 31 August 1945. Congress allocated just $13. relations with foreign countries consists not only of carrying out traditional diplomatic negotiations with other Governments but also of furnishing foreign peoples direct. In the Middle East.5 Wilson Dizard has argued that the turning point in the post-war fortunes of the information programme came when a 1947 tour of overseas information posts led several Congressional critics to reconsider their attitude. in overdue recognition that The job of conducting U. and responsibility for overseas publicity was vested in an Interim International Information Service (IIIS) while.6 A visit to the Middle East convinced the Ohio Republican.

collectively forming the United States Information and Educational Exchange programme (USIE). replaced by George V. The PSB came in for particular criticism.13 On 4 April 1951.10 Certainly. Allen. many overseas posts had been barely capable of performing the most basic informational tasks and that Truman’s new commitment to Cold War propaganda was vital in bringing ‘increased field staffs [and a] new program emphasis on awakening the world to the dangers of Communist aggression’. … NSC 68 and the institutions of post-war cultural diplomacy were part of the same strategic discourse’.9 The Smith–Mundt debates marked the beginning of a process characterised by Shaun Parry-Giles as Cold War ‘militarization’. Truman established a Psychological Strategy Board (PSB).12 Within eighteen months. and the informational and educational responsibilities of the OIC were split between an Office of International Information (OII) and an Office of Educational Exchange (OEX). ‘gained punch and money from NSC 68’s strong formulation of cold war dangers. Richard Brecker published an essay announcing that the propaganda and cultural relations programme now accounted for approximately a third of the State Department’s annual expenditures. charged with co-ordinating the propaganda activities of various government agencies and departments. In the event. USIE officials could boast of the new scale of their operations. the Act foreshadowed the boost given to the propaganda programme by NSC-68 and the launching of the ‘Campaign of Truth’ in 1950. In November 1951. the State Department reformed its Public Affairs departments once again. with the State Department’s Charles Marshall noting contemptuously that Naivete has led … [PSB] … into the pursuit of such intellectual wild geese as attempting to make an inventory of all cold war . State Department officials later argued that before 1950. employed 7632 staff and maintained 146 information and 31 binational centres across the world. Benton was eased out.14 and at the beginning of 1952. British diplomats noted in October 1948 that a sustained American propaganda effort was at last ‘beginning to get underway’.11 ‘The new propaganda offensive’. Emily Rosenberg argued.‘The Men and Machinery’ 13 The Smith–Mundt Act cleared the way for a major extension of American propaganda activities. neither the PSB nor the IIA would long outlive the Truman presidency and even in the last months of the Truman administration there were signs of dissatisfaction with the existing system. establishing an International Information Administration (IIA) responsible for overseas propaganda.

The OCB remained at the heart of propaganda policy for the rest of the Eisenhower years. autonomous United States Information Agency (USIA) became operational on 1 August 1953. it failed. although USIA’s Director only became a permanent member in 1955. the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Director of the Mutual Security Agency. the State Department was relieved of its overseas propaganda responsibilities and a new.17 It is possible that. respectively.18 Thus. USIA staff also attended regularly. aware of White House support for the Rockefeller Committee’s preference for the establishment of a new propaganda agency outside the State Department. The Jackson Report called for the centralization of US propaganda activities under the direction of the White House and the National Security Council (NSC).16 Beyond expressing its own preference for keeping propaganda operations within State. to give a clear lead on whether responsibility for overt propaganda operations should be removed from the State Department. he initiated a series of important reforms.’ Marshall concluded.’15 When Eisenhower appointed William Jackson (former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)) and Nelson Rockefeller (later to succeed C.D.14 The Failure of American and British Propaganda instrumentalities in the United States (I shall never forget the initial paper which listed the Yale Glee Club as one of our cold war weapons). USIA never played more than a passive role in the NSC set-up and the main information and cultural relations agencies remained outside the highest levels of the system. the Jackson Committee simply decided not to press the issue. under the terms of Eisenhower’s ‘Reorganisation Plan No. ‘The best conceivable thing to do about this Board would be to abolish it. According to Sorensen and Dyer. however. Jackson as the President’s psychological warfare adviser) to chair. claiming that State Department reluctance to incorporate publicity considerations into the policy-making process reduced the USIA’s role to a bit-part one at . the President’s Special Assistant on Psychological Warfare. the Director of the CIA. presidential committees on overseas propaganda and governmental reorganisation. under the chairmanship of the Under-Secretary of State. There has been a tendency on the part of some commentators to play down the significance of the OCB–USIA relationship.19 Dizard makes a similar point. The Jackson Committee was clearer about the fate of the ‘feckless’ PSB. ‘The quality of work done has simply not been good. Its permanent membership included. 8’. which was to be replaced by a new Operations Coordinating Board (OCB) accountable to the NSC.

foreign policy’. ‘Given their longtime suspicions about the information program’s alleged role as a haven for liberal Democrats.000.‘The Men and Machinery’ 15 ‘the lowest level of the [NSC’s] operations’. under Eisenhower.S. while also claiming that ‘the agency’s influence at the highest level of policymaking – the White House – was at best sporadic’. the propaganda programme ‘became a more stable and institutionalized force in U. conservative Republicans regarded USIA as a prime candidate for budget cutbacks. which had enjoyed an appropriation of some $123.24 Nevertheless. ‘Greater familiarity with highest national security policy’. ‘oversteps the line of information policy [and] bypasses [USIA] in releasing news’. USIA stressed that ‘continued participation in the activities of the NSC and the OCB’ had been ‘utilized to provide rapid and authoritative translation of NSC decisions into informational .26 Even if USIA representatives made few direct contributions to the OCB or NSC. Eisenhower may have had ‘a soft spot for the information program’22 but. At the end of the 1950s.25 and Parry-Giles has concluded that. was reduced to just ‘$77.000.’ The result was ‘a jolting reversal for a program that had built up a considerable momentum in recent years’23 and that programme.21 Nor can it be said that the creation of USIA put an end to the strained relationship between American propagandists and their Congressional critics. Bureaucratic infighting was by no means eradicated and USIA had particular cause to bemoan the activities of the CIA and the State Department.’27 Eighteen months later. and it would be naive to assume that the Eisenhower reforms put an end to the uncertainties of the Truman era. USIA staff complained in 1954. as Dizard has noted. USIA. The latter. USIA reported in early 1955.000 in 1953. the very fact of their presence at the high table of the national security establishment is not to be ignored.000 of operating funds in fiscal year 1954’. a second presidential committee investigating the performance of the overseas information services observed that ‘The confusion which the Jackson Committee said existed in regard to the precise mission of the Information Program is no longer as evident as it was in 1953’. CIA operatives were charged with ‘working at crosspurposes with USIA’ and dismissed as ‘totally incompetent’ in the information field. one should be wary of stretching the point too far. More seriously. consistently stressed the value of the intra-governmental co-operation that the OCB–NSC system facilitated.20 These are reasonable criticisms. in its semi-annual reports to the NSC. ‘has proved of great value to the Agency in attempting to bring its varied operations more squarely into line behind the national purposes they are designed to support.

however.32 The MOI was formally wound up on 31 March 1946 and the web of departments that made up the post-war British information services began to emerge.34 Of these. As expected. agreed that it would be ‘politically dangerous’ to retain ‘a Minister with no other responsibility but the conduct of publicity’ and the Cabinet concluded in December 1945 that ‘the Ministry of Information should not continue as a separate Department’. As Bevin had demanded. and … the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs must be responsible for it’. The one major dislocation came after Foreign Secretary. the Central Office of Information (COI).31 Attlee. News Department. Commonwealth Relations Office. and Information Policy Department (IPD) had significant roles to play in the Middle East. claiming that the ‘whole of our war-time experience has shown that efficiency as well as economy has best been served by bringing together planning. Colonial Office. the Board of Trade and a new service organisation. Minister of Information.33 The Foreign Office responded to its new responsibilities by increasing the number of its information departments from two (News Department and Cultural Relations Department) in 1945 to nine by 1947. with American observers noting that While planning and operation of the British program is lodged in four separate and distinct agencies. production and execution’. Middle East Information Department (MEID). policy control is perforce vested in the Foreign Office as the agency primarily responsible for the conduct of all relations with foreign countries. the Foreign Office emerged as the dominant force. took a different view.30 Unsurprisingly. Ernest Bevin’s assertion that ‘foreign publicity is an instrument of foreign policy. a thinly veiled call for the abolition of the Ministry of Information (MOI). adjustment to a peacetime role was comparatively straightforward and the Cabinet indicated its willingness to support a peacetime information programme as early as 1943. IPD (after a reorganisation in 1949 that saw the Regional Information Departments . recalled in a 1970 interview that the OCB had proved to be ‘a very effective device for the propaganda and information activities to mesh in with the other foreign activities of the government … [which] … permitted [USIA] to get a word in as an equal on anything going on’.28 USIA’s founding director. and as the agency accountable for the financial responsibility of the entire program. Edward Williams. MOI’s responsibilities were divided between the Foreign Office. Ted Streibert. Cultural Relations Department (CRD).29 For British propagandists.16 The Failure of American and British Propaganda operations’.

its primary responsibility lay in the provision of production services to those branches of government that had inherited the MOI’s policy responsibilities. the British had spent 40 per cent more on propaganda in 1947 than the $30. which tended to be sceptical of the efficiency of the organisation as a whole.123. Publications and Photographs. supplying information officers with an up-tothe-minute government news service. This network of information offices.452. LPS was attached to the Overseas Press and Radio Section and was the descendent of the pre-war ‘British Official Wireless’.‘The Men and Machinery’ 17 abolished and their heads appointed Regional Advisers within IPD) emerged as the key agency in the overt propaganda system. the COI was divided into a number of media sections including Films and Television. Overseas Press and Radio. Parsimonious post-war Chancellors did target the overseas information services but British propagandists did not suffer to the same extent as their American counterparts. . Legations and Embassies.36 A comparison of the British and American propaganda machines in 1947 is instructive in this regard. Reference. co-ordinating the work of the majority of Britain’s overseas information officers. US statistics compiled for the 1948 budget revealed not only that the British information services employed 8011 personnel against just 3885 American operatives.37 The demands of the Cold War persuaded Britain’s Labour government to establish a separate agency specifically dedicated to anti-communist propaganda. attached to British Consulates. founded as a Foreign Office department in 1948 but funded through the secret vote and closely connected to the intelligence establishment.086 that the State Department had requested for its own programme in 1948. To this end.35 perhaps the most highly valued was the London Press Service (LPS). The COI did not have ministerial status and played no role in the policy making or the information dissemination processes. worked to cultivate links with foreign opinion leaders through whom the British message could be introduced into appropriate media channels.38 IRD’s establishment was not without its difficulties and Christopher Warner. The COI was created when the dissolution of the MOI made it necessary to establish a new agency to provide technical and production services. This was the Information Research Department (IRD). Of the services it provided for the benefit of overseas posts. but also that with an estimated budget of $42. IPD issued these offices with day-to-day publicity guidance and could commission detailed background briefs from the Foreign Office Research Department or the COI on major issues. Instead.588.

‘Basic Booklets’ and ‘Facts About … Books’ (similar to Basic Papers but including elements of comment and persuasion).41 By the mid-1950s in the Middle East.40 Nevertheless. IRD had developed enough flexibility to shift its primary operational focus away from Soviet communism in order to concentrate on the more immediate challenge to British interests represented by Nasser and Arab nationalism. which examined . It is not so much Communism that we seek to counter. responsible for the meticulous research upon which IRD material was based. noted in June 1948 that ‘the path of the antiCommunist propagandist here is not an easy one. which converted that research into propaganda material. IRD was charged with the task of providing a vigorous defence of British social democracy (a role increasingly neglected as IRD fell under the control of conservative elements in the diplomatic and intelligence services).39 Largely to appease Labour Party sensitivities. a former Private Secretary to Churchill and Ralph Murray’s successor at the head of IRD. Regular output included ‘Basic Papers’ (factual memoranda containing no ‘propagandistic’ argument or comment).18 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Assistant Under-Secretary responsible for the Foreign Office’s information departments. A weekly ‘Digest’ was distributed to overseas posts and consisted of a selection of topical stories detailing the miseries of life under Communism. it should be noted that the identification of IRD as a straightforward anticommunist organisation is not altogether satisfactory. the ‘Desks’. it is the aggressive aims of the Soviet Government using the Communist Parties and Communist-controlled organisations for the purpose and exploiting ‘Communism’ (whatever that may mean) for its own political ends. explained in 1951. accompanied every other month by a survey of the Soviet press. IRD was split into two sections. as the Powers that Be are rather uncertain and are from time to time subject to qualms’. which provided analysis of Soviet policy and the ‘Asian Analyst’. Three more monthly offerings issued to overseas posts included a ‘Religious Digest’ concerned with the question of Communist religious persecution. ‘The Interpreter’. since Communism and Communists by themselves are not expected to achieve very much. As John Peck. because it fails to acknowledge an important distinction between anti-communist and anti-Soviet propaganda and underestimates the extent to which IRD could serve as a weapon against non-communist targets. IRD distributed a monthly paper exposing the activities of Communist front organisations. and an ‘Editorial’ section.

It might appear. Split across the overseas Departments of State. there was no easy way to ensure that informational and psychological operations were kept on the Cabinet agenda. Robert Marett.‘The Men and Machinery’ 19 Communist (particularly Chinese) policy in Asia.44 The removal of overt propaganda responsibilities from direct State Department did bring new risks and USIA’s tendency to recruit from the communications and public relations industries often led to its staff being considered ‘outside the club’ by members of the Foreign Service.45 Nevertheless. American propagandists were incorporated more effectively into the foreign policy machine than their British counterparts.42 Although IRD possessed no independent operational capability. that. politicians and journalists for commercial publication.43 One consequence of the decentralised nature of the British propaganda instrument was the dispersal of authority and the absence of a powerful voice at the highest levels of government. who did not necessarily share the same concerns as the professional propagandists. USIA’s place within the NSC and OCB system allowed it to play a more active role within the strategic policy-making apparatus than the British information services. The only ways for Foreign Office propagandists to get their voices heard at what Marett revealingly called . by the early 1950s. the intelligence services. therefore. the COI and the BBC ensured that a steady stream of its material reached overseas posts to be used as they saw fit. Streibert’s appreciation of his privileged position in this respect makes for an interesting contrast with the description by IPD head. its relationships with the other Foreign Office information departments and their overseas representatives. Apart from an inter-departmental Ministerial committee and a number of temporary committees of inquiry. the information services were represented by politicians. academics. the propaganda departments were not consistently informed about the true policy direction. IRD also commissioned articles and books by leading intellectuals. An April 1951 Congressional evaluation of the USIE programme noted that the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs ‘now participates in the formulation of policy of the Department … [and] … specialists from the Public Affairs Area have been placed in the functional or geographic divisions of the Department. In addition to the composition of its own material. All this has brought information far closer to policy-making than ever before’. This relegation of the propagandists to the policy-making periphery necessitated the hasty creation of an Information Co-ordination Executive (ICE) during the Suez Crisis and even then. of the annoyance displayed by the Foreign Office’s political desks whenever they believed IPD to be ‘interfering’ in their affairs.

Lebanon.D. it looks at conventional ‘information’ work including press management techniques. Iraq. and the C. which in practice could be taken on in London’. Having taken control of overseas information policy. the Cairo Embassy and the British Middle East Office (BMEO) . magazine publishing. At the end of the war.O.S. After 1945. IPD was administering information offices in Egypt.I. book distribution.E. all of those services hitherto provided by B.E.M. By the 1950s. Iran (closed between 1952 and 1954 as a result of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) nationalisation dispute).48 Within the year. To that end.I. the Foreign Office inherited an extensive network of information offices attached to its posts across the Middle East. Turkey. Syria. … Why bother to bring in those interfering publicity chaps in IPD?46 Methods and media in the Middle East This section presents an examination of the most important means by which British and American propagandists went about their business in the Middle East. the central production and administrative office for Middle East posts was the British Information Services Middle East (BISME).I. Israel. with plans to open new offices in the Persian Gulf states and Saudi Arabia.20 The Failure of American and British Propaganda the ‘stratospheric’ levels of policy making were to ‘solicit’ higher-ranking officials or to ‘push their way in uninvited’. Libya and Sudan. The British information departments continued to be seen as the ‘poor relations’ of the political departments and Marett recalled that It was much easier said than done to secure the required degree of co-operation. It then turns its attention to the use of broadcasting media and the key agencies of cultural diplomacy in the Middle East before investigating the extent of (or more accurately the limits to) Anglo-American co-operation in the region. library and reading room programmes as well as the socalled ‘oral propaganda’ networks established by the British Embassy in Egypt. MEID was able to report that ‘BISME has now been incorporated into the Information Section of the Embassy in Cairo and ceased to exist as a separate body with effect from the middle of September. we were up against the obstacle that the average young man on a political desk in the Foreign Office is not publicity-minded. Jordan. … Apart from the difficulty of the time factor.’49 Thereafter. the Foreign Office saw BISME as ‘a relic of the days of the Ministry of Information’47 and in 1947 the decision was taken to ‘transfer to M.

53 Reports from Iraq at this time tended to be more pessimistic. Officers in the field had fewer qualms. and the Information Department in Baghdad informed IRD in January 1954 that [W]e shall not scorn the cash nexus. arguing that ‘the fact that an editor has to be bribed before he will print a particular article suggests that the article is not one which is likely to interest his readers’. was not enthusiastic about bribery.50 and reports from Baghdad indicated that 71 British articles on anticommunist subjects alone had been planted in Iraqi newspapers during January 1954. one telegram stating that ‘the press in Iraq is not very ready to print our anti-communist articles’.‘The Men and Machinery’ 21 assumed responsibility for regional information policy. John Peck. an arrangement that survived until 1953 when a new Regional Information Office (RIO) was opened in Beirut. Although the success of this programme was dependent upon political factors beyond the control of either the RIO or individual information officers.52 while in November 1954. information officers were not above using financial incentives. One article in the press is. it was still recorded that some 77 anti-communist articles of British inspiration appeared in the Iraqi press that month. Central to RIO Beirut’s work was the provision of Arabic material to information officers for insertion in the local press. 87 anti-communist articles translated were successfully inserted in the Egyptian press.54 Even so. … A greater concentration of effort would be well worth a reduction of total output.56 Audience resistance to any material that was obviously inspired by official sources or was overtly ‘propagandistic’ led information officers increasingly to rely on local intermediaries through whom .55 To secure results. In August and September 1955. There is a streak of venality in every Arab editor and there are few who would be so high-minded as to refuse our articles if we could offer some material inducement to set against the risk of diminished sales which acceptance of them might entail. IRD chief. During the first four months of 1953.51 The bulk of the IRD material that found its way into circulation in the Middle East did so through local newspapers and journals. it was generally possible to place a remarkable quantity of material into local newspapers. worth a hundred in the waste paper basket. the information office in Amman successfully placed 291 articles into the Jordanian press. however. after all. 27 articles based on IRD material appeared in Syrian newspapers.

62 A more general survey revealed that ‘OIC work cannot be said to be more than 10 per cent effective. was limited by budgetary constraints. Ali Maher.61 Until the end of the 1940s.22 The Failure of American and British Propaganda material could be discreetly projected into the public sphere. the US information effort in the Middle East. and were designed to elicit answers favourable from a British point of view. ‘were based on questions which were discussed with our press contact before he went for the interview. There is an embryonic staff in Cairo and another one in Beirut. OIC-Cairo reported in 1947 that its press activities were being ‘sharply curtailed’ and that it could no longer act as a regional supply centre for other Middle East posts.’60 By early 1949.58 British information officers had for some time been recruiting local journalists.000. the Information Department was in regular contact with 40 Egyptian correspondents. Iran and Syria were all identified as ‘priority’ target countries. including a Muslim Brotherhood journalist and the Foreign Editor of the respected ‘Al Misri’ newspaper. There are some arguments which cannot be used at all by a foreign information service in the Middle East without evoking the charge of interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries. Embassy staff revealed.57 US planners had reached a similar conclusion and in February 1953 the PSB’s strategy paper for the Middle East argued that a desired expansion in the scale of US psychological operations should be brought about ‘mainly by increasing the use of indigenous instruments and local channels’.63 Middle East posts benefited from the Campaign of Truth’s injection of money and purpose. As Peck explained.59 The Embassy was particularly pleased with the work of a journalist employed by the high-profile Akhbar el Yom newspaper. who write for 24 different newspapers and magazines including the most important Cairo ones’. … However valid our arguments may be the fact that they are our arguments makes them suspect to the Arabs. the British Embassy in Egypt claimed to have ‘21 of these journalists.000 people’. who could be persuaded to pass off British propaganda as their own work. and through some bureaucratic . Turkey. As early as 1948. who had published a series of interviews with high-profile Egyptians. as elsewhere. ‘These interviews’. With the exception of one man in Baghdad this comprises the entire operation in an area of over 30. including one with former Prime Minister. We can only overcome this difficulty by presenting the same arguments through an Arab intermediary.

complained that he was ‘not as yet receiving a fifth of the material needed to support the feature and special article program of which the Cairo Press Section is capable’. Lebanon. reporting from Cairo in 1948. urging local newspapers to ‘unveil these wicked imperialist devices’ and ‘destroy such poisonous propaganda’. Iran. and Gillespie Evans. Allen told the inaugural meeting of the US Advisory Commission . George V. For months this paper has been – and since this attack it remains – one of our best ‘customers’. therefore. staff in Cairo remarked with some amusement that On the day that this attack was published.65 USIS material found its way into some unlikely places. In 1948. Jordan. as usual. a phenomenon which. At some posts. fired a fearsome broadside against USIS. demand for USIS materials far outstripped supply. in September 1948. contributed to the development of Cold War ‘state-private networks’ in both Britain and the United States. a goodly quantity of USIS Press Section material. over time. After concerns about the unstable political situation in Egypt led the State Department to consider alternative locations for a ‘Regional Media Services Center for the Arab States’. a Near East Regional Service Center (NERSC) was established in Beirut in 1953. Turkey and Libya. Ikhwan al Mouslimoun. Ikhwan carried. the State Department was able to redistribute resources allocated to Syria more evenly among the other Arab posts in the area. Israel. The provision of articles and copy for local newspapers formed the mainstay of the American press management programme.‘The Men and Machinery’ 23 chicanery.67 ‘Private enterprise cooperation’ was built into the US post-war propaganda instrument. not least because of Congress’s insistence that overseas information work was a task for private business not government. USIA inherited a network of United States Information Services (USIS) offices across Egypt. Syria. Iraq. When. The State Department’s Wireless Bulletin (subsequently. It publishes up to three or four columns of USIS copy every day. In fact. the Muslim Brotherhood newspaper. co-operation between state agencies and private actors was a consistent feature of Western propaganda strategy.66 The nature of these press operations often brought government propagandists into contact with the commercial news agencies. and USIS operatives were no less successful than their British counterparts in getting their material into local newspapers.64 In 1953. USIA’s Wireless File) provided an American equivalent to the London Press Service.

S. including TWA. Iraq Petroleum Company. … It is specifically charged with bringing into the USIE program the active participation of private agencies.O. the Jackson Report would again urge that Far greater effort should be made to utilize private American organizations for the advancement of United States objectives.I. ‘With a view to keeping them informed of our policy requirements and enlisting their support. Pan-American Airways. British American Tobacco. Ottoman Bank.’72 . Information officers at a 1952 conference in Beirut agreed that One of the least known and most effective phases of the International Information and Educational Exchange Program is that which is conducted by the Private Enterprise Cooperation staff.71 On the British side.C. several major film distributors. Coca Cola..C. … I shall be happy if both Government and private industry can improve the work they are doing at present to make the U.70 USIA’s 1953 Country Plan for Egypt listed a number of corporations contributing to the public relations and propaganda effort. Warner’s predecessor as Assistant Under-secretary responsible for information activities at the Foreign Office.A. Barclay’s Bank. Balfour Beatty Ltd. The gain in dissemination and credibility through the use of such channels will more than offset the loss by the Government of some control over content. Pepsi Cola. ‘I have seen representatives of the following British companies: Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Shell–Mex.68 The US propaganda machine was set up to maximise private sector cooperation. Ivone Kirkpatrick. non-profit organizations and individuals. identified several private companies as playing an important propaganda role in the Middle East. better known and better understood abroad. They have promised full co-operation and I think that valuable results will accrue. I.. business firms. B.69 In June 1953.24 The Failure of American and British Propaganda on Information that The Government’s role in the information job should remain supplemental to that done by private industry.’ Kirkpatrick noted. the Ford motor company and General Motors.

Near East Arab Broadcasting Station (NEABS or Sharq al-Adna)) was handled ‘through the office of Colonel Rea … [whose] … representatives .75 In fact.C. noted that official policy guidance to the ANA (and the secretly controlled British radio station. the Special Operations Executive had run an anti-Nazi ‘Britanova’ News Agency and established the Arab News Agency (ANA) as a branch office in Cairo. where they were given placements with press and media corporations. During the Second World War. even delayed planned improvements to its own news service to facilitate a deal between the Associated Press and the Jordanian government. ignorance.77 The Foreign Office developed its own connections to the Reuters news agency. telling Eisenhower’s secretary. A.76 By the end of the 1950s. providing services to ‘nearly every Arab newspaper as well as Sharq-al-Adna … and the BBC’. ANA expanded its activities into all the main Arab countries. that If you or the President ever want a real laugh. complaining to Eisenhower that the Agency’s news service was ‘a menace to the great asset inherent in the world-wide reputation for independence and freedom from propaganda taint that is the priceless and exclusive possession of the American agencies’. the head of MEID.73 Nevertheless. … If the President would like me to give Roy Howard the facts of life in monosyllabic terms.74 An enraged C. Roy Howard (director of Scripps–Howard Newspapers and a former President of the United Press) was among USIA’s sharpest critics. I will be delighted to do so. the relationship between the official information services and the commercial news agencies was not always an easy one. Pollock. the State Department’s Private Enterprise Cooperation staff involved TWA and Pan-American airlines in a project to bring Middle Eastern journalists to the USA.D. Ann Whitman.J. it was standard practice for USIS posts to ‘take any steps necessary to adjust local activities so as to eliminate causes for charges of competition wherever private American news agencies operate’. Jackson responded by tearing into Howard’s ‘appalling display of selfishness. get the United Press to furnish you copies of their international file to the smaller countries – about 250 words a day of the most unutterable below-thebelt tripe which even a third-rate tabloid would not publish in this country. After 1945.78 Close links to British intelligence were maintained in the post-war era and in 1948. and arrogance’.‘The Men and Machinery’ 25 In the early 1950s. USIA often went out of its way to assist the private news agencies and in the 1950s.

when Landale was transferred to another post. affects him personally and pays tribute to him as an individual. head of the Cairo Publicity Section. complained to the Foreign Office about ‘sham’ news agencies in the Middle East as early as 1946. because this. became the agent for the distribution of the Reuters’ service in the Middle East.000 copies’.6”) attend the fortnightly meeting at the Foreign Office under the chairmanship of the Eastern Department’. enjoying a huge advantage over commercial agencies. Reuters was among the agencies finding it difficult to compete. The old Arabic custom which forbids a man to harm a friend who has broken bread with him is still psychologically valuable to us.81 ‘Reuters’. arguing that ‘we could push distribution through the Landale organisation to anything up to 20. was now ‘accepting British Government help’.82 a reminder of the importance ascribed by the Foreign Office to keeping Reuters ‘free of any real or imagined taint of propaganda’. as Donald Read points out. for an annual fee of £28. convinced that ‘hospitality’ had come to play ‘an increasingly important role in our propaganda’.T.000. it was not until 1954 that a deal between Reuters and ANA was struck under the terms of which ANA.79 Benefiting from government subsidies of around £150. Anthony Haigh. the Egyptian understands and appreciates social contact more probably than other forms of propaganda. Landale) was based upon the cultivation of an extensive contact list to which a current affairs bulletin.84 Landale’s efforts provided British propagandists with a receptive audience for the British perspective on world affairs. more than the others.80 Even so. The Landale Organisation (named after the Embassy Publicity Section’s R. Landale. Reuter’s general manager. while ‘pretending not to know that it was doing so’. subsequently sought to insert ‘more purely political news and propaganda’ into the Talking Point Letter and worked to expand its circulation. the ‘Talking Point Letter’ was distributed. and Sir Christopher Chancellor. which developed from the wartime creation of the ‘Landale Organisation’ and the Ikhwan al Hurriya.26 The Failure of American and British Propaganda (in the guise of “MI.85 In 1949. argued that In common with the rest of the East.000 a year. Haigh acknowledged his departure had been accompanied by ‘manifestations of goodwill and regret from many hundreds of Egyptian friends’ and paid .83 The use of local intermediaries to carry the British propaganda message was advanced by the Cairo Embassy’s ‘oral propaganda networks’. ANA was able to offer its material at artificially low prices.

anti-democratic and anti-United Nations talk.87 it consisted by June 1948 of 5105 committees and 52. (b) to awaken those of their countrymen who do not realise that. We have therefore chosen the name of the Brotherhood of Freedom. used her own Ministry of Information and British Intelligence connections to set up the Ikhwan al Hurriya (‘Brotherhood of Freedom’). the Palestinian and Iraqi wings of the organisation were allowed to wither away. admitted that ‘the whole bulletin is under our control. In 1948.86 While Landale was developing his own network. so that being out to support Freedom and . Described by Kirkpatrick as ‘a remarkable British organisation’. it stated. many of whose channels have been provided entirely by his initiative and enterprise’. she argued. At the end of the war. orally.90 Stark was less coy about how the seemingly neutral dissemination of pro-democracy material served as a cover for pro-British propaganda. but the cause of Britain cannot be expected to do so except among British subjects and among a very small number of others: it is not a good ‘cry’ in foreign countries. the famous travel writer. but the Egyptian branch survived into the post-war era and continued to act as a valuable instrument of British propaganda.863 members (augmented by another 2926 members in an auxiliary women’s branch). … To all outward appearance [it] is written by our Egyptian members … but in actual fact it contains what we want it to contain’.89 Stark had been keen to stress that the Ikhwan’s success depended on the fact that its propaganda was ‘not only spread but conceived by the people of the country in which it was to act’. ‘To obtain a band of really useful co-operators requires a cause which inspires enthusiasm’. in order to take their proper position in the civilised world. Ronald Fay. (c) to make themselves fully acquainted with the ideals and principles of democracy and to disseminate these.88 which met regularly to discuss a weekly bulletin designed to stimulate debate on political and social affairs. A 1947 membership booklet illuminates the working practices and key principles of the organisation. ‘The Brotherhood works by personal contact and word of mouth’.‘The Men and Machinery’ 27 tribute to ‘the excellent work which he has done for the department. the organisation’s British director. Freya Stark. proclaiming the chief duties of its members to be as follows: (a) to counter. they cannot remain indifferent to world affairs. however.

the results are exactly the same as would follow a purely pro-British gospel.28 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Democracy we can take whatever local tinge appears to be most helpful. seeking ‘to indoctrinate and utilize Americans serving in the area in official or private capacities’. Indeed. however.97 Incidents such as these prompted Foreign Office protests to the State Department98 and some American officials. AFME quickly showed its true political colours. There was some talk in the 1940s about the possibility of mobilising private American citizens behind an ‘American Committee for Democracy’ in Egypt. Maybe the most important of the private American foundations and societies active in the region was the American Friends of the Middle East (AFME).93 Perhaps the nearest American equivalent to organisations like the Brotherhood of Freedom were private foundations dedicated to fostering closer relations with the peoples of the Middle East. ‘to further and intensify relations – especially cultural relations – between Americans and Middle Easterners’. its activities ranged from some cultural relations and exchange programmes to some more explicitly political anti-Zionist and anti-British propaganda. contrived to unleash a minor diplomatic quarrel when she described Britain as an ‘over-populated island struggling for her existence and looking around for friends to keep herself alive’. in its own words.94 To that end. Initially.92 The PSB later announced that it was drawing up ‘a central and coordinated plan’ to maximise the use of personal contacts in American propaganda. during a 1952 visit to Baghdad. Hopkins was dismissed by British representatives in Syria as an unimpressive individual whose attitudes towards ‘colonialism’ were informed by ‘a mix of ignorance and emotion’. since the State Department and USIA could point out that they had no responsibility for AFME. in effect. one of AFME’s founder members told British representatives that the new organisation was ‘not in any way directed against British interests’ or intended to be ‘damaging in any way [to] Anglo-American cooperation in the area’. while. .99 Nevertheless. Founded in June 1951. sympathetic to British concerns. suggested that ‘the Department should re-evaluate its contacts with AFME’.95 Under the direction of Dorothy Thompson and Garland Evans Hopkins. The fact that Freedom and Democracy are rather hackneyed words in our ears should not blind us to their potency among less sophisticated people.91 US propagandists had nothing like the Landale Organisation or the Brotherhood of Freedom at their disposal.96 Thompson. AFME existed. the organisation was allowed to go about its business relatively unhindered.

104 Initially. IPD described the main sources of the magazine’s funding in May 1952: The major Oil Companies with interests in the Middle East are sufficiently interested to contribute nearly one-third of the cost of production of the magazine. Farajalla of Beirut’. ‘We hope. set out the magazine’s stall in none too subtle terms. but attractively produced pictorial magazines printed in Egypt’.‘The Men and Machinery’ 29 several historians have claimed that the organisation received financial support from the CIA. With the magazine’s diplomatic and corporate sponsors pressing for more features on social. The first issue.’103 The COI hoped to use Al Aalam to promote themes facilitating the emergence of ‘a stable and prosperous Middle East. This fact should on no account be divulged outside official circles as the Oil Companies are most anxious not to be associated publicly with the magazine. however. Messrs. By the early 1950s. a Picture Post-style Arabic monthly designed to compete with the ‘nationalist. the magazine sought to attract readers through a heavy emphasis on entertainment and by avoiding overtly ‘propagandistic’ content. ‘that the magazine will be established and popular before our enemies succeed in labelling it publicly as British propaganda. Al Aalam was heavily subsidised by the British Government as its cover price of just 6d (intended to undercut the Egyptian competition) never enabled it to recover its production costs. The COI responded in June 1952 with Al Aalam (‘The Globe’). and sufficiently healthy in the social and economic fields to withstand Communist penetration’.102 British officials remained ‘anxious to conceal for as long as possible the official British connection with the magazine’ in order to ‘keep up the fiction that it is being published for the commercial distributors. adorned with a cover photograph of Joan Collins and a centre spread featuring colour photographs of glamorous Iranian and Spanish models under the title ‘Oriental and Western Charm’. The remainder of the cost is being found from the Central Office of Information and HMSO votes. the winding up of Britain’s wartime publishing activities and the BBC’s decision to terminate its Arabic Listener magazine had left something of a gap in the British propaganda effort.’ IPD admitted. however. trashy.101 While presenting itself as the commercial product of an independent company in Beirut.100 Both British and American propagandists devoted significant efforts to news and current affairs magazine production for Middle Eastern readers. . ready to co-operate with her traditional friend Britain.

produced in the US primarily with European audiences in mind) was the Cairo Embassy’s The Week in America. (2) presenting and emphasizing United States policy on international issues such as control of atomic energy and the struggle between democracy and totalitarianism.000 copies by 1956. the first issues of which appeared in 1948. Even from Saudi Arabia. its discreet pro-British slant seems to produce no resentment. glamorous. something of an information . claiming that The slick. and indeed. it was pointed out that in the first six months of the magazine. ‘useful features … from the propaganda point of view’ had included articles on NATO. Most important. the COI agreed to ‘inject propaganda into the magazine earlier and faster than was at first envisaged’. cultural.108 During a March 1957 tour of the region. educational and technological subjects. the COI’s John Mcmillan could barely contain his enthusiasm.30 The Failure of American and British Propaganda economic and political themes. … I have hardly found a single person who doesn’t recall some feature of Al Aalam. COI staff were ensuring that ‘every issue carries 2–3 items of an antiCommunist nature in the shape of shorts gleaned from the “The Digest” ’.107 From a circulation of just under 28. … it is currently the biggest thing in Arabic publications here.109 Al Aalam’s success encouraged British posts in the region to press on with similar. Al Aalam was regularly selling over 50.000 at the end of 1952. Its creators described its chief objectives as being: (1) Projecting the American way of life through articles on scientific. British support for social and economic development in the Middle East. the educational experiences of Arab rulers in British schools. projects and both the Cairo and Baghdad Embassies issued their own current affairs publications. if smaller-scale. sophisticated Al Aalam is nothing short of sensational.110 The Week in America was warmly received by Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) across the region.105 Links with IRD were established and by December 1954.106 In a progress report sent to British oil company representatives. however. so far as I can judge. The first major post-war American propaganda magazine in the Arab world (if one discounts an Arabic translation of America magazine. medical. British assistance to Middle Eastern farmers and the flourishing of Islamic communities in Britain. is positively welcome to our well-wishers … even when they know that the magazine is a British ‘plant’.

produced in Beirut and Cairo. and expose and explode the communist aims and myths on the other’. non-profit US corporation which will translate. Jordan. reports Egyptian–American co-operative programs. ‘Franklin Publications’ had opened for business.115 By June. respectively. USIS Cairo described it as ‘a weekly Arabic language tabloid. News Review/Al Akhbar and Al Sadaka. came the report that ‘The Week in America’ obviously represents the fruit of much careful planning and a great deal of thought. as was the case with the ‘enterprising paper bag manufacturer’ in Amman who contrived to secure for himself a plentiful source of raw material by subscribing for multiple copies under different names at the same address. The magazine’s mailing list distribution system did prove somewhat vulnerable to exploitation.113 The political content of the magazine.114 In early 1952. sports features and extensive use of USIA photographic material.000 by early 1956. publish and distribute commercially those American or other books which explain and further the true aims of the US on the one hand.‘The Men and Machinery’ 31 policy desert as far as British and American activities were concerned. We have shown the first issue of it to local Arabs and they are enthusiastic.116 As a government-sponsored ‘front’ company. was launched in 1950.000. Syria and Iraq. the American magazine programme in the Middle East was dominated by two publications. It is believed that this is the finest way of presenting informational material that has yet been devised in the Middle East since OWI began operations back in the early days of World War II. was ‘sugar-coated’ with a question-and-answer page. a level it maintained into the second half of the 1950s. and prepares the way for future acceptance of American policies’. however. the State Department identified a need to ‘neutralize and overcome the effects of communist activities in the book publishing and distribution field.112 Al Sadaka (‘Friendship’) was launched in July 1952 and focused on the Egyptian market.500 in 1952 to around 80. Within months of its establishment. Franklin Publications did not advertise its connections to the State Department . especially in the critical areas of the Near East and Asia’ and endorsed the establishment of a ‘private. and anti-communist material in particular. 12 page newspaper … which defines official American attitudes. and with a readership concentrated in Lebanon. saw its Arabic circulation rise from 17. News Review/ Al Akhbar.111 Under USIA. Al Sadaka had a circulation of 55. published in both English and Arabic.

and fully informed of the corporation’s activities. and in co-operation with ‘indigenous industry’ and ‘local leadership groups’. In January 1948.H. These operations should in time extend to other Middle East countries than Egypt and discussions are now proceeding in Cairo about the possibility of Smiths handling the commercial distribution of British Council and HMSO material.117 By 1954. Smith’s representative. problems and achievements.122 In addition to these publishing programmes. Smith & Son in order to stimulate the British book trade in the region.119 USIA certainly valued the company’s work. Cairo … the British Book Trade in Egypt is flourishing’. An IPD questionnaire elicited an especially pessimistic response from the Cairo Embassy which declared that its own reading room was hard to find and made inaccessible to .121 Within a year. intends to start operations on the 1st February. books and magazines were made available through the libraries and reading rooms attached to diplomatic posts and information offices across the Middle East. the operations of the corporation and USIA are closely allied and it is important to the smooth functioning of the book translation program of both elements that the Agency be kept currently. the MEID reported that W. requests.32 The Failure of American and British Propaganda and was keen to avoid being seen as an overtly propagandistic or anticommunist enterprise. Franklin Publications was being commended for its work in the Middle East118 and a 1956 NSC report noted that Nasser himself had praised the company for one of the educational titles it had made available. From a regional headquarters in Cairo. except in the Faculty of Law. … This is particularly apparent in the Universities. are British standard works’. always in the forefront of political demonstrations. the Foreign Office worked closely with W. Contemporary investigations produced mixed evidences of the value of British information services reading rooms. who arrived in Cairo in October. Smith & Son. where about 90% of the textbooks used.H. Diplomats were particularly pleased that ‘The trade appears to be quite unaffected by the vagaries of the political situation. It is to be hoped that the import of British books to the Middle East will now greatly improve. In the late 1940s. officials in Cairo were able to report that ‘In the opinion of the Manager of W. it set out to provide Arab readers with educational texts in the technical and social science fields.H. noting that ‘In the field of Book Translations.’120 The British information services also made use of the private sector in their book translation and distribution programme.

The PAO in Jordan recorded in March 1953 that new library facilities in Amman had been afforded an ‘astounding and enthusiastic welcome’ by the Jordanian public. Two hundred and fifty four visitors had visited the library on one day alone.125 By January 1954. the editor-in-chief of the Paramount newsreel told IRD representatives that ‘he wanted to make his newsreel of positive value to British interests’129 and the COI and IPD also combined to distribute a version of the Gaumont–British .126 Positive reports continued to flow from Cairo and USIS staff described their facilities as ‘the model for many Egyptian libraries’. an immediate disincentive to local readers. anywhere in the Lebanon).M. ‘How many books are borrowed by local nationals?’ the press office could only reply ‘Very few. and then mainly by influential Egyptians through members of staff’. ‘No. In a typically dismissive remark. IPD’s enquiry as to whether the building was air-conditioned produced the somewhat cynical retort. producing an influence that has ‘extended far beyond the cumulative impact of its books and loans’.G.’123 Other offices responding to the survey admitted that reading rooms were more frequently used by British Embassy officials than locals.128 British and American newsreel propaganda provides further examples of the close relationship between state agencies and private media corporations. while the British reading room in the area seldom attracted more than 20–30 people a day. Paramount. In September 1948. borrowers and inquirors’. There was no reading room in Beirut (or indeed. and 20th Century Fox in the production and distribution of newsreels for the Middle East.127 USIS libraries were not immune to the odd mishap and one embarrassing mistake (involving the discovery of the Israeli national song in a USIS library songbook in Damascus) produced angry Syrian demands for an official investigation. M.000 volumes. British officials co-operated with Gaumont. As early as May 1946 it was reported that the formal opening of the USIS Library in Cairo in January 1946 had proved to be ‘one of the most significant developments in information and cultural relations’ with the library attracting a ‘flood of eager readers. each containing an average of 7500 to 10. USIA operated 40 USIA libraries across the ‘Near East’ area (this total included libraries in South Asia and the Indian sub-continent as well as the Middle East).‘The Men and Machinery’ 33 members of the general public by excessive security checks. and few Foreign Office libraries held many volumes in Arabic. Embassy staff in Iraq observed that the reading room in Baghdad was ‘not very effective’ and that in any case ‘the Iraqi public is not much given to reading’.124 US officials received more encouraging feedback. but it is extremely draughty. In response to the question.

the Officers College and at all British Consular Posts.’136 Before long. ‘British Movietone Newsreels were shown to approximately 300. Exhibitioners complain that there is not sufficient variety in the British newsreels which seem to conform to a standard pattern of subjects … which are neither understood nor popular in the Lebanon’. Zanuck had written to the Jackson Committee in March 1953.000 people in Teheran [sic] and Abadan. the State Department could claim that its supervisory role in the production of the Associated Newsreel for Iran had provided one of the ‘most important contacts with theatre-going public’. representatives in the Levant had concluded that ‘British newsreels are far from popular here. the content of which is wholly governed by the Agency’. which was distributed across the Arab world in English. British newsreels struggled to make an impact upon local audiences. The final product was augmented by local footage filmed by British officials in the Middle East.’ Zanuck promised the Committee.134 and the Department was also involved in the distribution of a Persian version of the Universal–International Newsreel. Although its content was essentially the same as the domestic British version. OCB staff noted in June 1955.132 Not all feedback was so pessimistic.135 Contacts with Darryl Zanuck’s 20th Century Fox corporation also proved profitable. largely because their content was so far removed from regional concerns. By the early 1950s. News of the Day.34 The Failure of American and British Propaganda newsreel in the Arab world.137 An OCB memorandum of December 1956 . ‘that if I cannot make a contribution in this particular area then certainly someone from the motion picture industry should be able to make a worthwhile contribution. Information officers in the field complained regularly about this.131 By the end of the 1940s. recalling his antiNazi propaganda work with Anthony Eden and Brendan Bracken in the 1930s and his ‘series of special War Department films … designed for the Home Front’ during the Second World War. and were also shown at the Imperial Court. USIA was working with Fox Movietone on the News of the Day newsreel. It should not have been necessary for Britain’s information officer in Baghdad to remark that ‘the Chelsea Arts Ball was hardly a suitable subject to show in the rural areas of Iraq and cannot have enhanced our reputation’. French and Arabic editions. was ‘an unattributed USIA newsreel. pressing for a greater proportion of newsreel items to be filmed locally.’133 US propagandists developed their own film industry contacts.130 Despite these efforts. ‘I have the definite feeling. unsuitable material was deleted on the advice of IPD’s Middle East Regional Adviser before the newsreel was despatched to Cairo for the addition of an Arabic commentary. and staff in Iran reported that in the years before the oil nationalisation crisis.

as Douglas DoddsParker later admitted. As Donald Stephenson pointed out in 1946. Britain’s information officer in Syria reported in . asked the government for funds to develop BBC medium wave broadcasts. By 1953. the station was ‘secretly operated by Her Majesty’s Government’ with the objective of presenting British policies ‘from a standpoint sympathetic to Arab audiences’. ‘It is beyond dispute that the greatest single factor contributing to whatever success BBC foreign broadcasts have achieved. Naturally.143 The expansion of Egyptian and Syrian broadcasting. the BBC also enjoyed an advantage over its competitors in terms of the amount of time it was on the air. seriously challenged the BBC’s pre-eminence. worried about ‘the growing competition we are up against’. which reached an estimated weekly audience of some 575. Soon. the External Services of the BBC with their reputation for honesty. Of its major rivals.144 The BBC was not the only important British broadcaster in the Middle East and many listeners regarded the NEABS or ‘Sharq al-Adna’ as Britain’s greatest radio asset. is the unimpeachable integrity of the news content. and musical and dramatic light entertainment ‘designed to attract and hold the audience’. independence and integrity were at the heart of British broadcasting operations in the region. Nasser launched the ‘Voice of the Arabs’ in 1953. By 1945. The Arabic Service.’142 In addition to its reputation for reliability.000 viewers across the Bureau of Near Eastern. the French for three hours and Egypt for two hours. radio was seen as a particularly valuable medium. Sharq al-Adna was established as an ‘independent’ station based in Palestine. the Soviet Union broadcast in Arabic for just one hour a day. daily Arabic broadcasts had been extended to four hours and Persian to one hour with a new Hebrew Service broadcasting for thirty minutes daily.139 Given the high Middle Eastern illiteracy rates. In reality. the ‘Near East Services’ included broadcasts in Arabic (three hours daily). however. launched in January 1938. religious readings.‘The Men and Machinery’ 35 refers to another non-attributable newsreel. was the first regular BBC foreign language transmission and by 1946. both Cairo and Damascus were broadcasting on medium wave for more than 40 hours a week and it was in vain that BBC officials.145 Until. Turkish (one hour daily) and Persian (thirty minutes daily). ‘KINGFISH’. Sharq was probably the most popular station in the region.141 The reputation of the news services was the BBC’s greatest asset.140 Programme schedules balanced regular news bulletins and daily political commentaries with ‘projection of Britain’ material. South Asian and African Affairs (NEA) region. however.138 A 1957 report for the NSC indicated that USIA had also begun to operate a weekly newsreel attributed to the Iraqi government in 1956.

British observers were typically contemptuous of the post-war VOA and IPD staff reacted with horror at proposals for BBC co-operation with a station whose broadcasts they regarded as . Sharq was often used as a means of ‘getting tough’ with regional rivals to a much greater extent than was possible with the ‘official’ voice of the BBC. official listeners to VOA in the Middle East could receive only English-language broadcasts. Sharq’s news bulletins ‘did not have the same reputation as the BBC’152 while BBC staff asserted that ‘to Sharq is attached a definite suspicion of intention.151 Nevertheless.36 The Failure of American and British Propaganda 1947 that ‘no other broadcasting system and no individual newspaper in the Middle East reaches so widely-dispersed and so varied a public. The Voice of America (VOA) passed under the control of the State Department’s International Broadcasting Division in 1946. it is arguable that Sharq’s star was on the wane even before the ham-fisted policies of the Eden government during the Suez Crisis put an end to its usefulness once and for all.147 Some worried about the low proportion of ‘political’ content (only two out of 16 hours a day were dedicated to news and politics148). Persian and Arabic’. describing it as ‘one of the most popular Arabic broadcasting stations. While the BBC had been broadcasting in Arabic since the 1930s. with Evelyn Paxton. more weight is attached to BBC news’. Kuwaiti listeners told British diplomats in 1956 that as the station ‘sometimes broadcast things which were later found to be untrue’. the impact of which was negligible. was ‘to a great extent the Light Programme of the Arab World’.149 In 1948 officials in Iraq admitted that British sponsorship of the station was ‘fairly common knowledge’150 and the head of RIO Beirut accepted in 1955 that ‘most Middle East listeners think … Sharq has British official backing’. and as a result. Sharq al-Adna.154 Until 1949. but most accepted that this political content remained a valuable ‘daily pill for which the British taxpayer provides money to buy fourteen hour layers of expensive sugar’. he observed.’ and pronounced Sharq to be ‘the strongest single publicity agency in this area. Paxton ascribed the station’s success ‘to the great number of hours it is on the air and the high proportion of music broadcast’. US plans to begin broadcasting in Middle Eastern languages fell victim to post-war budget cuts and it was not until February 1948 that George Marshall informed staff in the Middle East that ‘the Department is once again giving consideration to the inauguration of shortwave broadcasts in Turkish.’146 BBC officials also recognised the success of their ‘commercial’ competitor. I heard nothing but praise for its programmes wherever I went’.153 In this respect. after a tour of the region in 1949.

launched on 15 April 1951.155 VOA finally began broadcasting in Persian on 21 March 1949.158 VOA’s Arabic broadcasts were perhaps fortunate to escape a similar fate. produced the acid comment that ‘On the Hebrew program we have no problem. as far as Persian broadcasts were concerned. the ‘BBC is the most popular. Even Americans would probably agree that were the former to cease operating no appreciable gap would be felt the ordinary listener.161 This conclusion was echoed by officials in Iran who stated that.162 Poor reception left Egyptian listeners complaining that VOA was ‘barely intelligible’ at times163 and many Egyptians found the accents of announcers ‘strange’ and ‘hard to understand’. US Ambassador in Damascus dismissed the broadcasts with the comments that ‘VOA programs have a small and . the best talent. the service was discontinued.‘The Men and Machinery’ 37 ‘inaccurate in substance [and] tactless and hectoring in tone’. while the first Arabic broadcast was made on New Year’s Day.160 Such attitudes could be dismissed as British resentment at growing American influence in the region were it not for the fact that many US observers were similarly critical. experience and talent’.164 In May 1954.C. British listeners in Egypt declared that VOA had stimulated ‘no local interest whatsoever’ and that because of Britain’s ‘greater propaganda experience in the Middle East’. the best news and dramatic shows’.159 Such sentiments were echoed by British officials in Iraq. An assessment of VOA’s Hebrew service. it would be best if VOA broadcasts were abandoned in order to leave the field clear for the BBC. America’s entry into the field of Middle East radio propaganda was thus both inauspicious and belated. followed by Turkish on 19 December.156 The new Arabic service consisted of just thirty minutes of daily programming (increased to one hour in 1951). who stated that [T]here can be no comparison between the respective popularity in Iraq of the ‘Voice of America’ and the B. but would adversely affect British prestige.B. leaving the American Chargé d’Affaires in Tel Aviv to comment that ‘it is not believed that the effectiveness of the United States information program has been significantly diminished because of the discontinuance of broadcasts in that language’. 1950. USIS staff were almost unanimous in regarding VOA as ‘too propagandistic’ and a gathering of Middle Eastern PAOs in 1952 agreed that the BBC’s Arabic Service had the advantages of ‘seniority. after just two years.157 It came as no surprise when in 1953. It has the best voices. whereas any reduction in the latter’s services would not only deprive a great number of Iraqis of their favourite station. as no one is listening’.

they remained ‘too valuable to eliminate’. ‘When British Marconi managers were in charge of ESB it was comparatively easy to get across a particular line. conducted at the request of the NSC in 1954.170 As the Embassy later recalled.’171 Predictably.168 Western propagandists also sought to manipulate local radio broadcasters.169 In fact. few officials called for an end to VOA’s Arabic broadcasts. Wilbur Schramm’s report into the effectiveness of American overseas broadcasting. British manipulation of Egyptian radio provoked a nationalist backlash. Until 1947. The State Department’s Richard Sanger argued that ‘every well-dressed country must have a radio voice it can use when needed’167 while the USAF’s Brigadier General Dale Smith summarised official attitudes when he told the Operations Co-ordinating Board (OCB) in August 1954 that although VOA’s Arabic service was in need of ‘extensive improvements and adjustments’.38 The Failure of American and British Propaganda unresponsive audience and achieve little’. Officials noted that until 1945. stemming from the fact that ESB was effectively run by British managers from the Marconi Company. ‘thanks to the co-operation of British Marconi Managers to get some of our material across’. The risks of a major commitment to and involvement in the affairs of a foreign radio station can be seen from the post-war British experience in Egypt. Sensitive to high-handedness of this kind. the Egyptian Government reacted by cancelling the Marconi contract and effectively nationalising the station. including BBC. has a substantial proportion of listeners’ and recommended that more use be made of locally controlled radio. This enabled British propagandists to use ESB as one of their own channels.’172 . concluded that in the Middle East ‘it is the considered opinion of our observers that no direct foreign broadcast. it was still thought that VOA was ‘guilty of presenting too much of what the Arabs call “propaganda” and too little entertainment’. Developing Egyptian editorial independence led in 1947 to unwise protests by Embassy officials about the ‘improper use’ of ESB by the Arab League. the Embassy Publicity Section had been ‘able to get what it liked on the air’ and that even after a new five-year agreement signed in that year created an Egyptian Programme Board in full control of ESB programmes it remained possible. British officials enjoyed an extraordinarily privileged position within the Egyptian State Broadcasting (ESB) service. The Embassy was left to ponder the fact that ‘In the present temper of the Egyptian Government it is impossible for us to get anything across on the ESB.166 Despite these concerns. the use of foreign radio station was already well-advanced by 1954 and few opportunities to forge links with Middle Eastern broadcasters were ignored in this period.165 while as late as July 1956.

177 By 1957. eventually forced the US to finance a number of other Middle Eastern stations in order ‘to counter a gift that had been turned against our interests’. and constituting ‘a continuation of the wartime “Projection of America” type operation’. Nevertheless. Wilbur Eveland has described how Miles Copeland boasted to him that the broadcasting equipment that the CIA had provided would make Cairo Radio the most powerful station in the Middle East. after the ‘loss’ of ESB in 1947. Indeed.178 British and American experiences in Egypt exposed the dangers of relying upon foreign radio stations. It did not escape Eveland’s sense of irony that the CIA’s ‘success’. USIA regarded the Packaging Center as an important element of its regional propaganda strategy and a report for the US Advisory Commission on Information pointed out that around 80 per cent of the material produced in Cairo was destined for broadcasting stations outside Egypt. this centre furnished as much as half of all the foreign language material broadcast by ESB. if measured according to the volume of Egyptian propaganda about ‘Western Imperialism’. These were not always. Britain’s Information Office in Baghdad . Cairo Radio and its ‘Voice of the Arabs’ broadcasts could hardly be regarded as a political asset. Under Nasser. ‘looking for outside help’ from USIS officers in Cairo. however.‘The Men and Machinery’ 39 ESB had been co-operating with American propagandists since the war. however. USIE noted that ESB was. USIS–OIC Cairo provided a weekly fifteen minute radio talk. Until September 1946. Noel Macy explained that the Egyptians were reluctant to ‘be in the position of giving us something they won’t give anyone else. it is clear that USIS officials did succeed.173 The ‘nationalisation’ of ESB in early 1947 put an end to close USIS–ESB collaboration for some time. American involvement with and support for Cairo Radio carried its own risks.176 USIA reports indicate that. and Public Affairs Attaché.175 This marked the beginning of a productive relationship with Cairo Radio which eventually persuaded the State Department to endorse plans for a ‘forward programming center in the Middle Eastern area’ and led to the establishment of the ‘Cairo Packaging Center’ in 1953. over 1953–55.174 By 1950. but they did contribute to the building up of ‘good will with ESB for use when we have an important policy statement which we wish to publicize’. the main British effort was made in Iraq. ‘propaganda programs in the strictest sense’. in maintaining levels of co-operation with the Egyptian radio authorities to a degree unmatched by their British counterparts. however. as Ambassador Caffery admitted. at least until US–Egyptian relations began to deteriorate in the autumn of 1955. broadcast by ESB every Friday. once again. and they don’t want to give time to one or two others I could mention’.

Lebanon.180 By the mid-1950s.186 . While British officials gained privileged access to the Jordanian media as a result of the traditionally close relations between Britain and the Hashemite regime. stating bluntly that ‘no opportunities for … co-operation with Radio Baghdad exist’.182 although the following year it was claimed that ‘USIS-Iraq does not stress the use of local radio as a medium of communication. The mobilisation of Iraqi radio as an instrument of British propaganda formed an important part of British political warfare against Egypt during the mid-1950s. As Iraq replaced Egypt at the heart of the British regional position. as well as the service provided by the USIA Wireless File. Syria and Libya. they endorsed the proposition that ‘the possibility of offering to Iraq expanded radio facilities to counter Egyptian broadcasts should be studied at once’. their failures were blamed on Iraqi concerns about ‘whether the radio station should or should not play “Western” music’181 but it was not long before the Palestine crisis effectively doomed American attempts to gain access to Iraqi radio. When British sponsorship of Iraqi claims to regional leadership exacerbated Iraqi–Egyptian rivalries. the OCB had convened a special committee on Middle Eastern propaganda to discuss the possibility of making greater use of Radio Baghdad. USIS officials were still able to gain access to the state radio network. US strategists were considering fresh efforts to move in on what had previously been regarded as British turf.184 By November 1956. in part because the Iraqi radio system is so underdeveloped’. At first.185 In Jordan. USIA also ensured that Jordanian radio received American news and comment through the commercial American news agencies. US officials were frustrated by their inability to develop closer links with Iraqi radio.183 By 1956. it was clear that Baghdad Radio was gravitating into a British rather than American sphere of influence. In contrast. the British regarded Baghdad Radio as a stick with which to beat Nasser.40 The Failure of American and British Propaganda reported its first effective contacts with the local Broadcasting authorities in July 1948179 and although initial progress was slow. this was ascribed to ‘the inefficiency of Iraqi organisation and not to lack of effort on our part’. Anglo-American competition for access to official radio channels was more evenly balanced. In 1953 USIS staff were still frozen out. enthusiasm for the development of a strong Iraqi propaganda capability increased. as a means of weakening Nasser’s position in the Arab world. however. Other examples of Western involvement with state-controlled radio stations involved British and American co-operation with broadcasting authorities in Turkey. The Hashemite Broadcasting Station made use of scripts and programmes from the Cairo Packaging Center. When Eisenhower and Dulles authorised the anti-Nasser ‘OMEGA’ plan in 1956.

with only 10 per cent of the Council’s 1951 budget set aside for the kind of artistic. noted in a March 1946 report that ‘field officers feel themselves thoroughly out of touch with the Washington offices [and] that the information program far outweighs the Cultural Affairs program’. universities. Cultural diplomacy. and succeeded. decided in which countries the Council was to operate and funded its activities through an annual Foreign Office grant-in-aid. Established in 1934.g. and it enables the Council to stand aloof from the political estrangements which from time to time beset the course of official international relations.189 The vast majority of the Council’s resources was dedicated to educational projects. observing that It removes the taint of political propaganda. in the face of Foreign Office pressure. dramatic and musical activities that attracted such disproportionate criticism from the Council’s political enemies. ‘The British Council enjoys one great advantage to the Middle East. the Lebanon and Syria (political issues having forced the temporary suspension of operations in the Sudan and Iran) and reports from the heartlands of the Arab world were consistently enthusiastic as to the Council’s value as an arm of British diplomacy. Locating responsibility for cultural affairs within the cash-starved OIC in 1946 was not immediately successful and one retired State Department official. rather like the BBC. the key British agency was the British Council. the Foreign Office recognised the advantages that nonofficial status bestowed upon the Council.188 Nevertheless. trade unions) which would be much less accessible to an official body. he complained. in preserving its non-official status after 1945.‘The Men and Machinery’ 41 In the field of cultural diplomacy (discussed in more detail in Chapter 3). which was comprised of a patchwork of state and private agencies. particularly English language teaching. There was no equivalent of the British Council within the American cultural affairs programme. the Council. the Council was active in Egypt. As Ivone Kirkpatrick noted. Israel.’187 Behind the scenes. professional associations. was sensitive to the charge that it engaged in ‘propaganda’. with little value or . Iraq. was too often thought of as ‘a minor appendage to Information. Its representatives are outside the political arena and their relations with the natives do not suffer in the same way from current events.190 In 1952. the government exercised right of appointment for nine of the 30 members of the Council’s Executive Committee. Jordan. exchange schemes and library programmes. it permits access to groups and institutions (e. commenting on OIC’s cultural programme in the Middle East.

and although the pair confirmed that there should be a ‘continuous exchange of ideas’. which met for the first time on 17 October 1950. Warner offered to post an officer to the Washington Embassy to act as liaison officer to the American propaganda agencies.’193 An insightful article by Andrew Defty makes the case for 1950–51 as the period in which meaningful co-operation was established. they should not ‘enter into any arrangement which gave the appearance of joint action … joint policy or unified approach’. Carl McArdle.191 When USIA was created in 1953. George Allen’s successor as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. the problems encountered by the official US cultural diplomacy agencies were offset to some extent by an extensive network of private organisations. US diplomats were wary of close association with the British.197 By the autumn of 1949. and IRD’s Adam Watson was selected to fill the post. Barrett responded with the formation of a ‘US–UK Information Committee’. Foreign Office staff noted that ‘There has not. USIE staff had concluded that a ‘more intimate relation.194 although Edward Barrett. problems emerged regarding the appropriate division of responsibility for cultural diplomacy and eventually led Dulles’ press secretary. particularly the activities of private educational institutions. involving a more frequent exchange of propaganda policy lines between the Department and the Foreign Office may now be required’198 and an agreement was subsequently reached over the exchange of ‘information policy guidances’. hitherto. Anglo-American co-operation and its limits In October 1947.196 State Department propagandists were also at first reluctant to authorise the exchange of policy directives and guidance reports. although by 1949 it had been accepted that selected policy papers could be exchanged through the Washington and London Embassies. informing USIS officers in 1948 that while there was ‘no objection to the exchange of views with corresponding British offices’.199 The details of Anglo-American co-operation were thrashed out in a series of meetings between Barrett and Christopher Warner in the spring of 1950.195 Initially. to call for a clarification of the distinction between the cultural activities of USIA and the State Department.200 .192 As will be shown in Chapter 3. however claimed that efforts to institutionalise AngloAmerican propaganda co-operation had begun as early as 1948. been any close co-operation between His Majesty’s Government and the United States Government regarding publicity in the Middle East. they stopped short of endorsing ‘joint information operations’.42 The Failure of American and British Propaganda significance in itself’.

arguing that ‘the Palestine issue … makes a close tie-up with the Americans on publicity rather awkward at the moment’. intimate and effective cooperation’ between Britain and the United States over covert action in Syria in 1957 was ‘the first instance in his service as Secretary wherein we have had anything like this attitude’. the post-war decade was characterised more by mutual suspicion than harmonious co-operation. however. In 1948. identified increasing British uneasiness about the expanding USIS programme in Egypt and argued that the fledgling American propaganda effort in the region ‘should be built up considerably more by our solitary effort before we undertake any partnership arrangement’. Warner made it clear in May 1948 that Britain was ‘not yet in a position to make available to the American Government its considered views on information policy in the Middle East because of Palestine’. Foremost of these. For their part. Devine also pointed out that co-operation between British and American propagandists in Egypt could work against US interests on the grounds that it would provoke an ‘almost certain unfavorable Egyptian popular reaction’ were it to become public knowledge. From Cairo in 1950.‘The Men and Machinery’ 43 Defty has identified the Middle East as an area where there was general Anglo-American agreement on questions of propaganda policy and asserts that the region represented an exception to the rule of partnership stopping short of combined output. particularly in the late-1940s.206 Efforts to establish Anglo-American co-operation in the Middle East thus tended to remain limited to basic consultation and informal contacts. the USIS Films Officer in Cairo. was the situation in Palestine. John Devine.201 Discussions between Barrett and Warner in early 1950 did indeed produce a commitment to the staging of ‘periodical demonstrations of solidarity in the information field … to impress upon the natives that we are in all essentials working in harmony’.202 In practice.204 He reinforced this point in June. the State Department was informed that ‘Exchange of Information with British counterparts has been useful . Matthew Jones comes closer to capturing the spirit of Anglo-American relations in the Middle East when he quotes John Foster Dulles’ remark that the ‘genuine.205 A second factor was the feeling among many British diplomats that the Middle East was ‘their patch’ and their subsequent resentment of any American bid to encroach upon a specifically British sphere of influence. American propagandists suspected that British requests for closer co-operation were aimed at limiting the US capacity for independent action.203 A number of factors contrived to work against easy Anglo-American co-operation in the Middle East.

as Eastern Department’s C.212 Defty accurately identifies the Foreign Office’s refusal to allow the VOA to develop radio facilities in the Persian Gulf as part of its project for encircling the Iron Curtain bloc with broadcasting transmitters (the ‘Ring Plan’) as another problematic issue. as well as exposing the limited nature of IRD’s influence.209 Doubts about the wisdom of open collaboration with the British continued into the mid-1950s. met with VOA’s Foy Kohler.216 The following month. both Watson and Peck.215 IRD saw things rather differently. USIS staff clearly felt that the ‘considerable residue of hatred’ that persisted for the British in Israel made it ‘unwise at this time for the American information and cultural services to become identified in the public mind with the similar British services’. through a reference to ‘difficulties with the political departments’. Kohler believed that the IRD men were sympathetic to his arguments but recorded that Peck had indicated. at the first meeting of the US–UK Information Committee to express concern about US public statements on the ‘question of colonialism’. reinforces the suspicion that the Foreign Office was reluctant to permit a project that . the Americans were informed that Britain would not agree to the construction of VOA facilities in Kuwait214 because. American propagandists observed that ‘General British and American cooperation in the information field is good without being obvious. responding to British requests for discussions on joint approaches to the Middle East.211 Anglo-American differences over key Middle East issues meant that Watson was forced to limit his efforts to seeking co-operation on technical matters only since ‘we had not reached agreement on political policy’.213 In March 1951. Adam Watson had felt it necessary. that IRD could not speak for the Foreign Office as a whole.217 The ‘Ring Plan’ disagreement.207 Staff in Tel Aviv reported that no formal co-ordination of the American and British information programmes was planned.N.44 The Failure of American and British Propaganda to USIE but no appearance of joint action has been given’.’ but criticised the British effort as being afflicted by ‘conservative leadership and old-fashioned methods’. Rose pointed out to US officials on 24 May. suspected that they had been sold ‘a bill of goods’ and that ‘an effort is being made to get us to pull some British chestnuts out of the fire’. ‘the United Kingdom had to consider the consequences of burdening the Ruler of Kuwait with the responsibility of acting as an agent of the Western Powers in the cold war’. USIE staff. to be told that the Foreign Office’s position was ‘unjustified in this day and age’.208 From Baghdad. Watson informed his American contacts that he was disappointed that Warner had not taken ‘a stronger stand with his colleagues and one which was more helpful to the United States’.210 In early 1951.

‘The Men and Machinery’ 45

might increase US influence in an area regarded as a British sphere of influence. In the summer of 1951, therefore, difficulties in formulating a joint Anglo-American approach to regional policy eventually persuaded the State Department that it might ‘be better to allow the question of greater coordination of British and U.S. information work in the Middle East to rest for a while’. Adam Watson cabled the Foreign Office to report that Though the Americans feel the need for doing something more in the Middle East than is being done at present in this field, they are so vague about the technical and political factors involved that they are not at all clear about just what expansion and intensification can be undertaken. It will be easier for them to talk to us when their minds are clearer.218 Over the following year, little progress was made in bringing British and American approaches to the Middle East into an alignment that would facilitate closer propaganda co-operation. On 9 September 1952, Watson informed his State Department contacts of increasing British unhappiness at what the Foreign Office saw as ‘a divergence between Departmental policy and Departmental statements with regard to three situations involving the Near and Middle East’. The issues causing concern were plans for a Middle East Defence Organisation (MEDO), the oil dispute in Iran and the political situation in Egypt.219 Questions of imperialism, nationalism and the respective images of Britain and the United States among the peoples of the Middle East had come to play a major role in defining the limits to Anglo-American co-operation. It was this concern about being tarred with the brush of British imperialism that inspired Foster Dulles’s June 1953 speech contrasting the ‘American traditional dedication to political liberty’ with ‘the old colonial interests’ of Britain and France. Remarks of this kind caused great bitterness in Whitehall, Eastern Department’s John PowellJones stating that the speech ‘can do nothing but harm to our interests and policies’.220 In this sense, Dulles’ comments simply reinforced British beliefs that the Americans were ‘sniping at the British’ in order to improve their own standing in the Arab world. Eastern Department’s Paul Falla interpreted Dulles’s speech in precisely this light. ‘The Americans,’ he argued, ‘incline to belittle our achievements in the area and to attribute their lack of success to having become too closely associated with ourselves in the eyes of local peoples; Mr. Dulles’ speech exemplifies this attitude.’221

46 The Failure of American and British Propaganda

A distinct mood of anti-Americanism settled upon the Foreign Office in the summer of 1953, to the point where the London correspondent of the New York Times felt it necessary to remind British contacts that ‘American policy was directed to the promotion of American national interests, not British ones’.222 Eastern Department even embarked upon a project to collect evidence of American policy failures and unpopularity in the Middle East. This inevitably produced the stereotype of the ‘ugly American’, Sir Alex Kirkbride explaining American failure in the following terms: (a) there is the constant suspicion of Jewish influence; (b) they are too well off and inclined to flaunt their affluence; (c) they are too sans façon in a society in which even close relations maintain a degree of formality in their intercourse; (d) their demonstrations of personal friendship are too obviously artificial in their nature to deceive their very astute objectives; (e) lastly, but not least, they are impatient and cannot conceal the fact.223 It took the Assistant Under-Secretary of State, Sir Roger Allen, to point out that it was not, in the circumstances, psychologically very sound for us to set about trying to prove to the Americans, by chapter and verse, how unpopular they are in the Middle East. It will certainly not tend to endear us to them, or make them more receptive to our point of view.224 Eastern Department eventually agreed, Falla conceding that ‘I doubt whether a general remonstrance with the Americans on the basis of the foregoing enquiry would produce useful results or promote understanding.’225 Such a climate was not one in which ‘close and continuous’ propaganda co-operation was likely to flourish. From Beirut, Chapman Andrews reported in July 1953 that it was ‘remarkably difficult to persuade the Americans to cooperate closely with us over publicity and propaganda’.226 A year later, British officials in Cairo remarked similarly that ‘Co-operation with the Americans is difficult because the Americans are under the impression that many Egyptians prefer them to the British and regard the British as their main enemies. The Americans do not wish to be tarred with the imperialist brush’.227 Aside from the American reluctance to risk association with the unpopular British, both the British and the Americans continued to express professional disdain

‘The Men and Machinery’ 47

for the other’s information work in the region. Chapman Andrews ascribed a portion of the American reluctance to collaborate with British information officers to ‘the feeling that the Americans are better publicity agents than we are and that they should not tie their hands to our plodding and less successful methods’.228 British officials in Cairo, meanwhile, viewed the ‘enormous quantities’ of American anti-communist material with some scepticism. ‘Some of it is good,’ they conceded, ‘but much of it is sensational and consists of opinions rather than facts. … Co-operation with them would bring our own anti-communist campaign more into the open, to its detriment’.229 Through the mid-1950s, therefore, British and American propagandists operating in the Middle East maintained contacts with each other, but never committed themselves to a genuine partnership or joint activities. The determination of American information officers to keep their distance from the British was reaffirmed in USIA guidance notes issued in 1954 and 1955. These reminded staff that co-operation should ‘not involve overt joint operations, except in exceptional circumstances’230 and stressed that in areas where British policies were ‘disliked by the local government and/or people … close association … in field activities or in similarity of output … would not necessarily be to our advantage’.231 Adam Watson was an unusual British representative in that he did not resent this American reluctance to openly associate with the British in the Middle East or even regard it as unduly problematic. The Cold War interests of the West as a whole, he believed, justified the ‘US tendency to fight shy of co-operating with our information officers or with the British Council in places like the Middle East … [because]. … In places where one of us is labelled “imperialist” the effectiveness of the other’s job depends upon not being directly associated in the local mind with the objectionable imperialism’.232

‘Western Voices, Arab Minds’
Orientalism, Stereotypes and Propaganda in the Middle East

The Arabs have a favourite proverb – ‘The dogs bark, the caravan passes’. … In the present context we are the caravan. … Instead of going on our way we run after and fall over ourselves in trying to placate the barking ‘dogs’, the latter wag their tails and seem pleased. In fact they lose respect but learn the lesson and bark the louder for more favour. The caravan does not pass on its way. It halts and tries to placate all the ‘dogs’ at once. They want different things and remain unsatisfied. At the same time the onlookers despair of the caravan. They believe that we control the ‘dogs’ and that these are obedient to our commands or at least that they would not dare to do anything contrary to our wishes. Moreover they know that the ‘dogs’ are dependent on us – as indeed they are in varying degree. I do not suggest that we should punish or be unkind to the ‘dogs’. We must by all means treat them kindly – but also positively. They will from time to time need reminding that we and not they are the leaders of a team working together and that they must conform to the general line. … Thus and only thus, shall we have the respect which is an essential ingredient in oriental friendship. Knox Helm, British Representative in Tel Aviv, 21 July 1949 Underlying all diplomatic relations with the Middle East is the centuries-old struggle between Eastern and Western civilizations. USIA intelligence memorandum, ‘Notes on talk by Bernard Lewis’, 19 December 1955

‘Western Voices, Arab Minds’ 49

International historians should need no reminding of the importance of ‘unspoken assumptions’ behind the policy-making process. Recent years have seen a remarkable upsurge of interest in the role of ‘culture’ in international relations, and within this rapidly expanding field the analysis of Western cultural assumptions about the Middle East provides the diplomatic historian with an extraordinarily rich area of study. The student of Western propaganda in the Middle East has particular reason to interest himself in this literature, since images of ‘the Arab mind’ exerted a powerful and often unhelpful hold over British and American propagandists. It will be argued here that many Western officials were influenced by a set of racial and cultural assumptions about ‘Islam’ and the Arabs that was recognisably ‘Orientalist’, and that this had a direct impact on the conceptualisation and communication of propaganda in the Middle East. Historians wishing to tease out the racial and cultural assumptions influencing the formulation of Anglo-American policy in the post-war Middle East invariably find themselves drawn to the work of Edward W. Said. Said’s political radicalism and his outspoken criticism of the American intellectual community has not always endeared him to academic historians. The result, as Andrew Rotter noted in an influential article in the American Historical Review, is that while ‘American diplomatic historians may not be interested in Edward Said … he is interested in them’.1 Many scholars, particularly those at the receiving end of Said’s polemical barbs, proved reluctant to confront the challenge. If they acknowledged criticism at all, they did so with thinly veiled references to ‘writers uncritically committed to the radical-leftist point of view of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’2 or, in the case of David Pryce-Jones, a largely incomprehensible assault on Said’s indulgence of ‘Islamocentric fantasies in defense of tribal-religious identity’.3 Bernard Lewis, more plausibly, accused Said of setting up a ‘straw man’ by attacking an arbitrarily selected body of orientalist literature in order to caricature and misrepresent a diverse modern discipline for his own political ends.4 Others, such as the American University of Beirut’s Malcolm Kerr, accepted that Said’s analysis of the modes of Western representation of the Arab world was a valuable contribution but rejected the implication of a consistent or direct relationship between academic scholarship and the exercise of political power. As one commentator subsequently put it, ‘the persistence of racial stereotypes is readily conceded, but not the indictment of the Orientalist tradition as a whole of being complicit with Western power’.5

50 The Failure of American and British Propaganda

This allegation was at the heart of Said’s attack on the ‘Orientalists’. Said was quite clear in his belief that From at least the end of the eighteenth century until our own day, modern Occidental reactions to Islam have been dominated by a radically simplified type of thinking that may still be called Orientalist. The general basis of Orientalist thought is an imaginative and yet drastically polarized geography dividing the world into two unequal parts, the larger ‘different’ one called the Orient, the other, also known as ‘our’ world, called the Occident or the West.6 ‘Orientalism’ was thus defined as ‘the corporate institution for dealing with the Orient – dealing with it by making statements about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, settling it, ruling over it’7 – and was, as a result, inextricably bound up with Western imperialism. Identified and condemned as ‘a discourse of domination, both a product of European subjugation of the Middle East, and an instrument in this process’,8 Orientalism was, in short, ‘a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient’.9 Investigating Orientalism’s defining characteristics, Fred Halliday identified three key ‘components’. The first was the belief that the region and its inhabitants must be understood through the consideration of their languages and literature, a position that led easily to the absurdity of ‘etymological reductionism’; the bid ‘to explain the meaning of words in today’s discourse by reference to their classical roots’.10 The second characteristic was the emphasis upon the ‘supposed difficulty or even impossibility of change’.11 Orientalists depicted the world of Islam as a civilisational backwater, incapable of modernisation and reform, and an epitome of social, political and intellectual ‘stagnation’ or ‘backwardness’.12 For Said, the central myth of twentieth-century Orientalism was the idea of the ‘arrested development’ of an Arab world consistently characterised as ‘uncreative, unscientific, and authoritarian’, in a word, ‘backward’.13 The most popular explanation for Arab backwardness lies in the third of the key Orientalist characteristics, the identification of ‘Islam’ as an all-consuming ideological system which, in denying Arabs an effective distinction between ‘religion’ and ‘society’, has served to thwart the development of modern methods of thought. Orientalists, therefore, concentrate on the ‘holistic culture’ of Islam derived from its claim of ‘jurisdiction over a wider range of social activity than other, comparable religions’.14 Orientalist scholars have thus chosen to identify Islam as

‘Western cultural prejudices were apparent throughout the oil dispute. Extending her analysis to the broader influence of Orientalism upon Anglo-American diplomacy in Iran. meant that Western ideas about the ‘Iranian mentality’ and the ‘Oriental mind’ had exercised an important if indirect role in the policies that led to the Anglo-American coup that overthrew Mossadeq in August 1953. As Raphael Patai stated categorically.‘Western Voices.16 By the 1990s. both set out to investigate the manner in which historically specific notions of race and gender had influenced American policy towards the Middle East. Heiss sought to interpret the ‘gendercoded language’ of American and British policy makers during the Iranian oil crisis. For Mart. political and psychological structures of the Arab world.’15 The prevalence of anti-Arab stereotypes in mainstream American culture has inspired numerous surveys and studies by media analysts and cultural commentators. ‘Religion was not one aspect of [Arab] life.’ ‘Ultimately’. Said has termed orientalism when dealing with their Iranian counterparts. pragmatic. economic. ‘the foundation of the close political and military relationship between the two countries was reinforced by the emergence of masculine Israelis and their status as insiders in American political culture’. for example. ‘emotional’. ‘because Anglo-American officials consistently used what Edward W.19 . Mart concluded.’18 Heiss demonstrated how nationalist Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq was dismissed by Western leaders as ‘irrational’. explaining how such views absolved Western statesmen ‘of the need to deal with him as an equal’. however. Michelle Mart and Mary Ann Heiss. a growing number of historians of American foreign relations were also beginning to explore the ways in which racial attitudes and cultural images had contributed to the development of a particular set of American beliefs about and policies towards the Middle East. Such analyses. the emergence of a gendered view of a ‘masculine’ Israel in the early Cold War provided a valuable insight into American policy towards the Jewish state and illustrated how ‘From the late 1940s to the late 1950s. Heiss suggested. Arab Minds’ 51 the key to understanding the social. ‘weak’ and ‘feminine’. Heiss described how Western officials dismissed Mossadeq’s supporters as ‘little more than “mad and suicidal … lemmings” who needs to be saved from their folly by Western benevolence’.17 Adopting a similar approach. ‘childlike’. but the hub from which all else radiated. pro-Western dictatorship that survived until the revolutionary upheavals of 1979. Jews and Israelis were increasingly depicted as tough.’ she argued. installing a repressive. masculine fighters similar to Americans.

Inspired by Edward W. Peter L. looking in particular at Eisenhower’s bid to build up King Saud as a regional rival to Nasser. Hahn making the point that A powerful bias in US culture created an anti-Arab frame of reference in the minds of some U. Little argued that early American contacts with the region fostered ‘a romanticized and stereotypic vision of some of the Old World’s oldest civilizations’ whilst at the same time producing a sense of disgust at ‘the despotic governments and decadent societies’ encountered ‘from Constantinople to Cairo’. oil men.S. Nathan Citino has developed a more precise analysis of the relationship between academic Orientalism and the policy-making process. leaders. popular imagination as the Middle East’.52 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Similar themes emerge in a recent study of American entanglement in the politics of the Arab–Israel dispute.S. Said’s suggestion that Western culture enhanced imperialism by lacing a racial bias and a sense of exceptionalism into Western perceptions of Arab peoples.20 This alleged tendency has undergone its most lengthy analysis in Douglas Little’s American Orientalism (2003). ‘policymakers from Harry Truman through George Bush tended to dismiss Arab aspirations for self-determination as politically primitive. recent scholarship suggests that U. For Little. some imported and some homegrown’. and other cultural mediators cast Jews in a favorable light but spoke rarely and negatively about Arab peoples. Beginning with the assertion that ‘Few parts of the world have become as deeply embedded in the U. a policy Citino declares to have been inherently flawed as a result of its having ‘borrowed misconceptions about Islam from . and ideologically absurd. and soldiers who promoted and protected U. news media. interests in the Middle East during the twentieth century converted these earlier stereotypes into an irresistible intellectual shorthand for handling the “backward” Muslims … whose objectives frequently clashed with America’s’. ‘Influenced by potent racial and cultural stereotypes. economically suspect. Christian churches. Little’s claim is for nothing less than a direct relationship between ‘something very like Said’s orientalism’ and an American policy towards the Middle East that worked against the interests of the region’s Arab inhabitants.S.S. ‘the diplomats.22 He has examined the links between the worlds of academia and government.’21 Drawing upon evidence that the National Security Council (NSC) staff ‘routinely attended academic conferences and collected scholarly papers on the contemporary Middle East’. he concluded.

While conceding that such interpretations became harder to refute when applied to recent decades.24 Arguments about the influence that anti-Arab stereotypes have asserted over American strategy and diplomacy towards the Middle East cut to the heart of an important debate about the relationship between Orientalist visions of the Middle East and the policies that were actually pursued by Western statesmen. Salim Yaqub. Yaqub questioned whether such examples held great significance for the policymaking process. Yaqub argued that the cultural approach was ‘of limited value with respect to the 1950s’. in his excellent consideration of Eisenhower administration’s ‘containment’ of Arab nationalism. is among those to challenge the claim that what he calls ‘cultural antipathies’ should be regarded as central to the development of US Middle East policy and the course of Arab–American relations. but also remarked that ‘What is less clear is the extent to which such antiArab sentiment actually explains the Eisenhower administration’s policies toward the Arab world. Focusing narrowly upon ‘disparaging remarks … about Arabs’ makes it substantially easier to argue that race and gender stereotypes were marginal factors often disconnected from the real factors driving US policy towards the Arab world.23 Citino’s important contribution is to circumvent the sterile and politically entrenched debates about Said and Orientalism and move the debate on by exposing how American policy towards the Middle East was founded upon ‘a blending of Orientalist expertise with postwar social science [which] did not reflect the waning of the tradition Said examines but was instead part of the long-term evolution of Orientalism’.‘Western Voices.25 Considering Little’s exposure of widespread anti-Arab views among American officials. Yaqub accepted that ‘The documentary record from the 1950s is full of disparaging remarks made by US officials about Arabs’. An immediate observation might be that Yaqub is in danger of equating ‘Orientalism’ with anti-Arab prejudice in order to make the case that the latter was peripheral to the main directions of policy. The crucial distinction to be drawn is . however. why one has to prove that antiArab prejudice was a defining influence upon Western policy makers in order to gain acceptance for the more general principle that ‘Orientalist’ conceptions of Arab ‘psychology’ and society did exercise a tangible influence upon Western policy. One might question. In the midst of the seemingly irresistible drive to expose the cultural foundations of Western policy making.’26 This is an important point and one that demands a response. a number of voices have demanded that this ‘cultural turn’ in diplomatic history be treated with caution. Arab Minds’ 53 European Orientalism’.

Connelly suggests instead that what is required is for the critique of Orientalism to ‘recover its original focus on the exercise of state power’ in order to examine whether ‘the construction of “us–them” categories … actually affected high-level decisions’. ‘When presenting the British case to any particular country. as in all other areas of social behaviour. Britain and the Arabs. we might draw upon the observation put forward in Joseph Frankel’s analysis of post-war British diplomacy. the assumptions are legion.’29 So it was for British and American propagandists in the Middle East. particularly the tendency of numerous authors to ‘stake out bold claims for the power of cultural representations and practices unsupported by the scope of their research’. therefore. An essential part of the propagandist’s task was to appreciate. The distinction between ‘Orientalism’ and more straightforward racial attitudes is an important one. becomes one of whether and how cultural. it is surely to be found in the study of Western propaganda designed for the Middle East. The question. but one might well argue that in varying . It is to the question of how propagandists imagined their Middle Eastern audiences and whether Orientalist conceptions of ‘Islamic society’ and ‘the Arab mind’ did indeed have a significant influence upon propaganda policy that the remainder of this chapter will be addressed.27 A valuable line of analysis in this regard has been developed by Matthew Connelly. If ever there was an appropriate case study for assessing the influence of Orientalist thinking upon Western policy making. the first step is to study the audience. In this sense. Connelly accepts that the ‘increasingly frequent forays’ of diplomatic historians into cultural studies ‘all too often replicate the problematic aspects of postcolonial scholarship’. To a commercial advertiser or a theatrical producer. social and psychological assumptions drawn from the Orientalist tradition influenced Western propaganda output in the Middle East.28 This approach seems well suited to the analysis of propaganda in the post-war Middle East. most of them remain hidden not only from those people who analyse behaviour from the outside but also from the people directly involved. that In foreign policy.54 The Failure of American and British Propaganda that between simple manifestations of anti-Arab racism and a careful application of the Orientalist critique of Western representations of Middle Eastern cultures and societies in particular ways. As John Bagot Glubb observed in his 1959 book. this would doubtless be instinctive. understand and define both the individual and group characteristics of his target audience.

thus.‘Western Voices. the ‘race individualities’ of the Arabs were of a kind that effectively legitimised Western imperial domination in the guise of paternalistic beneficence. ‘Such race individualities are obviously far above modern political factors. they tire of it and turn elsewhere before bringing it to fruition.’31 For Glubb. both can be detected in the workings of the British and American ‘official minds’. into forgetting their real helplessness in the face of a hostile world. nor be deceived by their assumption of manly airs. on the one hand. Arab Minds’ 55 degrees.32 Glubb’s comments belong to what Connelly has identified as ‘a tradition among Westerners of imagining others as smaller. nor will he disown his children in a fit of resentment. but when things go badly they like to feel that father is in the background. It is. but always to be ready to receive them back. But the characteristic which most affects us … is their touchiness and their readiness to take offence at any sign of condescension by their ‘elders’. Like children they will sometimes be rude.’ Glubb wrote in a revealing section of his 1945 memorandum to the Foreign Office.34 Perhaps more surprising is the continuing hold of such ideas over the minds of a younger generation of British Conservatives. when their over-exuberance has led them into some extravagant scrape. provides us with an example of the kind of theorising about national characteristics more usually associated with nineteenth-century imperialism and the construction of the racial hierarchies that underpinned it. The wise parent will neither attempt continually to enforce his authority. and sometimes plunged in despair and selfdepreciation. the Irish – the troublesome colonial ‘other’ closest to home – had been most commonly subjected to racial categorisation and stereotyping. available to be appealed to and sure to be helpful. show all the instability and emotionalism of the adolescent. with sympathy and not with reproaches. he wrote. interesting to note the comparison drawn by Anthony Nutting (the Foreign Office Minister whose . Glubb. It is the parent’s role to view indulgently the children’s independent defiance. ‘The Arabs. Like big schoolboys they glory in their new freedom. childlike versions of themselves’33 and he spoke as a representative of a generation for which the notion of the ‘White Man’s Burden’ was remarkably unproblematic.30 ‘Every nation has a collective “personality” of its own’. Slights give rise to outbursts of temper and violent defiance. In the Victorian imperial imagination. Passionately enthusiastic at some new idea. for they have taken thousands of years to create.

… Not only do the Arabs have the same overwhelming charm and humour as the Irish. but they are also as quick-tempered and unstable. never with their heads. procrastinating. . It is very doubtful if this illiterate.’ argued Sir Hugh Stonehewer Bird. are irrational and emotional to a point where they think only with their hearts. ‘Arabs’.35 Nutting had perhaps assimilated views that were commonly expressed within diplomatic circles. head of the Foreign Office’s Middle East Information Department (MEID). The Arabs. cowardice.’36 Among British propagandists. his remarks bear a striking resemblance to an expression of concern about the ‘Arab mind’ made by Britain’s ambassador in Iraq in 1946.37 US officials could display similar expressions of distaste. ‘With few exceptions’. and equally incapable of seeing people or issues in any shade between jet-black and snow-white. ingratitude and hostility’. which really consists of the near relatives who have been lucky enough to secure some veneer of education and as a result have gained the admiration of their poorer relatives. ‘To an undeveloped people. it would appear that the masses can be only too easily directed by a very small number of the middle (effendi) class. and a lack of social consciousness and public responsibility. the Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) argued in 1953. … They are self-seeking. such views slipped easily into something approaching contempt for the Arab masses. he wrote. Pollock commented sourly that.56 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Suez Crisis resignation terminated a promising political career) in his 1964 book. As things are and have been over many centuries in the Middle East. identified the primary ‘defects of the effendi character’ in Egypt as ‘arrogance. I fear that communism has the advantage over us. MajorGeneral Pollock. cupidity. ‘a picture full of half-tones is less understandable than one of brilliant contrasts. evasive. like probably no other people in the world except the Irish. Indeed. even for Arab ruling elites. inert and supine mass (whose main consideration is how they can scrape a living from the squalid condition of their lives) could be usefully mobilised to put pressure on the ‘effendi’. Middle Eastern leaders were ‘characterized by political opportunism. Considering the possibility of appealing directly to the Egyptian ‘fellahin’ peasantry over the heads of the ‘effendi’. of shining highlights and black shadows and in this important respect.

British officials in Cairo summed up the problems that could develop from racial prejudice in an expression of concern about the presence in Egypt of what they termed ‘the wrong type of Englishman’. Fellowes argued in 1952 that The infuriation produced by the Western assumption of mental and moral superiority … has been the most important barrier to understanding and will continue to be until we learn how to behave towards – and indeed how to think about – the people of these countries.E.38 At their most extreme. believed that Arabs had failed to evolve beyond the level of ‘a tool-making animal’ and once told his staff that that the chief characteristic of the Arab race was ‘a simple joy in destruction which has to be experienced to be believed. Africa and the Middle East have also been well documented and Connelly has argued convincingly that Eisenhower was capable of viewing ‘Cold War crises through a lens ground from racial anxieties. not the . in some detail.41 The Eisenhower administration’s concerns about the Western image in Asia.L. and this has sometimes ‘gone to their heads’ and has resulted in an attitude of superiority to the ‘wogs’ … and a general display of bad manners which is quickly noted and resented by the Egyptians and the majority of the British community. Dorril asserts.‘Western Voices. the MI6 officer responsible for Middle Eastern Operations. and his favourite spectacle is that of human suffering. One might argue that the effort to counter perceptions of Western racism was a more important influence upon propaganda output in the Afro-Asian world. Young. we run the risk of totally undoing what good we may do in other ways. Arab Minds’ 57 capricious. the Arab has looted and torn down’. Stephen Dorril has examined the beliefs of George Kennedy Young. News Department’s P. and lacking in self-discipline’. … Until ‘wog-mindedness’ has been eliminated from all those who come into daily contact with them.39 It would be unfair to suggest that racism of this kind was common among British officials or that it constituted the defining influence upon either British or American policy. … There is no gladder sound to the Arab ear than the crunch of glass.40 Similarly. such views degenerated into crude expressions of racism. Examples occur of people arriving in Egypt finding themselves … in a more privileged social position than would be the case in England. … While the European has been building.

together with an explanatory reliance on the stultifying effect of Islam were commonplace in the official minutes and memoranda of Western officials.44 Even the State Department planning staff responsible for the December 1955 draft of a paper produced for the NSC on US objectives in the Middle East proved capable of such nonsense as ‘Arab hostility towards Israel is based primarily on emotion’. In particular.’46 In his 1908 history of ‘Modern Egypt’. In response to a critical article by the Egyptian journalist. he is a natural logician … his trained intelligence . despite his avowed intention to stick to the facts. This is a fact which may be deplored but must be reckoned with in any attempt to deal with the Egyptians. which identified ‘the underlying distrust of the white man’ as an ‘important ingredient of the basic problems with which our information programs must deal in colonial and ex-colonial areas of the world’. Heikal’s article has a rather high emotional content may serve as a fresh reminder that the Egyptian approach to politics is universally an emotional one. Mohamed Heikal.43 Concerns about the adverse publicity generated by civil rights issues at home led to direct efforts to tackle America’s overseas ‘image problem’.45 British propagandists were capable of breathtaking inconsistency on this subject. suggests that a similar argument can be made with respect to the US propaganda agencies. his statements of fact are devoid of any ambiguity. notions of Arab irrationality. however. Waterfield could assert that ‘The Arabs are not taught by their past history and culture to appreciate truth for its own sake. head of the BBC’s Eastern Service. declared that The fact that. emotionality and backwardness. The comment would seem to apply to the other Arab peoples as well. The characteristics of Orientalist scholarship associated with Said can be detected with some regularity in the American and British archival records. Lord Cromer had argued that The European is a close reasoner.42 A 1956 United States Information Agency (USIA) report to the NSC. began a consideration of Western broadcasting in the Middle East with the observation that the ‘average Arab or Persian is a shrewd. A few pages later.58 The Failure of American and British Propaganda other way around’. but they are interested in it as a western import which seems to have paid dividends. US ambassador Jefferson Caffery. The cultural activities undertaken as part of this campaign are discussed in more detail in Chapter 3. hardheaded individualist who has come to learn through the centuries that little faith can be placed in what his government tells him or what the newspapers say’. Mr. Gordon Waterfield.

their families or their political associates. Waterfield’s conclusion was effectively a straight repetition of a 1952 Foreign Office paper. is eminently lacking in symmetry. find it difficult to face facts and are unduly swayed by emotion. Western propaganda was characterised as ‘logical and rational’ while Arab rhetoric remained (even the vocabulary is Cromer’s) ‘picturesque and colourful since it is often invented’. they are likely to consult above all the interest of themselves. which had argued that ‘The Middle Eastern peoples are excessively subjective. Waterfield echoed these remarks. including international. hard-headed rationalism of the individual Arab or Iranian to the conclusion that the main problem confronting Western broadcasters was that they were dealing with highly ‘impressionable’ people who found it ‘difficult to be objective’ and were ‘for a great part of the time. in a state of high emotion’. In so far as they recognise facts … it is the facts and interests under their noses.51 . questions. drawing on the scholarship of Hamilton Gibb to declare that Whereas in Europe the subjectivism of the Romantic Revival was offset by two other important developments – scientific determinism and the growth of historical method – these two developments found no response in Muslim minds to act as a corrective. The mind of the Oriental. and more accessible to emotional appeals than Northern Europeans.49 Lest it be thought that such views were unrepresentative of mainstream official opinion. It was this formulation that enabled Waterfield to move seamlessly from a discussion of the shrewd. in so far as they give weight to interest at all. which had argued that Middle Easterners as a whole … are more impervious to facts and to reasoning based on facts. Although the ancient Arabs acquired in a somewhat higher degree the science of dialectics.47 Half a century later.’50 This was itself drawn from an Eastern Department paper entitled ‘Some Features of Political Psychology in the Middle East’. as opposed to emotion. This means that they will often reject policies that are in their interest in favour of attitudes dictated by emotion … . therefore. His reasoning is of the most slipshod description. like his picturesque streets.‘Western Voices. their descendants are singularly deficient in the logical faculty.48 For officials like Waterfield. … In dealing with political. on the other hand. Arab Minds’ 59 works like a piece of mechanism.

the PSB produced an influential paper on the Middle East. Anderson as well as a representative from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). was drawn from an earlier PSB paper that had concluded simply that ‘The Arab states are immature’. These ideas and forces have created irresistible desire for change yet they have fallen in a territory where neither the social machinery or [sic] the leadership have been adequate or sufficiently experienced to utilize or direct them. The net result of all these factors is that the area is in essence a military vacuum. plus the impact.54 In terms similar to those of the BBC’s Gordon Waterfield and Gibb and Cromer before him. and the rights of man. ‘While much has been taken from the West in the way of material culture and institutions. ‘the intangible . The resulting analysis of the deficiencies of Arab society was classically Orientalist. the NSC produced a paper on regional Cold War policy. and including among its members the State Department’s Richard Sanger and the Pentagon’s James W. an economic slum. the PSB panel argued that Underlying many of the factors causing instability is the impact of Western ideas regarding political independence. a political anachronism.60 The Failure of American and British Propaganda This British problematisation of Arab emotionalism and backwardness bore a striking resemblance to the conventional American analysis. chaired by the PSB’s Coordination Officer Henry Maclean. however belated. been largely directionless. finding outlet primarily in the profitless channels of xenophobic nationalism and religious fanaticism with their appeal to emotion and mob rule. economic selfdetermination.53 In 1953. discrete. These explosive forces of unrest have. The paper was the work of an inter-departmental panel. which argued that ‘The countries of the Near East are not yet mature or strong enough to follow a genuinely independent or “neutral” policy in the larger East–West struggle. and subjective thought pattern which is as characteristic of the modern Iranian or Arab nationalist as of his medieval forbears’. and a house divided against itself. tended to ‘perpetuate the traditional atomistic. The paper went on to speak of a ‘failure … to make a successful adjustment between their heritage from the past and the demands of the present’ and argued that Arab educational institutions. of the industrial revolution. therefore. echoing the thoughts of paternalistic British imperialists like Churchill and Glubb.’ it declared. In 1955.’52 This emphasis on Arab ‘immaturity’. far from acting as a force for modernisation.

since his family are Arabs and Muslims. particularly as opposed to non-Arabs. was typical in this respect. a ‘lack of social consciousness which makes them calloused’ and ‘incapacity for organization’. it was argued that The Arab has traditionally thought of himself not as an individual. Sir Hugh Stonehewer Bird’s comment that ‘Neither a Cabinet Minister nor a factory hand can … pray five times a day without serious loss of efficiency’. plodding work instead of looking only for quick profits and results. argued in 1948 that the economic problems that beset the Arab world could be explained by the ‘mentality’ of Arab Muslims. the panel produced a selection of alleged Arab ‘psychological traits’ among which it counted ‘psychopathic suspicion’. and with Muslims in general. such visions of Arab society. honest.58 ‘Islam’ was frequently invoked as the root cause of Arab ‘backwardness’.56 For both British and American propagandists.59 The PSB’s Middle East paper placed great emphasis on ‘the inertia of Islam’. Such bonds of interest as he feels with the rest of society are confined largely to those factors which closely affect his family or clan. ‘Moslem Arabs will have … to learn to do the patient. objective. Sir John Troutbeck. Arab Minds’ 61 Western attributes of logical. and the marginalisation of the role of the individual within it.‘Western Voices.’57 In a similar fashion.’55 Turning to an examination of ‘the Arab mind’. The head of the British Middle East Office (BMEO). a 1952 Eastern Department memorandum explained the absence of social welfare programmes in the region with the suggestion that Middle Eastern countries had made ‘no attempt to import the fundamental Western conception of a social conscience’.’ he announced. ‘Before economic development can make much progress in the Arab states. self-sacrifice and security’. By way of explanation. … The Arab’s relation to the larger social group is a function of the fact that his primary loyalty is to his family or clan. and analytical thinking and the cultural atmosphere which produced these things have not been transplanted. arguing that ‘No consideration of the traditional Arab mind is possible without taking . a ‘poor sense of discipline. but as a member of his immediate family group or clan. Thus he feels a vague general sympathy with the Arab community as a whole. led easily to an interpretation of Western political and economic relations with the Middle East grounded in the idea of a civilisational culture clash. … The individual personality of the Arab is therefore little more than a reflection of the personality of his clan or family.

The body of work contained in lectures and papers by academics such as H. Islamic thinkers had been unsuccessful in ‘reinterpreting the core of Islam’s traditions in the light of the experience of the Islamic community in the present world setting’ and the result had been a ‘conflict between the Islamic faith and the problems imposed by the modern world’. it held ‘implications for policy’. This disparity between the way Western and Soviet actions were viewed was identified as the ‘outstanding fact of diplomacy in the Middle East’.62 The records of USIA and the Foreign Office indicate influential links between the world of the university academic and that of the Cold War propagandist.60 Such views led Western propagandists to imagine their Arab audience as a unitary mass. revealing that the Information Research Department (IRD) had been seeking to employ Bernard Lewis to assist in its bid to draw up a ‘basic study of Islam and Communism’.A. Halil Inalcik and Bernard Lewis was. For Lewis. ‘not merely academic’. for example. Gibb. In fact. the connections between the worlds of academia and government provide some fascinating insights into the way in which scholars specialising in Middle Eastern ‘area studies’ were able to bring a direct influence to bear on the Cold War policy-making process. which had lost its sense of individual identity through ‘mass chanting and bodily movements’. The PSB spoke of the difficulties of formulating persuasive material for an Arab mob ‘hypnotised’ by Islamic mysticism. For the PSB. cited earlier.R. Nathan Citino’s work. IRD’s J. Lewis’s starting assumption was that the Arab states were inherently predisposed to suspect and resent the West while acclaiming and appearing sympathetic to the Soviet Union. intoxicated by superstition and ritual.61 The Orientalism of Western policy makers was clearly drawn from the academic world of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies.63 US officials were also keen to take advantage of the expertise that Lewis was willing to make available.H. Citino points out. In December 1955. intelligence staff at USIA made careful note of what Bernard Lewis had to say about the susceptibility of the Middle East to Soviet pressure and prospects for democracy in the region. Lewen conceded that ‘we were unable to get Bernard Lewis to help and we have not yet found anyone else with similar qualifications’.62 The Failure of American and British Propaganda into consideration the all pervading influence of the Muslim faith on Arab thinking … it has governed his entire outlook on society and politics’. Albert Hourani. In 1954. Lewen wrote to the Regional Information Office (RIO) Beirut’s Leslie Glass. has identified a number of points of contact between scholarship on the Islamic societies of the Middle East and the Cold War concerns of the NSC. the idea that contemporary political grievances (namely the Israeli and North African . In the event.

at least it is intelligible. in favour of statism. nor has it created the expected prosperity. therefore. Arab states had begun to adopt ‘the outward forms’ of democracy in the late nineteenth century. Lewis observed. ‘the outstanding feature of Middle Eastern domestic politics is the disrepute into which democracy increasingly is falling’. emotional. ‘more symptomatic than causal’.65 This interpretation was widely shared among Western diplomats and propagandists in the Middle East. identifying a ‘trend toward the more familiar pattern of authoritarianism. Lewis declared that Despotism.‘Western Voices. arguing in his 1959 book that ‘Many Arabs believe. This has been regarded as a Western failure. The PSB spent some time considering the question of leadership and governance in the region. Arab Minds’ 63 questions) bore some responsibility for this unhappy state of affairs was unsatisfactory. which we hate and fear in the USSR. Democracy. as in Egypt. and their history would seem to confirm their view. negative response. … Hence democracy is in disrepute.66 Glubb had been quick to comment on this theme. which has failed to fill the gap left by the decay of the feudal structure’. Unfortunately. partly as a result of the assumption that democratic government was the key to Western superiority.’ he pronounced solemnly.64 From the interested standpoint of the Cold War clash between Western and Soviet communist ideologies. ‘is the centuries old struggle between Eastern and Western civilizations. that so emotional and mercurial a people cannot be governed by assemblies or . he argued. Lewis saw a civilisational clash at the heart of the crisis in relations between the Arab states and the West. which apparently has demonstrated its ability to bring about technological change rapidly. and there is a growing tendency to abandon it altogether. he continued. These issues were. By way of explanation. as giving security from the uncertainties and difficulties of an alien and not understood Western political democracy. While despotism is not necessarily admired. … Current Middle East attitudes have been conditioned by the domination of Arab Islamic society by European Christianity’. Instead. had increasingly acquired the image of a failed experiment. ‘Underlying all diplomatic relations with the Middle East. is familiar to the peoples of the Middle East and arouses no strong. Democracy has neither worked well in the Middle East.

it was argued. In 1952. In 1954. He is emotional. it does not strike him that way.69 British information officers in Cairo noted in 1947 that ‘posters. Only strong military rule will curb their turbulence and compel them to channel their considerable intellectual energies into co-ordinated and constructive work. there is evidence that Orientalist concerns remained at the heart of the debates that took place as to the best means of channelling propaganda into the Arab world.64 The Failure of American and British Propaganda committees after the Western model. One member of the group observed that We express ourselves in cold and logical terms without the colored words that catch the attention of the Arab. He does not reason with logic. Britain’s Cairo-based propagandists informed IRD of their belief that In deciding the lines of propaganda to be employed. and although you say illogical things. these being. we can detect the signs of a contradiction that was to tax the minds of both British and American propagandists in the 1950s. a working group attached to the State Department’s International Information Administration (IIA) identified the dilemma more precisely.70 Three years later. Nevertheless. and tend therefore to admire armed strength and ruthlessness. the Operations Coordinating Board (OCB) explicitly endorsed the defunct PSB’s paper on psychological objectives and strategy in the Middle East. announcing that ‘the OCB reaffirm in general terms the validity of this paper for use in connection with the preparation of general plans and operations in the Middle East area’.71 In statements such as these. photographs and the simpler forms of pictorial display’ were best suited for the conduct of propaganda in Egypt. You have to cater to his prejudices.’67 More general comments to the effect that ‘We have to face the innate Arab admiration for ruthlessness and violence and their capacity for heroworship’68 were commonplace among British and American officials working on Middle Eastern issues. it is less easy to demonstrate how these views contributed to the actual conduct of propaganda campaigns. ‘more easily understood by the Egyptian mind’. If it is relatively simple to identify the views about the ‘Arab mind’ that had developed among Western officials by the early 1950s and to expose the intellectual influences behind them.72 . account must be taken of the ‘slave mentality’ of the average Egyptian … they seem to lack the confidence in themselves and the determination necessary to run a modern state. They realise their inability to exist without the support of a great power.

by a sense of ‘insecurity’ in the face of contact with Western superiors was at the heart of an important aspect of both British and American psychological strategy in the region. the culture and values of the West. logic dictated that it made more sense to focus on appeals to the educated elite rather than to the ‘Arab Street’. but the elites remained the primary target. Mass propaganda in the ‘emotional’ style was occasionally attempted. A major objective of British and American exchange programmes. the less these traditional basic attitudes apply’74 and from this perspective. economic. In this respect. his information officers in Beirut were ‘dealing with people who for the most part are incapable of appreciating close argumentation. In arguing that overseas propaganda should be formulated for. the ‘influential few’ rather than a mass audience. ‘Westernised’ Arab elite and the backward Oriental mob. the recommendations of the two major 1953 reports into the British and American overseas information services. had particular relevance to the conduct of propaganda in the Middle East. most often through the medium of clandestine radio. Logic never convinces the Oriental. Arab Minds’ 65 It had become clear to British and American propagandists that there existed a contradiction in the dissemination of persuasive material based on reasoned. the Arab feeling of inferiority and its resultant sense of insecurity had created a form of nationalism ‘hypersensitively hostile to Western political.75 The logical response was for Western propagandists to take the greatest possible care in their propaganda . since it was these institutions that would produce a future generation of Arab leaders better able to understand and acknowledge the wisdom of the Western position. The belief that Arab political culture was defined by subservience to West and. school and university projects was to assist in the development of an Arab elite familiar with. English language classes. the Drogheda and Jackson reports respectively.‘Western Voices. consequently. It was for precisely this reason that diplomats called for more Western schools in the Middle East.73 The resolution of this dilemma was sought in a concentration upon elite leadership groups rather than a continuing attempt to engage in mass persuasion. As Chapman Andrews noted from the British Embassy in Lebanon. and favourably disposed towards. or military control and Western assumption of superiority’. rational argument among a population supposedly defined by its childlike mentality and inability to reason logically. the Drogheda Report formalised the distinction in the Middle East between an educated. It’s hearts not heads we need to win out here’. As American officials argued in PSB D-22. and targeted at. PSB D-22 had explicitly argued that ‘the more Western the Arab.

the case that British or American officials were invariably incapable of a more ‘realistic appraisal’ of the causes of Western–Arab tensions. Arab communities. or to spare themselves the trouble and often the pain or shock of a more realistic appraisal. its themes. either through ignorance. An example of how this influenced policy in practice (to be examined in more detail in Chapter 6). the new Trade . or in order to deceive others. ‘Insecurity’ of this type could easily translate into envy. The Orientalist influence on Western policy makers dealing with the Middle East had one further unfortunate side effect.76 It seems reasonable at this point to return to Frankel’s analysis of the hidden assumptions behind foreign policy. rather than imagined. Council of Europe.66 The Failure of American and British Propaganda output to take into account the obsessive Arab desire for ‘dignity’ and ‘equality’. In consequence. the Arabs had substituted ‘emotional symbols such as imperialism as targets for attack instead of acting on the basic internal evils of the area’.77 It was not. produced a constant stream of valuable assessments of Western propaganda. in 1949. if only because of the relevance of his assertion that It is one of the recurrent themes of political argument that politicians not only perceive what they wish to perceive. As the PSB put it. The tendency of British and American politicians to ascribe Arab hostility to a supposedly inherent state of ‘irrationality’ allowed them to downplay or overlook the political sources of that hostility. methods and shortcomings from information officers in the field. The experience of actually working alongside Middle Eastern editors and journalists. Humphrey Trevelyan informed Christopher Warner that British information officers had discovered that ‘the local press is remarkably interested in Western European affairs such as items about the Council of Foreign Ministers. If the defining characteristic of Arab society was deemed to be ‘backwardness’. From Baghdad. is the manner in which British propagandists attempted to present the restructuring of Anglo-Arab relations in the post-war era as part of the forging of a new era of co-operation and equal partnership. of course. and living amongst real. hostility and ‘spite’. for example. but that they hide their preferences in seemingly objective and generally unarticulated assumptions. they were able to avoid the real issues at the heart of the growing tensions between the West and the Arab world. it was natural that the Arabs should feel a great degree of insecurity and inferiority in terms of their relationships with the advanced West.

These failures were attributed to an ‘Iranian mind’ characterised as emotional. they are impatient. Britain’s Ambassador in Tehran. presented Iranians as similar to Arabs in their manifestation of ‘Oriental’ psychological traits. PSB D-22. identified the character traits of ‘the Persian’ in the following terms: Being immature. constructive effort in the public or national interest. the section on the ‘Israeli mind’ opened with the observation that ‘The Israeli mind of today is an extremely difficult thing to describe because of the widely diverse origins. in fact. exploitation. and susceptible to demagoguery. for instance.78 Such observations rarely registered with officials committed to the Orientalist vision of the parochial Arab unable to see past his own individual.’ The Israeli attitude towards Arabs was described as similar to ‘that of the Western settlers in the US towards . It should also be noted. … Incapable of self-discipline. he is capable of great physical endurance.80 PSB D-22’s examination of Israelis makes for an interesting contrast with the earlier analysis of the Arab and Iranian political psychology. family or religious interests. energy. the dollar situation and the new West German State’. Where tens of millions of Arabs could be lumped together as a monolithic psychological entity. being Orientals. Together with a callous indifference to human suffering outside of his family. which scarcely admitted the concept of Arab individualism. It indulges in hero worship.‘Western Voices. Images of the Iranian ‘Persian mind’ and the Israeli ‘Jewish mind’ also played an important role in shaping Western propaganda output in the region. they are unable to believe in other people’s good intentions. Arab Minds’ 67 Union International. before moving on. Sir John Le Rougetel. In 1948. and backgrounds of the present population of Israel. and willingness or ability to undertake sustained. it was argued. ideal grist for the totalitarian mill and correspondingly allergic to the aims and tenets of social democracy. they are. Iranian national character. it is highly responsive to the effective exercise of authority. cultural levels. being Persians. they respect force and abhor reason. volatile.79 British stereotypes developed along similar lines. was ‘lacking in perseverance. … The Iranian is inured to hardship. except under the influence of fanaticism’. and autocratic rule. that the Arabs were not the only Middle Eastern peoples to be reduced to stereotypes.

vulgar’ and the Jews. though their superior intelligence tempts one to expect it of them.81 Israel occupied a less favoured status in the British imagination. the paper argued before concluding that Through the operation of economic forces. envisaged Israel as ‘the centre of infection in the region’ and. Sir William Strang. Almost every individual Israeli bears the traces of the past 2. over-confidence. emotional instability. placing a psychoanalytical twist on classical Orientalist themes. Of Tel Aviv. Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office could write ‘There is no stagnation here’.68 The Failure of American and British Propaganda the American Indians’ and to ‘the Jew’ was ascribed the belief that ‘the Arab is a colorful survivor of an age that is past’. Nevertheless. and there is invariably added a deep conviction that the world is in their debt. … Most basic of all the Jew believes in the Western philosophy that man can and should dominate his environment while the Arab for the most part accepts the thesis that man should accept the lot of God as given him on earth. ‘for all their European culture’ remained ‘an Eastern people.500 years of Jewish history – unsureness. It is not reasonable to expect that a nation made up of individuals so psychologically unstable should be capable of a mature foreign policy. announced that We must treat the Israelis as a sick people. fierce intolerance. Britain’s Ambassador to Israel in 1954. … His expertise in the West has taught the Jew the need for communal discipline and cooperation while the Arab still tends to be largely individualistic or clannish. at home in Palestine’. in contrast to the Arab world. superiority complex. tawdry. which was prone to stereotypes of a rather different kind. guilt complex – one or more of these characterizes most Israelis.82 In rather more sinister language.83 How far such views influenced British propaganda policy is open to question although we shall look further at the relationship between . ‘The techniques of the West that the Western European Jews have picked up in their wanderings means that they feel and actually are far more advanced than the Arabs’. Their illness is psychological. inferiority complex. noisy. Arab backwardness – the product of a civilisational resistance to the methods and values of the West – was also contrasted with the image of a Westernised Israeli mentality. Jack Nicholls. parts of the Arab world will become agricultural ‘colonies’ of industrialised Israel. the Israeli city was still ‘a terrible place.

At various times and in various degrees. For the moment it is perhaps enough to note that even the most trivial stereotypes might affect policy decisions. they provide an appropriate springboard for an analysis of British and US cultural diplomacy and in their efforts to create a sense of friendship and goodwill towards themselves among the populations of the Middle East. or consider of value.’84 Orientalism. anti-Semitism and other stereotypes did not necessarily dominate the formation of propaganda policy in the Middle East. . In the meantime. however. however. These are themes that will re-emerge in the chapters that look at British and American approaches to the questions of Arab nationalism and the Arab–Israeli dispute. as can be seen from the advice offered by MEID in 1949 to the effect that ‘We should not give anything to the Israelis gratis. Arab Minds’ 69 anti-Semitism and British propaganda vis-à-vis the Arab–Israel dispute in Chapter 5. The Israeli mentality is such that it does not appreciate. racism. anything supplied free.‘Western Voices. these forces were capable of exercising an important and singularly unhelpful role in the process of formulating persuasive material for the region.

for while there is a growing literature on the waging of the cultural Cold War in Europe. ‘public diplomacy’. the Middle East (despite J. and to the British contribution to the arts and sciences. ‘the diplomacy of ideas’ and ‘cultural exchange’ are merely among the most common. 26 June 1952 The study of cultural diplomacy in the Middle East presents a number of problems for the historian. Harold Beeley. ‘cultural relations’.3 ‘National Projection’ Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War The question is whether or not it is desirable to have in Iraq machinery which provides access to British ideas and ways of life. A major problem has been the difficulty experienced in locating the cultural element of international relations and this has led to a profusion of overlapping and interwoven categories of analysis of which ‘cultural diplomacy’. ‘intellectual relations’.M. Some scholars have deployed these terms more or less interchangeably. ‘national projection’. British Ambassador to Iraq. using them to denote the long-term processes ‘intended to promote a better understanding of the nation that is 70 . One is the paucity of existing research in the field. Though it is impossible to evaluate in precise terms the advantages derived by Her Majesty’s Government from the existence of this machinery. ‘cultural transmission’. I am personally convinced that it plays a distinctive and useful part in our effort to maintain and to strengthen the foundations of British influence in this country. Lee’s claim that it was the challenge of Arab nationalism that forced British policy makers to appreciate the importance of cultural diplomacy1) has not featured in the majority of these accounts.

desperate to counter perceptions of national decline. the notion that the Islamic societies of the Middle East were in a state of irreversible decline in the face of Western modernity was particularly common. universally true that modern education has the effect of weakening belief in revealed religion. Education and exchange Among the many Orientalist visions of the Middle East and its inhabitants held by influential Western officials.4 The British. which is understood as referring to a government’s employment or appropriation of cultural and educational activities in the pursuit of foreign policy goals. by the very fact of receiving an education. Indeed. In this sense. Sir Hugh Stonehewer Bird. recognised the value of its cultural activities. as Jessica Gienow-Hecht suggests. embarked upon their own project to ‘project’ positive images of Britain to the area. the ‘decline’ of Islam and the penetration of the region by Western educational methods were seen as inter-related processes.3 The Middle East offers the student of cultural diplomacy a fascinating field of study. not least because of the increased scale of British and American cultural activities in the region after 1945. I think. is to some extent separated from his uneducated Moslem brethren. in which both West and East fought to prove the superiority of their distinctive value systems and ‘way of life’.2 The preferred term here is ‘cultural diplomacy’. argued in 1946 that It is. The State Department. … The young Iraqi. represent a much wider and often less politically tangible set of transnational cultural connections. In this environment. the ideological struggle with the Soviet Union. meanwhile. One report from Baghdad in 1946 argued that it would be ‘folly to slash American cultural efforts’ on the grounds that ‘the Arab world’s leading statesmen and spokesmen have been and for the present will continue to be products of American cultural influences’. Britain’s Ambassador in Baghdad. merely provided fresh justification for an expanded programme of cultural activities. Such beliefs directly influenced British and American educational projects in the area. there is case to be made for drawing a distinction between ‘cultural diplomacy’ and the altogether more amorphous processes of ‘cultural relations’ which. The framework of his thoughts is . even during the post-war period in which its information and cultural activities departments were subject to severe cuts.Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 71 sponsoring the activity’.

would be mere ‘religious fanaticism … unlikely to survive the society’s progress towards integration’. but his belief that education was an important tool of cultural diplomacy was widely shared. … Education is of vital importance. the basic forces driving this process of integration were the political drive towards democratisation and the economic drive towards industrialism. or heard the voice of the imam calling the faithful to prayer through the public-address system mounted on his minaret can doubt that this process is already well advanced. nothing has been found more suitable than the British ideal of moderation. wholly in the fields of economics and defence. For Fellowes. social progress and individual freedom’. … No one who has seen the words ‘Coca-cola’ in neon-lighted Arabic script. its roots are in Christianity not in Islam. he confidently asserted.6 One would not claim that Fellowes’ views were universally accepted within the policy-making establishment. Any Islamist reaction to these forces. the notion of Islamic ‘decline’ was an important motivating force.5 Perhaps the most startling version of this thesis came from Peregine Fellowes. Every effort must be made to place first class British educationalists at the disposal of Arab governments. in general.’ Fellowes argued that the ultimate objective was to ensure that Islamic society should be integrated into Western civilization. ‘the Arabs are as intelligent as we. conceptualising Middle Eastern nationalism as ‘an approaching locomotive’. The education he receives is of necessity western. In the world-wide experience of Englishmen. Their failing is their lack of devotion to duty. educated Iraqis have lost their faith in Islam. we still supply much of the motive power. if only because there is another waiting to leap aboard and take control. observed that ‘we – that is Western civilization – set it going. It was in this context that Fellowes concluded that ‘our encouragement must be of a fundamental and long term character – the spread of Western education’. We cannot leave it now. and its existing tradition is secular and materialist. we taught the driver his trade. It is not. ‘as to the force which must fill the gap of retreating Islam. ‘There can … be no doubt’. argued Stonehewer Bird.’8 . even if we were confident that it was in good hands. toleration. therefore. surprising that.7 As Glubb concluded in his July 1945 memorandum. In this context.72 The Failure of American and British Propaganda disturbed and his basic assumptions challenged. a Foreign Office Arabist who. and so far as possible socially and culturally also.

however. By the mid-1950s. fond of exercise and pipe-smoking’ and they are anxious that this should be the type of man whose influence should be impressed upon the Egyptian students.11 Nevertheless. To this task Christian education has a peculiar relevance. it was stated. warning that A few of these people are not the right type to teach Egyptian youth. On a fund-raising tour of the United States in 1947.Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 73 The influence of this kind of thinking upon British educational establishments in the Middle East is clear. In 1947. who likes to talk about modern art and poetry in terms which are incomprehensible to the average Egyptian. and obliged to turn pupils away’. that it is only possible to influence him by starting from the very beginning and giving him the basis of a Western education’. ‘realise that their own traditional form of culture fits them ill for a place in a highly competitive modern world. any foreign school which opens its doors in Egypt will almost immediately find itself full.9 US educationalists espoused similar views.10 This obsession with ‘character’ could lead to some amusing moments of self-doubt. British diplomats in Cairo were particularly aggravated at the thought of the harmful influence that might be wrought in Egypt by a certain kind of British academic. officials continued to regard British schools as a most valuable arm of cultural diplomacy. was quick to make the point that What is needed is some force that can deal with national and personal ideas. that sets the scale of moral values and orients the developing personal and social life toward the goals we feel are essential for a world of freedom and progress. John Badeau. Their complaint. Many of the Egyptian professors … point out that the Egyptian idea of the Englishman is the ‘sportsman. is that they sometimes get the Englishman with long hair and brilliant ties. President of the American University in Cairo. … Consequently. Egyptian parents.12 The British Council admitted that the . Britain’s Ambassador in Beirut was convinced that the establishment of a British school in the Lebanon would be ‘the best single contribution we could make to the future of the Middle East’. British officials in Egypt argued in 1952 that the ‘cultural and intellectual background of the Egyptian is so far removed from that of the Westerner. for it deals directly with the problem of values and seeks to transmit the spiritual basis on which our democratic world order is built.

18 Such was the high regard in which the school was held that plans to establish a complementary secondary school were well advanced by the time of the Suez Crisis. Suez. All were considered to play an important role in building goodwill. in that activity methods of all kinds are successfully used to develop the children’s own initiative and interests and to wean them from over-reliance on bookishness and didacticism which characterises the Iraqi tradition of education. The belief that ‘education in a foreign school predisposes the former pupils to adopt an attitude of friendship towards the country whose culture they have absorbed’ led diplomats conclude that it would be ‘a disaster if the extent of our educational effort in this country was considerably reduced’. in 1947. Alexandria. impressed inspectors noted that The education given is British in character. and the Council was forthright in demanding the increases in funding that would enable it to maintain its educational programme in Egypt at the desired level. … I do not think it would be possible to exaggerate the excellent atmosphere of this school and the good which it must inevitably do in cementing AngloIraqi good relations’. there were six British Council schools in Egypt: the British School. were enrolled at the Ta’assissia Primary School in Baghdad described by the British Council in 1953 as one of its ‘best investments in Iraq’. . A visiting diplomat. nursery and primary education formed the mainstay of British Council operations. Egypt was at the heart of the British Council’s educational work. Cairo. it being argued that ‘Egyptians seem particularly impressionable at the age at which they attend university and few of them fail to develop a sincere admiration and affection for Britain as a result’. Heliopolis and the British Girl’s School. Alexandria.14 In early 1956. the great majority Iraqi.13 Given its status as the most powerful Arab nation and a centre of Arab cultural and intellectual life.74 The Failure of American and British Propaganda propaganda value of its schools lay in the fact that ‘their character building reputation’ enabled them ‘to attract the children of important families and to build up understanding of Britain both by their impact upon the pupils and by their contact with the parents’. The value of university placements for Egyptian students was considered in similar terms. Victoria College. the British Boy’s School. 82 children. Victoria College. the English School.17 A year later.15 In Iraq. Alexandria.16 By the mid-1950s. described the Council’s nursery school in Baghdad as ‘the most practical and successful piece of publicity work which I have seen so far in the Middle East.

22 and the work of the university and its staff featured regularly in the United States Information Agency’s (USIA’s) publicity output. the Lebanon and Persia’) and the Rockefeller Foundation (said to engage in ‘educational and health projects in Turkey. it was noted that ‘Twentynine of 40 Arab delegates … had attended American schools in the Near East’. the United States could look back on a distinguished history of involvement in Middle Eastern education dating back to the establishment of missionary colleges in the nineteenth century. there were firm foundations upon which to build. In its first series of ‘country papers’ produced in 1950. it concluded that if American schools could adapt to the climate of post-war nationalism. of which perhaps the most important were the American University at Beirut (founded in 1866 as the Syrian Protestant College) and the American University at Cairo (founded in 1919). The establishment of the Robert College in Istanbul in 1863 was followed by the inauguration of several other educational institutions. In 1956.19 When the State Department came to consider US educational efforts in the region in 1946. home and family welfare and agricultural training in Syria. the . Persia and the Lebanon’). sanitation. education. but private foundations and cultural organisations continued to play a major role in the twentieth century. By the early 1950s. Organisations such as the American Friends of the Middle East (AFME) provided funds and facilities for educational exchanges and visits to the United States for Middle Eastern students and scholars.Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 75 In 1945.21 The American University of Beirut (AUB) was the jewel in the crown of these American institutions. the Operations Co-ordinating Board (OCB) described AUB as ‘an important instrument for the advancement of American interest and influence in the Middle East’.23 When the US Government looked to expand its own educational programmes in the region. ‘they will continue to be the best American cultural influences in the Near East’. At the San Francisco conference to establish the United Nations Organisation in 1945. British observers drew particular attention to the Near East Foundation (which supported ‘a substantial programme of public health. Egypt. it represented a cultural asset that American propagandists could hardly fail to recognise.20 Impressed Foreign Office staff noted in 1952 that ‘there are said to be about 7000 Middle Eastern students in American educational institutions in the area’. The American colleges in the Middle East formed part of the legacy of nineteenth century missionaries. Enrolling nearly 3000 students from across the Middle East by the early 1950s. the State Department’s bid to extend the Fulbright educational exchange programme to the Middle East was well underway.

large numbers would turn instead to the United States and ‘come back with American ideas and tend to encourage the use of American equipment.000 for educational exchange grants.24 USIE’s country paper for Iraq also noted that ‘the expected successful negotiation of a Fulbright Agreement in 1950 strengthens hope for a substantial exchange program’.76 The Failure of American and British Propaganda United States Information and Educational Exchange Program (USIE) noted that The inauguration of the program in Syria has been so successful as to prompt a request from the Syrian Government for two additional American experts in the field of education for the coming year. a number that quickly rose to 43 in the first full year of the programme in 1951–52 and 56 in 1951–53. In its 1956 report to the State Department. 25 Egyptians received Fulbright grants. a fortnightly magazine ‘designed to keep alive the ties which Iraqi graduates of American universities have with the United States and to provide means of publicizing the contributions which this group is making to Iraq’s development’. If places for Iraqi students could not be found in Britain. it was estimated that over 500 Iraqis were studying in US schools and colleges. the United States Information Services (USIS) staff attempted to cement the academic and social bonds that these students had forged by publishing ‘Amgrad’. In total. … The careful selection of potential leaders for P. As the scheme began to get underway in 1950–51. The agreement led to a rapid increase in the numbers of Egyptian students receiving official sponsorship for studies in the United States. he warned.26 The developing scale of the American exchange program in Iraq caused some consternation for British officials. High priority should be given to this aspect of USIE activities. 269 Egyptians received Fulbright grants between 1950 and 1955 and 146 Americans received funds for studies in Egypt during the same period. 402 grants will contribute substantially toward winning friends for America. Harold Beeley wrote to Eden from Baghdad in 1952 to express concern that failure on Britain’s part to match American efforts would result in the growth of American influence at Britain’s expense.500.27 Egypt signed a Fulbright Agreement with the United States on 3 November 1949. the .L.25 Even before the extension of the Fulbright scheme to Iraq. leading to the establishment of a United States Educational Foundation for Egypt and the setting aside of $1. This is bound to weaken our own position and that of British experts serving the Iraq Government’. In Iraq.

Eisenhower declared himself willing to ‘fight. there were no American professors in teaching positions in Egypt outside the American-sponsored institutions. American professors are not only accepted.32 In fact. but in demand.28 In 1946. In April 1953.Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 77 United States Educational Foundation for Egypt stated that The Fulbright program has been successful in contributing toward better understanding between Egypt and the United States. and of students even more than those of mature age. the Library of Congress and Princeton University joined forces to stage a major conference on Islamic Culture in the modern world attended by both American and Middle Eastern scholars. This in effect is the impression desired.30 Such determination resulted in the maintenance of an extensive Middle Eastern exchange programme throughout the 1950s. in the face of Congressional threats to cut funding. … The diffusion of knowledge and the personal friendships made by both Egyptian and American grantees are the major contributions to international understanding made by the Fulbright program in Egypt. Turkey and every Arab State except Libya were present at colleges and universities in the US during the mid-1950s. In September 1953. The International Information Administration promoted the colloquium along these lines and has given it financial and other assistance because we consider that this . the conference looks like an exercise in pure learning.31 US academic institutions also provided opportunities for educational propaganda of a rather different kind. is the most effective means of establishing understanding and sympathetic contacts with future moulders of opinion in other countries’. USIA reports indicated that students from Iran.29 A decade later. today. Numbers ranged from just two Sudanese students during 1950–55 to 1958 Jordanian and 4478 Iranian students in the same period. The ostensible purpose is to promote good will and to further mutual understanding between Islamic peoples and the United States. Prior to the program. bleed and die’ for the educational exchange programme. strictly on the non-political level’. Office of Information and Cultural Affairs (OIC) had argued that ‘exchange of persons. American propagandists had been closely involved from the very outset. the International Information Administration (IIA) described how On the surface. The conference provided a welcome publicity opportunity for USIA and News Review ran a four-page feature describing it as ‘primarily an occasion for increasing American knowledge of Islam. Israel.

culture and the arts The ‘projection’ of Britain and the United States in the Middle East after 1945 encompassed a wide range of informational and cultural activities as well as a variety of themes and subjects. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the comparison of a 1946 Foreign Office memorandum titled ‘The Projection of Britain’ with a version of the same paper revised in 1952 after Churchill and Eden had returned to power.35 Prestige. For the British. The memorandum went on to focus upon the welfare reforms of the Attlee government. if any. other countries in which the opportunity for direct participation by the ordinary citizen are as great.36 Domestic politics had an important bearing on the kind of material incorporated into British national projection propaganda in the post-war decade. drawing attention to the bid to establish ‘a comprehensive . USIA also made substantial efforts to publicise the conference through their Middle Eastern media channels. the democratic institutions of Britain are innumerable.34 IIA and. In its recommendations for the kind of images of Britain to be popularised overseas. TWA and American Export into providing funding and travel facilities for delegates.78 The Failure of American and British Propaganda psychological approach can make an important contribution to United States political objectives in the Moslem area at this time. and Franklin Publications was successfully persuaded to pay for and undertake the translation and printing of the conference papers. the business ‘national projection’ was a particularly important task. and from town and county councils to Parliament itself. not least because of the fear that foreign opinion was increasingly viewing Britain as a ‘second division’ power in the post-war world. and one can see a clear distinction between the approaches of the 1945–51 Labour government and its Conservative successor. ‘Our main information task’. Pan-American.33 At various points. the State Department had tried to interest the ArabAmerican Oil Company (ARAMCO). British diplomats in Cairo argued in 1952. the 1946 document began by stressing British political and social democracy. arguing that From trade unions and working men’s clubs to cultural societies and parish councils. later. ‘is to proclaim that Britain is still strong and a Power … whose friendship is well worth having’. and there are few.

‘has embarked on the greatest experiment in a planned economy in a free society that the world has ever known’.Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 79 system of social services and industrial welfare second to none’. their American counterparts set about the task of identifying and communicating the meaning of ‘the American way of life’ with equal vigour. ‘demand that Britain’s military strength be deployed in areas as far distant from each other as central Germany and the Suez Canal.38 If British politicians and propagandists worked to promote positive images of Britain in their overseas propaganda. head of . replaced by an acknowledgement of the benefits to be gained from Britain’s presence in overseas territories. Pinckney Tuck. ‘The British approach to the … Colonial Empire is both liberal and dynamic’. Britain’s world-wide commitments. the emphasis was upon the notion of the British Commonwealth as ‘the centre of a world-wide association of peoples’ and the theme that ‘British “Imperialism” is dead in so far as it ever existed. In the field of foreign affairs. it was argued. it was stated. Later in the memorandum came references to Britain as a ‘bulwark of democratic freedom’ but the Attlee government’s enthusiasm for the ‘planned economy’ had predictably disappeared. ‘On the sound foundations now established Britain pushes forward with schemes for the enlightenment and welfare of the Colonial peoples and for giving them an ever-increasing measure of self-government’. purpose and rearmament. dealt with in the final section of the memorandum. The Conservative vision of Britain would claim only that Britain has every intention of retaining and perfecting these social welfare schemes within the limits of the economic possibilities of the present time. the Malay Peninsula and Korea’. The 1946 document’s references to the death of ‘British imperialism’ had also gone. except as a slogan used by our critics’. Britain. … It is the aim of our economic planning to secure these objectives without prejudicing the essential liberties of every British citizen. it was claimed. The new version emphasised Britain’s international role above domestic social and economic reforms. Colonial policy was presented as one of progressive development.37 Comparisons with the 1952 document are instructive. ‘British knowledge and experience in the Middle East’. it was argued. ‘contributes to the welfare of those countries not only in the commercial sphere but also in the advice and collaboration freely given to their governments through the British Middle East Office’. Eden’s Foreign Office was keen to stress British strength.

and the State Department announced that the Voice of America (VOA) and other USIS media were concentrating on ‘the dynamic nature of the American system and the continuing progress made in our economy and our political and social life’. arguing that American conceptions of national identity differed from the European tradition. ‘we would be making a tragic error should we fail to use the valuable knowledge gained during the war through OWI activities in interpreting America to Egypt’. News Review seized on this vision of American identity and values to counter the familiar European and Soviet condemnations of American materialism and ‘dollar imperialism’. ‘In my opinion’. that it embodies an ideal’.43 A fine example of this . and argued that ‘it would be suicidal to our foreign policy to permit such impressions to be spread unhindered’.40 The prevalence of anti-American stereotypes prompted the State Department to respond. News Review declared that ‘American capitalism today is a system in which all Americans have a share. he argued in 1946. a tendency which can be traced back to Glubb’s 1945 reminder that ‘thanks and praise can scarcely be overdone to such an emotional people as the Arabs’. Tuck concluded that much of this European propaganda ‘conveys by implication the impression that the United States is a country of selfish misers and uncultured “dollar chasers”. but a human revolution applicable for liberty-loving peoples the world over’.39 Concerned at the apparent running down of the information and cultural relations programme in 1947.80 The Failure of American and British Propaganda the American Legation in Cairo. the idea of an ongoing ‘American Revolution’ was incorporated into the USIE programme.41 News Review picked up the theme in July 1951. Announcing that ‘Main Street has replaced Wall Street’. this amounted to little more than outright flattery. The American citizen. was especially forthright in his efforts to persuade the State Department of the importance of this task in Egypt and the Middle East. possessed an ‘unspoken assumption that his nation is something more than a nation. The American way of life was thus characterised as a ‘universal proposition’ representing not merely an American. Frequently. that it is an experiment permanently evolving into something new. By the early 1950s. it was argued.’42 Another form of positive propaganda employed in the Middle East was the dissemination of material designed to illustrate bonds of friendship between Arabs and Westerners. Tuck drew attention to the fact that the ‘major European countries are making far greater efforts to … win friends in Egypt than we are’ and claimed that ‘much of this effort is directed in a pointedly derogatory sense to the United States’.

Matta’s testimony was invoked as an indictment of alleged communist ‘brainwashing’ techniques. will come bursting into the twentieth century. a Major in the US Air Force and the first air ‘Ace’ of the Korean War. congratulated the State Department on the publicity treatment given to the story of George Matta. James Jabara. In May 1953. Harold Minor. the US Ambassador in Beirut.49 . In one package this story (1) exploded the myth of germ warfare (2) stirred the pride of the Lebanese (3) brought the far-away Korean conflict home to Lebanon and (4) was a fascinating.Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 81 approach can be seen in USIA’s assertion in February 1955 that These many peoples who make up the Arab world are peoples of genius. given the chance. This story is the best of its kind we have yet received. Jabara’s visits to Beirut and Damascus were deemed to have been enthusiastically received and resulted in heavy USIS media coverage. The Korean War provided several opportunities for propaganda of this kind. readable story to boot. when Jabara was the subject of a major feature in News Review.45 as a defence of American conduct in Korea and as an example of a brave Arab-American doing his bit to make the world safe for freedom and democracy.48 The story was still receiving attention eighteen months later. As Minor put it in his despatch to the State Department. Sponsored by the ‘Syrian–Lebanese American Federation’. providing a unique opportunity for American propagandists to demonstrate the friendship of the United States for the Arab world.44 A favourite American technique was to draw attention to the lives and achievements of Arab-Americans and particular individuals were held up as proof of the existence of a special bond of friendship and understanding. Arab-Americans could be presented as the personal embodiment of that bond. a Lebanese-American Army Sergeant recently released after 26 months as a prisoner of war.46 Matta’s story was subsequently reported in News Review under the sensationalist headline ‘I Survived!’47 but his was not the only story of Lebanese-American heroism in the Korean War to be disseminated by USIS staff in the Middle East. Their past proves that any Arab. The Arabs have the potential of making contributions to modern civilization just as the people who now call themselves Arabs created many ancient civilizations. was despatched on a goodwill tour of the region in early 1952.

‘Who is the American Muslim?’ asked the magazine in July 1954. the Foreign Office commissioned and distributed throughout the Middle East a film entitled ‘Arab Tour of Britain’53 and in the mid-1950s. was the ultimate embodiment of Arab-American unity. The ‘successful immigrant’ theme featured strongly in the pages News Review. a successful newspaper publisher in Brooklyn. an automobile worker in Detroit. you probably cannot tell him from his countrymen’. but News Review was also quick to publicise stories about the ‘everyday lives’ of Arabs and Muslims in America. a New York businessman. Joseph A.52 British propagandists had rather less scope for this kind of material. then. but they made the most of the opportunities that presented themselves. under the headline ‘25 Years of Arab-American Goodwill’. the Arab and the American. Al Aalam ran articles on the impact of Islamic culture on Europe. All were presented as classic examples of Arabs living out the American dream. the Michigan tobacco distributor. The world has owed much to Britain’s . Foreign Office guidelines for ‘projection of Britain’ propaganda had stressed that ‘British culture is alive as ever. Al Aalam ran articles presenting the story of the Arab community in Manchester. one and the same man. For reasons that will be investigated in Chapter 7.50 Here. economic and technological modernisation of Iraq.82 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Arab-American military figures proved especially popular in the USIA campaign. Al Aalam came to pay particular attention to the social. the front cover featured the image of Elia Abu Mady. In 1947. and the Jersey City entrepreneur. ‘London Letter’. the ‘world’s oldest university’. In 1946. archaeological discoveries at sites of historical interest in the Arab world and the history of Al Azhar. The Arabic Service of the BBC devoted several broadcasts to descriptions of Muslim communities in Britain and a weekly programme. Attention was also drawn to Arab achievements in the modern era in terms of technological. … Unless you see him entering a mosque. physically indistinguishable. Ali Mahadeen.51 Similar stories hailed the Chicago contractor. was dedicated to the thoughts of an Arab commentator on life in the British capital.54 The editorial policy of Al Aalam was designed to ensure that a set proportion of articles presented a positive image of Arab history and culture. Between May 1956 and October 1957. artistic and sporting relations with the Middle East. Ahmed Dellich. In January 1954. Nejem. the experiences of the Arab head of the London Islamic Centre at Cambridge University and the interchange of British and Arab industrial methods.55 Both Britain and the United States sought to develop their cultural. scientific and social development. answering its own question with a description of ‘a California farmer.

have exerted a major influence on modern civilisation’.59 One Tehran cinema. and in 1949. Staff in Egypt reported that Anthony Asquith’s The Winslow Boy had overcome Arab resistance to ‘films with a particularly English flavour’ and been ‘a great prestige success’. In the 1940s. I also take a friend with me.62 In Beirut.56 The British Council. having placed an order for 15 Eagle-Lion films in 1945. showed only the first four before a marked absence of box office success led to the cancellation of the contract. only six British films were shown (as against 66 American and 21 French features). Arthur Rank Corporation in order to promote British films in the Middle East. sought to puncture the myth (often perpetuated in European propaganda) that the United States possessed no distinctive cultural offerings of its own. literature. Jack Howes. through the efforts of the State Department. during the final quarter of 1947. was assigned the role of organising British cultural and artistic exchange programmes and tours. sports etc.61 The situation was not as consistently bleak as it appeared to some. institutions. it was still felt that British films were considered to be ‘class films’ appealing to intellectual elites. officials in Beirut reported that while ‘There is no doubt that the quality of British films is now appreciated … more action and less dialogue would make British films more acceptable to the Lebanese public.. while the United States.57 They soon realised. and British films seem to have been rather more popular among the cultural elites of Cairo and Beirut.60 Statistics compiled in Baghdad for the first quarter of 1948 indicated that not one British film had been screened in a period in which 66 American and 46 Egyptian films had been shown in Iraqi cinemas. and numerous private actors.’64 . that Middle Eastern audiences tended to dismiss British films as ‘dull and unimaginative’.Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 83 cultural exports. USIA. the local information officer. and British ideas. The bid to establish British and American feature films in the region provides another important example of state–private interaction. however.58 British information staff in Baghdad complained in 1947 that ‘the lack of entertainment value in our own films prejudices their popularity amongst proprietors of commercial cinemas’.’63 Nevertheless. but it was nevertheless felt that ‘British films have made a good start in this country and that ‘the old complaints such as “British films are too slow” or “They are made for the British people only” have become noticeably fewer’. in addition to its educational projects. went on to claim that these criticisms had been replaced by remarks such as ‘When I hear that there is an English film on I go and see it without asking questions and if James Mason is in it. British information officers worked closely with Alexander Korda’s Eagle-Lion Company and the J.

one of the outstanding successes of the USIS programme in Egypt. The USIS Film Section reported in July 1947 that an agreement had been reached with the British-owned J. Green and Company. which is largely left to the American industry with its greater resources. At a meeting on Egyptian education held in Alexandria in November 1946. it was reported that USIS films had gained a reputation for ‘being a highly interesting. which possessed a monopoly on the commercial showing of 16 mm films in Egypt. observing that ‘very few British Council films could be classified as strictly educational because most of the films contained obvious propaganda’. which became the centre of a substantial US film propaganda programme. British and American information officers discussed the use of film in Egyptian schools and colleges. initially keen to show ‘any exciting cops and robbers film with plenty of motor car chases [and] any sexy musical comedy’. Professor Green (a British Professor of Psychology of the Higher Institute of Education in Alexandria) expressed deep dissatisfaction with British Council productions.66 By December 1948.67 These audience figures referred not to commercial Hollywood features.062 persons. could suggest only The Dam Busters and The Tales of Hoffman before conceding that ‘The trouble is that the … [Syrians] … will not be interested in domestic comedy or drama. but in display.234. ‘in bringing both film strips and motion pictures into the classroom’. the films officer in Cairo could still report that in June alone the total audience reached by his films was an impressive 95. Even in 1947.’65 Those American resources were put to consistent use in the Middle East. a former Office of War Information (OWI) operative now based at the American University in Cairo. .84 The Failure of American and British Propaganda By the mid-1950s. but to USIS educational and documentary films. the low-point in the post-war fortunes of the State Department’s information agencies. educational medium’ and that the USIS Cairo Film Section was working with Wendell Cleland. USIS Cairo was able to report that ‘USIS film audience figures for Egypt surpassed all previous records with a total of 336.69 It was not long before the British were actively seeking American assistance. In October 1946. British information officers had lost interest in commercial film as a channel for British propaganda in the Middle East. A half-hearted attempt to stage a British film festival at the 1955 Damascus international fair foundered when Information Policy Department (IPD) staff. at which we excel.68 USIS completely outperformed the British Council in this field. … The new record results from intensification of film work by Egyptian Government agencies in cooperation with USIS’. and particularly in Egypt.

73 In the event. Government films and be paid by the U. Even private companies active in the film propaganda business were at risk. ‘Portrait of an American Family’ apparently backfired when its message that Americans were free to change employment whenever they pleased clashed with the Iraqi tendency to ‘value the stability and security of single job’. ‘Cinerama’ had succeeded in ‘eclipsing communist exhibits at the fair’.71 Another problem faced by both British and American mobile film units in the Middle East was their vulnerability to hostile receptions. particularly when political tensions were running high.77 Henry Byroade (the State Department’s Assistant Secretary . He is not able to get delivery on educational subjects from England nor dollars to buy American films. the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) prepared ‘a spectacular U. Things have now reached a point where Green is so starved for new educational product that he is willing to show our pictures on our terms.S. Concerned about the possibility of a communist propaganda success.S. Its projectionists have been attacked with Coca Cola bottles in several schools midst anti-American outcries.74 USIA staff proclaimed that the ‘dramatic success of the exhibition of CINERAMA at the Damascus Fair has far exceeded all hopes and expectations’75 and reported that in attracting ‘thousands of persons from the entire Arab world’.Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 85 ‘On several occasions since the first OWI film operations began in this area’ USIS staff observed. to compete for prestige with an exhibit expected to be set up by Russia’. ‘Green has attempted to secure exclusive rights to the showings of U.76 Amid rumours that the ‘Communists will attempt to stop CINERAMA by sabotage’ and reports of Soviet complaints that the US exhibit was ‘unfair competition’.72 One highly successful use of film as Cold War propaganda came at the 1954 Damascus fair. ‘Projection of America’ features in Iraq were said to ‘fail at times due to Iraqi lack of understanding freedom and democracy’ and one example.’70 The USIS documentary film programme was not without its difficulties and drawbacks.S. USIA. cinerama exhibit. the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) in Damascus was able to report that the ‘Fair officials and other important Syrians as well as leading diplomatic observers have expressed opinion [that] CINERAMA is [the] fair’s most popular attraction’ and that ‘demand for tickets [was] far in excess [of] supply’. for this service. USIS Cairo reported in February 1948 that The Coca Cola Company which has been showing its two reel color film and USIS films in schools has had to suspend showing in Egyptian Government boys schools.

enquiring ‘if American moving pictures were being furnished in the Near East’ and suggesting ‘taking over at least one small theatre in . Jackson wrote to Eisenhower’s Chief of Staff.86 The Failure of American and British Propaganda of State at the Near East desk) described Cinerama as a ‘glowing … U.S. C. victory in the Cold War’. and every effort should be made by the latter to increase the positive contribution of commercial film to the United States propaganda and information program. the State Department and USIA worked closely with the representatives of major Hollywood studios.80 Wilson Dizard is perhaps rightly sceptical of the value of the contribution made by Cecil B. the report went on to assert that There is evidence that the film industry is prepared to cooperate with the Government. working with CIA and FBI. Jackson’s only real concern.’ Noting approvingly that ‘the American film industry. was that the press might ‘state that the motion picture industry was being taken over by USIA’. Roosevelt recognised the propaganda potential of Hollywood films in the Middle East as early as March 1945. and he suggested inviting ‘two or three other Administration characters’ in order to forestall this possibility’.D. The USIA developed its own plan to bring its influence to bear upon the Hollywood moguls and Jackson requested that the President host a dinner for the key figures in the major Hollywood studios (including Cecil B. Sherman Adams. observing that One of the ideas that has been kicking around since Daryl [sic] Zanuck was a witness before the Jackson Committee has been the right way to get Hollywood to understand the propaganda problems of the US and to insert in their scripts and in their action the right ideas with the proper subtlety. In 1954. Hollywood provided a stream of cultural exports to dwarf the output of the British film industry.81 but it would be wrong to ignore the Hollywood factor in American propaganda to the Middle East. has cooperated in removing communists from production units’.78 If the official American film programme was relatively successful. ‘Seventy-five percent of the free world’s screen time is held by American commercial films.79 In subsequent years. the Warner brothers and Walt and Roy Disney) at which the plan would be outlined to them. Darryl Zanuck. DeMille in his role as Chief Consultant to USIA. As the 1953 Jackson Report acknowledged. DeMille.

and staff in Iraq reported in 1948 that ‘Baghdad at night resounds to swing and wild west shootings from the various open air cinemas. A few words about the world situation dropped strategically by him would have immeasurable effect’. Hollywood could. arguing that if Crosby were to make ‘a USO-type tour of NEA countries.Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 87 various cities where American films of various kinds might be shown’.. Dr Robert Johnson. was eventually forced into an embarrassing denial of American ‘book burning’. there is evidence that USIS staff worked closely with representatives of M. The US Legation in Cairo was among the overseas posts to report an unfavourable response to the Congressional investigations into Communist influence in Hollywood. the reception he would receive would be enormous’. The reaction of nervous USIS posts to allegations that ‘questionable’ or ‘objectionable’ texts were held by American overseas libraries (which saw works such as Dashiel Hammet’s The Maltese Falcon.87 Other movie stars suggested as possible collaborators included Bob Hope. as head of the State Department’s IIA. Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead and Theodore Huff’s biography of Charlie Chaplin removed from the shelves) led to predictable attacks both at home and overseas.G.83 In contrast to the mixed fortunes of British films. James Stewart and Gary Cooper. on occasion. Judy Garland. USIE appear to have been especially keen to acquire the services of Bing Crosby. 20th Century Fox and RKO Pictures in the Middle East. In 1951. USIE suggested arranging tours of the Middle East by ‘important US personages of a non-political character’. Clark Gable.84 ‘westerns and slapstick humour of the Abbot and Costello variety’ were extremely popular with Arab audiences.89 The Jackson Report also expressed concern that ‘the impact of American commercial films on foreign audiences is not always to the . In this connection.’86 American popular culture and the Hollywood star system provided the spark for a State Department scheme to use celebrities as informal American ‘ambassadors’.85 British observers agreed. Lana Turner. ‘As hearings opened’.88 The incident foreshadowed McCarthy’s later assault on the State Department’s own information and broadcasting agencies. Jack Benny. An additional advantage to the recruitment of a celebrity like Crosby to the USIE programme was that ‘he would not be suspected of political chicanery. prove to be more a liability than an asset.M. ‘the press handled the stories as a matter of grave import … but later swung over to give wide space to critics of the investigation’. Myrna Loy.82 Even if this project did not materialise. USIS staff observed. American propagandists were able to report that ‘Disney cartoons’.

90 Some Hollywood films were apt to embarrass British as much as American sensibilities. and later broadcast by the VOA or local broadcasters in the city that was being honoured. with its depiction of ‘British prisoners bowing to Japanese sentries.93 Similarly. whether classical or popular. particularly those working for Sharq al-Adna. where the San Francisco Ballet Company’s performance in Tehran was declared ‘without question a great success and … the most important American cultural presentation which has been made in Iran’. ‘but apparently in a very wishy-washy fashion and there are no compensating shots of the Japanese being knocked about. dedicated to a particular Middle Eastern city. If British propagandists.88 The Failure of American and British Propaganda advantage of the United States’ and observed that ‘Many films have been damaging to United States interests’. One of the ways in which State Department Private Enterprise Cooperation sought to build cultural links in the Middle East was through the organisation of so-called symphony salutes. such concerts included a ‘salute’ from Houstoun to Ankara and from Rochester to Tehran. however. USIA was also happy with reports from Iran.’91 Music. but also that it had proved to be ‘perhaps the most significant cultural presentation ever offered in Iraq’. were adept at the former technique.94 By the mid 1950s. for instance. One 20th Century Fox drama about Japanese prisoner-of-war camps. particularly through the appointment of a Cultural Affairs Adviser and the Agency Director’s role as the executive agent of the President’s Emergency Fund for . USIA later proved eager to use American classical musicians in the Middle East. Having initially expressed the opinion that an operatic performance in Baghdad would be ‘doomed to failure’. Occasionally. USIA was stepping up its involvement in cultural (as opposed to purely informational) activities. In early 1957. the Agency was particularly pleased with the Iraqi response to the Baghdad performances of opera diva. These were concerts by American symphony orchestras. American propagandists led the way in incorporating music into their national projection material. Western or Arabic.92 Keen to dismantle the stereotype of the uncultured American. our women being beaten up and raped … Australian troops being shot down and so on’ was identified by one British diplomat in Egypt as ‘a most unfortunate film to show in the Middle or Far East’. providing a national cultural showcase for composers and performers. ‘It is true that it all comes right in the end’. the Iraqi press eventually reported not only that the concert had sold out. Eleanor Steber. Three Came Home (1950). he concluded. music served as a form of propaganda in its own right. In 1952. was often used by British and American broadcasters as a means of attracting an audience and ‘sugaring the pill’ of more overtly political propaganda content.

a tradition that women who sing or dance in public places (except in the rather formal concert hall setting) also act as ‘hostesses’ between shows and are available for ‘dates’. ‘a number of the highest quality American artistic performers have already been presented abroad’. … Therefore. this is the interpretation which would be put on any showing of ‘Oklahoma’.97 Jazz and swing. In June 1955. with considerable reluctance. USIA announced. understood or appreciated’.96 Other suggestions for the export of American musicals to the Middle East were less welcome. Unquestionably. the Embassy recommends that ‘Oklahoma’ NOT be scheduled for a Baghdad showing during its forthcoming tour. on the other hand. USIS officials in Iraq were gaining airtime on Baghdad Radio for records by Glenn Miller.95 Performances were given in Alexandria. would be enhanced by such a venture. with one Egyptian newspaper denouncing the United States as a country that does not believe that Negroes are human beings. ‘There is no theatrical tradition in Iraq which would make the musical.S. Middle Eastern press coverage of racial segregation in America was often scathing. Thus it seems doubtful that the cultural interests of the U. it came to be inextricably bound up with the campaign to minimise the damaging impact of images of American racial segregation upon overseas opinion.Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 89 International Affairs. before noting that There is. the American Embassy in Iraq informed the State Department that it had regretfully decided to decline the opportunity of sponsoring a performance of ‘Oklahoma’ in Baghdad. perhaps unfortunately. “Oklahoma”. Cairo and Haifa in January 1955 and USIS posts were told to gain maximum publicity for the events (a task somewhat complicated by USIA’s demands that there be ‘no publicity regarding the plan to send the troup to Israel until it has left Egypt’ and that ‘We do not say that the tour is sponsored by the US Government’). and particular attention was drawn to the tour of the Middle East by the Porgy and Bess Company. they pointed out. ‘Under the Fund’.99 Jazz provided not only a form of cultural propaganda in its own right. does not admit their right to education … forbids any Negro from approaching it or . Artie Shaw and Coleman Hawkins in early 194698 and staff in Egypt reported that its ‘Hollywood Entertainment Shows’ and miscellaneous jazz and dance music series were among the American recordings most popular with the Egyptian State Broadcasting (ESB). provided American propagandists with a musical genre that they could present as an original American art form.

as Von Eschen points out.105 Sport was also used as a tool of Western cultural diplomacy in the Middle East. By the mid-1950s. in an October 1954 memorandum entitled ‘International Athletics – Cold War Battleground’. Abbott Washburn. Lebanon and Turkey. cultured and God-fearing children of Adam and Eve. USIA and the State Department seized upon the idea of using jazz musicians to provide ‘living proof to foreign audiences of the great progress achieved by the [Negro] race under the American democratic system’. declared that ‘Communism has thrown down a challenge on the sports fields of the world’.90 The Failure of American and British Propaganda enrolling with the ‘pure white angels’ – the civilized. not an accident.100 When. adding that The recapturing of American prestige as a sports leader or at least the arresting of the depreciating of … American prestige in the minds of world youth necessarily depends on greater participation in important international competitions by United States athletes and sports teams.103 The fact that the very first ‘jambassador’ tour. the State Department and USIA set about finding a means to minimise the damage being done. The Agency’s Deputy Director. Nelson Rockefeller’s Planning Coordination Group concluded that ‘sensitivity about race is one of the chief obstacles to sympathy with the West in much of the NEA area’101 the White House. went to the Middle East was. ‘Diplomatically’. it was about seeking to ‘shore up the support’ of the Middle Eastern ‘perimeter’ states. It was. Dizzy Gillespie and others. moving through Pakistan. As well as information and press work drawing attention to racial desegregation. USIA had come to see international sport as a crucial area of Cold War competition for global prestige. his popularity presented to Arab readers as proof that Asians were ‘just like Americans when it comes to jazz’.106 . led by the Dizzy Gillespie band. while ‘distinguishing the United States from European colonial powers’. in 1955. she notes. enlightened.102 The history of America’s ‘jazz ambassadors’ has now received excellent and extended analysis in Penny Von Eschen’s study of the Eisenhower administration’s sponsorship of overseas tours by Louis Armstrong. Gillespie’s tour opened in Iran. moving ‘through the Eisenhower administration’s conception of a “perimeter defense … along the Northern Tier” ’. Syria.104 The ‘jambassadors’ subsequently featured heavily in USIS output in the Arab world. according to Von Eschen. Armstrong appeared in several News Review articles.

reporting the 21–19 victory of the Amman students and noting how the American diplomats had presented the Jordanians with bats. An article on ice hockey described how players were ‘mounted on steel runners that have the cutting properties of Damascus blades and armed with crooked hickory sticks a yard and a half long’ in pursuit of ‘a hard rubber disk firm enough to dent a human skull’. Play it as .110 State Department agencies sponsored other sports tours of the Middle East and a Pennsylvania State University soccer team’s 1951 tour of Iran was considered to have been particularly successful. ‘the Amateur Athletic Union is giving full cooperation in the development of U. In early 1952. and a couple of university coaches have gone to India to hold “athletic clinics”. That’s all.108 Sport featured regularly in the pages of News Review. Washburn was less than impressed by the US effort. No teams. Keep the visit on the sports level. team toward the Iranians. In a report on ‘Private Enterprise Cooperation’ before the Appropriations Committee the office announced that among the ‘unconventional devices and techniques’ recently employed. although some of the efforts made to ‘sell’ North American sports to Arab readers now read rather oddly.109 The State Department Private Enterprise Cooperation office was also active in using American sports teams and institutes as part of its cultural relations operations. using the opportunity to score some public relations points with the Jordanians. Washburn noted that ‘Exhibition diver Sammy Lee has been on a tour of the Middle and Far East. News Review picked up the story under the heading.Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 91 As far as US ‘sports diplomacy’ in the Near East was concerned. the American Legation in Jordan organised its own baseball game against a local Amman college. Examining the American record in January 1955.S. participation in the Olympics as a psychological factor in international affairs’. ‘Jordanians Beat Americans at Own Game’. At the lowest level were efforts made by US representatives in the Arab world to use sport to forge bonds of friendship with those among whom they lived and worked. caps and other equipment purchased by members of the Legation. In 1952. it suggested sending members of the United States track and field teams on tours of the Middle East and made approaches to the American Athletics Union. balls. State Department publicity guidance subsequently noted that ‘the excellent reception given to the Penn State soccer team is evidence that Iranians are genuinely friendly toward the United States’ and asked USIS posts to ‘play up Iranian hospitality and friendliness and the favorable reactions of the U.’107 Washburn had overlooked a number of different American sportsrelated activities.S.

were more successful in that they incorporated ‘locally popular sports such as cycling. Herbert Hoover Jr announced. French newsreels.117 Information staff . British officials reported that there was ‘not sufficient variety in the British newsreels [and] sports such as rugby union and cricket … are neither understood nor popular in the Lebanon’.92 The Failure of American and British Propaganda non-political’.115 Features on the Olympic Games appeared occasionally in British propaganda. Alexandria. had visited Lebanon in 1953. particularly in the emphasis placed on British national sports in newsreels. Information officers in Cairo informed the Middle East Information Department (MEID) in 1949 that football. ‘but not cricket in which Egyptians take very little interest’. Olympic athletes Mal Whitfield and Robert Mathias. ‘As you know’. holding coaching clinics.116 Even on this theme. in the mid-1950s. they observed.114 From Beirut. the Department has been very cognizant of the unlimited possibilities for racial understanding and good will which can be derived from tours of this type. however. swimming.112 The basketball exhibition team. Beirut. ski-ing’. giving exhibitions and talking to sports club organisers and youth groups. the latter described by State Department propagandists as ‘America’s greatest all round athlete of modern times’. Cairo.113 British propagandists also used sport within their cultural diplomacy programmes in Middle Eastern countries. The Department has facilitated the various tours abroad of the Globetrotters for the past four or five years. Baghdad and Istanbul in July 1955. In this connection. the Harlem Globetrotters. and the Ikhwan al Hurriya made much of the success of Egyptian athletes at the 1948 London Olympics. basketball and swimming were popular subjects. … Their attraction consists not only in superb skill but also showmanship and broad humor which is intelligible to all regardless of race. language or knowledge of basketball. The British Council commissioned a series of sporting documentary films (including features on the Wimbledon tennis championships and the FA cup final) for Arab audiences but the possibility of hitting cultural ‘blind spots’ was ever present. care had to be taken to avoid offending Egyptian sensitivities and Eagle-Lion later reported that it had not thought it appropriate to show its film of the 1948 games in Egypt ‘since no shots appeared of participating Egyptian teams’.111 Later. both embarked on goodwill tours of the Middle East. and the State Department subsequently announced plans for another tour of the Middle East taking in Tel Aviv.

had been ‘banned in Syria because it made no mention of Arab victories’. George V. There must be some sense of mutual respect. he argued. a State Department enquiry into American cultural relations with the Arab world produced the warning that A cultural relations program which shovels out thousands of dollars of materials and services. the message appeared to have hit home. virtually a one-way street. the only exception being archaeological research facilities. therefore. telling our people about their lands and explaining to us what their governments are trying to do. some consultation on our part as to their desires in the way of information and cultural services.118 ‘Two Way Street.121 That this should have been so was hardly surprising. We must endeavor not only to tell foreigners about the United States but to assist in the process by which Americans learn about foreigners. director of the State Department’s Office of Public Affairs. ‘Cultural relations’. Allen.’122 When the conduct of cultural diplomacy in the Middle East was so often conceptualised as part of a civilisational . … Nothing promotes goodwill so successfully as an interest in the other person’s activities or accomplishments. ‘The Glory of Sport’. and some demand on our part for the exchange of their cultural goods against ours. given the view. openly expressed at USIS Baghdad. We should welcome … the information work of foreign governments inside the United States.Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 93 in Damascus even reported that this film. especially on a charity basis.119 Superficially. addressed the US Advisory Commission on Information. Cultural cooperation between Iraq and the United States will be. In 1948. One Way Traffic?’ The Cold War politics of cultural exchange Shortly after the end of the war. must be a two way street if we are to avoid a justified accusation of imperialism. meets with the cupidity and contempt of foreigners. The State Department’s post-war assessment had been quick to complain that ‘the principal of mutuality has often been disregarded in the hasty setting up of a program or the taking over of a war pressure program’. at least. that ‘Iraq has little to offer the United States of a cultural nature.120 The reality was less satisfactory.

This. the Jackson Committee institutionalised the conception of a ‘total Cold War’ strategy. I believe that the acid test is not whether political information activities “contaminate” the purity of cultural projects. having described the Egyptian petit-bourgeois or ‘effendi’ class as ‘the crude product of superficial eastern civilisation … the people who think they know how the western world works’ went on to cast doubt on the value of British cultural relations work among them. In 1953.124 Throughout the period. particularly on the American programme. may have benefited the political propagandists but it was far more questionable as a guiding philosophy for cultural diplomacy. The challenge for cultural diplomats.’123 Another factor to be considered was that the Cold War was itself providing the impetus for the politicisation of Western cultural relations. It is clear that the Cold War imposed pressures. one State Department officer told the Office of Information and Cultural Affairs’ (OIC’s) William Stone. the principle of mutuality was predictably forgotten or deployed as a device to flatter the target audience. but rather whether the latter impede the success of the former’. driven by the contingencies of the Cold War.94 The Failure of American and British Propaganda mission to enlighten and educate. ‘will be beneficial only in measure as our foreign policy is successful. The primacy of short-term political objectives. however. was to ensure that their work remained untainted by the whiff of politics as far as their target audiences were concerned. ‘With all respect’. ‘Long-term cultural projects’. the state agencies responsible for American cultural relations were firmly located within the US national security establishment. One Foreign Office official. Indeed. military and economic branches. Cultural diplomacy was always ‘political’ in the sense that it was conceived of as long-term propaganda designed to facilitate the pursuit of diplomatic objectives. was thus established at an . The contempt in which several Western propagandists held their Arab subjects was often palpable. diplomatic. We have attempted to interest the young Arab in Shakespeare’s birthplace and Stonehenge and have expended a great deal of energy in flattering their little vanities and persuading them that they are the future hope of the Middle East countries. connecting the psychological arm of foreign policy with the more traditionally revered. some American officials entirely reversed the orthodox interpretation of the ideal relationship between cultural activities and foreign policy. he began. Perhaps we should have sought to impress upon them the quantity and quality of our weapons of destruction and have deflated their overweening sense of their own importance. that made this task inordinately difficult. ‘I sometimes feel that our approach has been wrong.

the Cabinet explicitly recognised that the British Council’s work was ‘bound up with the wider task of defending Western civilisation against the inroads of Communism’. ‘All our propaganda is planned against the background of the Soviet threat … [we are] … no longer just ‘projecting Britain’ for its own sake’. In 1950. ‘We no longer require American science. It was recognised at an early stage that anti-communism was an insufficient response to the ideological challenge presented by the Soviet Union. In linking cultural diplomacy so closely to the pursuit of political objectives. culture or education by a nation which knows neither right nor justice.125 US cultural diplomacy was thus incorporated into the Cold War national security establishment. But at present it is of relatively minor importance whether a Frenchman loves Americans or considers us cultural barbarians. given that Western area specialists were well aware of the roots of Nasser’s popularity in the Arab world by the mid-1950s. Moreover. Never was this clearer in the post-war Middle East than during the Palestine crisis. or works to oust the communists from his trade union local. it also left them vulnerable to the consequences of association with unpopular political objectives. and in 1951. and this aim is desirable.Cultural Propaganda and the Cold War 95 early stage in the post-war era. it should have been clearly apparent that it was unrealistic to expect cultural diplomacy to bridge the political gulf that had opened up between Arab nationalism and the Cold Warriors of Washington and Whitehall. As one Baghdad newspaper declared in 1947. US officials underestimated the extent to which a misjudged or unpopular policy could undermine even the best-planned programme of cultural activities.128 This not only risked opening cultural diplomacy agencies to the charge that they were engaging in overtly political activities.127 As Anthony Nutting concluded in 1953. made subservient to short-term political goals and regularly doomed to failure as a result. one USIE program officer explained that We spend a great deal of effort endeavoring to cause the Frenchman to think well of the United States and to admire our culture. . but of great importance whether he votes for a member of parliament who supports the strengthening of the French armed forces. or writes articles urging Franco-German cooperation.’126 It is impossible to separate the national projection campaigns conducted by Britain and the United States from a broader set of propaganda objectives concerning the ideological struggle against Communism and the Soviet Union.

the projection of positive images of the West went hand in hand with the dissemination of material intended to denigrate and destroy the prestige of the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc. must be to examine the ideological and psychological weapons wielded by Britain and the United States against the Soviet Union while fighting the Cold War propaganda battle in the Middle East. as elsewhere. It was in this sense that Louis Armstrong. therefore. the quintessential jazz ambassador. In the Middle East.96 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Under the pressures of the Cold War. . the ‘blue note in a minor key’ had become A weapon like no other nation has. came to recognise his role as an unconventional Cold Warrior. Cold War objectives thus had a habit of attaching themselves to some unlikely cultural forms.129 The next task. Especially the Russians can’t claim jazz.

4 ‘Who Can Be Neutral?’ Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda in the Middle East ‘So let’s get Mother Russia to teach us how to share! It will share with us: Secret police! Slave labour camps! Anti-Muslim falsification campaigns! Indoctrination of children against parents! Indoctrination of children against God! Indoctrination of brother against brother! Mass Killings! Won’t life be wonderful?’ ‘Suppose the Russian Communists Were Here’ (USIA pamphlet distributed in Syria and Jordan in 1957) This chapter looks at the ways in which the Cold War battle for hearts and minds was fought in the Middle East. It looks first at Anglo-American perceptions of the Soviet and communist threat to the region and considers why. To that end. examining the methods and tactics employed by British and American propagandists in their bid to strengthen anti-communist attitudes in the area. Cold War themes were so prominent in propaganda output. the chapter is divided into four major sections. 97 . it questions whether the high priority afforded to anti-communist and antiSoviet themes was a suitable strategy for Middle Eastern audiences and explores the reasons for the unreceptive attitude of much of the Arab world to Western Cold War propaganda. given the low level of that threat for so much of the period. In particular.

any analyst relying on the reports reaching London and Washington from the Middle East itself would be left with a mixed impression as to the extent and seriousness of the communist threat to the countries of the area. Kennan had predicted they would.2 Nevertheless. was forwarded to the State Department. As Dean Acheson later recalled. The third and fourth sections look at two Cold War propaganda campaigns prosecuted with particular vigour in the region. From Thermopylae to the Crimea the responses to pressure at these points had been traditional. neither the British nor the President did.1 Post-war crises in Iran. The second was an attempt to mobilise Islamic leaders and institutions against the Soviet Union and local communists. they followed the route of invasion by barbarians against classical Greece and Rome and later of the czars to warm water. In picking the Straits and Iran as points of pressure. If some Americans found their history rusty. when a memorandum by First Secretary.98 The Failure of American and British Propaganda A second section examines the politics of Cold War propaganda in the Middle East. Soviet policy towards in the Straits. … The Russians themselves greatly helped our education. The chapter concludes with a consideration of the flawed assumptions that underpinned the West’s approach to Cold War propaganda in the region. The year 1946 was for the most part a year of learning that minds in the Kremlin worked very much as George F. Threat and response: the Soviet challenge in the Middle East It has been argued that events in the Middle East were at the heart of the collapse of the Grand Alliance and the onset of the Cold War. Turkey and Greece similarly convinced American leaders that they faced a Soviet threat to the Middle East. . throwing light on the nature of Western collaboration with regional leadership groups and investigating the bid to present Western models of reform and development as alternatives to communism in the Middle East. Philip Ireland. The first was the bid to discredit neutralism as a viable foreign policy for Middle Eastern governments. The American Legation in Cairo was warning about the Soviet threat as early as July 1946. the Mediterranean and North Africa persuaded British diplomats that the Soviet Union was seeking to challenge British primacy in the region.

have embarked on a forward policy to secure for themselves a position of paramount influence’. satisfaction of political ambition and enlargement of social and economic opportunities.L. argued M. Pointing out that the fact that ‘we do not answer communist propaganda places us under the double disadvantage that the communist misrepresentation carries the day and that the Middle Easterner regards our restraint as evidence of weakness’. Soviet influence was said to be ‘flourishing’.4 In Egypt. rounding up over 200 alleged suspects. the British Ambassador in Cairo. ‘The activity of the local Communist party’. ‘which is certainly in close touch with the Soviet Legation and seems to dispose of considerable funds. It is precisely along these lines that the available evidence indicates that Soviet Russia is now proceeding. Ireland claimed. Ireland warned about Soviet activities in the Kurdish regions and among the urban masses. the authorities were worried enough to initiate a crackdown on alleged communists. Sir Ronald Campbell.8 . meanwhile. Terence Shone reported from Beirut that although there were ‘no definite signs that the Soviet Government. closing down 11 journals and introducing parliamentary legislation against subversive activities. urging that ‘the time had now come to counter the infiltration of communist propaganda by openly attacking the communist theory and practice’. is a fertile ground for propaganda touched with sufficient reality to give a promise of freedom from hunger and want. ‘In the more developed countries of Egypt and Lebanon’. In Syria and Lebanon. Campbell recommended that ‘authority should be given to begin anti-communist publicity’. and the Communist Party had ‘gained a fairly large number of adherents’. the Soviet Government had been acting in support of the local communists. In May 1946. is markedly increasing in the Lebanon. Words have even been coined in Arabic for such controversial terms as “proletariat”!’7 By September 1946.3 In Iraq.5 British officials were also quick to express concern about post-war Soviet activities in the Arab Middle East.Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda 99 ‘The Middle East’. while in Iran the Tudeh Party was ‘organised with Russian assistance … against the Iranian Government’. in their relations with the Levant States. Shone noted. Fitzgerald. ‘socialism and especially communism are becoming more and more discussed. was pressing for a new approach.’6 Others saw danger signals in the changing intellectual climate in the region.

would draw people’s attention to a subject about which they know little or nothing. Cecil Lyon. and discipline. In July 1946. anti-communist propaganda in the Middle East was being stepped up by British and American agencies. ‘The American Government and people’. the Cairo Legation’s Public Affairs Officer (PAO). George Wadsworth. although he reminded the British of the ‘severe financial limitations’ under which the American propaganda agencies were labouring. ‘It was high time. Even before the creation of IRD. cohesion. … For this reason the Government-controlled press is averse to publishing anti-Communist articles which. therefore. At present. he was quick to state that ‘a joint-British–American program would not be desirable’. although in keeping with American reluctance to cooperate openly with the British.’ noted Eastern Department’s Peter Garran.100 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Such thinking contributed to the decision to establish the Information Research Department (IRD) in 1948. however.S. ‘have set out to stem the tide of Soviet expansionism and it is. in their opinion. discussions between British and American diplomats produced agreement on the desirability of greater efforts in this field.9 By April 1948. British officials in Libya informed IRD in November 1954 that There is at the moment practically no Communism in this country. when Philip Ireland presented the Egyptian anti-communist crackdown as evidence of Soviet penetration.12 . as IRD’s global war on communism was getting underway.’10 Not everyone was convinced of the immediacy of the threat.’ The US Embassy’s Lewis M. wrote the US Minister to Syria. In June 1947. Douglas also suggested an Anglo-American ‘informal exchange of views … regarding the programs for Near Eastern countries likely to yield the best results’. they do not constitute a real threat to the Government’. Douglas replied that the State Department ‘had long been thinking areawise along the lines just outlined by Mr Garran’. argued that the whole affair gave an ‘exaggerated impression of strength and importance of Egyptian communists. ‘that the U. axiomatic that our information program gear itself to this top priority task – extending if you will the policy of containment from the political and semi-military sphere to the psychological front. the American propaganda campaign was also building up steam. lacking organization.11 To many observers. it appeared that the level of Western anti-communist activity in the Middle East was out of all proportion to the existing threat and many reports stressed that anti-communist propaganda might prove counter-productive. and Britain should work out what could be done to stop or retard the spread of Communism in the area.

the collapse of the Shishakli dictatorship in 1954 allowed communist activists to operate openly. seriously divided. for a time. the JIC analyses bear out the historical consensus that after an initial foray into Middle Eastern affairs in 1946.13 The following year.17 Despite the JIC’s scepticism about the extent of communist penetration.Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda 101 In the early 1950s. .19 while in Syria. and in Egypt and Iraq. Across Libya. little had changed and the JIC reported that the Communist Parties of the Middle East had again failed to make significant progress. Only during a breakdown in authority could they hope to act effectively. the JIC concluded.18 Iraq. ‘During 1953’. was quickly stabilised as when the authorities arranged for the mass arrest of communist suspects and by the end of the year. Saudi Arabia. was believed by USIS officers to host numerous underground cells.15 and only in April 1956 did analysts conclude that ‘Russian influence is likely to increase and has in some cases already done so’. JIC analysts were confident that ‘the Communists were lying low again’. the Joint Intelligence Committee ( JIC) found it difficult to see that communism had made significant headway anywhere in the region. they gained in both prestige and achievement’. shaken by communist-inspired disturbances in November. Syria was subsequently regarded as the most vulnerable of the Middle Eastern states. the notion of a communist threat continued to exercise British and American propagandists. The Arab Communist Parties remained weak. Yemen.16 In this sense.14 It was not until 1954 that the JIC observed that ‘the Communist Parties of the Arab Middle East adopted a bolder and more active policy from which. where the Communist Party was also outlawed. but the United States Information Services (USIS) officials still believed that Beirut was the ‘center of Communist activities in the Middle East’. Aden and the Persian Gulf States. they are a security rather than a political problem to the Governments of the countries concerned. Even Iraq. the Soviet Union only really started to extend its influence into the region after the death of Stalin in 1953. and nervous cold warriors were able to convince themselves that communism was indeed ‘on the march’ in the Middle East. the JIC concluded simply that there were ‘no Communist Parties or influence’. A ‘Survey of World Communism in 1952’ concluded that ‘In the Middle East as a whole … Communism made little progress and the parties themselves continued to be feeble and disorganised’. The Communist Party may have been banned in Lebanon.

Objective investigations of actual communist influence in the region may not have come anywhere near justifying these fears. the British Embassy in Cairo warned IRD that Egyptian vulnerability to communism stemmed from acute maldistribution between rich and poor. At a meeting of USIA’s area directors in June 1954. the NSC had concluded that The Soviet Union. and the normal corrupt and inefficient administration met with in the Middle East. and the Jackson Report identified several domestic sources of vulnerability in the region. is making a concerted effort to develop decisive influence in the area. Huntington Damon argued that ‘in the past six months the Soviets have been moving into the NEA area in a big way. or showing their films on Russian ballet at the biggest theatres and other similar activities.20 British officials also worried about the social and economic vulnerabilities of Middle Eastern nations. The Soviet Union and all the satellite nations will have exhibits at the Damascus trade fair’. the most important being between ‘Arab and Jew’.22 By December 1955. the concentration of land-ownership in the hands of a small proportion of the population and consequent widespread ‘land hunger’. ‘white and colored’ and ‘present or former colonial powers and present or former dependencies’. the Near East may well be oriented toward the Soviet bloc within the next few years.102 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Many officials feared that the necessary elements for communist subversion were in place. a religious faith inadequate as a stimulus to the development of modern social reform. In March 1950. any signs of Soviet activity or influence were seized upon.23 Viewed from this perspective. it was easy to conclude that increasing Soviet influence and subversion would be a feature of political life in the Middle East for the foreseeable future. because of its great flexibility and the varied instruments at its disposal. emotional and somewhat idealistic. is much more dangerous today than it was even during the Stalinist era. a frustrated effendi and student class. spending vast sums of money on trade fairs. … This new Soviet effort. lacking outlets for their aspiration. A British . but this did not stop British and American officials from embarking upon extensive anti-communist campaigns. with a new dynamic communist determination. a rapidly growing population and a limited availability of cultivatable land.21 In this tense atmosphere. … Unless present trends are reversed.

rather than that they were on the point of tangible. positive gains for themselves that propelled the West’s propaganda response. however. Embassy staff reported in July 1953. Direct co-operation with Middle Eastern governments and media facilities was a favoured strategy and one to which both British and American officials devoted much time and effort. In Ankara. ‘We have … been able to give them a certain amount of information on the activities in Europe of Egyptian communists and delegates to conferences which they would almost certainly not have been able to obtain from their own sources’.26 By 1955. Reaction and reform: the politics of anti-communism in the Middle East The waging of an anti-communist propaganda war in the Middle East confronted British and American officials with the challenge of establishing reliable channels through which the required message could be disseminated. Security Service officers established a liaison with an Egyptian officer within the Directorate of Military Intelligence. The contact provided IRD with an opportunity to whet the anti-communist appetite of the Egyptian authorities and was used to alert them to the activities of Egyptian communists overseas. IRD head.Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda 103 Embassy report from Cairo in August 1946 noted that ‘In Egypt the communists have succeeded far more in propaganda than organisational activity’. the JIC admitted that ‘The Russians probably do not wish to fill the military vacuum themselves. Considering the decline of British military and political influence in April 1956. feeding IRD material directly to both Egyptian Military Intelligence and the Ministry of the Interior. Embassy staff met their Egyptian contact approximately once every ten days. that this was a wise course of action. They probably do not even wish. It is far from clear. It was the fear that the Soviets would succeed in undermining the West’s position.’24 The fear was that Soviet propaganda might succeed in disrupting the Western position in the Middle East thus ensuring the area’s neutrality in any future conflict. These concerns prompted an instinctive British and American reaction that made countering Soviet propaganda a top priority. to fill the political one. Embassy officials passed IRD papers to a contact within the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. . at this stage. Jack Rennie. and this analysis would have continued to hold good for most Middle Eastern countries well into the 1950s. Significant evidence has emerged to suggest that the IRD was extremely successful in establishing high level contacts within Middle Eastern governments.25 while in Cairo.

however.27 British representatives in Amman described Jordanian officials as ‘willing co-operators’ in the field of anti-communist propaganda.30 Military channels were used to pass on anti-Soviet material and in 1954 Major-General Boucher (representing the War Office’s Director of Military Intelligence) informed the JIC that he had recently met the Iraqi Chief of Staff in order to pass on IRD material emphasising the Soviet threat to Iraq. the Embassy’s contact list included the Minister of the Interior. chief aide to the Prime Minister.32 US propagandists were not far behind their British counterparts when it came to anti-communist collaboration with regional leaders. Minister of Education former Prime Minister Jamali and current Prime Minister. Nuri Said. politicians. The Truth About Communism. The Jackson Committee was told. the most successful of which was a book. the Director General of Propaganda. Subsequently.35 . United States Information Agency (USIA) was able to boast of a number of collaborative publishing projects. to inspire articles in the Egyptan press34 but it was after the 1952 Egyptian revolution that US–Egyptian anti-communist co-operation really took off. the CIA’s Kermit Roosevelt was using his access to the Egyptian Prime Minister. Although the contents were not controlled by USIS.29 Officials in Baghdad worked closely with ‘prominent Iraqis. As USIA’s Henry Loomis explained.33 It was in Egypt. As early as 1947.31 IRD was also active in developing contacts with government figures to secure closer anti-communist collaboration in Lebanon and Sudan. especially movies and pamphlets’. professional people and others’ and. that US officials achieved their most spectacular successes. the book was based to a large degree upon material supplied by USIS and a series of midnight conversations between USIS officers and Major Amin Shaker. Nokrashy Pasha. during the course of its investigations into the US overseas information programme that American officials in Iran were working with ‘many Iranian government offices … for the dissemination of unattributed information. The USIS and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) staff developed valuable contacts including some at the highest level of government. This book has an introduction by Prime Minister Gamal Abdul Nasser and is authored by Major Amin Shaker.28 while IRD material was also supplied to selected recipients in Bahrain and Kuwait. by July 1955.104 The Failure of American and British Propaganda could state that difficulties encountered in getting material into the Egyptian press were being offset by the IRD’s ‘increasing collaboration with the government over anti-communist propaganda’.

’ asked Sir Hugh Dow from his Consulate in Jerusalem in 1949.’38 British officials expressed similar concerns.’ he wrote.36 When the US–Egyptian relations began to deteriorate after September 1955. as he sees it. Harold Lasswell identified the dangers of close association with reactionary regimes as early as 1946. … The GOE official is most concerned that no one should know of any Egyptian arrangement for cooperation in the publication and all posts are urged not to discuss this freely. ‘that the average socialist Member of Parliament will continue to support a policy in the Middle East which. continues to bolster up despotic or narrow oligarchic governments which suppress popular movements in their own countries?’39 The dilemma for Western propagandists was neatly summarised by the Foreign Office’s Denis Greenhill in April 1946.37 Involving themselves in the internal politics of Middle Eastern countries raised a number of questions for anti-communist propagandists. ‘We must not be . Frequently. these were connected to concerns about political and social reform and the perils of close association with reactionary governments and political parties on the far right.Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda 105 Loomis noted that the USIS Cairo staff had also been working closely with Egyptian Government authorities in an effort to aid them in their anti-Communist activity. The pamphlets were published under the names of non-existent organizations. Egyptian authorities began to view their links to US propagandists as a political liability. ‘Is it likely. even among the American staff. ‘Too often. This work has resulted specifically in the publication of several pamphlets in which the Communist attitude on religion and the Communist adherence to Moscow has been brought out. our policy ‘has been misrepresented as a “fight Russia” policy or a “get tough” program and American leaders have become the heroes of nearly all reactionary forces outside Russia who imagine that we will support them at all costs regardless of their domestic policy. The PAO in Cairo reported in March 1956 that The proposed publication of an Arabic edition of ‘What is Communism?’ has been somewhat delayed because the Egyptian official concerned decided it would be more effective if a sheikh revised the USIS translation. not least because of the need to present an acceptable face of British foreign policy to the Labour government’s rank and file supporters.

which they believe opposed to Communism.106 The Failure of American and British Propaganda linked with the parties adhering to the status quo.’40 The problem was not easily solved and Eastern Department staff were still wrestling with it in 1952. Brigadier Hutchins and Brigadier Frere as intelligence operatives claiming to be in Syria on ‘private business’. but their arrival had provoked local comment to the effect that ‘Britain’s normal trade relations with Syria hardly justified the large influx of high salaried British subjects.41 There was some hypocrisy in this criticism of the US approach. Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Kings to protect our interests. as the British were themselves quite happy to consort with figures from the far right of Arab politics. where shortly after the formal achievement of Lebanese and Syrian independence in 1946.’ Greenhill observed. concluding that We must have bases in the Middle East because of the danger of war with Russia … and we have to use the Pashas. … We are also handicapped by our association with the Americans. In May 1946. noting that British policy ‘must not appear hostile to the wellbeing and improvement of the common man. the British began developing their own covert links to far right parties.42 The following month. including the new passport control officer at the British Consulate who was identified as having ‘recently served as one of the chief British Intelligence Officers in Beirut’. US War Department intelligence analysts noted in May 1946 that Just as the SPP suspects the Communist Party of having connections with the Russians. informed the State Department that ‘the British were continuing their policy of rebuilding their political intelligence setup in Syria’. a Lebanese politician with pro-fascist leanings.’43 The strengthening of the intelligence network in the Levant coincided with reports that the British were collaborating with the far right Syrian Popular Party (SPP) founded by Antun Sa’adah. US officials reported the appearance of a number of British intelligence agents in Damascus and Homs. however reactionary. … [T]he danger of war with Russia makes it particularly important to prevent Communist coups in the Middle East. the communists strongly suspect the SPP of being . Mattison named Colonel Frank Stirling. This was particularly true in the Levant. who are still Prime Ministers. It leads us … to suspect people who are genuinely anxious for reform. Gordon Mattison (Charge d’Affaires at the US Legation in Damascus). in that they are disposed to support any force. This can only be done in the short term by the suppression of Communist parties.

‘a leading British agent in Beirut’. the report claimed. All of these organisations. administration of justice. that Our policy is progressive. ‘The Arab Hawks Club’.47 . Relying on a ‘well-informed’ source. On the contrary we wish to encourage progressive forces in so far as we can do so consistently with our resolve to respect and foster the independence of the Middle East countries. in short. In October 1946. the British way of life offers the best example of orderly and rapid progress. the report drew attention to an Amman-based ‘Committee on Communism and Destructive Principles’ which. were ‘financed by and basically directed by the British’. organisation of industry and labour. This organisation was connected to another Amman-based group. Material on these subjects should be given the widest possible publicity. Greenhill’s suggestion that the British ‘welfare state’ could be held up as a social democratic alternative to communism introduces an important aspect of Western propaganda in the region. he argued. … We are not wedded to reactionary elements. Ivone Kirkpatrick considered the argument that anticommunist material alone was insufficient and that a positive approach was also required. These suspicions are based partly on the mutual opposition of the SPP and the British against the communists. it was claimed. To that end.Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda 107 supported in their anti-communist activity by the British. and two Lebanese organisations. ‘We should ram home to the peoples of the Middle East’.44 Information regarding British intelligence work in the anti-communist underground is naturally difficult to come by but intriguing evidence has emerged in a telegram sent to Washington by US diplomats in Beirut in May 1953.46 Nevertheless. was founded and controlled by Albert Dib. Our democratic system of government. with a touch of cynicism. and partly on the friendly relations of SPP leaders in Beirut with officers of the British government.45 One may be forgiven for responding to Denis Greenhill’s complaint that it was ‘absurd that we should be accused of reactionary tendencies at a time when we are enacting some of the most far-reaching measures of social legislation which the world has ever seen’. British propaganda should emphasise that Britain leads the way in social reform. social services. the ‘Arab Students and Teachers Club’ and the ‘Movement of Combatting Communism in Lebanon’.

with Britain in the lead. ‘was that British propaganda should not be entirely negative. Our purpose has been to foment evolutionary.50 Before considering the main thrust of British and American anti.communist propaganda. Nevertheless. noting in 1951 that Our propaganda labors under a handicap. is an answer to the violent and destructive Communist doctrines’.’ he stated. economic. as well as exposing the evils of the Soviet regime. The Cold War aspect of the work was made clear in a May 1948 report arguing that The promotion of social welfare in Egypt is to combat the spreading of Communist propaganda. Western propaganda naturally took on a more strident anti-communist tone. we have to show that there is a better alternative and that Western democracy. We cannot openly advocate the overthrow of the established government. while not attacking the governments themselves. it is important to consider the manner in which Western propagandists worked to promote visions of political. ‘The prevailing doctrine. Christopher Warner reminded British information officers of this in 1950. although it must not be forgotten that even this is inadequate without accompanying action in the economic field.51 . but the positive aspects of the campaign did not disappear. is pointing the way to it. which has taken place in Britain by constitutional means.’49 US officials were thinking along similar lines. as we suggest. and political reforms in the Near East. social and economic reform in the Middle East. observing that ‘It is valuable to show that Britain is politically interested in promoting social progress … and to demonstrate that the improvement in the lot of the under-privileged. we have placed ourselves firmly on the side of basic social. rather than revolutionary. even though we realise its unprogressive nature. mere publicity of British Social Services will not go very far to promote social improvement unless. changes.108 The Failure of American and British Propaganda British information officers in Cairo concurred. the efforts of sincere minor Government officials and of enlightened voluntary organisations are increasingly encouraged. The Social Publicity Officer at the British Embassy in Cairo led the way in disseminating propaganda of this kind.48 As the Cold War intensified. In the meantime. but that. The most effective measures against the latter require action by the Government to set up social services on a nation-wide scale. therefore.

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Two magazines, ‘For Your Information’ and ‘Progress’, were published in both Arabic and English and by the late 1940s, ‘Progress’ had acquired a readership of almost 1000 Egyptian professionals and social workers.52 British officials in the area saw personal contacts as another important channel for social welfare publicity and by the spring of 1948, contacts in Egypt had been established with ‘officials of the Ministry of Social Affairs’ and ‘a large number of voluntary organisations, big and small, Egyptian and foreign’.53 The Embassy’s oral propaganda networks and the weekly bulletins of the Ikhwan al Hurriya provided other important channels. Between 1945 and 1951, the Ikhwan’s director recognised that, in its emphasis on the promotion of British social democracy, the Ikhwan al Hurriya was ‘chiefly concerned with carrying out a long term policy which I believed to be dear to the present Labour Government’.54 An example of the way in which the Ikhwan’s social development material was linked to its anticommunist themes can be found in a February 1948 bulletin in which an anti-communist speech by Clement Attlee was discussed alongside feature articles on industrial development in Egypt.55 Given this emphasis on political reform, left wing leaders and labour organisations constituted an important target audience. In December 1945, the long-serving British Ambassador in Egypt, Miles Lampson (Lord Killearn) suggested that the proposed sending of a party of Egyptian Trade Unionists to the United Kingdom for six months is a most promising step in the right direction. It cannot fail to give some encouragement to those Egyptians who wish to see an orderly improvement in the social conditions of the workers and to combat to some extent the revolutionary agitators whose activities still cause a good deal of concern in responsible quarters.56 By 1950, the Cairo Information Department had developed a ‘twofold strategy’ for dealing with the spread of communism among Egyptian workers. The first objective was to bring Egypt’s quarter of a million industrial workers to ‘fully appreciate the evils of Communism’. The second aspect of the strategy was to make every effort ‘to ensure that Trade Unions are used to improve the conditions of the worker, and not by small cliques of Communists as political instruments’.57 The task of facilitating the development of strong, anti-communist trade unions provided IRD with an important challenge. IRD had for some time believed that building up the prestige of the International

110 The Failure of American and British Propaganda

Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and encouraging the organisation to step up its work in the Middle East was the best means of countering the communist World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).58 By 1954, IRD, the Information Policy Department (IPD), the British Middle East Office (BMEO) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) had combined to produce and disseminate pro-ICFTU leaflets in Arabic across the region.59 Similar material was also distributed among contacts in local trade unions, and IRD reported in August 1954 that the Histadrut (Israel’s ICFTU-affiliated General Federation of Labour) was ‘quietly active in disseminating anti-WFTU propaganda’.60 At the same time, however, IRD was careful to avoid obvious or open collaboration with the ICFTU since it was feared that this would damage the ICFTU’s reputation were it to become public knowledge.61 As the 1950s progressed, concern grew about the need to shore up what was seen as an increasingly vulnerable Middle Eastern left. From Cairo, the former IRD chief, Ralph Murray argued that the task of shoring up the left had acquired new significance given his fears that a complacent Egyptian government might inadvertently allow the communists to gain a foothold. ‘I do not think’, he wrote, ‘that the Ministry of the Interior’s anti-communist staff is as capable as some believe of uncovering the sapping and mining of the Egyptian left wing, if the Communists have the intelligence to stick quietly to that task with, for the time being, no subversionary attempts to overthrow the régime itself.’ Murray stressed the value of exchange visits for Egyptian leftwingers and observed that the British-run schools in Egypt potentially constituted a valuable weapon against the spread of communism among Egyptian youth. The value of such schools would be increased, Murray suggested, if they were to do more to attract the children of left-wing parents by charging lower fees.62 Britain’s ambassadors in Lebanon and Syria were united in the belief that ‘a much more sustained and more penetrating effort’ was needed to bring influence to bear on the metropolitan left-wing elements of Beirut and Damascus. Sir John Gardener reported that although British officials were making progress with the Syrian trade unions, his staff was not equipped to provide the kinds of practical advice to be of use in strengthening a fledgling trade union movement.63 Both Chapman Andrews and Gardener urged that further steps be taken to foster contacts between the British, Syrian and Lebanese labour movements and lobbied for the appointment of a British Labour Attaché in the area. With the Treasury unwilling to provide the funds for such an appointment, and with the Foreign Office reluctant to ask the oil companies for

Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda 111

contributions (‘it is Her Majesty’s Government’s job to protect them not the other way around’64), no real progress was made. More was achieved on a number of other fronts. Gardener was able to report that approaches to the left-leaning educational establishment had resulted in the cultivation of ‘useful contacts among the University teaching staff’,65 and both Gardener and Murray commented on links between local left-wingers and the British labour movement. Murray’s most innovative suggestion, which he hoped might lead to a ‘more extensive penetration of the Egyptian Left’, was ‘the stationing in Cairo of a really good British left-wing journalist … charged with the job of keeping on terms as a Socialist with as wide a circle of writers and reporters as possible and extending his personal influence over them’.66 Gardener drew attention to the recent visit to Syria by the Labour MP, Eric Fletcher, undertaken in a bid to establish links between the Syrian Ba’thists and the British Labour Party.67 The State Department placed material on aid and development at the heart of its Cold War propaganda, and American publications in the Arab world consistently sought to inform readers about new and existing projects. In July 1951, News Review highlighted Dean Acheson’s exposition of US aims in the Near East, repeating his assurance that the US sought to provide economic assistance to help the people of the area ‘feel that their lot is with the free world and that the free world has the basic needs – moral and material – at heart’. Acheson’s objective, it was stressed, was to ensure that ‘the drive for economic improvement [was] associated with the rest of the free world instead of with communism’.68 Subsequently, the most important American development programme in the Middle East, certainly the one which featured most prominently in propaganda to the area, was the Point Four programme announced by Truman in January 1949. By June 1950, Point Four aid had been incorporated into the 1950 Foreign Economic Assistance Act, and a Technical Co-operation Administration had been established to oversee its implementation.69 In effect, Truman had authorised a small-scale ‘Marshall Plan’ for the Middle East and, like the Marshall Plan, Point Four was motivated by fears about the appeal of communism in deprived areas. In his message to Congress announcing Point Four, Truman was at pains to stress the dangers of Arab neutralism and Soviet expansion in the Middle East, stating that In these circumstances, a significant risk to the security of the free world lies in the fact that the countries in this area are economically under-developed. Existing moderate governments, for lack of

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technically and administratively trained public servants and for lack of financial resources, are unable to provide effectively for the basic needs of their peoples … This inability strengthens the hand of irresponsible and extreme nationalist groups and provides scope for Soviet divisive tactics.70 Point Four was immediately recognised by the USIS as an important psychological weapon and a major propaganda effort was made to present it as evidence of US friendship and goodwill. One of the chief problems to be overcome was the suspicion that the investment of US capital in overseas development projects was simply ‘dollar imperialism’. USIS officials were told to stress that the programme was one of self-help and not simply an American ‘hand-out’. Similarly, PAOs sought to present Point Four as a long-term investment in order to prevent the rise of unrealistic expectations and subsequent disillusionment. In order to counter accusations of ‘dollar imperialism’, the State Department prepared a list of themes for USIA, foremost amongst which was the idea that Point Four was designed to bolster the independence of the countries receiving it.71 News Review subsequently published an article titled ‘Aid Programs Lack Imperialism Threat’ in March 1952 in which Samuel Kopper, acting director of the State Department’s Office of Near Eastern Affairs, argued that US aid to the Middle East was not motivated by ‘any desire whatsoever to encroach upon the sovereignty of these nations’, and that American aid to the Middle East was ‘not being offered in a spirit of superiority or as any “nefarious scheme” to create American markets or spheres of influence’.72 UK development programmes were smaller in scale, but British propagandists did their utmost to bring them to the attention of the Middle Eastern public. Indeed, one can argue that the launch of Point Four stimulated British efforts in this field. It was no coincidence that as Point Four aid began to flow, the publicity strategy of the BMEO’s Development Division changed markedly. British officials had not previously sought to publicise the development work of the British Middle East Office (BMEO) but in 1951, information officers were asked to pay more attention to the BMEO’s contribution to regional economic and industrial development.73 There was a hint of bitterness in the Foreign Office’s observation that ‘Point IV, which was announced with excessive propaganda as a panacea for the Middle East, has failed to produce any result except an invasion by hosts of officials, many of whom are of indifferent quality.’74 Arguably, British publicity on aid and development themes was partially inspired by the desire to ensure that the Americans did not

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receive all the credit. The American PAO in Cairo suspected a British campaign along these lines, noting in October 1954 that The fact that the British Information Service is taking advantage of the better atmosphere created by the Anglo-Egyptian Agreement to remind Middle Easterners of services rendered in the area makes less impression upon many Egyptians than their suspicion that the British are out to prove that the U.S. is a Johnny-come-lately in the field.75 There was a negative aspect to Western aid and development propaganda and it was most clearly manifested in efforts to discredit communist claims about the better living standards of those fortunate enough to live in the Soviet ‘worker’s paradise’. Stories about low pay, food shortages, the difficulties of obtaining medical supplies, even high rates of alcoholism within Soviet society were frequently the subjects of Western propaganda. Condemnation of Soviet manufacturing ability was common, with everything from Hungarian trains and Eastern bloc steel production, to the design of Russian refrigerators, subject to attack. News Review designed easily comprehensible graphics to illustrate the higher standards of living enjoyed by American workers, comparing, for example, the amount of time it took Russian and American workers to earn enough to buy certain basic foodstuffs. To earn enough to buy a kilogram of beef, for example, was said to take the average Soviet labourer some 257 minutes, as opposed to just 52 minutes for his American counterpart.76 The magazine also ran a regular cartoon strip based on the misfortunes of a comic character named ‘Little Ivan’ and his unfortunate experience of life behind the Iron Curtain. Some thought it a mistake to call attention to Soviet living standards in this way and several information officers expressed concern that ‘articles about conditions in Russia and Eastern Europe have little appeal’ and might even prove counterproductive. The British ambassador in Iraq argued that Stories of corrupt officials, inefficient public services, rural poverty and suppression of free speech make little impact in the Middle East. Even leading Iraqis sometimes say that the Iraqi agricultural worker might be better off under a Communist Government.77 Such concerns exposed an obstacle in the path of social development propaganda in the Middle East, one that was clearly expressed in 1947

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by Colonel Wheeler, Britain’s information officer in Iran. ‘The propagation of social democracy in the Middle East’, argued Wheeler, ‘is extremely difficult principally because hardly anyone understands what it is and those who do, namely the educated upper classes, think it would be unsuitable for their countries and would in addition undermine their position.’78 Similar doubts were expressed in Egypt, where British officials pointed out that Lip service is paid to the principles of democracy, but, in fact, the feeling that might is right … is accepted as one of the foundations upon which the social and political structure of the country is based. … Not infrequently one hears the wish expressed by Egyptians of different classes for an enlightened dictator. It is admitted in private that Egypt is not ready for parliamentary government or a Western-type democratic regime.79 From Iraq, Stonehewer Bird was more confident, arguing that ‘ultimately the British ideal is the one most fitted for acceptance in the Middle East,’ but even he accepted that ‘inherently, it is an ideal very difficult to “put over” ’.80 The Foreign Office agreed that ‘there is no glamour in ideals of moderation, toleration, social progress and individual freedom’.81 Concerns about the rising tide of anti-British nationalism reinforced these doubts and, as the British information officer in Beirut concluded in 1952, as long as the Arabs regarded the West as their enemy, ‘the finest documents on British democracy and social progress cut no ice whatsoever’.82 American propagandists were equally pessimistic, David Newsom writing from Baghdad in March 1954 that I continue to feel a basic dissatisfaction with our effectiveness. We are continually searching for ways to reach the restless intelligentsia where so much of the ferment takes place in the Middle East today. Only occasionally do we seem to have brief flashes of success. Their widespread acceptance of Communist propagated ideas continues, basically because of their dissatisfaction with local conditions. We have not yet licked the problem of attacking these ideas without injecting ourselves into the local political scene.83

The campaign against neutralism
Neutralism loomed large as a target for the West’s Cold War propagandists. The National Security Council (NSC) analysts argued that the

Jordan. there were countries such as Egypt. the NSC had divided the countries of the Middle East into three categories. Rockefeller convened a panel of American psychological warfare and international relations experts at Quantico. therefore. Lebanon and Iran. there were those countries where neutralism was not a significant force. there was not a single Arab State where neutralism was not regarded as an obstacle to Western policy. The shift in Soviet propaganda strategy in the aftermath of Stalin’s death. being dependent upon the circumstances in which a country was asked to ‘stand up and be counted’. with the latter held to be an evolving danger to the Western position in the region. communism and neutralism went hand in hand. whose governments openly professed a desire to follow a neutralist foreign policy and who were undertaking active measures to hinder British and American policy. but where there was substantial public opposition. For British and American propagandists. Jefferson Caffery argued in 1954 that neutralism ‘fits perfectly into the Soviet Peace offensive’ and that Egyptian leaders were using neutralism as a ‘blackmail gambit’ against the West. The present neutralist agitation is obviously admirable cover for pro-Russian and pro-Communist propaganda. claiming that Egyptian neutralism between East and West is peculiar in that it is accompanied by a professed enmity towards the West. Ralph Stevenson. Third. neutralism worked to the advantage of the Soviet Union. Syria and Saudi Arabia.84 In the Middle East. A second group consisted of countries such as Iraq.86 By the time of the Bandung Conference in April 1955. Virginia. The panel report recommended . caused something akin to panic. they sought to discredit neutralism and to build up the idea of a Soviet threat.87 According to this analysis.85 His British counterpart.Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda 115 distinctions between communist and neutralist were ‘far less distinct than is popularly supposed’. to discuss the challenge presented by this change in tactics. agreed. The … danger to which the RCC have exposed themselves is that the Egyptian public will draw the conclusion that neutralism involves friendship with the Soviet Union and its satellites. Throughout the 1950s. but the NSC considered only Israel to fall into this category. since the Western nations were the status quo powers. when the new Soviet leadership began to base their approach to the countries of the ‘developing world’ on protestations of friendship and the desire for peace. First. whose governments were committed to pro-Western policies. In June 1955.

‘The Chance for Peace’. In the summer of 1953. which declared that the ‘smiling friendliness’ of the new Soviet policy was intended to accomplish four main objectives: (a) (b) (c) (d) blur the lines of division between East and West. It argued that ‘No aggressor who is prepared to precipitate a world war – whether it be the Kaiser or Hitler or. ‘Atoms for Peace’ and ‘Open Skies’ were all intended to emphasise the West’s genuine desire for peace while casting the Soviets in the role of aggressors. casting down a public challenge to the Soviets to back up ‘peace talk’ with concrete proposals and actions. promote neutralism. security. as many fear . create a more effective setting for soporific propaganda.116 The Failure of American and British Propaganda a reinvigorated campaign to ‘capture the symbols that express man’s aspirations and thereby influence political behaviour’. ‘The Dangers of Neutrality’. Under the guidance of his psychological warfare advisors. the Information Policy Department (IPD) expressed satisfaction at the impact of one pamphlet. One of the key problems in the battle against neutralism was the need to make a forceful case against a foreign government’s pursuit of a particular policy while avoiding the impression that Britain or the US was interfering in that country’s internal affairs. Eisenhower used major speeches as part of the bid to capture the banner of ‘peace’ from the Soviets. self-government. which drew upon the lessons of Belgian neutrality in 1914 and 1940. This solution to this dilemma was sought in the production of material purporting to demonstrate that neutralism endangered the independence of any country that adopted it. reduce the vigour of the Western Alliance. Both British and American propagandists churned out a steady stream of articles with such titles as ‘Does Russia Really Want Peace?’ or ‘Change of Heart or Change of Tactics?’. Anthony Eden received a CIA analysis of Soviet policy. newspaper and magazine articles and radio broadcasts had already been dedicated to the task. Perhaps the most repeated refrain was ‘deeds not words’.90 Western propagandists had been seeking to counter the Soviet ‘peace campaign’ for some time and countless pamphlets. those symbols including ‘peace. freedom and cultural progress’. A favourite technique was the use of historical analogies.89 Eden’s advisers agreed that Soviet ‘peace’ propaganda was a ploy ‘intended primarily to mask an offensive against the Middle East’. cartoons.88 British thinking was moving in a similar direction. In October 1955. economic advancement.

the Egyptian ambassador to the US. The theme of ‘Soviet imperialism’ was one of the most important planks in the West’s Cold War propaganda platform. The image of the Soviet Union as an expanding empire. Because the area – weak militarily. the second of USIA’s ‘Global Themes’ was specifically defined as the exposure of ‘the Communist Party or movement as a foreign force directed from Moscow … for .93 A standard USIA operating procedure was to inspire and report antineutralist statements by Arab political and religious leaders. that neutralism should have such strong appeal at the moment in some of the Middle Eastern countries. it was used to draw the sting from Arab hostility towards the European colonial powers. Indeed. this pamphlet succeeded in provoking a Soviet counterattack and Moscow Radio accused it of ‘distorting historical facts’ and attempting to ‘mislead the reader into believing that small nations cannot pursue an independent policy’. The neutral is the weak point in the defences of the free world and the weak point is always attacked first. both statements were seized upon by USIA. the Soviet Union – will show any respect for any neutral who stands in his line of march’: Belgium had since signed up to NATO and here was the pamphlet’s lesson for its Arab readers. denying sovereignty and independence to the small nations it had swallowed up. became a staple feature of the anti-Soviet campaign.94 Even better was a leaked Egyptian Government memorandum of September 1954.91 If nothing else. of vital importance strategically and rich in an important raw material such as oil – would be an irresistible temptation to the aggressor … The neutral state … is a pathway along which the aggressor can march. and information officers in Beirut interpreted Soviet petulance as proof that the anti-neutralism campaign. Not only was it seen as a potent message in its own right. when Ahmad Hussein. Ali Maher argued that ‘It is impossible for Egypt to be neutral either politically or militarily’.95 These and many other examples of pro-Western or anti-neutralist statements were picked up and circulated across the Middle East.92 was having a discernible impact on public opinion. Thus. stated that ‘Egypt cannot stand alone’ and the former Egyptian Prime Minister. which stated that there was ‘no doubt that Egypt today stands in every respect with the West’. ‘It is particularly unfortunate. Its author was rather pleased at all the attention. which had by now mobilised such intellectual heavyweights as Bertrand Russell.Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda 117 for the future.’ the leaflet stated.

‘Freedom Versus “Colonialism” ’. with supportive Arab and Asian figures regularly quoted as examples of ‘independent’ and ‘objective’ comment. In keeping with this brief.118 The Failure of American and British Propaganda expansionist purposes – Red colonialism’.97 For USIA. ‘Words and Deeds: Soviet Promise and Soviet Reality’. the West sought to shift the focus of that condemnation away from themselves and on to the Communist bloc. pointed out that ‘Soviet and Chinese communists have taken over the rule of 740. . concluded that ‘the self-acclaimed “leader of the peace loving camp” has … been guilty.96 In October 1954.000 people’. the warning against ‘Red Colonialism’ remained a top priority and a collection of reference papers and articles was produced for distribution to all overseas posts. in fact. was dominated by the theme of Soviet territorial expansion. USIA was to co-ordinate the production of ‘materials demonstrating the ties of local communist and front organizations with Moscow.102 British propagandists had been hammering away at identical themes since the 1940s. One article. USIA distributed a reference paper outlining the nature and extent of Soviet and Chinese expansion in the 15 years since the outbreak of the Second World War.99 As the delegates at the Bandung conference gathered to condemn colonialism. and the instruments of Soviet colonial expansion and control’. under the headline. the Operations Co-ordinating Board (OCB) approved a new USIA campaign to highlight the themes of ‘international communist conspiracy’ and ‘Soviet imperialism’ in the Middle East. One such collection. of aggression beyond its own borders’. entitled ‘Soviet Imperialism: World’s Champion Aggressor and the Biggest Single Threat to Peace’. This document was converted by the Near East Regional Service Center (NERSC) Beirut into a feature article in News Review. which. Articles appeared in which the Egyptian ambassador to Pakistan denounced the Soviet bloc as ‘the worst kind of imperialism’101 and a former Iraqi Prime Minister described a ‘new colonialism’ in which communists ruled over ‘subject races in Asia and Eastern Europe on a much larger scale than [the] colonial powers’.98 In 1955.316. USIA sought to promote the idea that ‘local communist parties are not in fact indigenous parties but adjuncts of an international conspiracy. Wheeler suggested from Iran that A useful talking point in repudiating charges of Imperialism is that the so-called autonomous Republics of the Soviet Union are. In 1946. on a gigantic scale.100 Condemnations of Soviet imperialism featured consistently in News Review. and the techniques employed by the communist movement in promoting the selfish interests of the USSR’.

In April 1954. the State Department drew up a set of guidelines for religious propaganda. and RIO Beirut translated and distributed an IRD piece. A commercial publication in the Background Books series.106 A spiritual wall? Religious propaganda and the Cold War Underpinning American propaganda was the belief that the West represented an enlightened moral force. The conceptualisation of the Cold War as a manifestation of the battle between ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ was reflected in numerous speeches by leading statesmen and Eisenhower’s major speeches during his first term in office were calculated to highlight the moral dimension of the conflict. IRD was especially keen to demonstrate the similarities between Tsarist imperialism and the foreign policy of the present Soviet rulers.Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda 119 far less independent than the British Dominions who have complete control over their security. arguing that ‘it is surely obvious that Russia is the most aggressively imperialist power in the world today’. In 1951. Articles such as ‘Khruschchev the Colonialist’ (translated into Arabic by the Regional Information Office (RIO) Beirut in January 1956) and ‘Soviet Expansion’ (offered for use among Arab communities in Israel) drove home the message that the Soviets thirsted after imperial aggrandisement. which was to shape much subsequent output in the Middle East. and contrasting the Soviets with a British government that had ‘voluntarily given independence to nearly a fifth of the inhabitants of the globe’. The key objectives were: (a) To increase understanding abroad of the historic and continuing influence of moral and spiritual forces in American life. economy and foreign affairs. How did the Satellites Happen? explained the process by which communism had come to dominate the ‘captive states’ of Eastern Europe. arguing that ‘Czarist absolutism [was] mild by Kremlin standards’.103 The Ikhwan al Hurriya published its own series of articles on Soviet ‘Imperialism’ in the late 1940s. and the Middle East. he spoke of the spiritual strength of the American nation in the face of ‘the great threat imposed upon us by aggressive Communism – the atheistic doctrine that believes in fatalism as against our conception of the dignity of man’.104 IRD was prolific in its output on the theme of Soviet imperialism. . An article entitled ‘Does Peter the Great Still Live?’ appeared in Al Aalam105. was no exception.107 Moral and religious rhetoric thus played an important part in American Cold War propaganda throughout the world. birthplace of three of the world’s great faiths.

111 It was for this reason that Jefferson Caffery called attention to an Egyptian Minister’s declaration that both ‘Islam and Christianity are religions which form good citizens’. charged with the task of ‘developing mutual understanding between the Arabs and the people of the USA’. Such themes were said to offer ‘an opportunity for demonstrating the respect and genuine interest which the United States. State Department guidance was issued within . anticipating the Jackson Report’s conclusion that overseas propaganda ‘should speak in terms of the deeper spiritual values uniting this nation with the rest of the world’. USIS officials contributed to the organisation of the operation and were instrumental in publicising the event.’115 The single most successful publicity coup of this kind was the ‘Mecca Airlift’ of August 1952 by which 3763 Moslem pilgrims. Damon was able to report that ‘All media are developing special features which will be issued from time to time until the dedication of the Mosque which is expected to take place sometime in 1953. and the Americans.110 This committee seized upon religious propaganda as a means of strengthening the sense of mutual interest between Arabs and Americans. were flown by US Air Force planes to Saudi Arabia.120 The Failure of American and British Propaganda (b) To promote on the basis of the common elements in our faiths.108 In 1952. have for the culture of the peoples of the Moslem world’. We are trying to foster the concept among Arabs that the United States is also interested in them as individuals and equals about whom we wish to be better informed and with whom we wish to establish better personal relationships and more complete understanding. as a Government. the State Department created a ‘Working Group on Special Materials for Arab and Other Moslem Countries’.113 The group produced an ‘Operations Plan’ later adopted by USIA.112 and USIA’s Arabic media gave heavy play to one American academic’s assertion that ‘Islam and American democracy [were] fully compatible in mutual toleration and respect’. as a people. mutual respect and understanding with all peoples who cherish like ethical and spiritual values.114 By June 1952.109 As Huntington Damon explained. (c) To enlist the cooperation of all peoples in the defense of moral and spiritual freedom against the threat of Communist totalitarianism. It suggested that ‘the building of the Washington Mosque and Cultural Center offers a news peg for a … propaganda program built around Moslem activity in the United States’. stranded in Beirut.

later reports indicated that within a fortnight of the airlift. however.120 From Beirut.Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda 121 24 hours of the airlift getting underway. preferring to pursue the task of exposing the contradictions between Islam and communism. Like its International Information Administration (IIA) predecessor. to name only a few. informing USIS posts that the operation ‘will provide maximum psychological advantages if local Moslem organs allowed perform job of publicising on own to greatest extent possible’. As a creed and a code it has always had attractions for a particular and numerous type of Englishman. Communism. In March 1946. USIS posts ‘had distributed among Muslim peoples in 28 countries of the Mediterranean and Near East area 194.117 Propaganda of this kind continued to play a part in US psychological operations and in 1957 the OCB created its own working group charged with finding ways of improving relations between America and the Islamic world. Terence Shone questioned whether the supposed incompatibility of Islam and communism could be relied upon ‘to prevent ideas associated … with “communism” . was anathema to true followers of the Islamic faith and Muslim societies aware of this fact would form a ‘spiritual wall’ against communism. Turkish and Arabic of a pamphlet telling the story of this “magic carpet” ’. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell. it was argued.119 On the whole. By no means was everyone convinced by the ‘Islamic bulwark’ thesis.000 copies in English. Writers like Burton and Doughty.E. the Ikhwan al Hurriya informed its members that In England we have a long history of contact with the Moslem world.118 British propagandists were less active in this field. although material stressing the bonds between Britain and the Muslim world appeared from time to time. British propagandists made fewer efforts to promote the idea of common Western and Islamic values. T. In 1950. the OCB group based its recommendations on the belief that Islam and Christianity have a common spiritual base in the belief that a divine power governs and directs human life and aspirations while communism is purely atheistic materialism and is hostile to all revealed religion.116 Even so. have kept us familiar with the character and customs of Islam. British officials in Cairo claimed that communists had penetrated the Muslim Brotherhood and that the Soviets were actively propagating the idea that communism was sympathetic towards Islam.

we think. ‘It is broadly true’. we consider that its importance as a stabilising factor should not be over-rated. were the Communists to succeed in gaining control of the centres of power by the conversion to communism of the educated class’. Ralph Murray explained the British attitude in November 1949. as fears about the inadequacy of the Islamic ‘spiritual wall’ became commonplace within British intelligence circles. Islam can no longer be counted upon as a bulwark against the doctrines of Soviet Russia’. … Where modern civilization has broken into Moslem strongholds. ‘the hold of Islam is weakening … [and] could not … be counted upon to do more than slow up the organisation of a Communist State.122 American propagandists were inclined to agree. British propagandists continued to frame their anticommunist material in religious terms. Between 1948 and 1951. through the exploitation of oil resources. the Moslem faith seems powerless to prevent a rapid demoralisation in the face of materialism. In April 1948. It is nevertheless true. which provides the basis for our critique of Communism in terms of Islam.123 Concerns about the wisdom of relying upon Islam to prevent the spread of communism grew during the 1950s.124 Nevertheless.125 Thus encouraged. religious propaganda formed a regular part of the Ikhwan’s weekly bulletins. that the social philosophy of Islam itself is too generalised and too archaic either to contain any reassurance for the future.122 The Failure of American and British Propaganda and Soviet Russia from spreading in Arab countries’. he accepted. in Iraq. e.g.121 These doubts were echoed by Stonehewer Bird. that as a religion. engrained in the highly individualistic Arab. or to act as a stimulus in the development of modern social reform. Western propagandists continued to deploy religious themes as part of their anti-communist campaigns. Philip Ireland argued that the Soviet attitude towards Islam had been so cleverly presented that ‘in many areas. … It is this essence of personal integrity. A JIC report prepared in 1954 concluded that While the Moslem faith appears superficially to be an effective barrier to Communism. the bulletin called the attention of Ikhwan members to the . who believed that. it still contains and teaches a slogan of personal liberty which finds some response deep in the mind of every Moslem Arab.

the Ikhwan developed an increasingly tough line on communism and Islam. The choice for the Muslim world was clear: It can either establish stable and friendly relations with all those countries which share with them the essential truths of spirituality and join with these countries in a new effort to build up a peaceful and prosperous life for all.Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda 123 recent decision of the Interpretation Committee at Cairo’s Al Azhar University that ‘Islam respects ownership and admits no communism. One article presented a catalogue of Soviet abuses including ‘forced transportation [of] … entire districts involving thousands of men. immortality. ‘imprisonment’ and ‘even the firing squad’. free will. News Review. is a challenge to the great heritage of Islam – to the conviction that the individual has an inherent value and that order and liberty are reconciled within the moral law. was issued in 1949 with the aim of highlighting Soviet Islamophobia. From its earliest editions. ‘Communism and Islam’. hardly a week went by without a piece of this kind. … Islam disappears into the grey and pitiless materialism of the Stalinist dictatorship.126 In the early 1950s. ‘Communism’.132 . it announced. ‘forced labour’. women and children’.131 By the mid-1950s.’ A second article made the point that in communist states. The magazine was especially keen on shocking stories about the ‘elimination of religious leaders’ and the ‘suppression of religious teachings and Moslem culture’. ‘religion is constantly denounced as superstition and “a survival of bourgeois mentality” ’.127 Drawing attention to the plight of Muslims within the Soviet Union was a favourite IRD tactic and a 1954 report from Cairo concluded that ‘material on the persecution of Moslems [was] the most useful of all’. or it can listen to the demagogues and charlatans. Above all it is a direct challenge to belief in God. carried reports that ‘Stalin would ban [the] Koran’130 and that Soviet leaders hoped ‘to discredit Islam’ and ‘liquidate’ Muslim leaders. who would drive the Orient into a holocaust and lay its bleeding and shattered body beneath the jackboot of Soviet imperialism. many of them in Russian pay.129 American publications became important vehicles for propaganda of this kind.128 An early IRD paper entitled.

especially communism.137 .133 Al Sadaka also published numerous articles along these lines.124 The Failure of American and British Propaganda The ultimate communist objective. possibly through the medium of the Ministry of Wakfs. In conversation with the US Embassy’s Cultural Officer in March 1953.134 Western propagandists specifically targeted Al Azhar. producing features such as ‘Al Azhar Combats Subversive Doctrines’. (b) in support of Egypt’s new regime. the politicisation of the university administration by the Free Officers allowed USIS officers to establish links to university staff and students. which explained how the Islamic university in Cairo was ‘fighting against Communism and atheism in all its forms’.’ Embassy staff subsequently reported that ‘Al Azhar seems worthy of careful consideration for increased. … To this end we might make use of the University magazines in which our anti-Communist material could appropriately be inserted. ‘are now becoming members of the USIS library and they regularly carry away with them copies of the USIS weekly Al Sadaka and other USIS publications.136 British propagandists engaged in a number of covert projects to use Islamic institutions as vehicles for anti-communist themes and began work to penetrate Al Azhar even earlier than their USIS counterparts. was to ‘destroy Islamic faith and influence in Soviet territory’. the Rector of Al Azhar discussed ‘Islam’s rejection of Communism’ and revealed that ‘more than 300 preachers have recently been appointed … to go out to various mosques and give addresses: (a) against subversive doctrines. After the Egyptian revolution in 1952. IRD began cooperating with information officers in Cairo in a bid to mobilise Al Azhar behind the anti-communist cause in 1950 when Embassy officials reported that It is … essential that the sheikhs of Al-Azhar should fully appreciate the atheistic basis of Marxism and the importance of combating its spread.’ they continued.’ A number of ‘graduates’ from these classes were subsequently channelled into the educational exchange programme. USIS Cairo reported that ‘for the third successive year English classes have … been set up by USIS for hand-picked students and young teachers’.’135 What became known as ‘Project Al Azhar’ focused on USIS provision of English-language tuition to selected students and staff and discreet anti-communist co-operation with the university authorities. it was argued. but slow and tactful. ‘Most of these young religious leaders. USIE labors. In particular we should strive to ensure that every student leaves this University a resolute opponent of Communism. At the end of 1955.

Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda 125 Officials in Cairo observed that ‘the Friday Sermon has always been recognized as one of the most important ways of spreading propaganda in the Moslem world’ and reported that We have now devised a scheme for ensuring that anti-Communist themes are adequately dealt with. The Baghdad Embassy reported in 1953 that ‘with the Government’s connivance. and Russia supports Egypt. only to be repeatedly frustrated by Arab reluctance to regard the Cold War struggle as a particularly pressing concern. A series of sermons has been written [and] the Director of the Special (anti-Communist) Section has gladly undertaken to pass them on (again as his Section’s own work) to the Ministry of Wakfs for distribution to the Imams. took note . none too politely by Nokrashy Pasha in June 1947. Ivone Kirkpatrick circulated a publicity directive in which he argued that ‘Our problems in the Middle East are not created by Russia. before asking whether the project was connected to its own proposal that ‘Friday Sermons prepared in Beirut’ be made available to ‘certain Shia divines?’140 Weaving nets to catch the wind: Arab resistance to Cold War propaganda In 1946.’ IRD replied.139 Information staff announced that they were working on methods to facilitate dissemination of anti-communist material within the Shia communities of Iraq and received an enthusiastic response from IRD. ‘Egypt does not sympathise with Communism. Western propagandists tended to ignore Kirkpatrick’s analysis. They existed before the war and would afflict us even if Russia disappeared from the scene.138 This kind of operation was not limited to Egypt. reporting the Egyptian response to Truman’s ‘Campaign of Truth’ in 1950. and there is evidence that officials in Lebanon and Iraq were working along similar lines. ‘We should like to know more about your “pilot” scheme for the covert dissemination of propaganda in the Shia holy places since it may suggest ideas that could be used outside Iraq. however. As the CIA’s Kermit Roosevelt was told.’141 Fixated by the task of awakening the Middle East to Cold War threats. imams and mullahs could be provided with talking points for use in their sermons’. but if America supports Britain in the Security Council. the Egyptians will learn by themselves which is the friendly nation.’142 American officials in Cairo.

146 Conversely. the Soviet press favoured the Israelis and in some instances went so far as to brand the Arabs the aggressors. and I feel that they will say.126 The Failure of American and British Propaganda of an Al Ahram editorial which stated bluntly that We know that communism idolises oppression and is a stigma on the human brow. IRD had felt it necessary to warn against giving publicity to Soviet anti-Semitism. Insofar as he is interested in international affairs. if only to themselves: ‘There’s one thing to be said for these Communists. the suggestion that there was a pro-Israeli bias to Soviet policy was employed from time to time. it is bound to hit a lot of Gentiles as well. it is barely possible to interest the politically conscious Iraqi in the Communist system at all. no effort on the Americans’ part will have any positive results so long as the big Western powers deny us any of our rights or stand in the way of our national aspirations. French and American varieties.143 British officials were also aware of the tendency of Arab audiences to dismiss anti-communist propaganda. as Dickens said. This may be deplorable.144 RIO Beirut’s response to this observation was that if it was indeed the case that ‘politically-conscious Arabs are far more concerned with Israel and Western Imperialism than with any threat of Soviet Imperialism’ then it was ‘surely part of our duties to see that they are warned’. News Review reminded its readers in 1952 that At the time of the Arab–Israeli War. However specifically the stuff is aimed at the Jews. they keep the Jews in their place’. he can at least persuade himself that he has some experience. making the point that In our experience. he is concerned about Israel and “imperialism” of the British. ‘they do get on so’. This is not mentioned in present-day Soviet propaganda . but.145 Efforts were made to denounce the Soviet Union in terms specifically tailored for Arab audiences. observing that Some degree of anti-Jewish feeling [is] almost universal in countries where the Jews are present in any numbers. even if we did fail to see the truth and needed American guidance to discover it. In 1949. Arthur Kellas wrote to IRD from Baghdad in July 1955. of which. but there are sound reasons for it – the soundest being that.

We don’t know them. They are thousands of miles away from us. For the vast majority of Middle Easterners. preferred to steer clear of the issue whenever possible. As Nasser himself told John Foster Dulles in May 1953.147 IRD made its own contribution to this campaign.149 . The anti-colonial sentiments of Arab nationalist leaders and the growing ferocity of the clashes on the Gaza frontier were far more pressing concerns than the Western fixation with the Soviet Union. I can’t see myself waking up one morning to find that the Soviet Union is our enemy. social and religious groups. Arab nationalists never came to regard anti-communism as a relevant aspect of their bid to eliminate colonial influence in the Middle East. Although some of the West’s Cold War themes undoubtedly struck a chord with certain political. while the continuing state of hostility between Israel and the Arab nations was crucial in preventing the notion of an imminent Soviet threat to the region from taking hold.Anti-Communism and Cold War Propaganda 127 which has now completely changed its tactics in an attempt to win over the Moslems of the Middle East. … I would become the laughing stock of my people if I told them they now had a new enemy. as we shall see in Chapter 5. anti-communism never became a potent rallying cry. inspiring articles such as ‘Communists in Syria Betray Palestine’ and ‘Is Russia Helping Israel?’ in the Syrian press in the mid-1950s. many thousands of miles away.148 The problem remained that the West was far more vulnerable to this kind of propaganda than the Soviet Union and most Western propagandists. Western propagandists failed to find a consistent means of binding anti-communist themes to the causes that had come to dominate Arab political culture by the mid-1950s. the most that can be said of the campaign as a whole was that it tended to reinforce the impression that communism was not relevant to the majority of Middle Easterners. and that they must forget about the British enemy occupying their territory.

Gillespie Evans. If Palestine ‘bedevils’ British programs. perhaps the single greatest political obstacle to the successful pursuit of British and American psychological objectives in the Middle East. Foreign Office Assistant Under-Secretary. 128 . 1945–56 Mr Warner’s comment that ‘Palestine bedevils our entire programme’ requires no comment. 8 June 1948 I cannot avoid the fear that the Israeli issue is in a fair way to losing us the Middle East. Evelyn Shuckburgh. highlighting the paralysis that afflicted the State Department’s information programme and exposing the very different approach taken by British propagandists.5 ‘The Less Said the Better’ Western Propaganda and the Arab–Israeli Dispute. Public Affairs Officer (USIS Cairo). It stands in the way of co-operation between the Arab countries and the West in matters of defence and it poisons our relations to such an extent that we are impotent to counter the Communist advance. the pernicious influence of the conflict was felt in almost every branch of the information and cultural diplomacy programmes in the region. 15 December 1954 This chapter examines how Western propagandists faced up to the challenge of the Arab–Israel dispute. From the post-war crisis in Palestine through to the efforts to promote an Arab–Israeli peace settlement in the mid-1950s. The chapter first examines British and American propaganda during the 1945–49 period of crisis and war in Palestine. I am at a loss to find a word for what it does to the American counterparts of these programs.

the morale-sapping reorganisation which . had been shaken by events in post-war Palestine. it was claimed. 1945–49 There is insufficient space here to provide a detailed survey of the vast literature dealing with Western policy towards the post-war crisis of the Palestine mandate and the first decade of the Arab–Israel dispute. ‘has severely jolted American–Iraqi relations. A third section explores Western propaganda in support of attempts to engineer a long-term Arab–Israeli settlement. it cannot be said that either British or American propagandists made progress in repairing the damage to Western prestige that had been inflicted in the 1940s. ordinary Iraqis had for the United States. focusing upon the difficulties involved in forging a joint Anglo-American approach to the questions of publicity that arose in relation to the ‘Alpha’ peace plan. the following analysis of British and American propaganda in the early years of the Arab–Israel dispute must necessarily be a selective one. The collapse of Western prestige in the Arab world after 1945 was astonishingly rapid. but. 1945–56 129 A second section investigates Western propaganda in the early 1950s. Two major themes dominate this section. ‘America’s apparent support of the Zionist cause in Palestine’.’2 Furthermore. A report compiled by United States Information Services (USIS) staff in Baghdad in July 1946 illustrates the extent of the American fall from grace. The first is the profound failure of the State Department’s propaganda agencies to confront the informational challenge with which they were presented by Truman’s policies towards the question of Palestine.1 Similarly. The propaganda policies of the Western powers did not always follow the same course (and Britain remained far more likely to resort to overtly anti-Jewish tactics). The ‘deep and virtually inerradicable love and admiration’ that. In particular. in the final analysis. Propaganda and the Palestine question. and the Palestine issue was at the centre of this crisis. I have chosen to focus upon the issues that best illustrate the limited scope for Western propagandists on the Israel–Palestine question. The second is the efforts made by British propagandists to distance themselves both from the policies of the United States Government and from the Zionist movement itself in order to maintain their own reputation and popularity in the Arab world. the period in which it became apparent that Israel had established itself as an enduring feature of the political landscape. it was argued.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. In particular. it examines the rhetorical strategies of silencing. distancing and neutralism that Anglo-American propagandists sought to apply to politically sensitive issues.

… Our position is not understood and. Nevertheless … the dangers of a statement far outweigh any doubtful gains likely from an explanation which by force of circumstances must be incomplete and therefore unconvincing to the Arabs and provocative to important elements at home.6 The episode provides an early indication of the gap between professional American diplomats and the White House. Worse.130 The Failure of American and British Propaganda imposed major funding and personnel cuts on the overseas information programme. British propaganda in Egypt portrayed the report as having rejected ‘the Zionist dream of a Jewish state in Palestine’. Truman’s public response. OIC has received no background information for dissemination in the local press. as far as I can see. As Pinckney Tuck complained to the State Department from Cairo in early 1946.3 Tuck was forced to wait for almost two months before a distinctly unhelpful response from Washington stated simply that The Department is aware of the consequences of official silence on Arab public opinion. First Secretary of the .000 Jews into Palestine has been unanimously endorsed’.000 on publicity in Egypt and at the same time to avoid touching on the subject which more than any other gives rise to friction in American–Egyptian relations. … OIC directives strictly prevent it from preparing or distributing commentaries of its own on the Palestine problem. … In my opinion it is quite paradoxical for the Government of the United States to spend $150. we are doing little to explain it. In contrast. Just weeks after Truman’s enthusiastic response. its conclusions intensified anti-Americanism in the Arab world and did little to clarify American policy for the benefit of those charged with explaining it in the Middle East.4 This was little more than obfuscation on the part of a rudderless State Department. left the new State Department in no position to address the chief reason for this unprecedented collapse of American prestige. When the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry produced its report on 20 April 1946. The situation was exacerbated by the absence of policy direction and guidance from Washington to information officers in the field.5 provoked fresh anger across the Arab world. and welcomed ‘the further development of the Jewish National Home’. Philip Ireland. in which he stated that ‘I am very happy that the request which I made for the immediate admission of 100.

8 ‘The State Department is already converted but impotent’. leaving the US in a position where any offers it made in the cultural field would ‘all be accepted by one side and not by the other with the result that it would appear that we were favoring one side and not the other’.’9 Caught between a presidential policy with which many of its staff did not agree and a chronic awareness of the state of its own finances. … The most we can hope for is that the U. the Foreign Office concluded.12 . From Baghdad. 1945–56 131 American Legation in Cairo.A. being ‘neither familiar with the United States nor anxious for cultural cooperation’ would refuse. and noted that ‘while Mr.S. Roosevelt was regarded as a great personality throughout the Middle East … Mr. on the contrary. is now thought of as a man of small stature. the official guidance sent out to USIS staff in the Arab world. ‘With a presidential election next year.10 The best practical advice that OIC could offer was that ‘In general partisan statements from Arab or Zionist sources in this country should be avoided. we cannot hope for consistency or logic over Palestine. Set against this tide of hostility. the Arab community.7 In October 1947. informing them that they should persuade the Arabs that US policy was characterised by its ‘reliability. because … he has allowed internal politics to warp his judgment’.’11 The UN’s approval of partition in November 1947 deepened the problems confronting American propagandists in the Arab world.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. Truman. the Palestine affair was an experience of ‘shattering disillusionment’. the Office of Information and Cultural Affairs (OIC) was close to paralysis. will help us to pick up the pieces. recorded that ‘this Report … is universally rejected by all Arabic-speaking peoples’. Armin Meyer reported that Arab resentment at America’s role in the partition vote had produced a ‘flood of Arab public opinion against the United States’ against which it was virtually impossible to swim. Anglo-American discussions on Palestine collapsed when State Department diplomats told Foreign Office staff ‘with obvious embarrassment’ that ‘they were unable to talk on Palestine with the same frankness as on other subjects since they disapproved of the policy of their own government in this matter’. Even routine cultural activities in Palestine were deemed inadvisable on the grounds that although ‘[t]he Jewish group in Palestine … would be more than willing to take advantage of any opportunity for cultural cooperation’. consistency and seriousness’ was almost laughable. Meyer sought to impress upon the authorities back in Washington the fact that for the Arab peoples of the Middle East who ‘had depended upon the United States as the one world power which would abide by principles of right and justice’.

18 They also benefited from the clarification of government policy and welcomed developments towards the end of 1946 when ‘it became apparent that our task was to create an atmosphere in which both Arabs and . The situation in 1946 was gloomily described as a ‘one-sided political warfare’.16 C. there was little that cash-starved USIS posts could do to cushion the impact of Truman’s statements and policies. and what the authorities in Palestine described as Jewish ‘political warfare tactics’. ‘It is palpably impossible to “sell” partition to the Arabic press’.’14 British information officers did not suffer from the same paralysis as their American counterparts. the absence of political guidance from above. noting that the Section could do little more than attempt to … avert growth of a movement to ‘clamp down on’ USIS. ‘usually losing.17 This is a difficult thesis to sustain in the face of the evidence for 1946 (although it is better suited to the situation in 1947). combined to leave British propagandists fighting a series of defensive campaigns and. since the first story always gets the press’. and not something to be thought of when everything else was done’. was a time of ‘dark days for our information program.13 The period. British information staff in Jerusalem noted that the governing authorities in Palestine had ‘gradually became more accustomed to look upon the Information Service as being an integral part of the administration. undefined or even reactive’. reported USIS staff in Cairo. … Not until the closing months of the year … has our work seemed to have a purpose’. contending that British policy was ‘never haphazard. Morris has questioned the claim that the problem for the British propagandists in Palestine was the absence of policy guidance. as staff in Jerusalem saw it. inimicable. As the Jerusalem Public Information Office’s annual report for 1946 made clear. although the speed with which the crisis in Palestine developed did mean that they were initially unprepared for the propaganda war in which they found themselves. and no propaganda could overcome Arab emotions. one United States Information and Educational Exchange Program (USIE) official later recalled.15 The speed with which the crisis developed. and dangerous to their own national aspirations. ‘the main cause of our difficulty … has been the absence of a policy.132 The Failure of American and British Propaganda In these circumstances. as the mouthpiece for a country which had adopted a policy felt by the Arabs to be unfriendly. … During the Palestine crisis our objective was to “hold the fort” until better days.J.

23 From Syria. … We may at some stage have the opportunity of using our good offices to bring Arabs and Jews together. We are in general fairly satisfied with the effect of our undertaking to withdraw.000 Zionists begin to disembark at Haifa.19 This. the nature and objectives of British propaganda changed markedly. there will be no doubt left in the Lebanese mind as to which of the two English speaking powers should bear the major responsibility. and the curtailment of several educational exchange projects) were ‘possibly not without British encouragement’22 and USIS staff in Lebanon observed that In the current Anglo-American rivalry for unpopularity among the Arabs. the British attempted to salvage their reputation in the Arab world with a series of anti-American and anti-Jewish campaigns. USIS staff in Baghdad had reported that recent antiAmerican developments (which included discrimination against the United Press (UP) and USIS news services. As early as 1946. As each new report arrived from Washington of plans for expediting 100.21 No longer constrained by the responsibility for maintaining stability and security in Palestine. as Morris points out.000 refugees to the Holy Land. concluding that the evaporation of the ‘reservoir of goodwill’ had been hastened by ‘the efforts of the British to foist responsibility … upon the United States’. may well have been ‘seeking to achieve the impossible’20 but it did set the propaganda agenda until Bevin’s decision to withdraw from Palestine was announced in October 1947.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. Thereafter. but the moment for this has not yet come. the British improved. As the crisis in Palestine escalated in the last months of 1947. if possible. the US Charge d’Affaires accused Reuters of taking pains ‘to emphasize American responsibility’ for the Anglo-American Report on Palestine. the United States was way out ahead. As official Foreign Office information guidance to Middle Eastern posts put it. This has allowed us at last to give up the unenviable position of protagonist. 1945–56 133 Jews would agree to come together to the postponed Round Table Conference’. and we must be extremely careful not to become prematurely associated with any compromise proposal. their chaste and non-committal policy.24 . British propagandists adopted an aggressive set of partisan themes and tactics designed to appeal to Arab opinion. … It would seem to be a safe prediction that when the first of the 100.

26 In Egypt. the senior British diplomat in Lebanon. in favour of partition. … There have been two factors in the defence of Palestine. believed that If British recognition is withheld I am confident that His Majesty’s Government will recover much of the ground which they lost in recent years and that many of our difficulties in the Middle East will probably disappear.S. One is of course the unity of the Arab nations on the question. and to have realised from the beginning that partition could be no solution to the Palestine problem.’30 Truman’s recognition of Israel in May 1948 provided British propagandists with an irresistible opportunity. embarrassment with the Arab states or that any difference of objective interests exists between Great Britain and the US in the Near East. 29 The State Department eventually reacted in February 1948. Ikhwan bulletins made the point that ‘The precipitate American recognition “de facto” of the Zionist government has met with almost universal disapproval in England’.32 There was some evidence to support this assertion. who was in a far better position to know the facts. and how much wiser she would have been to have listened to the advice of Great Britain. quoting an editorial in Pravda. instructing its USIS posts to ‘Avoid comment indicating Britain is deriving benefit in the Near East from U.134 The Failure of American and British Propaganda British-controlled media outlets continued to pour forth a stream of anti-American messages. suggesting that ‘Truman’s only concern was to be reelected’25 and implying that the White House was motivated by the presence in the US of ‘four hundred thousand Jews. the Ikhwan al Hurriya distributed large quantities of reading material making it clear that America was very largely responsible for the original decision of the General Assembly of the U.N. In March 1948.O. which condemned US attitudes towards the Palestine question as ‘an alarming policy of swindling’.28. Sharq al-Adna spoke of the ‘sheer resentment’ produced by American policies. and the other undoubtedly has been Great Britain’s attitude towards partition. whose votes will be needed in next November’s Presidential elections’.31 and Houstoun-Boswall. Staff in Beirut noted that in the weeks after American recognition of Israel ‘the general tone of the press became bitterly anti-American … and full of praise for .27 Sharq al-Adna was even prepared to recycle Soviet propaganda.

35 From Beirut. … Therefore we should make up our minds on which side our own bread (and nobody else’s) is buttered. … We will have then to make quite sure by all means at our disposal that he does not suffer a military defeat at the hands of the Jews.000 Jews.36 British anti-Zionism was clearly apparent in publicity dealing with Jewish immigration. 1945–56 135 Britain’. It seems to me then to be essential to ensure that the Arabs.34 Anti-Zionist themes had been present in British propaganda to the Arab world for some time. claiming that the illegal immigrants are now coming almost entirely from countries in the Russian orbit and it is safe to assume that only those well . These two boats contained no fewer than 13.G. In December 1947. We need the Arabs and they need us – though most of them are too timid to say so openly. Ikhwan bulletins stressed that ‘there would be no relaxation in the measures to prevent illegal immigration of Jews’ and drew attention to the interception last week by four destroyers and two cruisers of the British Navy of two large boats containing the biggest number of illegal immigrants yet stopped. particularly King Abdullah … should not be allowed to land themselves in any further trouble.M. head of the British Middle East Office (BMEO). Houstoun-Boswall argued that It is obviously not in our interest to see a Jewish State established in Palestine. who have all now been landed in Cyprus and thus prevented from going to Palestine.’s non-recognition of the Jewish State … caused British prestige to soar in the Arab world’. and attitudes bordering on the anti-Semitic found expression at high levels within the policy-making establishment. where they would have constituted an appreciable reinforcement to Jewish military strength.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. Sir John Troutbeck. writing in May 1948 that ‘It is difficult to see that Zionist policy is anything else than unashamed aggression carried out by methods of deceit and brutality not unworthy of Hitler’ and issuing warnings about ‘what a Jew will do to gain his purpose’. provided one of the clearest indications of this tendency.33 The Middle East Information Department (MEID) staff noted that Truman’s ‘precipitate recognition’ of Israel ‘caused a wave of revulsion against American policy [while] H.37 The Foreign Office even sought to associate Jewish immigration with the communist penetration.

by methods of organised political terrorism. and it is a sorry condemnation on their claims to statehood that this menace should still stalk unchecked through the land. establishing power over the Arab majority’. Ikhwan bulletins in Egypt took the opportunity to point out that ‘outrages committed by Jewish terrorist groups have increased in numbers and barbarity’ and wasted no time in holding the Jewish Agency to account. it was claimed.42 .39 By November 1948. Some of these agents may be Russians and others may be Jews. Illegal immigration has thus become part of the Russian plan and their support of partition is another example of their hope to use Palestine as a springboard for their influence in the Middle East. In the Arab world.38 Sharq al-Adna repeated the slur that Zionism was a ‘secret ally of Communism’ and reported that Jewish immigration to Palestine is being carried out with the knowledge of the Soviet Union and its satellites. … According to reliable information.40 Terrorist incidents in Palestine. ‘In a unitary Palestine State’. Ikhwan propaganda proclaimed in April 1948 that The Blight of terrorism spreads like a slow stain over the Jewish people in Palestine. ‘there would be every likelihood of the Jewish minority. ‘The continuance of indiscriminate murder and condoned terrorism’. we can positively say that Russia has a plan aiming at permitting one and a half million Communist agents to infiltrate into Western Europe and the Middle East.’41 Pressing this theme further. it was argued. the British Embassy Publicity Section in Cairo was issuing attributable material comparing Zionism in Palestine to Soviet policy in Czechoslovakia. … This monster of violence has been nurtured by Jewish refusal to recognise it as an evil and to cooperate with the British authorities to eradicate it from their midst.136 The Failure of American and British Propaganda indoctrinated in the Communist faith are allowed to go. strongly worded statements against ‘Jewish terrorism’ were a useful means of indicating a common Anglo-Arab interest in the face of the Zionist enemy. ‘can lead only to the forfeiture by the Jewish community of Palestine of all right in the eyes of the world to be numbered among the civilised peoples. were used by British propagandists to smear the Jewish community as a whole. particularly the activities of the Irgun and the Stern Gang.

nature of the material stolen. the investigating officer reported that ‘they are all of Haganah affiliation or sympathies and in view of the circumstances of the theft. if not active assistance.45 Unsurprisingly. Sharq.44 Nevertheless. Gordon Waterfield. four transmitters were stolen from a mobile transmitting station in Jerusalem.43 Sharq al-Adna was capable of more balanced and responsible reporting and British officials in Cairo even reported that American Foreign Broadcast Information Service monitors had professed themselves ‘surprised at the apparently pro-Jewish tone of some of the Sharq el Adna [sic] news broadcasts’. Bevin has been to all intents and purposes an agent provocateur. the suspicion that Sharq was deliberately used to disseminate anti-Jewish themes deemed unsuitable for official channels remains strong. In January 1948. modus operandi and the known animosity of the Jewish Agency towards [Sharq al-Adna] and the anxiety of the Haganah to improve upon their existing illegal . 1945–56 137 The massacre of Arab villagers at Deir Yassin provided obvious opportunities for propaganda of this kind. Bevin is afraid to say openly and get away with – Jews or no Jews.46 Police investigations concluded that ‘the thieves received information. Responding to the Jewish Agency’s condemnation of the atrocity. upsetting ‘plans for continuous transmission during the period of [Sharq’s] move to Cyprus’. and after a number of suspects were apprehended and interrogated. ‘in fighting Jews have followed their inherited traditions and proved their definite desire to stick to the traditions of chivalry and war which they inherited from their ancestors generation after generation’. it was claimed. from one or more of the Jewish engineers employed in equipping the vehicle’. but today what I feel in my bones is that someone in Tel Aviv is piling up a crime sheet of provocative indiscretions and that one day – for instance if there should be a pogrom in an Arab State – a dossier will be given with a lot of hot and – for us – embarrassing publicity on the lines that Mr. Sharq al-Adna gave extensive coverage to an Arab League communiqué which described ‘Jewish terrorists’ as ‘revolting to the conscience of humanity’ and contrasted their behaviour to Arab fighters who.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. warned that Sharq’s provocative calls for the Zionists to be ‘wiped off the face of the earth’ would prove to be politically embarrassing. In war time it played a role. Waterfield was told in November 1949. Sharq al-Adna was a target for Haganah propagandists and saboteurs. is used as a sly agent of ours which can say what Mr. controller of the BBC Arabic Service.

Haganah broadcasts sought to discredit Sharq in the eyes of its Arab audience by portraying it as a tool of British imperialism whose Arab staff were the type to ‘sacrifice the interests of their countrymen for the sake of their personal aim’ and who could only ‘pretend that they are serving Arab interests’. however. a clandestine ‘Haganah Radio’ station launched its own attack on Sharq al-Adna. which the ‘Department did its utmost to exploit’.47 It was no coincidence. therefore. was to be short-lived. official British spokesmen had to tread carefully in formulating their appeal to Arab opinion.51 and explaining that they were ‘refraining from despatching pro-Jewish or even objective items on Palestine’. which in the spring of 1948 had been growing ‘menacingly anti-British’. meanwhile.138 The Failure of American and British Propaganda broadcasting station. that within weeks of the robbery.49 Whereas unofficial instruments such as Sharq al-Adna and the Ikhwan al Hurriya were free to pursue an openly anti-Israel agenda.48 The Anglo-Israeli radio propaganda war intensified during 1948 and Britain collaborated with Iraqi broadcasters against Israel. attributable Embassy publications such as the ‘Talking Point Letter’ were used to highlight Britain’s pro-Arab position. The defeats inflicted upon the Arab armies by Israel led to accusations that Britain had failed to provide sufficient support for the Arabs. the British Information Department in Baghdad announced in July. had been won over. A largely pro-Arab British press proved to be a useful source of ‘independent’ comment for information officers in the Arab world. As the Information Department in Cairo remarked in its report for the second quarter of 1948. while informing that it was working with the Iraqis ‘to enable them to monitor “Voice of Israel” … with a view to immediately countering their subversive propaganda’. ‘Contact has been made with the local Broadcasting authorities’. introduced their own ‘internal censorship’ to ensure that ‘we refrain from issuing any articles with a Jewish slant’. produced a ‘sudden favourable atmosphere’.50 Information officers in Egypt. Sharq al-Adna reacted by seeking to contrast the failure of Egypt’s Arab allies .53 Briefly. reminding readers of Britain’s view that ‘the entry of Arab armies into Palestine did not in the circumstances constitute aggression’ and arguing that the Arabs had sent their armies into Palestine ‘to preserve security and order’. it seemed that Arab opinion.54 The apparent triumph. not least by taking every opportunity of ‘rubbing it in to editors that Britain and Britain alone was holding the ring for the Arabs’. it is suspected that the theft was perpetrated by the latter organization’. British refusal to recognise Israel together with her diplomatic efforts on behalf of the Arab States at the UN.52 At the same time.

58 Throughout 1949.000 for disaster relief to Palestine refugees. Transjordan and Ceylon are still waiting’. USIE officials saw in the Palestinian refugee crisis a rare opportunity to gain some positive publicity for American policies and the State Department’s guidance to USIS posts in November 1948 stated that In order to offset possible bad impression created by our seeming support of Israeli position it would be well to recall that the US took the leading position in putting forward and pushing through the recommendation that the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund contribute 6 million rather than $2.The Arab–Israeli Dispute.60 Before long. the Cairo Embassy’s ‘Talking Point Letter’ limited itself to publicity for British action on behalf of the refugees in the UN.61 .56 and this message was repeated in December when the Ikhwan’s weekly bulletin quoted a number of statements in the House of Commons. Portugal.S. contributes 72% of the total funds received by UNICEF from governments and same percentage of residual UNRRA balances. and the reporting of the Foreign Office’s announcement in August 1948 that ‘tents and medical supplies … from British stores in the Middle East were to be made available for refugee relief’.’59 British propagandists adopted a similar approach. Ikhwan al Hurriya bulletins were citing British opinion polls indicating that ‘100% agreed that Arab refugees should be allowed to return to their homes from which they had been expelled by the Jews’ and demanding that ‘compensation should be paid to them for loss of their homes. was the only one which stood beside Egypt in its present difficulty’. however. ‘There is no likelihood of Britain recognising the so-called state of Israel’.200.000 Palestinian refugees was an issue upon which both British and American propagandists seized in order to stress their respective governments’ commitment to humanitarian aid and to cast themselves in a favourable light before Arab opinion. 1945–56 139 with the continuing support offered by Britain. Ikhwan al Hurriya members were told in September 1948. ‘It seems’. Britain. … It can also be pointed out that the U.55 British officials also sought to bolster their prestige by returning to the recognition issue. US propagandists in the Arab world were reminded that ‘We should strive for maximum amount of favorable publicity for the UN Palestine refugee program. including one MP’s remark that it would be ‘anomalous as well as premature to admit Israel to the United Nations when Eire.57 The fate of the 750. Initially. that is. ‘that one ally of Egypt. Italy. land or possessions’. Sharq commentators proclaimed.

but the failure of the Arab armies ultimately gave British proclamations of support the hollow ring of empty promises. whether in the form of uncritical American support for Israel or British backing for the Arabs were increasingly recognised as an unsatisfactory basis for regional propaganda. Sterndale Bennett (Troutbeck’s successor at the British Middle East Office (BMEO)) believed that officials in London simply did not appreciate the handicap under which British officials in the Arab world laboured as a direct result of the general perception of ‘the part we have played in creating the [Palestine] problem and by the sympathy for Israel with which we are credited’. partisan approaches to the Arab–Israel dispute. whether publicity for refugee aid programmes achieved much more than to remind Arabs of the disaster that had befallen them and to reinforce subsequent feelings of bitterness.’62 More radical Arab voices reacted with some venom.64 The destruction of Palestinian Arab society and the establishment of Israel produced a tide of Arab hostility that Western propagandists could do little to stem. As one participant in a May 1950 meeting of the State Department’s Information Policy Committee meeting observed. The British. US propagandists continued to play the refugee card. They think its a pro-Israel policy. however. relatively little had changed at the beginning of the 1950s. which.63 Nevertheless. British propagandists had identified ‘Arab dissatisfaction over … the problem of Palestine’ as ‘the over-riding factor affecting our information work’ and concluded that ‘Britain has not come off without severe criticism’. with more room to manoeuvre given their willingness to exploit anti-American and anti-Semitic themes. achieved some short-term success in the summer of 1948. In 1947. was identified as a means of winning back ‘a measure of confidence in [American] good will and impartiality in the Near East’ and the State Department concluded that ‘the refugee problem should be separated for special attack at this time’. there is no enthusiasm. in 1953. ‘I didn’t find any enthusiasm in the Arab countries for the Palestine refugee problem. For some British officials.66 Neutralism and the Arab–Israeli conflict By 1950. denouncing ‘British expressions of sympathy and offers of help for Arab refugees as “a murderer’s tears shed over his victim” ’. adopting a policy of public neutrality between Israel and the Arabs was a bitter pill to .65 Despite a concerted effort to distance Britain from the US and to indicate sympathy with the Arabs in their battle against Zionism.140 The Failure of American and British Propaganda It is to be doubted. … [A]s far as people you talk with are concerned. however.

So swallow that one and make the best of it” ’. I feel strongly that the way they have been pushed out of one morally impregnable position after another is a very grave reflection on our western civilisation. they would have rattled the Arabs out of any diplomatic position which they might have taken up.69 This contrasted sharply with . For Troutbeck. though I can claim very little affinity with the Arabs whose language I do not understand and whose way of life is utterly strange to me.68 Despite these protests.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. not excluding our own. they mean well and are here to stay. he concluded. … Once it was clear that [the Arabs] had not the force to defeat the Jews and would not have been allowed to use it if they had. the rest was a foregone conclusion. For there is no gainsaying the fact that there is a moral case in this business and. expressed the belief that our difficulties in attaining this objective are greatly increased by the Israeli policy of deliberately alienating the Arabs by acts of terrorism and by their efforts to oust from Israel even such Arabs as remain. a more pragmatic policy towards Israel developed in Whitehall.67 Houstoun-Boswall. 1945–56 141 swallow. … We never help the Arabs in protesting against Jewish atrocities. … All I can say is that I am very conscious of the moral principles involved in the Palestine question and it was with pain and grief that I saw how very little ice they cut in the world at large and even in our own country. ‘as long as we give them nothing more than exhortation and often unpalatable advice – such as “don’t hate the Jews. it amounted to just one more betrayal in a series of injustices inflicted upon the Arabs: The Jews were determined to get what they wanted and. Ernest Bevin was even prepared to make a case that ‘there is no reason why considerable advantage to the whole Middle East should not result from the establishment of higher standards of social and economic organisation in Israel’. with their immense drive and the immense power they have shewn themselves to wield not only in the USA but in most countries of the world. rather we join in a conspiracy of silence about them. prepared to accept in principle that ‘it is essential for us to be friendly with Jews and Arabs’. What reaction can we expect from such an attitude? ‘We stand no chance of holding the Arabs to our side’. All that remained to the Arabs was their moral case.

political and commercial influence in this country’. … We must show in every way possible that despite our favoritism toward the Jewish cause we are not antiArab’. were well aware of the need to mend their tattered relations with the Arabs. as was proved in 1948–49. the task was to restore ‘the reservoir of good-will which was damaged because of the Palestine affair. including the Arab States and Israel. Adopt a much better formula for financial neutrality than that of letting Israel be an equal factor in a fiftyfifty division. is capable of surviving the severest strains’. 3. Convince the Arabs that we will not permit Israel to expand beyond her present borders. In almost every country. among them the argument that The actual implementation in clear unequivocable terms of the announced American policy of neutrality between the Arab states and Israel is vital if we expect to achieve any of our other objectives in the Arab world. the need to ‘to neutralize the effect of our pro-Jewish policy in the Palestine War’73 was listed as a priority objective. Continue at an accelerated rate to push forward and to finance compensation to and rehabilitation of the Arab refugees. for example. the Foreign Office moved towards the normalisation of relations with Israel. ‘It is our policy to conserve and consolidate British cultural. must: 1.72 US policy makers. this time by world Jewry and international oil interests. In Iraq. remarking that Anglo-Israeli relations constituted ‘a link which. At the conference of US Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) held in Beirut in February 1952. … This would in all probability mean the setting up of dictatorships in the Fertile Crescent and a return of the Middle East to the age of colonisation.74 How this was to be achieved was another matter.142 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Houstoun-Boswall’s paranoid warning that The extension of Jewish influence … might possibly serve to maintain the Anglo-American position in the Middle East.70 Bevin responded simply that ‘Our general objective must be to have cordial relations with all the States of the Middle East. a number of positive suggestions were made. The need to rebuild the tarnished reputation of the US dominated USIE’s 1950 ‘Country Papers’.75 . Implementation of such a policy. this meant a concerted effort to portray the United States as an impartial and reliable diplomatic partner. In practical terms.’71 Under Bevin’s leadership. to mean anything. the British Legation in Tel Aviv declared in September 1950. 2. meanwhile.

76 As Harold B. but to minimise the damage to Western interests in the region until such time as a long-term peace settlement was a realistic proposition. in the context of an Arab–Israeli competition for international support. and become ‘realistic’ in their approach to this sensitive subject. 1945–56 143 Such thinking reflected the widespread awareness. The Tripartite Declaration of May 1950 was repeatedly invoked as the foundation of Western policy towards the Arab–Israel dispute by both the British and American information services throughout the 1950s. in the event of a violation of the Arab–Israeli armistice agreement. The Declaration pledged that Britain. Foremost among these was the issue of Arab ‘infiltration’ and Israeli ‘reprisals’ that characterised what Benny Morris has called ‘Israel’s border wars’. but an impartial attitude toward Israel may. put it in his opening remarks to a conference of American PAOs in February 1952. Frequently. Point 4. unrest and instability in the Arab States today. The public position was one of professed neutrality. It is impossible for us to sweep under the carpet the responsibility we bear for the rise of Israel. or the Near East Command will not win back our leadership. it was Israel that found itself faced with public expressions of condemnation by British and US spokesmen.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. ‘Money. A number of characteristics of Israeli–Arab relations in the early 1950s made this policy problematic. that Our policy of underwriting the Israeli nation is the fundamental cause of friction. The wound to Arab pride and aspirations is too deep. As such. a principle that was severely tested by the actions of the Israeli Defence . designed not to resolve the dispute. Minor. take action both within and outside the United Nations against the aggressive party. threatened the viability of the Anglo-American policy of neutrality. British and American information policies towards the Arab–Israeli dispute were relatively well co-ordinated. at least among those members of the Foreign Service inclined to be sympathetic to the Arabs. much less to forgive. the US Minister to Beirut. the Declaration was a useful statement of Western impartiality. nor can we hope to induce the Arabs to forget. France and the United States would remain committed to the establishment and preservation of peace and stability in the Middle East and that each nation would. however.’77 For much of the 1950–54 period.78 Thefts and murders committed by Arab infiltrators prompted often brutal reprisals against Arab villages and these incidents.

When news of the Qibya raid broke.83 Clearly. An IDF commando unit slaughtered more than 50 villagers. expressed British ‘horror’ at an ‘apparently calculated attack’ and called on the Israeli Government to bring those responsible to justice. maintaining strictly impartial treatment to both sides’. On the one hand. was rather less interested in exploiting the official American condemnation of the raid to garner plaudits in the . Just weeks before the raid.80 On 16 October. it appears.’ The State Department. factual reporting. ‘In any public expression on this subject we wish to avoid giving the impression that we are singling out Israel for special punitive action. most notoriously at Qibya in October 1953. The Qibya raid was launched in response to the murder. expressing America’s ‘deepest sympathy for the families of those who lost their lives’ and demanded that ‘those who are responsible … should be brought to account’. although it would not be overly cynical to suggest that Western propagandists rather welcomed the opportunity to score some popularity points with the Arabs.81 US policy had been set out in State Department guidance in February 1953 when USIS officials were told to ‘confine news coverage of Jordan– Israel friction to objective. a retaliatory attack on the village of Qibya went ahead on the night of 14 October. Despite the co-operation of the Arab Legion with the Israeli authorities and a Jordanian promise to bring the murderers to justice. of an Israeli mother and her two children by infiltrators from Jordan. including many women and children.84 On the other. USIA was warned. The Western perception that ‘certain Israeli authorities are behaving in an irresponsible and outrageous manner’79 made a public condemnation inevitable.144 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Force (IDF) along the Jordan frontier. the formal information guidance issued to USIA was more restrained. ‘These events should be kept in their proper contexts’.82 The Qibya raid placed USIA in an awkward position. the State Department issued a relatively strong condemnation of the attack. on the night of 13 October. USIA and the State Department were left attempting an awkward balancing act. the Foreign Office News Department endorsed the condemnation of Israel issued by the Mixed Armistice Commission (MAC) of the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation (UNTSO). USIA had received official State Department guidance entitled ‘Current Problems of US–Israel Relations’ in which ‘an effort by the United States to show a more balanced attitude towards Israel vis-à-vis the Arab countries’ and ‘a series of provocative incidents initiated by the Israelis’ were blamed for a recent deterioration of US–Israeli relations. the issue of border incidents was a sensitive one for US diplomats.

In August 1954.85 The limited impact of public condemnations of Israel soon became clear. demanded that the British and Americans condemn the Jordan Government as they had condemned Israel after Qibya. 1945–56 145 Arab world than it was to ensure that no impression was given of any change in US policy towards Israel. in the sense that it had terrified the Arabs on the Jordan frontier into quiescence.86 Qibya thus exposed the shortcomings of Britain’s publicity policy for dealing with frontier incidents. blaming Jordan. as ‘an anti-Semitic tirade’. Israeli defiance had dangerous implications for British prestige in the Arab world. on 28 March. the Israelis promptly withdrew from the MAC and launched a reprisal attack upon the West Bank village of Nahhalin. Glubb had already caused a small diplomatic storm with an interview he gave to the New York Times in the summer of 1953. Described by the Labour MP. … I am in fact getting a little concerned at the distance which sometimes seems to separate London from the actualities of . This raid. three Arab Legionnaires and one female civilian. resulted in the deaths of four Jordanian National Guardsmen. Moshe Dayan announced to the British Ambassador that he considered the Qibya raid to have ‘worked’. which he considered unnecessarily timid and that risked undermining the British position in Jordan. but when no condemnation of Jordan was made (Glubb asserted that the crime was committed by infiltrators from Sinai).87 Glubb had suggested that many of the terrorist atrocities committed within Israel had been perpetrated by ‘criminal immigrants from European ghettos’ before going on to describe an alleged Israeli desire to ‘kill lots of Jordanians to show them what’s what’ as ‘smacking of Nazism’. Sterndale Bennett was deeply critical of the Foreign Office’s low-key response. After Arab infiltrators killed 11 Israeli civilians in an attack near Beersheba on the night of 16 March.88 The events of March 1954 intensified American and British anxieties about their approach to publicity regarding Israeli reprisal raids. By making it look as though Britain was all talk and no action. Woodrow Wyatt. Several British officials were growing increasingly concerned at the impression of British weakness in the face of Israeli actions. the Israelis. arguing that I do not think there is any comparison between the faults of individuals on the Arab side … and the planned blows delivered by the Israeli armed forces. Official expressions of sympathy were offered to Israel.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. Glubb Pasha was especially quick to denounce what he called Israel’s ‘psychological urge to bully others’ and equally keen to condemn a policy.

The Foreign Office thus remained committed to a policy of neutrality and mediation between Israel and the Arabs which. Foreign Office staff agreed that Jordan was the victim of unjustified attacks and many believed the Israelis were deliberately undermining the authority of the UNTSO. he declared.92 Official American reaction to the rising state of tension on Israel’s borders was summarised by the National Security Council (NSC) in July. but it might also undermine Israeli ‘moderates’ such as Moshe Sharret and strengthen the hand of the ‘hawks’ who favoured more aggressive policies towards the Arab states. To do so would probably lead to … Sharret’s downfall and the emergence of a more bellicose regime. thought that there was much to be gained from getting involved in a public argument with Israel on the issue. Sterndale Bennett argued for a stronger British commitment to Jordan in order to shore up British influence there. rather like Glubb and his predecessor at the BMEO. going on to argue that Any general resolution which does not truly reflect this position will be misleading and likely to do harm out here. we cannot for that reason back them through thick and thin in their quarrel with Israel. USIA was reported to have made ‘special efforts … in regard to the need of making clear to the area the impartiality of US policy towards the Arab states and Israel’. A vigorous anti-Israeli propaganda campaign might temporarily boost British prestige in the Arab world.146 The Failure of American and British Propaganda the Middle East.90 Worried that the Israelis might be successful in ‘driving a wedge between our ally [ Jordan] and ourselves’. ‘It is the Israelis who have put themselves positively in the wrong by savage atrocities like Qibya and Nahhalin’. As Falla argued. Few. however. John Troutbeck.91 In private. saw the matter in simple terms. Although the Arab States are more important to us strategically than Israel. … Can we afford to be schoolmasterish on this human issue?89 Sterndale Bennett. while allowing for condemnation of excessive Israeli reprisals. especially if it attempts to balance Nahhalin against the Beersheba bus incident (for which it is now practically certain that Jordan bears no responsibility). held out no promise that the British would take the Arab side against Israel in any but the most extreme circumstances.93 Particular emphasis was given to two speeches .

they dodged the issue by delegating responsibility for countering Israeli propaganda to the UN. ‘there can be … no doubt that the exacerbation of public opinion with which the Israeli Government made great play and which in turn was the cause of Nahhalin. Wikeley had claimed earlier that ‘publicity … is one of the main keys to the situation’. he argued. Wikeley and his French and US colleagues reached the conclusion that the Israeli objective was ‘to get rid of the UNTSO altogether’. ‘but they thereby increase the very tension in public opinion which they subsequently utilise to justify another “retaliation” ’. E.95 Byroade’s message was a reiteration of American impartiality. ‘Not only do [the Israelis] deliberately mislead the public’. arguing that ‘It is too easy for the Israelis to brand anyone “pro-Arab” if they see that that is all that is required to get rid of a man they dislike. Hutchison and General Bennike. Byroade asked Israel to cooperate with the UN. Both were given heavy radio play by the Voice of America (VOA) and were reproduced with additional editorial comment in News Review.’96 Placing the US Government ‘somewhat in the middle’.98 T. at the British Consulate in Jerusalem. Inspired by the growing suspicion that the Israelis were seeking to discredit the UNTSO.97 The problem for British and American propagandists was to explain their neutrality to an angry Arab world.’99 Wikeley believed that the attacks on Hutchison and Bennike stemmed from the threat that UN rulings posed to the manipulation of Israeli domestic opinion. 1945–56 147 by Henry Byroade on 9 April and 1 May. he argued. and the leading MAC and UNTSO representatives. Wikeley. the Foreign Office lent its support to the idea of strengthening the public relations capability of the UNTSO. would . the British sought to encourage a more forthright response by the UN staff responsible for policing Israel’s borders.H. he declared. Israeli attacks on the UNTSO increased when Israel withdrew from the MAC after the UNTSO’s failure to condemn Jordan for the Beersheba killings. … If we are to be accused of being pro-anything … [it] is that our policy is first and foremost pro-American.94 whereas Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) in the Middle East were instructed to distribute the texts to ‘as many key people and as many editors as possible’.101 In this deteriorating situation.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. ‘A pro-Israeli or a pro-Arab policy’. were both denounced as pro-Arab.100 When UN observers on the border found themselves being harassed and even attacked by Israeli troops. while demanding that the Arabs begin negotiations to defuse border tensions. citing the UN’s failure to explain to the Israeli public Hutchison’s reasons for not condemning Jordan after the Beersheba bus massacre. ‘has no place in our thinking. To a large extent. was unconvinced. Had this been done.

105 After the Nahhalin raid both Foreign Office and State Department propagandists concluded that publicity for frontier clashes tended to play into the hands of the Israelis who. the Information Policy Department (IPD) argued that ‘We should find it difficult to give publicity to an incident of this kind through the official information services without expressing or implying the approbation of HMG in such a way which would infuriate Israel’. USIA announced that its strategy for dealing with border incidents was to promote understanding and support for General Burns (Bennike’s successor at the UNTSO) and his plans to ease border tensions. It enabled their information services to rely on recycled UNTSO statements and press releases. that ‘Through stories placed in the press. proposals to draw up a public statement drew strong criticism from US officials in the Arab world. an American. In early August. The statement had sought . By mid-1955. minimising the likelihood that they would take the brunt of Israeli or Arab antagonism themselves. but his early success had demonstrated to both the British and the Americans that they could stand behind the UN over the question of frontier incidents.103 Fisher was killed in a car accident on 16 August. Hamilton Fisher.106 Basing publicity policy on the lines formulated by the UN still provided more opportunities to criticise Israel than it did Jordan. were deliberately exaggerating incidents in order to prepare the ground for further reprisals. began work as the UNTSO’s public relations officer and.148 The Failure of American and British Propaganda either not have happened.’104 Increasing reliance on the UN did limit opportunities for British propagandists to sympathise overtly with Jordan. as well as regional publications. The purported neutrality of US policy towards the Arab–Israel question was compromised by a number of careless habits. succeeding in getting the texts of MAC resolutions printed in full in the Israeli press. Reporting to the NSC in August 1955. a more sympathetic climate for considering General Burn’s [sic] plans was brought about. and allowed those criticisms to carry a stamp of respectable impartiality. or have been much reduced’. made a ‘good start’. At the beginning of September 1954. VOA broadcasts and personal contacts.102 In June 1954. Wikeley reported that the Israelis seemed ‘rattled’ by Fisher’s appointment. USIA felt able to claim. it was thought. somewhat optimistically. in the view of the Foreign Office. in response to the suggestion that they publicise the contrast between the Jordan authorities’ determination to take disciplinary action against Arab Legion troops crossing the frontier with the deliberately planned and authorised IDF incursions. trying unsuccessfully to curtail his activities.

Soviet penetration of the Middle East and the divisions within the Arab world upon which British political influence increasingly depended.108 The Baghdad Embassy put the case that the unilateral declaration to Israel as envisaged by the State Department will negate in Iraq the thoughtful and constructive efforts of past 18 months to restore confidence in US as being as genuinely interested in friendship of 40 million Arabs as of 1 1/2 million Israelis. after September 1955. that whenever the State Department spoke of ‘security’ they mentioned Israel first and the Arabs second? Why was it.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. in Beirut. Beirut and Baghdad reacted immediately. on the other hand. the Arabs were invariably listed before Israel?110 The question of publicity for arms supplies to Israel and the Arab states presented British and US information workers with a particularly problematic issue. arguing that ‘giving assurance to Israel at this time is not (repeat not) justified by facts of situation in which it is Israel. Nasser made a . Why was it. … No amount of secondary phrasing indicating similar concern for Arabs can obscure fact that in Iraqi eyes any such gesture will be regarded as gratuitous and unwarranted assurance to aggressor nation. and it restated America’s commitment to defend Israel in the event of Arab aggression under the terms of the Tripartite Declaration.107 Ambassadors and information officers in Damascus. rather than the Arab states. Nasser embarked upon a campaign to persuade Arab opinion that the deal with the Communist bloc had been a necessary counter to a Western arms supply policy. that when the discussion turned to frontier violence and the threat of ‘armed attack’. This complex convergence of policy considerations led to confusion and paralysis as British and American propagandists pondered how the question of weapons supplies could best be handled. they asked. The matter came to a head as a result of Egyptian propaganda policy in the immediate aftermath of the Czech–Egyptian arms deal. which withheld weapons from the Arab states whilst providing them to Israel. 1945–56 149 to assuage Israel’s security concerns. The root of the problem was that. criticised the entire set of assumptions underlying the initiative. the arms question became a major point of connection between the Arab–Israeli dispute. Raymond Hare.109 Finally. which is assuming belligerent posture’. US officials in Damascus pointed out a number of rhetorical devices that they believed indicated bias towards Israel. In October 1955. Keen to promote the idea that he had struck a blow for the Arab peoples against the West.

first secretary at the British Embassy in Beirut. To remain silent in the face of the Egyptian allegations risked allowing Nasser’s propaganda to take hold across the Arab world. the West as a whole. If it were to emerge that their deliveries to Israel ‘more than counterbalanced our excess to Egypt’. were comfortable with question of arms supplies to Middle Eastern countries. The issue might also be seized upon as evidence of a split between the Western powers. no such agreement existed with Israel. the Foreign Office limited itself to private representations to selected Arab leaders. Ian Scott. but to counter Nasser by pointing out . Guidance issued to USIS officials in October 1955 instructed them to respond to Nasser’s claims with the argument that the US had abided by the terms of the Tripartite Declaration in its sales of arms to both Israel and the Arab States. First. Short of ideas and lacking space in which to manoeuvre. 115 tanks and 100 armoured cars to Israel. would be denounced in the Arab world. Scott also pointed out that to publish the figures indicating a British bias in favour of Egypt would invite questions as to the arms supplies of the US and France. vindicating one of the key planks in the Soviet propaganda platform. Britain included.112 Neither the British nor the American information services.150 The Failure of American and British Propaganda well-publicised speech in which he claimed to have come into possession of French documents proving that Britain and the US had recently supplied 120 aircraft. British diplomats proved deeply reluctant to engage in a public dispute with Nasser. although it had offered similar agreements to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The State Department was also wary of the threat to Western prestige and popularity caused by Nasser’s allegations. given that the case against Nasser was ‘going by default’. PAOs were told to point out that although the US had a grant aid agreement with Iraq and. caught between too many conflicting positions. there was the fear that a public refutation of Nasser’s claims through the publication of evidence that Britain had in fact provided more weapons to Egypt than it had to Israel would provoke a storm of protest from proIsrael MPs in the House of Commons and hand the Israeli Government a potent bargaining chip in their bid to obtain more arms from the West.111 There were a number of reasons why British propagandists resisted this advice. painting a damaging picture of Western bias in favour of Israel. In order to create the impression that this situation was more favourable to the Arabs than the Israelis. the British should ‘publish and be damned’. remarked upon the Lebanese President’s surprise at being privately shown evidence that any imbalance of British arms supplies to the Middle East was in favour of Egypt rather than Israel and noted the President’s advice that.

it might also incense Iraqi and Iranian leaders who might legitimately argue that they had received little in the way of Western arms as a reward for their cooperation with Western regional defence plans. It would be all too easy for Soviet propaganda to paint a picture of a Western-backed Israel being opposed by the Soviet Union arming her Arab friends against the forces of Western and Zionist imperialism.114 or the weary observation by one American PAO that ‘The best thing perhaps is to ignore the Israel problem in USIE output in Syria and to concentrate our efforts on personal conversations with people who may be influenced. while American diplomats fretted at the least sign that USIsraeli relations were deteriorating. Israel would need careful handling if it were to be achieved. Evelyn Shuckburgh was not alone in thinking that there was ‘something to be said for keeping quiet about arms sales in the Middle East whenever we can’. In the early 1950s.113 The policy of public neutrality towards the Arab–Israel dispute was a short-term measure that at times risked alienating rather than appeasing one or other or both of the protagonists.’115 Propaganda and the search for an Arab–Israeli settlement The frequent reluctance of both the Foreign Office and the State Department to take a stronger public line against Israel was indicative of their belief that while a general settlement to the dispute was possible. 1945–56 151 the high level of arms supplies to Egypt during 1955 would not only hand a propaganda weapon to the Israeli government. British officials were never entirely comfortable with a policy that some considered unjustifiably pro-Israeli and a threat to Britain’s political and material interests in the Arab world. Underlying these factors was the fear that it would be counter-productive to allow the Soviet Union to draw the West into a public argument about arms sales. finding expression in the Foreign Office’s conclusion that the best response to the storm of criticism in the Arab world provoked by Churchill’s famously pro-Zionist speech of 11 May 1953 was that it was best to say as little as possible on the matter. The temptation to ignore the issue in the hope that it would go away was consequently a powerful one. meant that the search for an . By the end of 1954. and the awareness that the ongoing dispute provided a constant source of opportunity for Soviet mischief-making. however. the lack of progress made. British and American policy makers had gambled that the road to peace could be prepared through policies of neutrality and mediation before the level of resentment against the West in the Arab world became unmanageable.The Arab–Israeli Dispute.

116 In this atmosphere. at least until a fair probability of success existed. Indeed. and NSC staff went so far as to conclude that an Arab–Israeli settlement was ‘the sine qua non of US objectives in the area’. moves are to be presented. but that it was in heightening fears of communism rather than making a positive case for a settlement. US diplomats had argued that publicity on the subject of American efforts to promote Arab–Israeli peace was counter-productive. Britain’s ambassadors in the Arab world were concerned about the repercussions of public knowledge of British involvement in any effort to promote a settlement. interest in a solution of the Palestine problem as a psychological theme. At an early stage it was agreed that publicity should be avoided. they would also risk angering and alienating the Arab world.S. Shuckburgh’s visit to Washington was thought to necessitate a ‘cover story’ to prevent press speculation.118 Both the Foreign Office and the State Department realised that if any attempt to broker a settlement were to be made then.119 Shuckburgh believed that the propagandists did have a role to play in the early stages of the process. The first serious Anglo-American discussions aimed at producing a peace plan took place in Washington in January 1955. If U. the need for secrecy was paramount. British representatives in Jordan. He argued that the immediate priority was to use the communist threat as a lever to persuade Israel that ‘the discrediting and humiliation of non-communist Arab regimes’ was not in its long-term interest. with the Baghdad Embassy arguing that Little is to be gained at this time through the use of the U. … Any leakage of the fact that we were considering a settlement would be fatal to our relations with the Arab States’. Eden told his Foreign Office staff in December 1954 that it was ‘essential that our consultations should remain absolutely secret. ambassadors advised the Foreign Office to ‘make very sure that space and oil in the Middle East no longer matter before we sacrifice them to a will-of-the-wisp’. British and American propagandists were asked to direct their efforts to the support of an Arab–Israeli peace process. Iraq and Syria were united in their belief that attempts to engineer such an agreement would not only fail.152 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Arab–Israeli agreement was given a much higher priority.S. Believing that Britain had neither the means of persuasion nor coercion to move the Arabs towards a settlement.120 As early as November 1953. this should be done only after consultation with the field and after opportunities to prepare the local .117 This caution is unsurprising. The Foreign Office and the State Department had come to believe that the achievement of a general settlement was vital for the preservation of the West’s position in the region.

The statement was. with just one week’s notice.123 The Foreign Office was not only concerned about the possible consequences of an American statement. Eden was furious. with Shuckburgh noting that ‘we do not like the idea: we believe that a public statement at the present time would be dangerous and unlikely to produce the desired results’. at least ‘until we find our negotiations sticking and it seems that apparent pressure from the refugees would help to push the Arab Governments to serious discussion of the compensation question’. ‘The Americans are behaving disgracefully’.122 The first major shift away from this policy of silence came in May 1955 when the State Department began to consider a public initiative. 1945–56 153 psychological climate in so far as it is possible for what may be unpalatable actions. they were also angry at what was seen as an attempt by Dulles to ‘bounce’ them into acquiescence at short notice. most noteworthy for what it did not say. In keeping with the belief that any publicity on the subject would endanger chances of success and damage the West in the eyes of the Arabs. As late as September 1955.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. informed the British that a statement on Arab–Israeli peace proposals would be made on 26 August. … We certainly cannot undertake to give HMG’s support to a statement which we have not yet seen … [and] … we should hold the Americans responsible for any flare-up which may occur in the area’. he exploded. Even the idea of covert propaganda operations in the Palestinian refugee camps was discounted. The British were immediately sceptical. a veil of silence was drawn over the project. on the face of it.124 When tempers cooled. Dulles’ speech of 26 August marked the public launch of ‘Alpha’ and the beginning of Western attempts to use information policy to facilitate an Arab–Israeli settlement. Packed with earnest protestations of American friendship for both Arabs and Israelis and appeals to the spirit of conciliation. Although the code name and the details of Anglo-American planning remained secret. a set of proposals intended to form the basis for Arab–Israeli negotiations. confining himself to the identification of three areas (refugees. after Dulles had revealed that the US was working for a settlement. both the British and the American information services set about the task of working out how best to communicate such an important policy shift. ‘this is their third change of plan over the operation. . peace and progress. Dulles made no attempt to outline the details of a settlement. When Dulles.121 The product of the Anglo-American talks was ‘Alpha’. British officials were still arguing that ‘we must try to keep secret the fact that we are talking to the Egyptians and the Israelis’.

in calling for the Arabs to abandon their commitment to the 1947 UN Resolutions. the statement confirmed the fears of British officials that the Americans were not prepared to push the Israelis into any significant concessions.128 .127 The discomfort felt by the British was reflected in the publicity guidance issued to posts in the Middle East. their continuing distaste for bringing Alpha into the open remained clear.126 While the Foreign Office was not wholly convinced by the claim of bias towards Israel. made no reference to territorial adjustments more favourable to the Arabs in the Negev. While suggesting that the current Israeli borders should not be regarded as permanent. Michael Rose. it risked undermining British efforts to bring Arab states into the Baghdad Pact. while providing only vague promises of territorial adjustments and refugee compensation in exchange. It was clear that the British wanted publicity for the speech kept as low key as possible and posts were reminded that ‘the statement itself is an American initiative … you need not volunteer any public comment on it’. arguing that the statement. This guidance served to put a decidedly ‘Arab-friendly’ interpretation on the proposals. They were instructed not to ‘make too much’ of the statement and to minimise its impact. suggested that the only real reason for Britain’s going along with the American statement was the belief that it represented ‘the only way of pinning them to our present joint policy of refusing to conclude a defence treaty with Israel until a settlement has been reached’. Officials were told that they could refer to the 1947 UN Resolutions as a starting point for compromise on the Arab side and that they should also. if pressed on the Arab blockade or frontier questions. in his determination to avoid providing specific details of the Alpha proposals which might be shot down by either side. He believed that while the statement might have the beneficial effect of ‘jolting’ the Arabs out of unrealistic standpoints. he offered nothing to the Arabs in the way of a reference to the 1947 UN Resolutions upon which the Arabs based their negotiating position and.154 The Failure of American and British Propaganda the climate of fear and mistrust and borders) where he felt grounds existed for negotiation.125 Sterndale Bennett certainly took this view. In several important respects. end their economic blockade and compromise on the issue of Palestinian ‘right of return’. make mention of the possibility of a land connection between Egypt and Jordan through the Negev and the use of a free port in Israel for Jordan as enticements to the Arabs. Although instructed that they should not actively seek publicity for the speech. was ‘heavily weighted in Israel’s favour’. replying to Sterndale Bennett. British spokesmen were provided with detailed guidance as to how to respond if questioned on certain issues.

for instance. however. Other themes for use in Arab areas included the idea that the refusal of the Arab states to ‘discuss a settlement on terms which no other country considers realistic has not enhanced the international position of the . The Prime Minister wondered whether it might not be possible to leak to the press the line that the Government was pleased that there were now signs that American policy was ‘coming into line’ with that of Britain. Without offering any concrete proposals for territorial concessions by Israel.132 On the whole.131 News Review. Emphasis was to be placed on the value of American aid and security guarantees for the development of the self-sufficiency. view that the Palestine Arab refugees ought to be compensated by Israel’ at the head of its report on the statement. with particular stress placed upon American respect for the ‘cherished principles of independence and sovereignty’. In the days following Dulles’ statement. attempted to make Dulles’ announcement more appealing to an Arab audience by placing the fact that ‘Secretary of State John Foster Dulles has expressed the U. PAOs were instructed to encourage the Arabs to enter into negotiations by pointing out the weaknesses of their current position. Foreign Office staff characterised Eden’s mood as unhappy ‘with the publicity which the Dulles statement on Alpha is receiving.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. Officials were told that they should ‘provide no details of the possible elements of a settlement without specific instructions to do so’. 1945–56 155 It is possible that Eden’s personal vanity and a sense that the Americans were attempting to steal the plaudits in an area that the British saw as ‘their patch’ may have contributed to this policy.S. American information policy was far less sympathetic to Arab grievances and sensitivities.130 General publicity portrayed the statement as an attempt to explain what steps the US would take in order to facilitate a settlement and not a means of coercing or bribing either of the protagonists into acceptance of an American dictate.129 Publicity guidance to US representatives differed markedly from that received by their British counterparts. economic stability and independence in the region. … He feels that our long standing interest in the area is not receiving the credit it deserves’. The United States Information Agency (USIA) sought to emphasise the advantages to be gained from a settlement whilst arguing that the price to be paid should not be thought of as involving any great sacrifice of principles. They were told to publicise the argument that their hopes that the economic blockade would lead to Israeli economic collapse were ‘not borne out by Israel’s balance of payments position’ while pointing out that the continuing absence of a settlement served only to enhance Israel’s ability to attract aid from overseas.

In the autumn of 1955. making it ‘possible for our Arab friends to support us and difficult for our Arab enemies to attack us’. and the nagging suspicion that the US was using the Arab–Israel issue to extend its political influence in the region at Britain’s expense.136 The propaganda value of the Guildhall speech was recognised from the start and Middle Eastern representatives and information officers were advised accordingly. He recognised this just two days before the speech was due to be delivered. PAOs were instructed to describe the Arab position on repatriation as ‘unrealistic’ and even to suggest that world opinion was growing sceptical of Arab protestations of concern for the refugees. fears about further Soviet encroachments. Having been deeply sceptical of the American plan for publicity on Alpha. As the Foreign Office informed the Cairo Embassy on 9 November. The British Prime Minister was openly adopting a more pro-Arab position than ever before and linking the American Secretary of State to it.133 Given British fears of a Middle Eastern ‘flare-up’ following Dulles’ statement. should be made. Dulles implied in his statement of August 26’.135 Eden’s Guildhall speech on 9 November 1955 was selected as the occasion for the British initiative and his speech revolved around the endorsement of the 1947 UN Resolutions on Palestine as the basis for negotiations.138 In private. it simply ‘made plain what Mr.156 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Arab world’.137 This was Eden’s revenge on Dulles. as he did after Mr. concern about Alpha’s lack of progress. British . the British now executed a dramatic u-turn and agreed that a public statement. combined to persuade Eden to launch his own public peace initiative. the relatively calm reaction in the Middle East came as something of a relief. Shuckburgh recognised that the references to the 1947 Resolutions would have to be shown to Dulles in advance of the speech since not to do so ‘would be very near a breach of faith’.134 Israeli sensibilities were not a primary concern. As Shuckburgh pointed out. On the refugee question. Dulles’ statement … that this speech contains nothing of advantage for the Arabs’. ‘Nasser can scarcely complain. This was calculated to boost British popularity in the Arab states. this would be the first time that a British statement had declared openly that ‘a settlement for the Palestine problem must be found in a compromise between the present status quo and the 1947 Resolutions’. and Geoffrey Arthur stated bluntly that ‘we must face the fact that if we are ever to bring about a Palestine settlement we shall have to be nasty to the Israelis at some stage’. Foreign Office guidance to the Middle East stressed that the speech did not expose any difference of opinion or policy with the US Government.

Sharq al-Adna in the course of a January 1956 broadcast ostensibly aimed at reinforcing the impression of Anglo-American unity.144 If overt British propaganda had visibly shifted in a pro-Arab direction. source of satisfaction for British propagandists and diplomats alike.145 It is difficult to disagree with Shimon Shamir’s conclusion that ‘even if the planning and execution of the British and American peace proposals had been perfect.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. veered towards outright anti-Semitism. Dubious innuendoes such as this dovetailed neatly with Sharq’s conspiratorial dismissal of Egyptian criticisms of British policy in the region concerning the Baghdad Pact and the Buraimi Oasis as the product of Jewish rumour mongering. they hardly had any chance of success’.139 In Israel. much cooler.142 Ambassadors and information officers were told to encourage Arab leaders to align themselves with Eden’s speech and to obtain as much favourable coverage in local newspaper and radio commentaries as possible. The major Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram. if short term.140 The response was predictably hostile with Ben Gurion suggesting that the ‘essence of Sir Anthony Eden’s proposal is the crushing of the State of Israel’. prompting Arthur (somewhat carried away by the rare experience of British policies receiving a good press in Egypt) to proclaim ‘A triumph!’143 The official American reaction was. reported that ‘the Arab Governments welcome the contents of Eden’s statement’. 1945–56 157 diplomats were less convinced of the unity of purpose between themselves and their American counterparts. Sharq declared that ‘the Jews’ were hoping to sow dissension between ‘the two Anglo-Saxon states’. naturally. British propaganda in support of the Guildhall speech was directed at the Arab world. declared the Sharq announcer. Guidance telegrams instructed information officers to place heavy emphasis on the Prime Minister’s declaration that the 1947 UN Resolutions could not be ignored. with Arthur declaring bluntly that ‘I myself shall not believe the Americans are really behind us until I see them willing to press Israel publicly to make concessions’.141 This was not unexpected nor was it considered particularly important. seen as a semi-official voice of Nasser’s government. Signs of Anglo-American policy coordination. The results provided an immediate. this tendency was exaggerated in the government’s unattributable media. Jack Nicholls was reduced to making assurances that the speech was ‘implicit’ in its recognition of Israel’s right to exist. ‘have disturbed two nations. Arthur responded to it with the observation that the State Department’s reply ‘shows pretty clearly the limit of public support for the Prime Minister’s speech’. namely the Russians and the Jews’.146 . After denouncing the ‘traps and political intrigues woven by Israel’ to split the Anglo-American alliance.

‘the more that is said about it in public. In the case of the Arab–Israel dispute. suffering under the weight of a host of conflicting objectives. As one State Department Middle East specialist put it in 1954. that this was a true reflection of American policy. the US tendency to view Middle Eastern events through a Cold War lens allowed Arab propaganda to condemn American ‘impartiality’ as hypocritical and immoral. Whilst British policymakers may have wished to have been able to abandon the position of neutrality in favour of a clearer.’147 The policies pursued by British and American propaganda agencies were largely inadequate as a means either of regaining lost Western prestige amongst the Arab world or of convincing Israeli and Arab opinion that a compromise settlement was either necessary or desirable. stuck doggedly to protestations of neutrality without ever convincing either themselves. neither Arab nor Israeli leaders were convinced that a settlement was necessarily desirable or achievable and no amount of propaganda. ‘not much can be expected … until we back up our program of impartiality between the Jews and the Arabs with deeds as well as words’. Perhaps the most perceptive analysis of the problems faced by Western propagandists on this issue was developed by Selwyn Lloyd. or the Arabs. meanwhile. Before Alpha’s final collapse in 1956. I do not think that the public interest is served by that course of action. pro-Arab position. either froze under the demands of secret diplomacy or were reduced to unpleasant innuendoes that were always likely to be rendered impotent in the face of the noisier populism of genuine Arab nationalists. British propagandists. The immediate strategic concerns of both Israel and the Arab states and their preparations for a ‘second round’ far outweighed the American bid to get them to recognise the Cold War threat from the Soviet Union as the most immediate priority. the publicity campaigns drawn up to support it were most notable for the manner in which they exposed the different priorities and sympathies of British and American policy makers. the more difficult it is to get the two sides together. Lloyd told the House of Commons in 1954. The Americans. particularly given the constraints of secrecy to which the Alpha project was subject. The Lebanese .158 The Failure of American and British Propaganda In 1955. in fairness I have to point out where I think that the other side have not been behaving as they should.148 Furthermore. could persuade them otherwise. … If I am asked to comment on the activities of one side with which I may not agree. trapped them into their uncomfortable public position. the need to maintain a united front with the Americans and the desire to avoid involvement in a war with Israel. Forced to adhere to a public position of objective neutrality whilst attempting to shore up a crumbling informal empire in the Arab world.

while in the meantime slugging them over the head on the Palestine issue. have had an untenable position on the Israel problem. the drop in American prestige in this very large area of millions and millions of people. that is about all the best propaganda you can give’. when it suited them. It was ‘morally wrong to be neutral in the face of a great evil’ the paper asserted.151 Fellow committee members agreed. whether that evil was the Soviet Union or Israel. Shepherd Jones told the State Department’s Information Policy Committee that Washington … just doesn’t understand how unpopular we are because of our policy in Palestine. posing the question. The issue of Palestine … blasted the reservoir of good-will America had enjoyed in the Near East and so alienated the Arab states from us that it will take a generation or more to overcome completely the damage done. We just really do not fully appreciate the lost friendship that we have developed. In May 1950. And it seems to me these people are determined to bat us over the head a little bit because we.The Arab–Israeli Dispute. ‘Aren’t we faced with one horrible task here … what can you do from an informational standpoint? What should we say to these people … to try to slowly mend the fence?’ Few answers were forthcoming. As one State Department official put it in 1951.150 The defining characteristic of Western propaganda to the Arab world on the subject of Israel was awkward silence. as they say it. … We in our propaganda program to that area were in the position of trying to persuade them that we love them and that the Russians are the nasty people. beyond their ineffective appeals against communism and a rather dry reliance on the legalistic formulations of the Tripartite Declaration and. the damage to the Western position in the Middle East had been done in the 1940s and there was little that either British or American propaganda could do to recover the situation in the 1950s. Ultimately. sacrifice and nationalism made in the name of both Arabs and Israelis. Jones concluded wearily that ‘The American voice will not now be believed … and if you just play music and can convince them you’re not engaged in propaganda.152 . the United Nations. had little in their propaganda armoury to compete with the more dramatic appeals to blood. 1945–56 159 Daily Star was among those who questioned the consistency of a policy that declared ‘neutralism’ to be a bad thing for Arabs in the Cold War but a justifiable American policy regarding Israel.149 Western governments.

Interpreting these issues differently. American propagandists were not initially confronted by the same knee-jerk anti-colonialism and when it came to the question of Anglo-American relations.6 ‘Equal Partners’? Propaganda. 1945–55 As Wm. British and American propagandists approached Arab nationalism from divergent positions. 17 December 1952 The challenge of Arab nationalism was among the most troublesome issues with which Western propagandists operating in the post-war Middle East had to deal. and in so far as they seek our co-operation at all … seem to find us embarrassing partners. Anglo-American Rivalry and the Nationalist Challenge The Americans seem anxious to build their empire on their own. Roger Louis pointed out in his account of British imperialism in the Middle East. The post-war consolidation of an anti-colonial political culture across the Middle East struck directly at the traditional foundations of British influence. heightened Anglo-American tensions and provided Western Cold War strategists with a major policy headache. The British priority was to erase the taint of colonialism attaching to them and to seek to frame Anglo-Arab relations in terms better suited to the post-war world. Sir Henry Pelham. the Labour governments of 1945–51 identified the need 160 . A new era? The rhetoric of Anglo-Arab relations. Their attitude reminds me of those advertisements warning against bad breath. British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. US propaganda was frequently characterised by a reluctance to associate openly with the British.

prosperous and enjoying political. Shaw agreed that there could be no harm in dealing sympathetically with Arab nationalism. .3 This bid to transform the appearance. he worries particularly about Egypt. was to ‘convince the Middle East states that we sympathise with constructive nationalism and wish to see them strong. and by our constantly friendly. Acting High Commissioner for Trans-Jordan. He … thinks that if we want to preserve our interests and our position we have got somehow to put a convincing new look upon our relationships with the Middle Eastern countries. Shaw. A changing regional order and ‘the progress made by the Arabs’ meant that ‘the time for their assumption of complete independence has arrived’.‘Equal Partners’? 161 for a ‘revolution in Imperial attitude’ and the recasting of Britain’s relations with the people of the Middle East on the principle of equality. who reported that the State Department’s George McGhee was deeply worried about our own policies and methods of approach in the Middle East. he concluded.V. The challenge was described by the British ambassador in Washington. ‘by their need for protection. military and economic independence’. Without a convincing new look.2 The general thrust of this argument was well received. Oliver Franks. as defined by the Eastern Department in 1952. Glubb suggested that this apparent contradiction made the reconfiguration of the Anglo-Arab relationship of paramount importance. At the same time. J.1 One can trace this policy back to a memorandum written by Glubb Pasha shortly before the end of the war in which the commander of the Arab Legion expressed his belief that Anglo-Arab relations were ‘on the threshold of a new era’. helpful and constructive attitude … our motto should be discussion not dictation’. ‘We must bind them to us’. if not always the reality. of Anglo-Arab relations was at the heart of British psychological strategy in the Middle East in the post-war decade. At present they do not feel that we come to them as equals and partners however wise and helpful we may be as guides and advisers. he fears an explosion. believed that there was ‘a degree of unreality in claims of the Arabs to sovereignty and independence’.W.4 The task for the information departments. of course. the nature of British interests in the Middle East meant that ‘the British Empire is obliged to make every effort to prevent other Great Powers from obtaining undue influence in that area’. and in this. even if. even if all that this meant in practice was ‘permitting the state in question to assume the outward appearance of … sovereignty and “independence” ’.

Burrows revealed the fraudulent nature of ‘equal partners’ rhetoric. An early sign that Britain would struggle to win over Arab nationalist opinion came with the failure of the renegotiation of Britain’s treaty relations with the Arab states. The original plan was to present the treaty as evidence of Anglo-Arab partnership. but we must also take our own measures and precautions as though we were dealing with a protectorate. Egypt and Sudan.162 The Failure of American and British Propaganda The question was whether ‘continually harping on our desire to see the Middle East really independent’ would. As Arab opinion grew increasingly hostile to Britain over the situation in Palestine. efforts to remove the stigma of ‘imperialism’ were thwarted by a series of contradictions between British interests and the national aspirations of the Arab states. be sufficient to convince Arab opinion that an era of Anglo-Arab partnership and equality had really dawned. the failure of the Portsmouth Treaty was a major propaganda setback. the collapse of the Portsmouth Treaty exposed the limited capability of the ‘new era’ theme. given the actual direction of British policy. when Egypt and Britain are in dispute concerning the evacuation of British forces and the Sudan. In particular. British diplomats blamed the failure upon the presentation of policy rather than the policy itself.6 When violence in Baghdad forced the Iraqi government to abandon efforts to ratify the treaty. and Foreign Office drafts for Bevin’s speech announcing the treaty were full of references to ‘a new basis of equal co-operation and partnership’ and the ‘common strategic interests of … our two democracies’. At the present time.5 In practice. Even Sharq al-Adna joined the chorus of disapproval. The failure of the 1948 Anglo-Iraqi (Portsmouth) Treaty. Condemning Iraq’s ‘totally ineffective’ management of public relations. its correspondent in Damascus reporting that British policy at the moment aimed at distracting Arab attention by signing treaties which were mere scraps of paper. the Foreign Office’s Bernard Burrows concluded that ‘We should through our own public relations organisation either have been warned that this would be so or have been prepared to look after public relations for both sides.’7 In the wider Arab world. We must negotiate as though we were dealing with an equal and sovereign power. Bevin’s policy of treaty renegotiation drew some stinging public criticism. Britain extends her hand to Iraq to . the territorial dispute between Britain and Saudi Arabia and the longrunning state of Anglo-Egyptian antagonism combined to undermine the credibility of Britain’s ‘new era’ and ‘equal partners’ propaganda.’ At the same time. stating that ‘We have in fact to adopt a dual attitude.

Britain would make the case that ‘we could not. sent an occupying force into the oasis in 1952. Should these objectives prove impossible to achieve. An immediate priority was to refute the charges of imperialism levelled by the Saudis. as Eastern Department’s L. rejected the Saudi claim. The British initially concentrated on two main themes. expansionist power. the vital assets which to the best of our knowledge belong to them’. whose interests we are bound to protect. Formulating a response was problematic. At the same time they sought to convince foreign opinion that ‘Saudi territorial claims have continually grown whereas our claims on behalf of the Trucial States.A. in our capacity of protecting the Trucial States. acting in the name of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi and the Sultan of Muscat. it could ‘hardly fail to find against us’. Britain’s refusal to allow an investigating commission into the area was hardly surprising since. seeing the matter as a question of British prestige and the future of British influence in the Persian Gulf. have never varied.‘Equal Partners’? 163 conclude a treaty which is nothing but a noose around the neck of the Iraqi people. They argued in favour of international arbitration. British policy was to be defined in terms of the need to protect the interests of two small Arab countries against a larger. on the grounds that Saudi Arabia ‘could accept this … if her conscience were clear’. not least because. British propaganda would seek to play down the dispute in a bid to keep it out of the public eye. eager to claim any oil resources in the area. Fry observed. or risk.12 The Foreign Office stuck doggedly to News Department’s line that the blockade affected . The Saudis claimed that the British blockade of the area (intended to deprive the Saudi occupiers of essential supplies) was causing indiscriminate suffering and accused the British of shooting and starving villagers into submission. British propaganda relating to the Buraimi dispute encompassed a range of objectives. ‘I am informed that we have been killing or wounding two or three villagers almost every week. Britain. give up.’9 This second point was at the heart of the British refutation of Saudi accusations of ‘oil imperialism’. As Burrows argued. Anglo-Saudi propaganda exchanges were often bitter.C. A secondary aim was to enlist American support. The problem arose from conflicting claims to the Buraimi oasis. a fertile region in the south-eastern Arabian Peninsula. after Saudi Arabia. as Shuckburgh noted in June 1954.10 Accusations of colonialism were to be refuted by the claim that Britain was defending the rights of Arabs.’11 In these circumstances.8 Anglo-Saudi territorial disputes placed strains on both Anglo-Arab and Anglo-American relations.

17 The breakdown of international arbitration proceedings in September 1955 prompted a sustained British propaganda attack. C. in the circumstances.15 British propagandists succeeded in alleviating some of the worst effects of Saudi and Egyptian ‘starvation’ propaganda in July 1955. British tactics at the Arbitration Tribunal had been founded on allegations of widespread Saudi corruption and bribery. Information officers across the region were instructed to gain publicity for the line that If the Saudis continue to frustrate the humanitarian work you should stress their callous disregard for the sufferings of those whom they claim as their subjects. a falsehood that was faithfully reproduced by the British press. British information officers were instructed to issue counter-allegations of Saudi and Egyptian ‘dishonesty and malevolence’.A. in July 1955. If they give way and allow supplies to be distributed you should point out that it is only as the result of the British initiative and persistence that anything at all has been done for the victims of the fire. arguing that British agents had deliberately started the fire. Gault. under the control of British Army officers). arguing that the Saudis could. The Foreign Office quickly issued information guidance denouncing these Saudi allegations and making its own misleading claim that the relief operation was a civilian one (it was. in fact.13 When. Egyptian propaganda returned to the theme of starvation in Buraimi.164 The Failure of American and British Propaganda only the Saudi occupiers and that civilians could buy all their supplies unhindered from neighbouring villages.16 The Saudis did indeed refuse to allow British forces into Hamasa to distribute the aid. hardly object to relief and they could only prevent Sheikh Rashid accepting at the cost of much unpopularity with his own people. the Political Resident in Bahrain. Sharq al-Adna and the British . The opportunity for a skilful public relations exercise arrived when a major fire in the village of Hamasa rendered hundreds of villagers homeless.14 One is tempted to respond that British officials would have been better advised to heed the Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister’s suggestion that ‘if you stop shooting our people we will stop attacking you in the Press’. The BBC. British officials immediately saw the propaganda value of a relief mission. … As the village is predominantly pro-Saudi Arabia there might also be positive political advantage to be gained.

on 16 September. acting as a willing purveyor of Foreign Office arguments regarding Saudi bribery. The station’s news coverage denounced Saudi Arabia as a ‘backward nation’ yet to ‘catch up with the caravan of civilization’. Privately. Sir Hartley Shawcross.18 The British member of the Tribunal. When. acting on the instructions of the Foreign Office (although this was denied at the time) announced his resignation with a public attack upon his Saudi counterpart.19 Sharq al-Adna accused the Saudi Tribunal member of bribing both Tribunal members and witnesses. Sir Reader Bullard.20 The breakdown of the Arbitration proceedings led directly to a British military action that ejected the Saudi occupiers on 26 October 1955.22 Propaganda targeting opinion in Iraq and Jordan played upon the long-standing enmity between the Saudis and the Hashemites as information officers put the case that ‘no state on [Saudi] borders can consider itself safe from the threat of frontier dispute … they do not consider their frontier with Iraq as settled’. was said to be ‘staggered’ at the Tribunal’s ‘incompetence and resistance to truth’. Shuckburgh was astonished by a decision made in the face of what he claimed was ‘overwhelming’ evidence of Saudi corruption. the British delegation in Geneva learned that the Tribunal was about to rule against them.‘Equal Partners’? 165 press were all used as vehicles to carry material on these themes with The Times. the smear campaign began in earnest. thereby collapsing proceedings before a ruling against Britain could be announced. in particular. He concluded that the Tribunal was ‘rotten with Saudi money’ and noted that the leader of the British legal team.21 The key objective was to present the operation as one of British support for Arab rulers threatened by Saudi expansionism. The Foreign Office then released a statement cataloguing alleged Saudi abuses including bribery and an attempt to initiate a coup d’état in Abu Dhabi.23 . The Saudi royal family’s role as protectors of the Islamic holy places was also dragged through the mud. throwing in allegations about a ‘thriving’ Saudi slave market for good measure. claiming that he was ‘not fit to be on the membership of the Commission’. Sharq claiming that its tolerance of the slave trade was encouraging ‘pilgrims coming from overseas to bring with them certain non-Moslem servants with the idea of selling them in Mecca’. Officials were instructed to publicise the idea that ‘it is the territory of two Arab states that the Saudis have been threatening and that the forces that have reoccupied Buraimi are Arab forces’. Eden’s public announcement of the operation stated that Saudi bribery and intimidation had made any return to impartial arbitration impossible and that this obliged the British Government to ‘protect the legitimate interests of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi and the Sultan of Muscat’.

Between 1945 and 1954. stemmed from Britain’s post-war policy of refusing to accept Egyptian claims to sovereignty while encouraging the Sudanese to opt for independence once Anglo-Egyptian rule came to an end. I imagine I am right in supposing that you maintain an Information Office in Cairo primarily for the purpose of assisting the Ambassador in his negotiations with the Egyptian Government by trying to create in Egyptian public opinion a readiness to accept the policy of H. By February 1947. the irreconcilable British and Egyptian plans for the future of the Sudan and the presence of large numbers of British troops at the military base in the Suez Canal Zone. The Saudis’ intended victims are the small Arab Rulers of the Arabian peninsula. the Foreign Office was advising British information officers to make ‘discreet use’ of the argument that ‘Anglo-Arab . This is a very. As the Counsellor at the Embassy explained in May 1948. with the key objective continuing to be that of preventing Arab opinion from being taken in by facile ‘anti-imperialist’ propaganda put out by Saudi Arabia. I feel very little optimism about the possibility of making any progress in this direction. two issues dominated what became known as the ‘Egyptian question’. the stalling of treaty negotiations led to the onset of a low intensity AngloEgyptian propaganda war. in May 1946. and the inhabitants of other Arab States. towards Egypt. At present. publicly announcing a desire to consolidate the ‘alliance with Egypt as one between two equal nations having interests in common’. As events in Palestine added to Egyptian hostility towards Britain. ruled since 1899 as an AngloEgyptian condominium.24 Perhaps the most formidable obstacle in the way of propaganda emphasising a new era of Anglo-Arab relations was the long-standing state of Anglo-Egyptian antagonism. the unfavourable climate of opinion that developed was one in which information officers in Cairo could achieve little.166 The Failure of American and British Propaganda These campaigns continued into 1956. however.M.25 Before long. who are being systematically corrupted and shut out from fruitful co-operation with their neighbours. There had been some post-war optimism when.26 Anglo-Egyptian conflict in Sudan. the Foreign Office attempted to bring Egypt within its conception of a ‘new era’ of Anglo-Arab relations. very difficult task. whose territory and possible oil resources they wish to appropriate.G.

has been the perpetration of telegrams … primarily directed at discrediting the existing Government. the Cairo Embassy Publicity Section informed the Foreign Office in July 1947.27 The subsequent deterioration of Anglo-Egyptian relations led to a number of unorthodox propaganda initiatives.P. ‘that we should now start taking a rather more direct publicity line for the benefit of the Sudanese about Independence with a view to discouraging them from thinking that any form of link with Egypt would be in their interests’. … Factual xenophobic stories were given to the U. we have had no opportunity for extending our activities … although the Sudan Government Public Relations staff in Khartoum use quite a lot of our material’. ‘An unusual part of [our] activities in the last quarter’.31 The situation was transformed after the Egyptian revolution of July 1952 and the conclusion of an agreement on the Sudan the following February.28 In the early 1950s. the Information Policy Department (IPD) had concluded that a tougher line over the Sudan might be necessary. ‘We have decided’. … These telegrams have exposed the anti-Christian. and fresh disagreements arose as the Britishbacked pro-independence party (‘Umma’) clashed with the National Union Party (NUP) advocating union with Egypt. and A. Christopher Barclay announced.‘Equal Partners’? 167 relations can only suffer as a result of a blind adherence by other [Arab League] member States to Egyptian hegemony in the pursuit of her own ends’. anti-foreigner campaign that exists in Egypt today.30 This tougher line was harder to implement in practice and IPD’s Angus Malcolm admitted in November 1951 that ‘owing to the political necessity of maintaining the fiction of the Condominium.29 In particular. Barclay suggested that an ‘effective way of alerting the Sudanese against Egyptian intentions would be for the BBC and our other publicity channels in the Middle East to give publicity to any statements by Egyptian politicians which indicate that Egypt wants to control the Sudan’s defence and foreign affairs’. Something of a mudslinging contest was initiated with British and Egyptian representatives exchanging accusations of bribery and intimidation. The agreement provided for elections to determine Sudan’s future. however. The BBC and Sharq al-Adna were asked to pay more attention to Sudanese issues and measures were taken to improve the propaganda value of ‘Radio Omdurman’.P. Hopes that the dispute had been permanently resolved proved to be misplaced.32 Invitations to the UK for prominent Sudanese leaders and journalists . chiefs in Cairo on several occasions.

We on the other hand only wish to see the Sudan independent. it seems to me. the winning over of the Sudan to unity with Egypt and are concentrating everything on this. John Sterndale Bennett explained in June 1954 that although the short-term advantages were with the Egyptians. and we should be unobtrusively playing up and disseminating the right ideas for when that moment comes.168 The Failure of American and British Propaganda were arranged and it was even suggested that a senior British Minister go on the Sudanese election campaign trail.’34 In fact. the only use made of the ‘Grand Remonstrance’ was as a non-attributable research paper for Sharq al-Adna. We can only go on doing our best to expose the emptiness of the Egyptian promises and to extol the advantages of independence. the propaganda momentum remained with the Egyptians. Nevertheless. Barclay explained that The Egyptians have a positive aim in view.’ he raged. Eden was singularly unimpressed. … This. is exactly the situation in which we shall have something to offer. In the event. The British Middle East Office (BMEO) chief. this muted approach appeared to have backfired when the NUP gained a narrow majority in the November 1953 election. In the short term. and that the Sudanese may find the Egyptians to be more of a hindrance than a help in overcoming the political and economic problems of independence. the British expectation was that they may over-reach themselves in their political and propagandist interference. These preparations resulted in a memorandum meticulously documenting examples of Egyptian perfidy in the Sudanese elections and affectionately nicknamed the ‘Grand Remonstrance’. chastising officials for ignoring ‘the one issue that at present matters – winning the election in the Sudan’ and mocking the policy of sending anti-Egyptian material to The Times for non-attributable publication. although preparations were made for an aggressive anti-Egyptian campaign should the situation deteriorate to the point where it might become necessary. ‘I cannot imagine a more futile exercise. We are pretty certain that this will be their choice if they are left free to decide. ‘than stirring up our papers which the Sudanese cannot read when we have decided to do nothing.35 Propaganda policy over the Sudan question was in fact one of the more sophisticated British responses to the challenge of Egyptian and . the Foreign Office was playing a long-term game.33 British propaganda was thus essentially reactive.

37 All that remained was to ensure that Britain’s recognition of Sudanese independence would cause maximum embarrassment for the Egyptians. get some kind of hearing’.36 A British victory was now in sight and Sharq al-Adna was able to report that the Sudanese Premier had stated that ‘in accordance with the new Sudanese Constitution. When it became clear that the Egyptians were sponsoring a guerrilla campaign against British troops in the Canal Zone. Egyptian bitterness on this issue had reached a point where British officials were forced to rethink their approach.38 By November.‘Equal Partners’? 169 Arab nationalism in this period. Stevenson. the head of the Cairo Embassy’s Information . British propaganda eagerly seized on the evident tension between the Egyptian and Sudanese Governments and Sharq al-Adna’s broadcasts on the subject of the Sudan took on a decidedly gloating tone. 1951 saw a further deterioration in Anglo-Egyptian relations in the aftermath of Egypt’s rejection of British proposals for a Canal Zone settlement. himself decided to ‘break with tradition and give a Press Conference in the hope of winning a measure of personal goodwill’.39 This optimism was unduly naïve. ‘went off surprisingly well’. the Sudan will become an independent republic in July 1956’. This trick was much harder to repeat in the case of the Suez Canal Zone dispute. a consideration that was incorporated within the ‘OMEGA’ proposals drawn up in 1956. broadcast on 13 April 1955. It is instructive that success was founded on the British ability to portray themselves as the supporters of independence and the Egyptians as ‘Nile Valley imperialists’. he claimed. delighted in the report of a ‘Sudanese Government spokesman’ that The resolution of the National Unionist Party to form an independent sovereign republic in the Sudan has caused a strong shock in Cairo because the Egyptian leaders keep on boasting that they have won the Sudan over to their side. By 1950. as if they considered it their greatest victory. Stevenson could report that his information officers were ‘on “dropping in” terms with at least one member of the staff of every paper in Cairo that matters’ and that ‘we are now in a position to ensure that our views. even on the most controversial subjects. Ralph Stevenson reported that ‘we could scarcely have a worse Press’ and authorised his information staff ‘to seek out in their lairs the journalists who actually write about us and try to influence them’. After April 1955. an ordeal which. One such commentary.

Chapman Andrews reported that his information officer was putting out the line that ‘events in Cairo have not only brought shame on Egypt but have done moral harm to her cause and her associates in the Arab world’. Sharq al-Adna and the BBC. From Beirut.44 They were distributed openly in the Canal Zone where it was easier to circumvent Egyptian censorship. the centre of operations was shifted into the Canal Zone. described by Stevenson as ‘a pungent and highly effective retort to Egyptian propaganda’43 emphasised the ‘criminality of what the misguided may regard as “patriotic acts” ’ and sought to ‘correct the idea given in the press that terrorism is an easy and rewarding pastime’. The new publications. and there were even plans for large-scale RAF leaflet drops over Port Said. must be recognised for what they are. were ‘proving effective’ with editors in Beirut and could profitably be employed elsewhere in the Middle East. An Egyptian propaganda campaign (which Stevenson described as having ‘out-Goebelled Goebbels’41) forced Parkes to cooperate with the BMEO and the Army in a bid to counter ‘the wildly exaggerated accounts of events in the Canal Zone put out by the Egyptian authorities’. ‘Arab nationalist editors. began providing IPD with material to support ‘an attack on Egyptian efforts … to present a distorted version of events here’.W. R. Chapman Andrews observed. Parkes.40 With British information work in Cairo hampered by Egyptian censorship. Such themes. and a small number of copies were distributed covertly in Cairo and elsewhere. The riots also provided an opportunity to score points in support of Britain’s Cold War objectives. namely dupes or proteges of Moscow. ‘News and Commentary From the Canal Zone’.’ it was argued.45 Stevenson later reported that British covert propaganda had been ‘spirited and imaginative’. Minister of State. reflected on the opportunity that had been provided for ‘testing out our Information . British propagandists worked hard to exploit this explosion of violence. who are now attacking Britain’s ‘imperialist policies and aims’ with identical … arguments and phraseology of communist newspapers. Suez and Ismailia. Anthony Nutting.46 The crisis peaked in January 1952 when major riots left large parts of Cairo in ruins and 26 Westerners dead.170 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Department. the ‘Daily Truth’ and a fortnightly broadsheet.47 In April 1952.42 The British military authority in the Canal Zone issued a daily situation report to information officers. while Parkes and the BMEO published an Arabic news bulletin.

‘Equal Partners’? 171

machine in the Middle East’. Nutting was pleased to note that Egyptian efforts to discredit the BBC and Sharq al-Adna had passed off ‘without much result’ and he praised the ‘emergency Information operation’ mounted in the Canal Zone. ‘While one does not wish to claim too much for Information work’, he mused, ‘It was certainly gratifying … to find that Arab Governments did not feel that they need to be pushed by public opinion in their countries into giving Egypt any practical support in her difficulties.’48 Ralph Stevenson, was less optimistic. ‘The Information Department, he argued, ‘was set a virtually impossible task so far as Egyptian opinion was concerned. … I fear that the anti-British legacy of the past four unrestrained months is an alarming one.’49 The state of Anglo-Egyptian relations in the spring of 1952 persuaded the Cairo Information Department to draw up a plan for what it called ‘Operation Jolt’, a bid to shake Egyptian confidence in the wisdom of continuing intransigence. Parkes suggested threatening Egypt with the fact that ‘we are prepared … to move our base elsewhere’ or arguing that ‘with or without Egyptian cooperation we intend to stand firm in the Base’. In the event of the base being moved, Egypt would be of ‘negligible value to the Western Powers’, who in the circumstances would have no interest in equipping the Egyptian army or continuing to provide economic or financial support. The result would be economic collapse, an enfeebled army and revolution. In these circumstances when the ‘urban riffraff started cutting the throats of their urban landlords, pashas and middle classes … we would certainly not feel that our vital interests were being threatened and we would not intervene’. As a finishing touch, British propaganda could also emphasise that ‘as a result of her singularly foolish and anachronistic policy over the Sudan, Egypt is in real danger of losing all influences over that country – and all control over her vital water supplies’.50 In the event, when the security situation in the Canal Zone deteriorated once again in 1953, the propaganda battle was comparatively restrained, largely because the new Egyptian regime was engaged in a fresh round of negotiations with the British which neither side wished to jeopardise. The general approach was summarised by the BMEO’s Thomas Rapp. ‘Every effort’, he noted, ‘has been made to prevent publicity for the incidents which are occurring in the Canal Zone. … Egyptian censorship and the restraint shown by the British press have so far succeeded in preventing almost all mention of the situation’.51 ‘Whilst there remains any hope of resuming negotiations’, Stevenson agreed, it was in everyone’s interest to ‘as far as possible play down incidents’.52

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This policy was not strictly adhered to by Britain’s unofficial propaganda agents. Sharq al-Adna launched sharp attacks on Egyptian leaders including one broadside against Naguib’s tendency to employ ‘expressions like “enemies”, “battle”, “selection of arms”, “self-sacrifice” and “martyrs” ’. Mocking this martial rhetoric, Sharq argued that ‘there exists no strong indication that the time to wage battle has drawn nigh’, and claimed that at a time when ‘all efforts are being exerted to preserve peace’, Naguib was deliberately creating tension by presenting ‘opportunists … wirecutters, robbers … and plunderers’ as patriots.53 As an Anglo-Egyptian agreement on the evacuation of British troops from the Suez Canal Zone began to appear increasingly likely in the second half of 1953, British planning turned to the question of how to deal with an eventual settlement. On the one hand, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence wished to counter allegations that Britain was a spent force; on the other, they wished to present withdrawal as a break with Britain’s imperial past. The problematic task was to proclaim the arrival of another ‘new era’ in the Middle East while suggesting that, in reality, nothing of substance had really changed. As the Ministry of Defence (MOD) informed British military authorities in the Canal Zone, the main objective was to counter Egyptian attempts ‘to get in early with paean of triumph on defeat for British Imperialism and represent … agreement as meaning total evacuation by Britain of Middle East bases’.54 If withdrawal from Suez was not to be interpreted as a symptom of British decline, a carefully plotted public relations campaign was essential. The question thus became one of how the concept of British power in the region could be redefined to suit the dominant climate of opinion. Sterndale Bennett provided an answer, suggesting three main publicity lines. First, he argued that evacuation of the Canal Zone did not represent an abandonment of Britain’s defence role in the Middle East, being rather ‘a re-adjustment of our defence arrangements’ in the face of ‘constantly changing circumstances and requirements’. Second, British propaganda would continue to support the idea of a collective defence organisation for the Middle East. Most importantly, it was to be stressed that Our own power … so far from diminishing is steadily on the increase and that we are now in a leading position in many of those branches of technical and scientific development which can be of most use to the defence, as well as to the peaceful development, of the free world.55

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The military evidence in support of this third point was distinctly shaky. Although Britain retained military bases in the region, the main thrust of the argument was that British military strength would be maintained by a ‘strategic reserve’, a mobile force capable of deployment anywhere in the world at short notice. In practical terms, this force existed primarily on the desks of British military planners but the information agencies set gamely about the task of publicising the theme that The strength of British forces on the spot in peace time is no criterion of their potential strength in war. The development of air communications and of mechanised transport is continually altering strategy, in the sense that reinforcements can be flown in and deployed in the field with increasing rapidity.56 Sterndale Bennett’s ideas were incorporated into a resurrected ‘new era’ propaganda strategy. The rhetoric of ‘partnership’ and ‘Anglo-Arab cooperation’ provided the means by which apparently conflicting propaganda requirements could be reconciled. If British troops were to be ‘redeployed’ rather than ‘evacuated’ and if the claim of continuing military strength were to form an important part of British publicity, then the policy had to be justified in terms of a spirit of friendship and co-operation with the Arab world. British diplomats held no illusions about the difficulty of this task and the February 1954 analysis provided by Sir Charles Duke, Britain’s ambassador in Jordan, suggests that planning for withdrawal from the Suez base contained the seeds of a later anti-Egyptian propaganda strategy. Duke believed that the Egyptians might choose to regard British withdrawal ‘as a step towards driving us out of the Middle East completely’ and become ‘publicly engaged in encouraging the Jordanians and Iraqis to withhold facilities from us’. In these circumstances, he argued, ‘our propaganda would … have to be aimed at driving a wedge between the Egyptians and the Arabs further north, appealing to the self-interest and playing on the fears of the latter’.57 With the resolution of the Suez base question in sight and a spirit of optimism prevailing, British propagandists launched their campaign to ‘rebrand’ Anglo-Arab relations. The vocabulary of nineteenth-century colonialism was jettisoned, but so too was the paternalistic rhetoric of Glubb and Bevin’s post-war bid to renegotiate Britain’s relations with the Arab peoples. Eden’s ‘new era’ was to be characterised by a fresh commitment to ‘equality’ and ‘partnership’, and the Foreign Secretary himself announced his determination to forge ‘a new pattern of friendship’

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in the Middle East in which the prospect of ‘a new and growing collaboration with our Arab friends’ was opened up.58 British accession to the Baghdad Pact in April 1955 was presented as evidence of British commitment to precisely these principles, and the NSC was quick to recognise that the advantages of the Baghdad Pact were ‘primarily political and psychological’.59 British propagandists embarked upon a campaign to present the new arrangements as part of the transition from an Anglo-Arab relationship based on bilateral treaties and tainted by inequality and colonialism to a new partnership based on equality and co-operation. Once again, the theme of a ‘new era’ dawning in Anglo-Arab relations had come to dominate British publicity material. On 30 March 1955, Eden made a statement to the Commons making the point that the new relationship with Iraq be couched in terms that succeeded in removing ‘any taint of patron and pupil’.60 Eden declared the Government’s underlying objective to be to forge a new association with Iraq which would bring our relations into line with those which already exist with Turkey and our other partners in NATO. The Agreement which we have now reached with the Iraqi Government … is based on the concept of co-operation between equal partners which it has been our purpose to establish generally in our relations with Middle East countries.61 Harold Macmillan, addressing the inaugural meeting of the Baghdad Pact Council, stated grandly that My country has made a great effort to establish a new relationship with the countries of the Middle East – one based on free co-operation and mutual help between equals. … I want to lay special stress on this concept of equal partnership in a common effort … I hope we can regard this Pact of ours as the beginning of a truly fruitful co-operation not only between us around this table but with others in the Middle East who have similar problems and similar interests.62 The name ‘Baghdad Pact’ was itself testimony to the way in which British rhetoric was shaped in response to the nationalist challenge. The logical title for a ‘Northern Tier’ defence organisation would have been ‘Baghdad Treaty’ or ‘Middle East Treaty Organisation’ but Arabic-speaking officials expressed a strong preference for ‘Baghdad Pact’. Robin Hooper,

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from the Baghdad Embassy, explained to the Foreign Office that The Iraqi preference … comes … from a point of Arabic. The Arabic word which is normally translated as ‘treaty’ (i.e. Mu’ahadat) comes from the root ‘Ahd which means a pledge or undertaking. The word which is normally translated ‘pact’, however, (Mithaq) comes from a root (wathq) which means ‘trust’ or ‘confidence’. It means, literally, an agreement between two parties who can trust one another. To an Arabic speaker, it avoids the slightly opprobrious implication (inherent in Mu’ahadat) that the parties have tied each other up tight because they can’t trust each other if they don’t. … The fact that the so-called ‘unequal’ treaty of 1930 and the Portsmouth Treaty were styled ‘treaties’ (Mu’ahadat) in Arabic has added an emotional response to the word for all Iraqis. The Iraqi Prime Minister evidently hopes that the new word will connote a new start for Iraqi relations with foreign countries (including ourselves) on a footing of greater equality.63 US propagandists reached a similar conclusion, with the United States Information Services (USIS) officials instructed that the term ‘Baghdad Pact’ should always be used in preference to ‘Middle East Treaty Organisation’ since the latter term was ‘reminiscent of proposals made in 1951 and 1952 for a Middle East Command and a Middle East Defence Organisation (MEDO) neither of which was accepted by the states of the area’.64 The Egyptian reaction against the Baghdad Pact created a new set of propaganda problems. If British claims to be participating on an equal status with other Pact members were to be challenged at every turn then it was going to be necessary at some stage to make the point that if Arabs were equal partners, some partners were more equal than others. Despite the talk of ‘partnership’ and a ‘new era’, Britain’s vulnerability to charges of imperialism remained readily apparent. Such allegations were difficult to refute directly but for a while an alternative strategy appeared viable. In early 1956, British propagandists began to consider the possibility that Egyptian propaganda could be countered by ‘the creation of a strong Public Relations Department’ within the Baghdad Pact itself.65 The idea of using the Baghdad Pact as a mechanism for producing proBritish propaganda gained ground as it was gradually accepted that the Pact would not, in the foreseeable future, constitute a significant military force. In the meantime, British objectives could be advanced by developing multi-national public relations and counter-subversion

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departments with the direct involvement of Turkey, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq. After the April 1956 meeting of the Baghdad Pact Council in Tehran, Britain’s ambassador in Iran, concluded that The main achievement of the Counter-Subversion Committee was to create a permanent secretariat under the administrative control of the Secretary General to co-ordinate, initiate and control action in the propaganda and public relations field.66 The Regional Information Office (RIO) Beirut meanwhile suggested that the Counter-Subversion Committee was likely to offer ‘a remarkable new opening for IRD material throughout the area’.67 By mid-June, a working committee on information, convened in advance of a Counter-Subversion Committee meeting in Ankara, had produced a detailed report outlining the propaganda campaigns and techniques to be initiated. It is, therefore, possible to build up a comprehensive picture of the planned role of the Counter-Subversion Committee and to see how its proposed functions matched the requirements of British propagandists. The committee identified a number of audience categories and key themes. Audiences were classed as either internal (the populations of the member nations) or external (everyone else). External audiences were graded according to an assessment of whether they were ‘Pact-hostile’ or ‘Pact-sensitive’. A guide to the propaganda themes appropriate for each audience category was then provided. ‘The Pact’, it was to be argued, is a means of ensuring the continued independence and sovereignty of its member nations especially the newly independent members. This sovereignty has been hard-won and the Pact nations, faced with the threat of aggression, intend to keep it. Together the members of the Pact are better able to maintain their sovereignty than they would be alone. … The independence and sovereignty of some of the members of the Pact have only recently been won. The Pact offers the best means to ensure that these nations will remain free and equal.68 The notion that the Pact was dedicated to economic and social development was also stressed in propaganda informing non-members that the Pact was not a closed bloc and was open to any country that wished to experience the benefits of its development programmes. In short, the Pact’s public relations machinery offered a vision of Britain working

69 In examining British attempts to develop the Baghdad Pact as a propaganda instrument it is difficult to avoid a number of harsh conclusions. in setting up Iraq as the champion of British policy in the region without providing her with sufficient political and material support. forgot ‘that Egypt is the inherent political focus of the Arab world. Trott. Chairman of the Counter-Subversion Committee.‘Equal Partners’? 177 with the other member-states for the defence of the region. the independence of the states within it and the economic well-being of Pact members. it is a very arguable matter. In these circumstances. Turkmen even recommended a reduction in the Counter-Subversion budget since at the present level of inactivity no harm could be done by any cut in funding. but now we are altruistic benefactors. was indeed the political centre of the Arab world. Unfortunately. the Pact lacked the resources and dynamism to serve as an effective voice in the Middle East propaganda contest. Furthermore. Without a firm American commitment. argued A. the best efforts of British propagandists could do little to change the perception that Cairo.70 In looking to base Britain’s position in the region on a system of informal empire in Iraq and Jordan. Such talk would not influence the Arabs: and they would not believe it. not Baghdad. ‘the permanent body would consequently be unable to begin work for some months’. General Turkmen.C. those propagandists might have been well advised to heed the advice offered from the British Embassy in Saudi Arabia. as Townsend Hoopes has argued. In August. now we are very good: that we used to be evil imperialists. Indeed. The language and imagery of ‘new era’ and ‘equal partners’ was increasingly exposed as a ploy to undermine Egypt rather than a genuine attempt to create new foundations for British influence in the region. British statesmen. and underestimated the damage to Western interests that could be wrought by a resentful Nasser’. ‘I do not think it is advisable’. the Counter-Subversion Committee produced rather less than it promised.71 . Britain contributed to the destabilisation of Nuri Said’s government. Indeed. Eden subordinated the campaign to reshape the traditional perception of Britain’s role in the Middle East to a doomed attempt to support Iraq in a regional power struggle with Egypt. noted that it was ‘painful’ to see that because of the delay in approving the Report of the Committee. suffering from an inability to transform ideas into practical policies and a lack of dynamism that allowed it to be overtaken by the events in the second half of 1956. to direct our propaganda to proving that while once we were very bad.

The propaganda problem created by clashes between anti-colonialism and European imperialism was. Allen. he suggested.’75 Back in Whitehall. intricately bound up with American Cold War concerns. James Bowker agreed that ‘the anti-Colonial complex of certain Americans is one of the heaviest crosses which we have to bear’. The United States. When Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia could complain that American diplomats had ‘anti-British complexes in their very marrow’. was . As John Foster Dulles told King Saud on the occasion of the latter’s 1957 visit to Washington. In 1948. and regional interests in the Middle East. the American propaganda response to the various Anglo-Arab disputes that arose in the post-war Middle East was not always to the liking of British officials. balancing the benefits of appealing to ‘moderate’ nationalism against the damage that might be inflicted upon Anglo-American relations.73 it is clearly important to explore the anti-colonial aspect of American propaganda. of course. ‘When confronted by the peoples of the Middle East.R. Sir Frank Shepherd summed up their frustrations in a comment from Tehran in 1952. ‘the Americans tend to allow the George III complex to rise within them to such an extent that they are prepared to believe almost any accusations of colonialism made against Great Britain. in which the Western alliance was valued at a premium. had its own anti-colonial history and many Americans claimed a natural affinity with the independence struggles of African and Asian peoples.178 The Failure of American and British Propaganda ‘The George III complex’: anti-colonialism and the United States Given the nature of the criticisms levelled at US policy towards Arab nationalism by British historians such as John Charmley and D. Thorpe. Assistant Secretary of State. Faced with the contradiction between a set of global Cold War interests.72 it is instructive to examine the idea that there existed an instinctive anticolonialism in the psychological make-up of American policymakers. US policy makers sought to distance the US from Britain. and Americans have not forgotten their efforts to gain freedom and independence’. ‘the United States were once a colony. considered the problem of nationalism in a memorandum setting out ‘US Information Objectives in the Arab States’.76 Unsurprisingly.74 British officials did not react well to American statements of this kind. George V. where open association with Britain or France was altogether less appealing.’ he observed. of course. Foremost among American psychological objectives.

K. We cannot disregard this awakening of Arab sentiments. cannot maintain and defend Western interests in the Middle East in the 19th Century fashion. rather than figurative force and influence. or both together. are basically in accord with the national aspirations of the Arab states and their peoples. US propaganda. At the same time.S. the weakening of Britain’s position and American concern that ‘the distrust of the United Kingdom … has devolved upon the United States’ made a speedy solution to Britain’s disputes with Egypt. was the acceptance that It is now clear beyond doubt that the U. … The growth of Arab nationalism and sense of political unity as a result of differences with the West is the dominating fact with which we should reckon in the days to come. in other words.S.77 By the 1950s. which even suggests the emergence of a Pan-Arab movement with actual. the NSC accepted that it remained ‘in the United States security interest for the United Kingdom to continue to assume as much responsibility as is feasible under present conditions’. or the U. It is clear that that the West must work toward the establishment of a new kind of relationship with the Middle Eastern states involving increased recognition of the aspirations of these countries as to their status within the community of nations. must be ‘designed to … convince local leaders and peoples that the age of Western imperialism is over’.‘Equal Partners’? 179 the need to show that U. a report considering American ‘psychological programs’ in the Middle East was presented to the National Security Council (NSC).S. Iran and Saudi Arabia a key American priority. an increasing number of American diplomats would have agreed with the views expressed by Henry Willard in a 1953 report from the American Legation in Tripoli. The NSC recognised that its . policies and aims are fundamentally compatible with the preservation of the sovereignty and independence of the Arab states and that the realization of the national objectives of the U.78 In June 1953. While the regional trend was for American influence to grow at Britain’s expense. At the heart of the report.

as you in the field can easily understand. concern was expressed that ‘the Communists seemed to be getting more mileage out of nationalistic aspirations in certain foreign countries. he looked to American intelligence and propaganda veterans. which for reasons of tradition and what we consider to be our own self interest finds itself somewhat in the middle between the British and Near Eastern positions on specific problems. in others we must speak softly on this subject if at all’.180 The Failure of American and British Propaganda analysis implied ‘a most serious problem in our relations with the United Kingdom’.80 Given the nature of the American dilemma. Dr. The appointment was made with full knowledge of the US Embassy. The USIA. The US has a delicate role to play under these conditions. In 1947. is not as simple as it sounds. Ambassador Tuck arguing that ‘Morde could render the Egyptian Government a useful service’. In some countries policy considerations allow us to shout as loudly as we wish for independent nationhood. If we are to reverse the trend in Near Eastern attitudes. … Our efforts with the UK must be such as to avoid being placed in a position where we must choose between maintenance of the NATO alliance and action on our part to keep a large portion of the world that is still free from drifting into Soviet hands. are increasingly resented by the British. Signs that the American approach to the Anglo-Egyptian dispute might not be entirely to Britain’s liking were present from an early stage in the post-war period. a former Office of War Information (OWI) operative working at the American University in Cairo suggested that the Egyptians seek advice from Theodore Morde. which. when Prime Minister Nokrashy Pasha wished to strengthen Egypt’s anti-British propaganda. They interpret our policy as one which in fact hastens their loss of prestige in the area.79 In a 1955 NSC paper examining the treatment of ‘nationalistic aspirations’ in the United States Information Agency (USIA) programme. Efforts by the United States. than the US is’. particularly in Asia and Africa. . ‘is working on the problem. it reported. we must assist in finding solutions to local problems in the area which involve its relations with the UK. a veteran of the Office of Strategic Services. Wendell Cleland. perhaps the best way of investigating how US propaganda dealt with these issues is to look at the policies adopted in response to the specific problems of Anglo-Egyptian and Anglo-Saudi relations. Morde was subsequently appointed as a ‘non-Arabic press consultant’ providing propaganda advice to the Egyptian Government.

Richard Sanger informed the State Department that 14 Middle Eastern policy objectives had been presented to USIS Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) together with an enquiry as to how many ‘they felt they could help to accomplish … under present circumstances. Hopkins concluded. The Egyptian press was beginning to adopt a more menacing tone and an Al Ahram editorial of 4 May 1950 warned that American interests would be jeopardised by continuing failure to act against Britain. a number of rights which Britain has denied us. In a pamphlet titled ‘Britain Sees The Light at Last’. it stated.‘Equal Partners’? 181 Tuck spared only the briefest thought for British sensitivities. as long as this call belies her action.82 Egyptian propaganda of this kind touched a sensitive spot for many American policy makers. ‘Let us hope’. but now that America has become the leader of the Western world and can do us justice for justice’s sake. Foremost amongst these was the demand that ‘The United States should actively support Egyptian sovereignty over the Suez Canal. ‘’We have in Egypt’.’84 AFME continued to plug away at the Suez issue and even after the Anglo-Egyptian Agreement.’81 In the early 1950s. Let the Americans then first practice the truth they want to teach us. we are entitled to turn a deaf ear to her call. In April 1952. noting that ‘So far I have had no reaction from the British side. Garland Hopkins looked forward to the final negotiations as a ‘test of British good faith’ and stated that the agreement marked ‘a resounding defeat for the colonialists and Zionists’. … Our choice must be for a friendly Egypt or a British Suez.83 The American Friends of the Middle East (AFME) needed no encouragement in this regard and in June 1953 it issued its own set of policy recommendations.’85 . although I imagine that the appointment of an American in this capacity may not be altogether to their liking. Let them begin by admitting our rights in our Canal and our Sudan. remained distinctly cool in its attitude towards the British. a number of factors suggested that an American shift towards support for the Egyptians was on the cards. ‘that this signals the permanent eclipse of their pernicious influence on British policy. The solution.’ Sanger was unhappy to learn that four of these objectives were ‘stuck on the British–Egyptian problems’. he suggested. was to ‘cut ourselves away from the imperialism of dying empires’. Until recently we held Britain alone to account.

US propaganda was continuing to reflect the position that Britain had a right to maintain its position in the Canal Zone. At no stage was this more apparent than during the crisis of 1951 when. On 10 October.90 Under Eisenhower and Dulles. Dulles went out of his way to support the British and his statement that the agreement ‘marks the beginning of a new era of closer collaboration between the States of the Near East and those of the West’ was circulated by British propagandists. as the violence in the Canal Zone escalated throughout October. PAOs were told to ‘pick up comment encouraging Egypt [to] act calmly. Acheson’s weekly information guidance to USIS posts in the Middle East continued to authorise public criticism of the Egyptians. aware of the sensitive state of Anglo-American relations at the time. An August 1953 Policy Information Statement for USIA stressed that The United States role in the dispute has been to cooperate on an informal basis with both parties in an attempt to find a mutually acceptable formula for agreement. We wish to avoid the appearance of endorsing positions taken by either side. however. At present. USIA’s output on the Suez dispute returned to a policy of neutralism between the British and Egyptian protagonists. not least because although US policy makers were keen to present . the official line was that the US regarded Egypt’s unilateral abrogation of the 1936 Anglo-Egyptian treaty as ‘without validity’ and PAOs were authorised to criticise Egypt’s rejection of British proposals as ‘short-sighted’.93 Tensions between Britain and Saudi Arabia proved more problematic. In fact. made a point of adopting a position likely to be well received in Britain. however. Acheson informed USIS staff on 17 October that the US line could be expected to ‘ameliorate UK feelings deriving from US middleof-ground stand on Iran’. despite private American frustration with British policy.88 At the end of the month.87 A week later. pressed home the idea that the agreement was a ‘constructive. were not responsible for official American propaganda. we cannot support completely either the British or the Egyptian position. responsibly’.91 When the 1954 Anglo-Egyptian Agreement was finally negotiated. peace-making event’ and worked to ‘encourage other African and Asian peoples to regard the Suez settlement as a model procedure for the liquidation of similar differences between them and the colonial powers’.86 the State Department’s official line remained far more sympathetic to the British than might have been expected.89 It is probable that the State Department.182 The Failure of American and British Propaganda AFME spokesmen. constructively.92 USIA meanwhile.

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themselves as neutral observers, they found themselves drawn into the dispute through their desire to preserve their rights at the Dhahran air base and to protect the interests of the Arab-American Oil Company (Aramco). The US position on the Buraimi dispute was thus complex and ambiguous. Torn between their desire to protect and strengthen US interests and influence in Saudi Arabia and the fear of alienating their British allies, US propagandists tended to maintain an uncomfortable silence on the Buraimi dispute whilst being pressed for public support by both the British and the Saudis. In August 1953, the USIA was informed that The Buraimi Dispute has had very little publicity and, in view of the delicate nature of our position in the matter, it is in our interest that publicity be kept to an absolute minimum. It is believed that at the present time any publicity given by an official US agency to the dispute should be confined to official releases issued by one side or the other and should be balanced by including statements made by each side.94 British officials were less convinced of American even-handedness particularly when Aramco was under discussion. In 1952, officials commented on the oil company’s ‘magnificent propaganda arrangements’, noting the close co-operation between Aramco and the Saudi government and observing that Aramco’s advice to King Saud was ‘not altogether in line with the policy of the US Government’.95 Aramco’s lawyers played a leading role in drawing up the Saudi legal claim to the Buraimi oasis and by 1955, British diplomats suspected that Aramco was actively disseminating pro-Saudi propaganda in the Middle East and the United States. Harry Kern, a friend of Allen Dulles and Kermit Roosevelt, admitted to having based two anti-British articles in Newsweek on documents provided by Aramco lawyers and in January 1956, following reports that Kern had left Newsweek to take up an oil company position, British officials responded that ‘we may … expect Kern to join the Saudi/Aramco propaganda machine’.96 Official American statements, however, even after the British reoccupation of Buraimi in October 1955, remained wedded to a policy of determined neutralism. In November, USIS officials were instructed to continue plugging the theme that The United States is not a party to either dispute. We favoured arbitration in the Buraimi matter as a means of settling this dispute at

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the time the agreement was signed and regret that it has so far not succeeded. We feel the continuance of the arbitration in some form is the preferable solution to the dispute.97 British officials, given their conviction that the Saudis were irretrievably corrupt and anti-Western, saw US neutrality merely as cover for behindthe-scenes support for the Saudis. The American response to British accusations of Saudi corruption lends these suspicions a degree of credibility. When the New York Times carried a story on Saudi corruption which effectively repeated the official British line, USIA was told to make ‘no confirmation from official US sources concerning British charges of Saudi Arabian activities’.98 The decision to withhold support for British allegations was taken despite the NSC’s judgement that the British had ‘a pretty good case against the Saudis’99 and an earlier recommendation that measures be implemented to ‘control Saudi use of oil revenues for bribery in other Arab states’.100 Instead, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) continued to promote the line that there was ‘no independent evidence’ of Saudi attempts to undermine the arbitration tribunal or to engage in bribery in the disputed territory itself.101 This cut little ice with Henry Luce, editorin-chief of Time-Life magazines, who told C.D. Jackson in April 1956 that The biggest scandal in the Middle East – and oh boy it’s got everything – is Saudi corruption. … Saudi money is being scattered lavishly with or without plan. … Saudi money all comes from ARAMCO. Does ARAMCO have any responsibility?102 USIA even noted in late 1955 that ‘Saudi subsidization of the press in … Arab countries’ was creating difficulties ‘in placing material favorable to the US position in the area.’103 Given this evidence, the US refusal to back Britain’s case against the Saudis looks decidedly self-serving. The prevailing attitude amongst British diplomats was that, in failing to support the British at Buraimi, the Americans were making concessions to an oil lobby that was ‘letting down the west’.104 Kirkpatrick was utterly contemptuous of the American approach, and during a particularly savage grilling of one American diplomat, enquired sarcastically whether the State Department believed that Saudi expansion should be halted ‘at any point, and if so, where?’105 Indignant British diplomats stated that ‘there is no more “British colonialism” in the Gulf than there is American “colonialism” in Saudi Arabia’,106 and Britain’s Ambassador in Washington suggested that Dulles’ reluctance to support the British

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stemmed from an ‘uneasy conscience’ at his discovery that his role in Saudi Arabia was akin to that of a ‘feudal overlord’.107 Dulles, meanwhile, and rather disingenuously given his refusal to corroborate British charges of Saudi corruption, argued that ‘unwise’ British policy had resulted in ‘Saudi bribes … being used everywhere in the Middle East’.108 A measure of how far apart the British and Americans had moved can be seen in the fact that while the Americans were seeking to strengthen Saudi Arabia as a bulwark against both Nasser and the Soviets, British propagandists were working to undermine the Saudi regime. Pamphlets issued in the name of a ‘Free Saudis’ organisation were circulated in the Middle East in the summer of 1956. These leaflets drew attention to the endemic nature of ‘bribery, corruption and feudalism’ under the Saudi regime, the royal family’s neglect of its religious duties and the enormous disparity in wealth between the Saudi rulers and the ‘hungry masses’, all themes previously employed by British propagandists. The ‘Free Saudis’ promised that if this situation was not rectified, ‘we shall find ourselves obliged to demand the establishment of a new government’.109 Wilbur Eveland’s claim that British Intelligence was working against the governments of Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia, reinforces the suspicion that British were engaging in covert propaganda activities against the Saudis.110 It was fortunate that given the potential for a damaging public split between Britain and the US, the Buraimi dispute, unlike Suez, never became a major public issue. In October 1955, British diplomats reported there had been no real interest on the part of the American press in Britain’s reoccupation of Buraimi.111 As far as Roger Makins was concerned, this was all to the good. Any attempts to publicise the British point of view further, he concluded, would be ‘most likely to provoke counter-propaganda on two lines, the anti-colonial, and the insinuation that our action is an attack on the US in support of British oil interests’.112 The maintenance of a tactful, if uncomfortable, silence remained the best publicity the British could hope for. As IPD put it in January 1954, the ‘less said about the dispute the better’.113

Propaganda, Arab nationalism and Anglo-American relations
On October 2, 1956, John Foster Dulles gave a press conference in which he argued, with reference to the ‘so-called problem of colonialism’, that The United States plays a somewhat independent role. You have this very great problem of the shift from colonialism to independence

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which is in process and which will be going on for perhaps another fifty years. … I suspect that the US will find that its role, not only today but in the coming years, will be to try to aid that process without identifying itself 100% with the so-called colonial powers, or with the Powers which are primarily and uniquely concerned with the problem of getting their independence as rapidly as possible.114 This statement caused deep resentment in Britain. On a superficial level, it seems possible to place his remarks within the general American reaction against British ‘imperialism’. This argument has been developed by John Charmley, who has argued forcefully that Churchill’s sentimental vision of the ‘Atlantic Alliance’ chained British policy in the Middle East to an American anti-colonialism that allowed anti-Western Arab nationalists to benefit from American gullibility.115 Nevertheless, such arguments are not entirely persuasive. Although Eisenhower recognised that the questions of colonialism and nationalism was a crucial issue in the battle for Middle Eastern hearts and minds, his administration balanced such considerations against its other allegiances and priorities. In October 1953, Henry Byroade made a speech dedicated to the theme of colonialism that was held up as an ‘important US policy statement’ and published in USIA’s Arabic magazines. Byroade was explicit in his judgement that ‘old-style colonialism is on the way out’ and that ‘no government has a God-given right to rule peoples other than its own’. He was happy, however, to describe the British Commonwealth as an ‘outstanding example of the kind of association which new nations may undertake without impairment of their powers to determine their own destinies’.116 Indeed, Byroade’s support for national self-determination had very precise limits. He warned that precipitate declarations of independence could only provide opportunities for ‘the new Soviet colonialism’ and might lead to the creation of states unable to provide satisfactorily for the interests of their own people. The nub of his argument was that support would only be forthcoming for moderate, evolutionary nationalist movements. In the circumstances, Byroade’s attitude towards the interests of the European colonial powers was extraordinarily supportive given the audience to which he knew his remarks would be relayed. He made a point of arguing that These European powers are our allies. … We cannot blindly ignore their side of the colonial question without injury to our own security. In particular, we cannot ignore the legitimate economic interests

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which European nations possess in certain dependent territories. Nor can we forget the importance of these economic interests to the European economy to which we have contributed so much support.117 Warming to the theme, Byroade went on to announce that There has been too much talk of the ‘economic exploitation’ of dependent peoples. Too little attention has been given to the fact that economic relations between the European nations and overseas territories are often beneficial to both parties. … The sudden withdrawal of European influence would remove one of the major hopes of the dependent peoples for continued economic progress.118 To a degree that may surprise those British historians keen to condemn John Foster Dulles, Byroade’s speech was typical of the American position on British ‘imperialism’ in the Middle East. In 1956, Dulles actually took a stand to ensure that anti-colonial rhetoric did not feature prominently in American publicity. In January 1956, the US Embassy in Cairo proposed that the State Department should make a statement inviting ‘all states to cooperate in the orderly and rapid termination of colonialism in any of its forms, everywhere in the world’. Those territories and peoples currently under the colonial rule of foreign powers should receive aid and encouragement so as not to ‘further delay the development of these peoples to the end that they may freely select their own political, social and economic order’.119 Such a statement was intended to ‘recapture for the United States its traditional leadership in the world effort to raise the standards of backward peoples, dramatizing … the immense moral as well as material resources of the United States’.120 Pressure for a public statement of American anti-colonialism continued to grow and Dulles continued to resist it. Henry Cabot Lodge, ambassador to the UN, expressed concern that American policy was increasingly regarded by world opinion, particularly the young, as overly sympathetic towards the colonial ‘Colonel Blimps’ and recommended that the US should ‘go much harder on the anti-colonial side than we are now doing’. Lodge appreciated that ‘colonial powers like Great Britain and France would not welcome this resolution’ but suggested that it was ultimately ‘in their interests for us to have a good standing in areas where they cannot have it’.121 Dulles refused to budge. He informed Lodge that ‘although the President and I have frequently discussed a change in our public attitude on this subject … conditions

188 The Failure of American and British Propaganda

are not yet ripe’.122 Perhaps one explanation of Dulles’ resistance to initiatives of this kind was a belief that the existing policy of distancing the US from Britain was bearing fruit. Byroade announced to the State Department in April 1956 that the Egyptian press was clearly distinguishing between an American policy of ‘justice’ and a British approach characterised by its ‘denial of the rights of peoples and their liberties’.123 This may have been a major problem for the Foreign Office, but it was not unduly troubling for Dulles. By the mid-1950s, the Eisenhower administration had convinced itself that the days of ‘old school’ imperialism were over and that Britain would voluntarily adjust its Middle Eastern policies. British efforts to remake their image in the new language of ‘equal partnership’ reinforced this impression and, in January 1956, the Cairo Embassy announced that the recent British colonial record, rather than being a source of embarrassment, had been ‘in general good’.124 The key for USIA and the State Department was that US spokesmen should retain the ability to dodge the criticism and invectives hurled at ‘imperialists’ when British policies did fall foul of Arab nationalism. The Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) summarised American policy in a 1953 strategy paper which argued that although the British constituted a ‘serious psychological burden’, the US would ‘carefully weigh its position vis-à-vis the … British in the Middle East on an ad hoc basis so as to obtain maximum psychological benefit from a position of independence or allied solidarity as the case requires’.125 Most British statesmen struggled to comprehend this American balancing act and several concluded that American propaganda undermined Britain’s position in the region. Some were capable of remarkable outbursts of anti-Americanism, denouncing Americans as the dupes of manipulative Arab politicians. Such views were typified by Sir Alex Kirkbride’s bitter observation that The most pathetic aspects of the question are the belief of the average American that he deserves to be liked and his inability to understand why he is not when the fact becomes too obvious to be overlooked any longer. He finds consolation in blaming the whole trouble on the British.126 This was a crude caricature, and one has only to cite C.D. Jackson’s comment to the NSC in October 1953 that ‘we don’t want to be loved anyhow but simply to be respected’, to expose it as such.127

as also the implication of Anglo-American solidarity on the strategic issue. ‘Since the article was written by an American’. even if almost subconscious. An example can be found in a pamphlet produced by RIO Beirut in 1953.‘Equal Partners’? 189 From the British Embassy in Cairo. Hankey bemoaned the failure of the British to bring home to US officials their own responsibility for Western unpopularity in the region. United States News and World Report. Robin Hankey developed the anti-American theme.128 British officials were hardly in the position to play the role of the betrayed partner as they were quite prepared to engage in decidedly ‘unfaithful’ behaviour themselves. as distinct from themselves. whom they feel to be the liberators and uplifters of the oppressed. The leaflet reproduced an article originally published in an independent American magazine. It explained the strategic significance of the Suez base from an American perspective. which had itself been based on information leaked to an American journalist by British military officials. RIO Beirut was fully aware that the leaflet might be offensive to Arab readers and pointed out that ‘we have deliberately (though of course we should deny it if challenged!) printed the little pamphlet … in order to leave room for the misapprehension that the leaflet was issued by American sources’. idea which they have of us as ‘imperialists’ and oppressors of backward races. referring contemptuously to an Arab reaction against ‘so-called American civilisation’.129 RIO Beirut’s Leslie Glass explained how the leaflet was intended to serve British propaganda objectives over the future of the Suez Canal Zone base. Glass continued. arguing that The fundamental obstacle … to a real unity of purpose between the Americans and ourselves in approaching the problems of the Middle East is the underlying fixed. Any crudity or ‘brutal frankness’ in it will presumably be blamed on the American author and not on the British – while the main argument seemed to us important to put over. it suits us that such plain-speaking should be . I admit we might hesitate to say some of the remarks about the Arabs ourselves – but the facts are correct. Responding to criticism from the British information officer in Baghdad that its ‘brutal frankness’ would offend nationalist sensitivities. providing a refutation of the charge that British and American views on the issue had diverged.

and there is no longer the assumption that. and in relation to this point. … These emotions die hard and we cannot expect even yet that they have totally disappeared from American thinking. Watt). The following chapter demonstrates the extent to which Anglo-American co-operation against Nasser was possible. because they have. When it came to a propaganda battle with Nasser over the Baghdad Pact or Britain’s support for conservative regimes in Jordan and Iraq. it fails to consider the fact that British propaganda success against Egypt and Saudi Arabia came when it was possible to make a convincing case that the Arab states had expansionist or ‘imperialist’ motives of their own. remaining so until the British wilfully split from the American programme during the Suez Crisis. Denis Healey and D. Second. For one thing. The argument that the Americans undermined Western interests by appeasing Arab nationalism falls down on a number of counts.130 This was hardly the behaviour of an entirely well-meaning ally. like the United States.131 Finally. regardless of whether or not American support was forthcoming. the argument relies on a one-dimensional view of American policy. As a Chatham House study group chaired by Sir Knox Helm (and including among its members such varied political personalities as Sir John Troutbeck. won their freedom from a colonial régime. they will be certain to follow policies which harmonize with those of America. the Anglo-American partnership in the Middle East increasingly took on the appearance of a complex tangle of loyalties and interests and there is little to suggest that a major schism over the question of how to deal with Nasser and Arab nationalism was inevitable. pointed out in its published report in 1958: America’s own traditional dislike of colonialism led easily to the assumption that the emergent ‘ex-colonial’ states would see their interests in the same terms as America did. During the 1950s. the case against Dulles founders on its underestimation of the extent to which he was prepared to join with the British in the bid to counter Egyptian and Arab nationalism and minimise the regional influence of Nasser. But at least American policy now admits that more complicated techniques will be needed to win over these former protectorates and mandated territories.190 The Failure of American and British Propaganda made and this seems a good opportunity to quote the remarks from an American source.C. this case against ‘pseudo-nationalism’ was far harder to make and the credibility of British propaganda declined accordingly. The study of propaganda .

‘Equal Partners’? 191 policy towards Arab nationalism in the 1950s. meanwhile. it was that British pretensions to a senior role in the Anglo-American partnership were embarrassingly out of step with political reality. . strongly suggests that growing Anglo-American tensions had more to do with the American belief that Western interests were better served by the maintenance of a safe distance between themselves and the British any deliberate American policy of sacrificing British interests to appease Nasser. Nevertheless. It was this misperception that pushed British leaders away from the policy of attempting to reinvent their relationship with Arab nationalism towards an aggressive and ultimately self-defeating defence of their own diplomatic independence. The cause of the eventual Anglo-American split was not that the United States was explicitly anti-British in its attitudes. the stability of the Anglo-American relationship did come to rest on the extent to which the British were prepared to accept the unpleasant role of a protective buffer for the Americans and it was perhaps inevitable that resentments would build up over time.

O liar. o impostor. You have broken the promise you made. 23 September 1955 O you coward. o hypocrite. You have become accursed in this and the other world. The identification of Nasser as the major obstacle to the pursuit of Western objectives and the bid to forge a joint policy to counteract his influence 192 . Clandestine anti-Nasser radio broadcast. you have said that imperialism created Israel ‘to turn us into groups of refugees’. 2 August 1956 This chapter examines the propaganda and psychological warfare techniques employed against Egypt in the period from the creation of the Baghdad Pact through to the 1956 Suez Crisis and the enunciation of the ‘Eisenhower Doctrine’ in January 1957. do you want the Egyptians and Arabs to laugh at this empty talk? Sincere Arabs are shedding hot tears in grief at the state into which Arabs have sunk so as to make it possible for a man like you to make such bombastic speeches and to talk about the Atlantic and the Persian Gulf at a time when you do not even think of delivering Palestine. Harold Caccia. From September 1955 to July 1956. You have added that you would defend nationalism and work for extending the Arab homeland from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf. the perception of a growing Egyptian threat acted as a unifying force within Anglo-American relations in the Middle East.7 ‘The Last Trump’ Anti-Egyptian Propaganda from ‘Omega’ to the Eisenhower Doctrine It is easier to see how to use a stick to Nasser than to think of any safe carrot.

both Britain and the US had come to see Egypt as the chief obstacle to an Arab–Israeli settlement. At the same time. Nevertheless. however. it was apparent that British and American policy makers held very different views of what Nasser was a threat to and what the best means of countering his activities were. the main source of British hostility to Nasser was the belief that he was seeking to undermine British influence in Iraq. Bromley put it. we should be careful not to damage our best candidate by too obvious or too early sales-promotion. to see the effect of positive acts … before a decision is taken that we … must try to oust Nasser.2 As African Department’s T.‘The Last Trump’ 193 signified a major attempt to bring British and American policies back into line. a consideration implicit in Macmillan’s instruction to British diplomats that ‘our objective should be … to play down as much as possible the extent of the diplomatic defeat which this deal represents for the West’. The initial British reaction was that direct action against Nasser was premature and might prove counter-productive. ‘We should prefer’. even before the nationalisation of the Suez Canal Company in July 1956 and the Anglo-American schism that followed. Even then. Harold Macmillan argued that what was needed was ‘to show that it pays to refrain from .E. the Foreign Office informed British delegates at the UN. Rightly or wrongly. From alpha to omega The announcement of the Czech–Egyptian arms deal in September 1955 came as a rude awakening to complacent Western diplomats.1 Given the popularity of the deal. Jordan and the Persian Gulf. it seemed sensible to avoid mentioning it more than was strictly necessary. It may come to that later. It was this sense of urgency and crisis that distorted the judgement of British leaders and created the possibility of a serious split in Anglo-American policy towards Egypt. The Foreign Office was well aware of the deal’s popularity in the Arab world and of how awkward it would be to formulate an effective public response.3 Aware that Arab leaders were watching to see whether Nasser’s gamble would pay off. It was this idea of Nasser as an ‘Arab Mussolini’ bent upon the elimination of British influence in the Middle East that convinced Eden that the Egyptian President was a mortal danger to British interests who had to be broken. ‘We do not wish … in any way to play up Egypt’s success in “tweaking the West’s nose” ’.

4 Robin Hooper cabled the Foreign Office from Baghdad.194 The Failure of American and British Propaganda having dealings with the Soviet Union’. Britain had become increasingly dependent upon its ‘special relationship’ with Iraq. All Egypt had really achieved. Wilton in early October.8 In practice. the United States Information Agency (USIA) was forced into the feeble plea that its opposition to the deal was not founded upon ‘any desire to see the Arabs kept in an inferior arms position’ vis-à-vis Israel. Aware that the Soviets might seize the opportunity to present themselves as the defenders of the Arabs against Western-backed Zionism.6 USIA announced that ‘Our job during these developments of grave concern to the Near East is to … inform the people of the area of the past record of the USSR and the designs of international communism generally. by following a “tough” policy with the West … secure for themselves a better deal than Iraq by friendliness. ‘Not even Nuri can speak out publicly against the deal’. American Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) contrasted the ‘destructive effects of the Soviet move’ with the ‘constructive nature’ of Dulles’ speech of 26 August.J.9 It was never likely that such arguments would make headway in the face of the sheer popularity of the deal throughout the Arab world. was the acquisition of ‘another collection of arms to add to the mixed assortment she already possesses’ while taking ‘a step toward becoming a Russian satellite’. Sharq suggested.10 Even Britain’s traditional Arab allies were silenced.’5 In their efforts to present the deal as an act of irresponsibility. . Western officials preferred to point the finger of blame at the Soviet Union rather than at Egypt. On 29 September Sharq accused the Egyptian Government of ‘short-sightedness’ over the inevitable arrival of Russian ‘technicians’ who would ‘exert influence over Egypt’ and make it harder for the government to control the Egyptian Communist Party.11 As Western frustration with Nasser mounted. they could pursue a tougher line through the broadcasts of Sharq al-Adna. complained African Department’s A.’7 In theory. observing that ‘Iraqis … are waiting to see whether the Egyptians. Pontificating about the dangers of Soviet imperialism simply could not compete with the emotional power of Egyptian propaganda which vigorously asserted that Nasser had struck a decisive blow for the Arab cause in their efforts to defend themselves against ‘Zionist aggression’. to warn them against other communist bloc overtures … and to make clear US reasons for not wishing to see an arms race in the Near East. British diplomats agreed that the best propaganda points against the deal were ‘that the result can only be an arms race and … that there is no reason to suppose that Russian motives are anything but a desire to trouble the waters in order to improve the fishing’.

Nasser’s continuing attacks on the Baghdad Pact reinforced Eden’s determination to promote Iraq as the leading regional power. In March 1954.‘The Last Trump’ 195 Sterndale Bennett at the British Middle East Office (BMEO) accepted that when it came to Iraq and Egypt. drew attention to the opening of Iraq’s first government-owned oil refinery. Thinking specifically of Iraq. Britain had interests on both sides. broadly speaking.14 The idea of encouraging Iraq to make an active contribution to the British propaganda effort had been circulating in the Foreign Office for some time.12 Subsequently. was painfully slow.13 Instead. The Prime Minister is well known for his old-fashioned ideas about the impropriety of propaganda in general and since the present government have . the task of building up Iraqi prestige became an important objective. so that they would be all the more open to our own material and influence’. In 1948. Standard material dealing with Middle Eastern development projects was ‘spun’ so as to advance Iraqi rather than Egyptian prestige. British representatives in Baghdad reported in June 1954 that Frankly.L. there was not a need ‘to remedy the defect’. M. however. Fitzgerald had wondered whether. A series of articles in Al Aalam. it is no good our talking to the present Iraqi Government of anything that smacks of propaganda of any kind. the modernisation of the Iraqi health service and hospitals. Nuri’s authoritarian regime was presented as a progressive government acting in the best interests of its citizens and British propagandists worked tirelessly to contrast Iraq with Egypt in this respect. Fitzgerald argued that ‘our own specialists could give on the spot advice in forming and operating local information services’. for example. Eden’s response to the suggestion from Dulles that the British stall on the expansion of the Baghdad Pact to avoid antagonising Nasser was simply a bluntly stated ‘No’. but concluded that ‘there can be no doubt with which our sympathies lie and obviously it is of great importance that we should not alienate our greatest friend in this part of the world or weaken his hand by any suggestion that we were luke-warm in his support’. a closed book to Arab governments’.15 Progress in this direction. As relations with Egypt deteriorated during 1955. given that ‘the whole sphere of public relations work is. a policy which would bring the additional benefit that ‘such services would … be largely dependent on us for their very existence. the creation of Baghdad’s own television station and the development of Iraqi telecommunications. Eden suggested that Iraq might be more forthright in its propaganda output16 but such hopes were frustrated as long as Arshad al-Umari remained in power. British attitudes hardened and by December.

196 The Failure of American and British Propaganda come into power all propaganda and broadcasting arrangements initiated by the last two governments of Dr. In Washington. first monitored on 6 April 1955. Syria and Saudi Arabia. which would probably not be the case if it were Ikhwani . Egypt fired its opening salvoes through the broadcasts of the ‘Free Iraq’ radio station. In its own words. Henry Byroade suggested that the Voice of Free Egypt did not have the ‘full flavour’ of Muslim Brotherhood propaganda. ‘The more we can encourage her to exert her influence in the uncommitted Arab States’. ‘the better our interests will be served’. In January 1956 the Levant Department noted that it would be desirable if the Iraqis. The broadcasters identified themselves as Muslim Brethren but a number of factors cast doubt upon the idea that the Voice of Free Egypt was the work of an independent Muslim Brotherhood opposition group. a clandestine station first detected by American monitors on 28 April 1955.20 In fact. someone was already hitting back at Nasser via the clandestine ‘Voice of Free Egypt’. could be persuaded to challenge the Egyptian and Saudi ‘monopoly’ on propaganda in countries like Jordan. and generally speaking. as the only Arab members of the Baghdad Pact. In the spring of 1955. it concluded. the criticism can be characterized as secular in nature rather than Islamic. Britain’s accession to the Pact in April 1955 sparked a bitter propaganda war pitching Britain and her Baghdad Pact partners against an Arab bloc comprising Egypt. it attacked the Baghdad Pact as ‘enslavement’. Nuri as ‘the great deceiver’ and the Iraqi Development Board as ‘an imperialist council’. Jamali have been suspended.19 In May 1955 the Iraqi Government issued a communiqué blaming Egypt for the broadcasts and threatening retaliatory measures. ‘Free Iraq Radio’ claimed to be ‘an Iraqi transmission … by the righteous sons of Iraq … [from] … somewhere in Iraqi territory’.18 Britain’s attempts to persuade Iraq to join the anti-Egyptian propaganda campaign must be considered within the context of the divisions within the Arab world exposed by the creation of the Baghdad Pact.17 Only when Nuri returned to office in August 1954 did the Iraqis begin to formulate a systematic response to Egyptian propaganda and even then British officials found it difficult to persuade them to play an active role in other Arab countries. Byroade believed that the statements monitored from this radio station are more moderate than those of the local Ikhwanis [Muslim Brethren]. Syria and the Lebanon.

regular Baghdad Radio programmes were nowhere to be heard. Even with its strong Ikhwani overtones Radio Free Egypt is more anti-Nasser in its approach than it is pro-Brotherhood. therefore. which suggested that four Egyptian Muslim Brothers had recently departed from Damascus into Iraq. Byroade concluded that the Voice of Free Egypt’s broadcasts were ‘probably coming from a station located in Iraq’. but stressed that this ‘does not necessarily imply that we should avoid all contact. ‘carries a good deal of weight in the semiclandestine Moslem religious world’.25 On the basis of intelligence such as this.24 It is speculation to suggest that official Iraqi radio service had a hand in the ‘Free Egypt’ broadcasts. but it is known that the state broadcasting services were used for a ‘special series of radio broadcasts to counter Egyptian attacks’. In December 1951. Chapman Andrews reported that his Oriental Secretary in Beirut had established links with an individual who. it was said. Byroade recalled an earlier Iraqi bid to use Muslim Brotherhood clandestine broadcasts against the Shishakli regime in Syria and drew attention to intelligence from an Egyptian source (considered to be a provider of ‘fairly good information’). There is certainly evidence to suggest that British propagandists were prepared to work with the Muslim Brotherhood. it appears likely that if Muslim Brothers are involved in this clandestine radio station they do not have a free hand to conduct it in accordance with their normal inclinations. with the Brotherhood or that we may not on occasion be able to turn favourable opportunities or individuals to our advantage’. Further evidence can be found in a State Department telegram dated 12 April 1955 which stated that the Voice of Free Egypt was operating on a frequency ‘within the normal range of the new Baghdad transmitter’ and observed that during the clandestine broadcasts. … In view of the nature of the material being broadcast. possibly with British involvement. even clandestine. Eastern Department noted that ‘We have no particular tasks that we would wish to entrust to them for the moment’. Chapman Andrews remained mildly sceptical.22 Considering this link to the Brotherhood.21 The most plausible explanation is that the Voice of Free Egypt was an Egyptian opposition group operating under the covert guidance of the Iraqi Government.23 Evidence linking the Voice of Free Egypt to Britain and Iraq is patchy although suspicions that Iraq was behind the broadcasts were expressed in a number of State Department assessments. but agreed that ‘occasions may be found to turn favourable opportunities or individuals to our advantage’.‘The Last Trump’ 197 controlled.26 .

purporting to be the work of the station’s ‘political commentator’ were in fact written by King Hussein himself and British officials were sufficiently impressed to arrange for them to be rebroadcast over Sharq al-Adna. has contemplated the setting up of a new radio which it calls ‘the Arab Radio Station’. an obedient tool’. that had sold out to the ‘primitive tribal party’ of the Saudis. declared (according to a rather clumsy translation) that We in Jordan are most anxious to keep unity of Arab front. Younis Bahri. now that it has been proved to it that people have turned away from its foreign Arabic transmissions [Sharq al-Adna] after the exposure of their real position. observing that imperialism. The first. These commentaries.27 Egyptian listeners were quick to detect a British hand at work. Bahri made his first broadcasts on 25 January 1956 but his rather crude brand of propaganda did not prove to be a spectacular success. … What is painful is that we have not found response for this desire for unity in some sister [States]. a second broadcast accused Saudi Arabia of ‘buying consciences’ and ‘wanting the Arabs to remain divided in groups so that it could squander the money of the Arabs on debauchery’. His habit of shouting ‘Hayyal ’Arab’ . ‘Radio Ramallah’ (or ‘the Arab Radio Station’) was launched in January 1956 in the aftermath of the riots provoked by clumsy British efforts to pressure Jordan into joining the Baghdad Pact. To our strong desire for unity these have not replied by deeds and words full of understanding of the meaning of unity.198 The Failure of American and British Propaganda The operators of a Jordanian anti-Egyptian radio programme can be identified with a little more certainty. broadcast on 9 January.28 Radio Ramallah’s chief announcer. … Is it not strange that we should be made aware only of the wickedness of our enemies but be obliged to take precautions against the intrigues of relatives and sisters? The time has come when silence concerning these sinister deeds is a dangerous crime not only against Jordan but the whole Arab nation. was a professional Iraqi propagandist who had been denounced as the ‘Arab Lord HawHaw’ during the Second World War. Egypt was condemned as a ‘stooge. The following day. Radio Ramallah was an Anglo-Jordanian attempt to counter Egyptian and Saudi propaganda and its broadcasts forcefully asserted Jordanian independence in the face of Egyptian and Saudi intrigue. Two early commentaries illustrate this approach. Cairo Radio linked the Jordanian station directly to Sharq al-Adna.

Richard Parker reported that a hearty rendition of ‘Hayyal ’Arab’ at a Jordanian social gathering was a sure way to produce a laugh amongst one’s fellow guests. conditions were ripe for the formulation of the Anglo-American OMEGA plan. ‘we do not want your poisoned assistance’. leaving half the country an easy victim for the Jews? Was it not the Egyptian Army which evacuated the cities of Bethlehem and Hebron and left them without any protection? Had it not been for the forces of the Arab Legion. At the beginning of March. perhaps the British Embassy.‘The Last Trump’ 199 (‘Hail.31 Such thoughts found a receptive audience in Washington and by the end of the month the State Department had committed itself to an anti-Egyptian policy that necessitated a major revision of USIA’s aims and methods. The US Embassy drew attention to one pamphlet that played upon the idea the idea that Egypt had betrayed the Arabs in their fight against Zionism. the Arab Legion. they would have fallen into the hands of the Jews and would have been lost with the Negeb. . Where was the Egyptian Army which marched through the country and reached Jerusalem leaving behind it all Jewish posts and aimed only at reaching Jerusalem to win a campaign of propaganda and display the Egyptian flag there? Was it not the Egyptian Army which withdrew. offered little in the way of practical propaganda proposals. Instead. and a few “loyalists” in government wants Bahri to continue his campaign’. Indeed. ‘Leave Jordan alone’.29 The Arab Legion also contributed to the anti-Egyptian campaign. Dulles. however. Dulles informed Eisenhower that the time had come to ‘let Colonel Nasser realise that he cannot co-operate as he is doing with the Soviet Union and at the same time enjoy most-favored-nation status from the United States’. Arabs’) into the microphone at every available opportunity was intended to lend the station a veneer of pan-Arab credibility. Parker dismissed Bahri’s ‘crude collection of stale tricks’ as having achieved little more than the irritation of the few Jordanians who listened to him and the provocation of a minor Jordanian Cabinet crisis. it became an object of derision.30 By the spring of 1956. Eisenhower received a letter from Eden arguing that ‘a policy of appeasement will bring us nothing in Egypt’ and that ‘our best chance is to show that it pays to be our friends’. Before long. Parker was reporting that ‘no one outside the King. From the US Embassy in Amman. ‘Where were you in 1948?’ it asked. his immediate circle. as a result of jealousy and greediness. On 28 March. Arab Legion propagandists demanded.

Syria and Jordan. With the acceptance of a clearer anti-Nasser policy in March. USIA had been moving in an antiEgyptian direction for some months. e. Damon outlined USIA’s contribution to the new approach. such as: a. c. will push stories and pictures about Iraq. d. b. The Aswan Dam is being given the deep freeze treatment by the VOA and Press Service. recalled that ‘since January 1956 … the Information Service has taken steps to cut back on materials that enhance the prestige of Nasser’ with an eye to ‘playing down’ Nasser and ‘playing up’ Iraq.200 The Failure of American and British Propaganda other than to recommend that ‘expanded radio facilities … be offered to Iraq to counter Egyptian broadcasts’ and that plans be made ‘for making facilities available to other countries for interference by jamming of hostile Egyptian broadcasts’. which concentrates on Arab translations of standard American works. This is already resulting in important shifts in our content.33 . he reported that USIA media chiefs have been briefed on the need to avoid use of materials that enhance the prestige of Nasser and of Egypt. Radio and press stories that might possibly tend to build up respect for the RCC program are being avoided. Baghdad and Jordan.32 In fact. review materials and publishing in Beirut. Huntington Damon. particularly Iraq’ and adopting a number of measures to enhance the prestige of Egypt’s traditional rival for Arab leadership. Damon confirmed that USIA was increasing its ‘efforts to build up the prestige of other Arab countries. …h. Stories on Egypt’s land reform program which formerly were given wide press coverage will now be avoided. Specifically. (c) The News Review … will carry more material on Iraq and Libya. The Franklin Book Publishing Company. USIA’s Assistant Director for the Near East. A Twentieth Century Fox feature on Nasser has been considerably toned down. including: (a) Our regional correspondent will spend as much as half his time in Iraq producing stories on economic development. This sequence has now been dropped. has been asked to cut down on publishing in Egypt and to have a representative who will develop translations. A movie sequence showing Nasser reviewing troops had been prepared for an area newsreel. where possible without United States attribution. (b) Lebanon.

For the State Department. rather than the immediate destabilisation of Nasser’s regime. in which a ‘sustained effort to detach Saudi Arabia from the Egyptian orbit and to bolster the position of the West in Saudi Arabia’ would be made. the paragraph outlining the covert propaganda plans to accompany this policy remains classified. During phase one. including both its army and economy. a second phase would begin.36 Perhaps the key aspect of OMEGA.35 These measures would be relatively unobtrusive and would not be apparent to the Egyptian public. It is doubtful that Anthony Eden interpreted the plan in quite the same way. Nasser would receive ample warning of the consequences of his current policies in time to reverse them and reestablish relations with the West. Unfortunately.34 On the same day that Dulles’s OMEGA memorandum was presented to Eisenhower. a State . (c) Inherent weaknesses of Egypt. the first objective was to bring Nasser back to a policy of co-operation on the West’s terms. In May. (d) Egypt’s part in opening the Middle East to Communism. If required. It was during this stage that facilities were to be provided to friendly Arab governments to enable them to jam Egyptian radio. American officials were well aware of the possibility that a more extreme British interpretation of OMEGA might arise. unless disclosed by the Egyptian Government. (b) Existence of a police state in Egypt. but to leave room for him to mend his ways and return to the fold. Themes to be stressed included: (a) Danger of Nasser’s imperialism and threat to the Saudi Arabian throne. This paper envisaged OMEGA as a three-phase plan. an all-out campaign of political warfare against Nasser. and that the ‘possibility of offering to Iraq expanded radio facilities to counter Egyptian broadcasts should be studied’.‘The Last Trump’ 201 USIA asked its officers in Lebanon. the State Department’s Near East desk produced a more detailed analysis of the policy and its propaganda implications. Nasser was to receive a clear warning that he was in danger of earning the hostility of the West. was its flexibility. but we can get some idea of the nature of the State Department’s thinking from the propaganda support for phase three of OMEGA. Syria and Jordan to ‘paint a picture of an Iraq emerging as a progressive and forward-looking modern state drawing on Western technological skills to increase benefits to its people’. at least as far as the Americans were concerned.

having at last succeeded Churchill as Prime Minister.202 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Department planning report by Robert Bowie argued that Britain was ‘prepared to risk drastic and even desperate action’ to protect its interests and identified an important division between the British and American governments in relation to the implementation of OMEGA. it would have to begin broadcasting on the more popular and accessible medium wave. British policy in the spring of 1956 reflected this more radical interpretation. In 1956 the Arabic Service was still restricted to short wave broadcasts and it had long been recognised that if the BBC were to compete with Egyptian. it might be possible to install a member of the Egyptian royal family or to return Nasser’s rival. however. At an Operations Co-ordinating Board (OCB) meeting on 11 April. In May. work began on plans to provide the BBC with a high-powered medium wave relay transmitter on Cyprus. especially as the Americans were proving slow to implement their own broadcasting plans.38 Lloyd told Aldrich of a number of British projects. remained ‘strongly of the opinion that the West can reach no accommodation with Nasser’. On 22 March. Eden ordered an enquiry into the state of British broadcasting in the Middle East and swiftly received a report from his Private Office identifying four main projects. to power. was impatient to put Britain’s radio propaganda facilities to work against Nasser. Syrian and Saudi stations. including a ‘frontal attack’ on Nasser and the use of Iraqi troops backed covertly by Turkey and Israel in the execution of a coup d’état in Syria.41 British projects were further advanced. To that end.42 The first involved the resurrection of long-delayed plans to develop the BBC’s ability to broadcast its Arabic Service on medium wave. State. meanwhile. the Departments of Defense.40 A fortnight later.43 A second project arose from the necessity .37 Unsurprisingly. The American position was that if Nasser showed a disposition to modify his own policies. Lloyd suggested that as far as the future government of Egypt was concerned. the OCB reported that ‘it had not been possible to work out such arrangements and that no further action was being taken at this time’. ‘we are prepared to explore the bases for a lasting accommodation with him’. Ambassador Winthrop Aldrich reported a conversation with Selwyn Lloyd which appears to support the claim later made by Wilbur Eveland that the British were planning a series of covert operations against Egypt and Syria. the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and USIA had agreed to ‘examine as a matter of urgency the possibility of providing on a short-term basis radio transmitting equipment for use in countering the Voice of the Arabs emanating from Cairo’.39 Eden. The British. Mohamed Naguib.

Eden argued that ‘The advantage of VHF is quickness and cheapness. Stephenson looked forward to ‘an all-Pact-country simultaneous hook-up’ with Iraq acting as the ‘organizing centre’ for .’ The Prime Minister also betrayed his lack of confidence in the BBC. ‘We have … approved a Colonial Development and Welfare scheme for two new transmitters’. her influence in the Middle East and her enhanced status in world affairs’. however.49 He was particularly keen to connect Iraq’s propaganda effort to the public relations services of the Baghdad Pact and its Counter-Subversion Committee. this station is still not operating. the VHF project remained a priority and Jack Rennie visited the Persian Gulf in June 1956 to assess the progress being made. Selwyn Lloyd informed Eden that he had despatched Donald Stephenson. At this stage.‘The Last Trump’ 203 of countering Egyptian propaganda in the Arabian Peninsula. Eden enthusiastically endorsed the plan on 15 May. administrative and programming’ issues. Eden was impatient to see results.48 Stephenson saw himself as facilitating the projection of ‘Iraq’s internal achievements. British plans had been rather overtaken by events. Colonial Secretary. by which time. and the Treasury agreed to fund a ‘pilot’ VHF radio scheme in Kuwait. ‘these should be in operation not later than mid-1957. Alan Lennox-Boyd intervened.’44 Convinced that time was of the essence. … I do not see how we can rely on the BBC for this’. Iraq. and the second not until the end of August. he informed Eden. organism’. fruitful and in case of need strategically powerful. when we agreed to give first priority to a broadcasting station for Iraq. he argued. The Foreign Office wished to provide Kuwait and the Aden Protectorate with VHF broadcasting facilities.46 Again. arguing that while ‘the provision of vigorous material is needed. to Baghdad ‘to draw up suitable programme and technical plans for the operation of their service and he is already in Baghdad’. How much will new medium and short wave transmitters for Aden cost? In any event. In May 1956. mutually helpful. Lennox-Boyd saw few advantages in the VHF scheme. was the natural leader of any campaign to project the Pact ‘as a sensible.50 Ultimately. preferring a plan to establish relay transmitters for Sharq al-Adna and BBC broadcasts. a senior BBC official. complaining that ‘It is sad and disappointing that although it is eighteen months since I was in Baghdad.45 Despite Colonial Office stalling.’47 Optimistic estimates stated that only one of the four transmitters that the Marconi company was supplying to Iraq would be operational by mid-July. of course. workable. The third project concerned the strengthening of Radio Baghdad where the British were already providing assistance on ‘technical. we cannot wait for another year before they begin to operate.

… Such indigenous voices in this area could prove to be most advantageous to the cause of the West. I think that means the difference between something good and having us kid ourselves’. Robert Payne suggested that USIA consider using American membership of the Baghdad Pact Counter-Subversion Committee to effect coordinated anti-Communist-pro-Pact propaganda campaign through all media in all member Middle East countries. argued MacKnight. State Department scepticism stifled this initiative. The fourth British project. ‘over now to Ankara. however.g. propaganda capabilities.51 Ideas circulating in Washington were remarkably similar. He went so far as to imagine the content of such broadcasts. guardian of the Straits’). That should be our number one objective’. It may be harder to do. ‘is getting each of the participating countries to do their own job.54 While the State Department pondered its options.204 The Failure of American and British Propaganda ‘contributions from each of the Pact broadcasting organisations’. was the development of clandestine broadcasting facilities. did express concern that ‘the United States is going to miss the boat in terms of getting someone inside … on a permanent basis. suggesting they might consist of Mainly music (which is the only light-entertainment element common to all nations) but linking narrative in all languages to have a strong ‘pep’ content (e. MacKnight. the British were able to run far ahead of the Americans in terms of the implementation of plans to develop Iraq’s. When USIS staff in Baghdad enquired about the possibilities of providing assistance to Iraqi radio in May 1956. and the Baghdad Pact’s.53 In the event. but it will be theirs and not just another United States operation. Philip de . capital of a population of _____ million virile workers and soldiers. the State Department’s Jesse MacKnight observed that although USIA was ‘collaborating with other US Agencies in planning for creating area-wide radio capability’ he did not believe that the present quality of Iraqi radio was sufficient to allow it to compete with Egyptian broadcasts. At the end of May.52 From Tehran. it was simply that the British plans were further advanced. ‘What we need to be putting our mind to’. and the firmest evidence that Eden was already preparing for an all-out propaganda assault.

Lebanon.57 Such themes were similar to those envisaged by State Department planners during the third phase of OMEGA and ran far ahead of mainstream opinion in the Foreign Office. Nasser still has the power to cause us great embarrassment.56 While the acquisition of Arab staff remained a problem. It should be ready to operate in a few weeks’. The Services are cooperating fully (we have obtained from them equipment and supplies with a book value of £60. reported that the main black radio project in the region was a ‘medium wave station located in Cyprus to serve the whole Middle East. … The Foreign Office think that Nasser has the power to do us worse damage if he decided to throw off all restraint.59 In the spring of 1956. approval for the present regime in Egypt.K. signs of the two-tier policy-making structure that was to blight Britain’s handling of the Suez Crisis were . Transmitters capable of laying down a signal in Aden. Iraq and the Gulf should be ready to operate in a matter of weeks. Saudi Arabia. In a policy summary for the Prime Minister. Guy Millard. therefore.58 Clearly. Criticism should be limited to specific and factual causes for complaint affecting British interests’. the Foreign Office do not believe it is wise to challenge Nasser to a contest by a direct attack on his regime and policies. Syria. Guidance issued to information officers instructed them to ‘avoid indicating U. but refrain from general attacks on the Egyptian Government. A ‘Note on British Propaganda and Egypt’ declared that ‘the case which we would like to establish against Nasser is that he is pursuing a policy of Arab imperialism and neglecting the true interests of his own and other Arab peoples’. the Foreign Office still hoped that a propaganda war with Egypt could be avoided and that Nasser could be ‘encouraged’ to behave himself before the West embarked on a policy that would alienate him completely. another member of Eden’s private staff. there were also concerns about the message to be broadcast. Egypt. Millard noted that Rightly or wrongly. In that sense. … Until we can stabilise the situation in countries like Jordan and Libya. Jordan.‘The Last Trump’ 205 Zulueta informed Eden that Work is being carried out on two sites in Cyprus.000). the Foreign Office’s position was closer to the State Department than the British Prime Minister.55 Towards the end of June.

OMEGA was being undermined.60 In May 1956. saw OMEGA as the means to launch an immediate campaign of political warfare against Nasser. almost before it had begun. there have been a number of revisionist efforts to rehabilitate Eden’s handling of the Suez Crisis and to suggest that the Prime Minister genuinely sought a peaceful solution before concluding.62 The analysis of British propaganda. but out of step with his own Foreign Office. reluctantly. Adams noted that We have a fairly good machine for handling publicity in the Middle East region but we have extraordinarily little fresh material on which to work. however. on the other hand. Nevertheless. the Foreign Office remained committed to a cautious information policy that left room for the rehabilitation of AngloEgyptian relations and which saw OMEGA as a flexible. The tensions inherent in this fractured policy-making system contributed to the collapse of the joint Anglo-American policy in the second half of 1956. The ‘Last Battle’ mentality of senior officials combined with institutional flaws in the policy-making machine to render the effective handling of psychological operations during the Suez Crisis a practical impossibility. that Nasser’s obduracy made recourse to military action unavoidable. Eden. long-term project. The restructuring of the British propaganda instrument . By this I mean that we seem to have the means of making HMG’s policy known but that we are ourselves largely in the dark as to what it is. A melancholy observation made by Philip Adams from the Regional Information Office (RIO) Beirut is illuminating in this respect. British propaganda and the Suez crisis Scott Lucas’ observation that British policy making during the Suez Crisis displayed an alarming vulnerability to ‘intrigue and mishap … confusion and “maverick” activity’ that produced ‘not one but several contradictory foreign policies’61 provides us with an important explanation for the failure of British propaganda. Writing in April 1956. The fact that propaganda policy was increasingly being driven by Number 10 rather than the official information services is testimony to the fact that Eden was not only well ahead of the Americans in his desire to see Nasser destroyed. suggests that Eden and his inner circle were seeking Nasser’s overthrow well before July 1956 and that they saw the Suez Crisis as an opportunity to bring this about using military force if necessary.206 The Failure of American and British Propaganda already very much in evidence.

in particular. take priority over anti-Communism.64 The creation of ICE was the logical culmination of Eden’s interpretation of OMEGA.63 Ivone Kirkpatrick informed overseas posts of ICE’s existence on 21 August. Douglas Dodds-Parker. a former SOE agent. As Tony Shaw points out in his account of Eden’s Suez propaganda. in IRD. that we should aim at diminishing Egyptian political and propaganda influence in the area. … Information Research Department has been given a new charter to include anti-subversive work in general in the field of propaganda and publicity. It might be necessary at a later stage to ask the Committee to consider whether more funds should be made available to carry out an intensive campaign. and. It has been arranged that Jack Rennie will. Jack Rennie. this bellicose mood had been reinforced by the prominence of Special Operations Executive (SOE) and Political Warfare Executive (PWE) veterans in the political warfare bureaucracy. in any other light. On 13 April 1956. and. until further notice. this work in the Middle East will.‘The Last Trump’ 207 does not make sense away from the context of preparations for military operations.65 That Nasser now registered higher on IRD’s Middle Eastern target list than the Soviets was confirmed by a note of May 1956 informing Middle Eastern posts that The broad decision has been taken that we should counter subversion in the Middle East from whatever source it may come. as an immediate objective. and that Norman Reddaway will take over the day-to-day running of IRD. stating that ‘for purposes of cover and administration ICE will form part of IRD’. at the Cabinet’s Official Committee on the Middle East. effectively a ‘political warfare executive’. devote himself to the subject. the nature of IRD’s work in the Middle East had been radically changed.66 By the time of the Suez Crisis. Evelyn Shuckburgh had pointed out that The Head of the Information Research Department in the Foreign Office has been given a specific brief to counter Egyptian propaganda. chaired an inter-departmental . It is difficult to explain the Egypt Committee’s creation of the Information Co-ordination Executive (ICE) under the Information Research Department (IRD) chief. British psychological objectives essentially boiled down to a bid ‘to persuade domestic and international opinion of the justification of the use of force against Egypt’. Well before the Suez Crisis.

as seems likely. which began broadcasting within 48 hours of the nationalisation of the Canal Company.73 Much of the confusion regarding black radio operations during the crisis stems from the fact that a number of clandestine stations were operating under similar names.5 kW and broadcast approximately one hour of spoken material at peak times to listeners across the Arab world. Another significant change to the British propaganda instrument came when the clandestine radio stations became operational. Jackson) were both seconded to the Arab News Agency in Cairo where their activities promptly led to the closure of the Agency’s Cairo office and the arrest or expulsion of its staff. Ralph Murray. who confessed to having no qualifications for the post of Director of Psychological Warfare other than the fact that he was available at the time. but he remained ‘on call’ throughout 1956 and visited Cyprus in November to investigate the feasibility of ongoing ‘black’ operations against Nasser.70 With ICE up and running by mid-August.D. Murray was assigned to Cyprus as a psychological warfare advisor to General Keightley.67 When the Suez Crisis broke.75 American . has often been identified as British. had been called to London in April 1956 to oversee the black elements of the OMEGA programme. British stations operated under the names the ‘Voice of Free Egypt’ and the ‘Free Egyptian Broadcasting Station’. operated on two transmitters with a total power of 12. a PWE veteran and the founding head of IRD. In conversation with Dulles at on 21 September. ‘Free Egypt’ or ‘Free Egyptian’ monikers were standard fare in the anti-Nasser black radio business in the 1950s and if.71 Unsurprisingly.74 This station. Keightley made it clear in his report on the Suez campaign that he had hoped to recruit a Second World War psychological warfare veteran but settled in the end upon Brigadier Bernard Fergusson.69 Delmer was among those expelled. the next task was the creation of a psychological warfare unit to be attached to the military forces preparing for operations against Egypt. SCANT. his psychological warfare unit failed to distinguish itself during the Suez campaign. reinforced the wartime spirit. Selwyn Lloyd admitted that Britain was operating ‘two secret radio stations with which we could attack Nasser outright’.208 The Failure of American and British Propaganda advisory committee on propaganda in the Middle East and the attendance of his former SOE chief. Sir Charles Hambro.68 William Stevenson (SOE’s representative in the US in 1940) and Sefton Delmer (a PWE veteran whose mastery of the propagandist’s ‘black arts’ made a lasting impression upon C. with Stephen Dorril claiming that the idea that it was French stemmed from IRD’s ‘mischievous corroboration’ of a mistaken Egyptian report.72 One of these. they are easily confused with a similarly named French station.

The Voice of Justice run by the Americans in 1958 may well have been related to the station responsible for the 1956 broadcasts.80 It seems most likely that the 1956 Voice of Justice was a British station and USIA linked it directly to Sharq al-Adna . This station was more restrained than the French broadcasts. were operating in late 1955 and early 195679). they concluded. ‘formerly used by the British for gray broadcasts beamed at Syria and Egypt posing as the Voice of Truth’. Pointing to the revelation by David Wise and Thomas B. however. but that does not necessarily mean that CIA agents were the original operators. In the aftermath of the Iraq coup in July 1958. an argument which raises the interesting possibility of joint Anglo-French clandestine radio operations.77 It is probable that a British ‘Free Egypt’ radio operation was run (perhaps from Aden) during the crisis. which can be identified much more clearly as a British intelligence operation.76 This has not stopped Richard Aldrich from suggesting that the station could still have been connected to a British campaign. its style and content being more closely related to a third station. Rawnsley concludes that the 1956 Voice of Justice was probably an American operation.‘The Last Trump’ 209 intelligence officials. US monitors were listening to the ‘Voice of Free Egypt’. Selwyn Lloyd had decided that four short wave transmitters.78 Although the Americans were probably conducting black propaganda against Nasser (Mohamed Heikal has claimed that clandestine American stations directed against Egypt. According to a July 1958 OCB report. By December. the ‘Voice of Justice’. including one based on Rhodes. were now surplus to requirements and that the Americans might make use of them. Ross that these 1958 broadcasts were run by the CIA and the Agency’s later admission that it had been ‘responsible for several black anti-Nasser propaganda stations’. Rawnsley has suggested that the Voice of Justice was a CIA operation. only to re-emerge in 1958. little direct evidence has emerged regarding American anti-Nasser radio stations during the Suez Crisis. the British and US Governments negotiated the handover of a number of clandestine radio facilities on Cyprus. ‘Technical evidence and analysis of the material broadcast’. a station they regarded as distinct from the French ‘Free Egyptian Broadcasting Station’. claiming that a station under that name was first monitored in early 1956 but quickly disappeared from the airwaves. suggested that the broadcasts originated from ‘a Radio Diffusion Francaise transmitter located some fifty miles southest [sic] of Tours near the villages of Issoudun and Allouis’. identified the station as French in late August. The OCB concluded that ‘some or all of these transmitters can be reactivated for such gray and black broadcasts as may be jointly desired’.

was forced to make a public apology.’81 While USIA staff underestimated the scale of the British clandestine programme. promising that greater efforts to accommodate the Egyptian point of view would be made in future. knowing that they. Sir Ian Jacob condemned it as amateurish. the Managing Director of the station.87 It might be thought that the creation of the ICE would have led to the creation of a more efficient propaganda instrument. ‘If this had happened before the British Government had adopted a position of open hostility to Egypt. Sharq’s value had been declining throughout 1955. rather than the French. At the same time it was given the impossible task of pretending to be an Arab station while still broadcasting material favourable to the British cause.82 As Partner points out. Nasser launched a major propaganda attack on Sharq and cut off its supply of Egyptian musicians and entertainers. what was likely to happen when Sharq al-Adna was ordered to carry out “offensive propaganda?” ’83 By October 1956.85 When Sharq was requisitioned at the end of October. the secret got out while the control became ineffective. USIA intelligence staff concluded that ‘It is possible that the British. In October 1955. Another shift in British broadcasting strategy came at the end of October 1956 when the Government formally requisitioned the facilities of Sharq al-Adna.86 while the Foreign Office received numerous reports that Arab listeners regarded it as ‘a very poor substitute’ for Sharq and ‘not worth listening to’. were being blamed for the broadcasts of the first station decided that they might as well institute programming of their own. among the most heavily criticised of Britain’s propaganda initiatives during the entire crisis. Ralph Poston. its regular broadcasts were replaced by those of the Voice of Britain.84 The Foreign Office’s Paul Grey later recalled that Sharq … failed because. as the station found it increasingly difficult to maintain its nationalist credentials while pursuing an anti-Nasser agenda. although it was supposed to be secretly under our control. In fact. BBC officials had concluded that it was no longer possible ‘to justify Sharq on political or anti-Communist grounds’.210 The Failure of American and British Propaganda when alert monitors recognised the voices of two announcers after a microphone was inadvertently left open during a test transmission on 18 September. they had stumbled across the most likely source of the Voice of Justice broadcasts. this does not appear to have been the case. The main reason for this lay in the manner in which control of British policy was kept in the hands of a .

and incidentally be prevented from being left too far out on a limb. Dodds-Parker was later to recall that his Committee had suffered from the fact that ‘no guidance and little information reached us. to enable us to formulate worthwhile proposals’ although his suggestion that the Committee was deliberately kept in the dark to ensure that no clandestine operations against Nasser were put into practice is difficult to accept. it seems doubtful that the ICE could possible have had time to prepare for such a radical shift in policy. Lloyd’s memorandum addressed this very point. it is important that all the organs of propaganda should have as long notice as possible.89 The fact that the Committee believed the most likely shift in policy would be dealing with the standing down of military forces rather than their imminent deployment. for propaganda to be used to help solve an awkward problem. signed the infamous Sèvres Protocol.‘The Last Trump’ 211 closed circle around the Prime Minister. with the full knowledge of Selwyn Lloyd (whose Private Secretary. with the beginning of hostilities so near. Not only must propaganda agencies be given a chance to prepare the ground for any such change. a memorandum was issued under Lloyd’s name on behalf of Dodds-Parker’s Advisory Committee. Considering the possibility of a ‘new phase’ in British policy. Ministerial statements formed the foundation of the overt information strategy. If at any time the decision is taken to use force the position will change and immediate tactical needs will be paramount rather than long-term strategy’. On 24 October. Ironically. accompanied Dean). Donald Logan. stressing the Advisory Committee’s plea that it be kept informed of policy and events. British propagandists were consistent in their efforts to promote an anti-Egyptian message in the Middle East throughout the crisis and its aftermath. shows exactly how far ‘out on a limb’ it was. given sufficient advance notice. The memorandum was based on the assumption that there would be ‘a prolonged period of negotiation and/or political and economic pressure on Nasser. Lloyd noted that Where such a move is contemplated. Major statements by Eden and Lloyd in the opening weeks of the crisis were designed to put Britain’s case across to world opinion and they established the key themes of British overt propaganda in the Middle East. but it may sometimes be possible.88 This assumption was about to be made startlingly obsolete and. The idea was to . the same day that Patrick Dean.90 Despite these structural flaws.

Eden now declared that ‘our quarrel is not with Egypt.212 The Failure of American and British Propaganda present the British position as the epitome of fairness and reason while portraying Nasser’s actions as illegitimate and reckless.93 By the time of Eden’s television broadcast of 8 August. not merely of British interests. The Foreign Office suggested naming Asian countries such as India. a theme that emerged clearly in Eden’s parliamentary statements of 27 July and 2 August.94 Much has been made of the British attempt to cloak the events of 1956 in the rhetorical garb of the 1930s. and draw attention to Nasser’s threat to imprison the former employees of the Canal Company if they refused to work for the Egyptian regime. strengthened the comparison of Nasser with Hitler. only too well. Ceylon and Pakistan as examples of the nations whose interests Britain was working to protect. he has no warlike . Eden pronounced with an air of solemn foreboding. ‘One can have no confidence’. he preferred to equate the Egyptian leader with Mussolini. And we all remember. ‘We all know’. He has shown that he is not a man who can be trusted to keep an agreement. in his memoirs. ‘that this is how Fascist governments behave. It is with Colonel Nasser. in that it did not represent the wishes of the Egyptian people was pursued to an extreme conclusion. accusing him of tearing up agreements. ‘in a man who does that’. The information services immediately set to work plugging these themes. what the cost can be of giving in to Fascism’. declared the Prime Minister.92 Guidance issued on 30 July instructed information officers that they should ‘make full use of the Prime Minister’s statement to the Commons … and any future statements’. still less with the Arab world.91 The nub of the argument was that the canal was of too great importance to too many powers to be left in the hands of a man who could not be trusted to manage it responsibly. A major early objective was to legitimise Britain’s quarrel with Nasser by presenting it as being in defence.’ The implication that Nasser’s Government was illegitimate. the Prime Minister’s rhetoric had noticeably sharpened. and the BBC broadcasts of Eden and Selwyn Lloyd delivered on 8 and 11 August respectively. Eden. but of the interests of the international community as a whole. Eden attacked Nasser personally. accusing the Egyptian President of creating ‘concentration camps’ and of distributing Mein Kampf to his army officers. The London Press Service had begun to transmit initial British press reaction within hours of the announcement of nationalisation.95 During the crisis itself. On 2 August. exploit Nasser’s claim that the Canal was an ‘Egyptian asset’. writing to Eisenhower on 5 August to observe that ‘I have never thought Nasser a Hitler.

in response to a suggestion that Nasser’s actions in dealing with the Soviet Union might be compared with Hitler’s pact with the Soviets in 1939.99 Americans observers viewed things similarly and the National Security Council (NSC) staff noted that the British were ‘deeply concerned at how they could square … a compromise with the strong positions their Government has taken publicly’. Propaganda directed at the US.’97 Lloyd’s broadcast of 14 August linked the appeasement analogy to the familiar theme of Nasser’s irresponsibility. however.98 Statements of this kind. General Neguib.100 Another flaw in Britain’s early crisis propaganda was the manner in which the ‘appeasement’ theme tended to inflate Nasser’s stature. it was not a good idea to stress European dependence on the Canal. He can change his mind overnight. He removed his own leader. He can denounce an international agreement or imprison a British subject according to his mood of the moment. we should whenever possible try not to name Nasser in order to avoid building him up.’96 The Information Policy Department (IPD) also made it clear. He now rules supreme. was unlikely to be suitable for the Arab states. Duke considered that for Arab audiences. As the crisis wore on. He played a leading part in overthrowing the Egyptian monarchy by a military coup. John Drew (the Director of Forward Plans responsible for military deception at the Ministry of Defence) pointed out that the bellicosity of early ministerial statements made it difficult to present any future settlement as anything other than a British climb-down. a fact pointed out by Ambassador Duke in Jordan. but the parallel with Mussolini is close. seriously reduced the Government’s room for manoeuvre. for example. It was not until January 1957 that the Dodds-Parker’s Advisory Committee belatedly concluded that ‘We must avoid personal abuse and in particular any comparison with Hitler. by similar methods. The first theme might well appeal to American officials concerned with NATO and Western European . He maintains himself in power by methods so well known to us from what happened in certain countries in the inter-war years.‘The Last Trump’ 213 people behind him.’101 Further difficulties stemmed from early efforts to formulate a ‘one size fits all’ message for a worldwide audience. arguing that We have to remember that the present ruler of Egypt is a military dictator. that ‘In general we prefer to link Nasser with Mussolini and the jackals rather than Hitler and the wolves. nor did he think it wise to claim that the Egyptians would prove incompetent managers of the Canal.

From an international point of view this is clearly not acceptable.103 The key objectives were to refute the accusation that Britain’s motivations were ‘imperialist’. Egyptian nationalisation of the Canal would.214 The Failure of American and British Propaganda defence. Indeed. therefore. under the international scheme promoted by them. (iv) In the long run. no financial good will accrue to Egypt from nationalisation. there is no doubt that Nasser will then try to extend his influence over Saudi Arabia and its oil. Asian and Southeast Asian countries are also affected. By presenting Nasser as a tyrannical demagogue and an Egyptian imperialist. to undermine Nasser by playing upon rivalries and divisions in the Arab world and to suggest that Nasser was a ‘panArab imperialist’ who wished to impose Egyptian hegemony over the entire Middle East. (vi) The Western powers are not incensed against the Egyptian people. Undoubtedly. Egypt will receive substantial benefit. it will merely impose a further burden on her economy. . as likely as not. as is her due.102 These protests struck a chord in London and a Foreign Office meeting the following day outlined the following themes to be ‘plugged’ more heavily in the Middle East: (i) Issue is not one between Western finance and the Arab world. by laying his hands on all sources of oil in the area. (ii) Nasser is an adventurer and a small-town Mussolini. As to the idea of stressing Egyptian administrative incompetence. Duke argued that this would simply cause offence and would. Bandung. If the Arabs ‘rubber stamp’ his action they will then lose all dignity and become mere satellite powers. (vii) If the seizure of the Canal is not opposed. they wish to be friends. (iii) Nasser is not subject to Parliamentary restraint. bring the Canal under dictatorship of one man. Duke suggested instead that British propaganda should instead drive home the idea that Nasser’s coup would not achieve those benefits for the Egyptian people that he claimed. but dislikes it in others. British propagandists hoped to minimise the impact of Nasser’s appeal to the wider Arab world. but it could also give heart to Arab nationalists who would be delighted to find that Nasser had achieved such power over former colonial masters. (v) Nasser is given to taking unilateral action. be rejected outright. and the Arab countries are discrediting themselves by supporting him. Nasser hopes eventually to control the whole of the Middle East.

104 However. the Voice of Justice spoke of Iraq becoming ‘independent of the Canal and of Abd al-Nasir. the US Embassy in Cairo reported the circulation among American oil companies of a pamphlet suggesting a programme to establish an Egyptian-controlled Arab committee for the purpose of ‘exploiting all Arab oil [which] would deny oil to “enemies” and supply “friends” ’. The pamphlet was designed to look like an official Egyptian Government information leaflet. This is the pass to which Nasser’s self conceit and infantile policies have brought us all!107 Developing this theme.‘The Last Trump’ 215 Progress reports issued by the ICE reinforce these impressions. the Egyptian people. One SCANT broadcast announced that In his eagerness to prove that the Canal was indispensable to the Western nations. in one case. In September 1956. US officials recognised the pamphlet as ‘black propaganda’ but failed to identify its source. It was proposed that officials watch for signs of price rises in Egypt which could be presented as evidence of the malign impact of Nasser’s policies on the Egyptian ‘man in the street’. these reports also cast light upon the clandestine propaganda campaign waged against Nasser. an ICE progress report conclusively identifies this pamphlet as part of a British clandestine campaign.000 a month! In other words.106 Variations on these themes made up a significant proportion of the output of the black radio stations. … Egypt has been losing money fast owing to the diversion of shipping from the Canal and the refusal of the majority of Canal users to pay shipping dues to Nasser’s authority. will fall to the ridiculous figure of about £120. Nasser forgot that it was also indispensable to Egypt. They will extend a new .105 ICE reports also demonstrate the importance of economic propaganda in the anti-Nasser campaign.5 million a month.2 million a month to maintain. far from receiving any benefits from the Canal. The report noted the existence of a project to copy official Egyptian publications and. incorporate an amended passage designed to suggest that the Egyptians intended to seize control of the entire Middle Eastern oil trade. its authors having taken an existing Egyptian publication on the subject of American oil exploration in Egypt and simply inserted their own ‘oil grab’ theme. will be paying well over 1.5 million pounds a month for a useless asset! O Brothers! Nasser’s Canal venture costs the people 1. … Egypt’s receipts from an international waterway which costs some £E. Efforts to undermine confidence in Egypt’s financial credit and prospects of capital development were also made. Confirming the British emphasis upon the theme of ‘pan-Arab imperialism’.

and Uganda. All . wondering what Egypt’s destiny should be if either ‘Ethiopia.111 SCANT argued that if Britain were to tear up the international agreement guaranteeing Egypt’s rights to Nile waters. a plot to bring Suez Canal traffic to a standstill. utterly and completely and her people would die of starvation. particularly once the initial international shock at the act of nationalisation had died away. Ministry of Transport plans explained how On and after September 15th sufficient ships should be routed to Suez and Port Said to cause serious congestion at entrances to Canal well beyond the capacity of remaining force of pilots to clear. the Voice of Justice broadcast upon this very theme. The Voice of Justice claimed that Nasser’s leadership had brought severe medical shortages and that Egyptian hospitals were being forced to rely on Soviet drugs of ‘inferior quality’. This will make the Iraqi people prosperous while Egyptians will lose 3 million pounds every year. and the cotton crop … would wither and die … there would be no crops to feed the people! In other words Egypt would be ruined. through which the Nile passes. the Sudan.216 The Failure of American and British Propaganda pipeline from Kirkuk to Banyas in Syria to carry 16 million tons of oil yearly. this resulted ‘Operation Pileup’. There is no doubt that disaster would befall the Egyptians’.’108 This story developed from Eden’s demand that ‘immediate steps should be taken to publicise in the Middle East any projects for new pipelines to bring oil from Iran to Iraq to the eastern Mediterranean seaboard’109 and his suggestion that the clandestine stations be used to publicise material of this kind.113 The logical conclusion was that Egyptians should seek to rid themselves of ‘Abd al-Nasir and his gang. There would be no water to irrigate the land.112 The Voice of Justice issued a similar warning on 14 October. which is a British Colony.110 As well as focusing on economic themes. strongly indicating that the Prime Minister was in close contact with the station’s operators. It is necessary to stop the men who are leading you toward destruction’. covert broadcasts promoted more general scare stories. Within days. In September.114 The search for a pretext for British military intervention formed a vital part of Egypt Committee planning. The Foreign Office and Ministry of Transport put pressure on the Suez Canal Company and the International and British Chambers of Shipping to persuade canal pilots to quit their posts on 15 September. brothers. exercise their rights in respect to the Nile waters. In the meantime.

claimed that the events of 15–16 September showed that Egypt ‘has not been able to run the Canal by herself’ and that her ability to operate the Canal effectively in the future ‘remains to be seen’. … Countries concerned exercise their treaty rights to station warships at each end of the Canal. Overt propaganda dedicated itself to the maintenance of the increasingly untenable position that British actions reflected the interests and values of the international community. Ministerial statements concentrated on presenting the hostilities against Egypt as a ‘police action’ designed to keep Israeli and Egyptian troops apart. Most obvious was the need to support the official cover story. If not. UK and France would act in its name. warships might be used to lead the convoy. Harold Watkinson. The affair was a propaganda disaster for the British. Publicly. As soon as a convoy was organised demand should be made to Nasser for its free and unobstructed passage.117 The secret planning and collusion that eventually led to the military phase of the crisis left British propagandists utterly unprepared and confronted them with a set of unexpected challenges. the Minister of Transport. The London Press Service (LPS) consistently referred to the British invasion of Egypt as ‘the Arab–Israeli crisis’. since it demonstrated to the world that the Egyptians were more than capable of operating the Canal efficiently although this did not prevent the British from attempting to salvage some propaganda capital from the wreckage. Barrage of complaints to Nasser and to UK and France about unavailability of transports and unsafe conditions must be organized. If by this time international body is functioning.‘The Last Trump’ 217 offers of compromise methods of transit … must be refused as unsafe. The pretence was flimsy and both Lloyd and Eden lied to Parliament in denying collusion . denying that British action constituted aggression and absolving Britain of the charge of collusion with Israel. this should be the authority under which passage of the Canal should be organised for these ships. and IPD scoured overseas newspapers for evidence of foreign support for Britain’s position.116 Privately.115 The aim was to provoke an incident that would discredit Nasser internationally and provide justification for the use of force by Britain and France. Watkinson admitted to US diplomats that ‘the British and French have been disappointed in the Egyptian performance to date for it has belied the Suez Canal Company’s arguments that Nasser would not be able to do the job so well’. Suez Canal pilots to be placed on these ships and to be offered to ships of any nation that are held up. Egyptian pilots easily overcame Anglo-French efforts to overload the system. In the event. If not.

.119 A series of mishaps beset British radio propaganda after Sharq al-Adna was taken over by the British authorities in Cyprus and relaunched as the ‘Voice of Britain’. Ralph Poston. a problem which reached acute proportions when Sharq’s Arab staff walked out en masse on 2 November. the Voice of Britain and Fergusson’s sickly psychological warfare outfit took on the task of undermining Egyptian military and civilian morale. described by Fergusson himself as ‘ludicrously bad’. At times the psychological warfare campaign. watched as the Voice of Britain was forced to begin relaying the BBC’s Arabic Service after all. Because of the present style of the BBC Arabic broadcasts we have not carried out our original plan to relay them on medium wave from Cyprus. possibly with some satisfaction. and Walter Monckton was reduced to pleading with the BBC to help alleviate staff shortages.122 BBC officials. We have instructed Cyprus not to carry them until further notice. the delivery mechanism for propaganda leaflets was found to be faulty and. with listeners able to detect contradictions between the BBC news bulletin broadcast at 12.123 The appearance of BBC programmes alongside material produced by government propagandists gave the Voice of Britain a decidedly twofaced appearance. Sharq’s former director.218 The Failure of American and British Propaganda with Israel.00 GMT and the Voice of Britain’s own bulletin at 15.00 GMT.124 Disgusted British MPs later questioned whether a station widely regarded as an official voice of the British Government should have been engaging in broadcasts accusing Nasser of having ‘gone mad’ and asking Egyptian listeners how they would like ‘to feel the cold steel of a British bayonet’ in their backs. The clandestine radio stations. and calling for the overthrow of Nasser.125 A second task concerned the beginning of psychological warfare in support of military operations. There was no prior agreement between us’118 was subsequently used as the key statement in official guidance aimed at ‘killing the collusion bogey’. made an unauthorised broadcast stating that the Arab staff remaining at the station were ‘no longer free agents’. seems to have come close to farce.120 This created the immediate problem of having to fill hours of broadcast time with original material. The original plan had been to use the station to relay BBC programmes but as Paul Grey noted on 3 November. The printing press in Nicosia broke down. Lloyd’s statement of 31 October that ‘It is quite wrong to state that Israel was incited to this action by Her Majesty’s Government.121 The following day.

Not only did it fail to bomb Radio Cairo off the air. With Egyptian diplomats arranging screenings of a film purporting to show large scale civilian casualties and widespread damage to Port Said. which if not exactly successful. After the September edition had been dominated by an extended article on Libyan sheep farming. British propagandists were engaged in a process of damage limitation. Perhaps the most immediate issue was the Egyptian claim of British atrocities against civilians at Port Said.130 Britain’s information services were mobilised to counter the Egyptian allegations. were at least indicative of an impressive ability to ignore the realities of the situation. Dixon stated that The enemy are sinking to the lowest depths.126 After the announcement of the ceasefire on 6 November. the Central Office of Information (COI) was ordered to respond in kind.128 the December issue appeared to have been produced in the hope that a selection of images from the recent Miss World competition would distract Arab attention from the reports emerging from Port Said. I honestly believe that this is more important that any other single thing at the moment. in numerous foreign embassies. the RAF announced that it was too busy to drop them. it damaged in transit the British radio transmitter intended to broadcast on Cairo’s frequency and when Fergusson’s ‘voice aircraft’ finally arrived in Cyprus. Paul Grey initially suggested that a foreign policy departure might serve to divert attention away from the issue but eventually conceded grumpily that ‘if no one has any bright ideas. It arranged for the production and distribution of three films: ‘The Facts about Port Said’ and ‘Report from Port Said’. The RAF was probably not Fergusson’s favourite branch of the armed services by the end of the campaign. my thesis falls to the ground’.127 Al Aalam magazine did attempt to deploy diversionary tactics of a sort.129 The Foreign Office had few illusions about the potential impact of the Port Said allegations. aided by unfriendly neutrals. The stink will last for years unless we mount a major operation in reply.‘The Last Trump’ 219 when these problems were rectified and two million leaflets produced. to portray us as barbarians and we must have some counterevidence. which aimed at newsreel and television audiences and were made with the specific intention of refuting Egyptian . it was discovered that its loudspeaker equipment had been removed during a stopover in Aden. particularly given Pierson Dixon’s warning that ‘the good name of the British Services really is involved’.

over a sequence of aerial pictures of the town. Andersson. and oil storage facilities were left undamaged or were back to normal operation within days of the cessation of military operations. was a former member of the Swedish Nazi Party who. and he personally discredited. We have not yet received a single photograph of Egyptian tanks and prisoners taken by the Israelis. as can be seen from the following ‘post-mortem’ drawn up by the British Press Section in Tehran: From the publicity viewpoint the manner in which the military operation was carried out was disastrous. … What we needed from the beginning was graphic proof of Egyptian disaster. which focused on the reasons for Britain’s actions at Suez (and which again stressed the care and precision with which the military operation in Port Said was carried out). since 1945. ‘The Facts About Port Said’. Nor have we seen one picture of Egyptian aircraft burning on the ground. the telephone communications system. had been working for the Russians before being arrested by the British authorities in Germany while masquerading as an American journalist. was a detailed refutation of Egypt’s version of events. To present our action in Egypt in its best light it was .220 The Failure of American and British Propaganda allegations of widespread death and destruction in the town. For a day or two it was enough to talk of Egyptian aircraft destroyed and tanks captured: thereafter pictures and films were needed. such as the water and sewage systems. ‘Suez in Perspective’. it was believed. unsurprisingly. The commentary cast the Egyptians in the role of ‘propagandists’ and.131 When the work of Perdon Andersson. … Once the operations had ended.’133 Official Foreign Office guidance on the ceasefire and the question of British military withdrawal attempted to foster the illusion that Britain’s objectives had been achieved and that the ‘police action’ would now be carried on under the auspices of the UN. by an Egyptian Government agency). an unrewarding task. a Swedish freelance journalist who had been sending pro-Egyptian copy to the International News Service in Cairo. it was claimed. began to gain significant publicity in Scribe magazine (produced.134 This was. claimed that Port Said’s public utilities. our main aim was clearly to show that the Egyptians had sustained a crippling and humiliating military defeat and the Soviet Union a serious political setback. the British information services embarked upon a calculated smear campaign. and a more general film.132 Foreign Office guidance telegrams went out to overseas posts with the result that the Foreign Office was able to declare that ‘Andersson’s activities and past are doubtless better known now.

we shall not. one broadcast declared that We know that the Air Force was totally ruined although it did not participate seriously in the fight against Britain. and to pass a veil over the inevitable destruction by machines of men. The officers also know that … Nasir prohibited the Army from fighting in Sinai. Arab listeners were invited to ‘judge for yourselves the extent of the Communist chaos which has beset our countries in the Middle East’. and even tried to use Egyptian atrocity stories against the Egyptian leader. We shall continue to announce all your faults and crimes’.138 Other clandestine broadcasts played on the theme of Egyptian military defeat. The Voice of Free . Syrian leaders were denounced as agents of ‘Russian imperialism’ and a broadcast of 13 January likened the Syrian trials of those arrested in the aftermath of the bungled Anglo-American coup plot (Operation ‘Straggle’) ‘to those we are accustomed to seeing in Cairo and Moscow and which are like those of the Middle Ages’. wives and brothers who were killed in Port Said because of the foolish acts of Abd al-Nasir. demanding that Egyptian ‘compatriots’ begin the fight to rescue our country from the injustice and oppression of Abd al-Nasir’s regime. the challenge of persuading Middle Eastern opinion that Suez represented a defeat for Nasser largely fell to the clandestine radio stations. In early 1957. requires us to wreak vengeance on rapacious Abd al-Nasir. The blood of our children.139 The clandestine stations were also quick with the charge that Nasser had let down the Arab world in its struggle with Israel. France. The Voice of Justice continued to cry for Nasser’s removal after November 1956. with the station responding to British troop withdrawal by claming that ‘even if your enemy Eden will show mercy towards you. and Israel. the station focused more on Egyptian and Syrian links with communism and on the repressive nature of the Egyptian regime. a development which was probably meant to foster the impression that British propaganda against Nasser throughout the crisis had been ‘right all along’. Gaza and Port Said.135 In these circumstances.137 In the months after the ceasefire and in keeping with a shift in approach agreed by Dodds-Parker’s Advisory Committee.‘The Last Trump’ 221 necessary to show the destruction by men of machines.136 The campaign continued into January 1957.

Levant Department’s William Speares bemoaned this fact in December 1956. presented the propagandists with an impossible task.’143 . Under attack by both the Labour opposition and senior figures in the government itself.140 British propaganda during the crisis was a complex and often contradictory set of processes in which. those weapons had now fallen into Israel’s hands. inevitably. The station asked whether Nasser would still be in power had his military defeat been at the hands of Israel alone and urged listeners to remember Nasser as the man who had handed Aqaba. Perhaps. economic efficiency or financial stability.222 The Failure of American and British Propaganda Egypt claimed that one consequence of the military débâcle had been the capture of ‘hundreds of Egyptian soldiers … by Israel’ and that for all the fuss made over Egypt’s arms deal with the communists. doomed from the outset. some themes and techniques worked better than others. Instead. ‘The Archangel Gabriel transmitting with Infinite Power on The Last Trump could not. publicly declaring a willingness to negotiate while secretly preparing for an underhand attack on Egypt. sell British co-operation with France and Israel to the Arab world.’141 British propagandists were aware of their own shortcomings but deeply resented the political criticism that came their way after Suez. The Eden Government had forgotten the 1953 Drogheda Report’s maxim that Propaganda is no substitute for policy. many of those responsible for British propaganda reacted with understandable defensiveness.142 When the Suez Crisis began. however. Gaza and Sinai to the Jews. in all probability. The task of selling a policy so utterly out of step with Middle Eastern opinion was. prior to an Arab–Israeli settlement. observed wearily on the last day of a traumatic year. complaining that ‘Since none of us had any advance knowledge of the Suez operation it was quite impossible to make any advance preparations in the field of publicity or anywhere else. largely in line with the Anglo-American OMEGA proposals. The fundamental problems arose from the nature of a decision-making structure that served to isolate the propagandists from the centre of power. As Dodds-Parker. the official information services were preparing for a long-term campaign to discredit Nasser. the clandestine diplomacy of Eden and his inner circle. but the assertion of strength will deceive nobody unless the strength is there. detailed criticism of British propagandists and their work during the crucial days of 29 October to 6 November was missing the point. nor should it be regarded as a substitute for military strength. Propaganda may disguise weakness.

148 This position . given the emphasis on ‘waging peace’ in his re-election campaign. while the use of force was explicitly ruled out. Nasser’s nationalisation of the Suez Canal Company did not fundamentally change policy towards Egypt. ‘From lessons I have learned in this area since 1944’. I offer my conviction that any participation in or even tacit condoning by United States Government of British military measures against Egypt would be heavily counterproductive to United States long-term and immediate interests throughout Arab countries of Near East.‘The Last Trump’ 223 US propaganda and the Suez crisis If British propaganda was ultimately shaped by the Eden government’s determination to ‘get Nasser down’ and by the underhand manner in which this objective was pursued. The key themes were those of moderation and respect for international law. I can think of nothing that would set us back quicker and farther. British economic retaliation in some form would probably be expected here and would be less reprehensible than readiness to take life. When the news of Nasser’s nationalisation of the Suez Canal Company broke. Dulles argued that military retaliation against Egypt would be against the principles of the UN Charter and would constitute a threat to global peace and stability.144 American propaganda during the crisis consistently adhered to this advice. While OMEGA was still operational. wrote Henry Byroade. the advice offered to Foster Dulles from his ambassador in Cairo was unambiguous. He risked offending the Egyptians with a blunt description of the canal as an ‘international waterway’147 but the main thrust of his statement was to promote the idea that ‘the United States has every hope that this very serious dispute will be settled by peaceful means.146 Unsurprisingly.145 Dulles set the tone for US publicity policy on 3 August. Eisenhower reinforced this message in his press conference on 8 August. there was no need for any precipitous response that could threaten American interests in the Middle East and elsewhere. the propaganda policy of the Eisenhower administration was dictated by a quite different set of priorities. to the extent that it seems astonishing that US policy over Suez can still be characterised as an example of ‘American duplicity’. In this sense. … I can’t conceive of military force being a good solution’. The American decision to move against Nasser had already been made and was formally acknowledged in the OMEGA proposals. but I would most strongly recommend we not associate ourselves with such steps.

… The first is the most important for the moment and must be solved in such a way as not to make the second more difficult.149 The USIA faithfully reproduced this official line. until the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt.224 The Failure of American and British Propaganda foreshadowed the argument set out in a letter to Eden in September.150 The moral high ground was firmly claimed by the US. The second is to see that Nasser shall not grow as a menace to the vital interests of the West. Dulles’s early statements condemned the nationalisation as an act of retaliation151 and criticised Nasser’s actions as contrary to reasonable standards of international behaviour. Moreover.152 This was not far removed from the more moderate lines emerging from London. He claimed that Egypt’s ‘rejection of interdependence’ was causing the collapse of commercial activities . arguing that the ‘intensively anti-Western’ tone of the Egyptian government and press was frightening tourists away and costing Egypt the ‘foreign exchange needed to pay for the imports which the Egyptian people want’. Appropriate quotations from Nasser’s speeches of July 24 & 26 … may be used to expand this point. American statements were slanted against Nasser as policy continued to be governed by the OMEGA proposals. Dulles’s statement of 26 September presented a number of themes that were clearly intended to undermine the prestige of the Egyptian President in a manner similar to that being developed by the British. ‘We have two problems’. Dulles stressed that Nasser’s actions were of doubtful economic benefit to Egypt. with PAOs instructed that the August statements of Dulles and Eisenhower were to ‘guide all USIA output’. but not initially against Britain and. with US spokesmen seeking to support the principle of Egyptian sovereignty whilst questioning Nasser’s motives in actually exercising that sovereignty in the first place. … Suez is not the issue on which to attempt to [deflate Nasser] by force. the first of which is the assurance of permanent and efficient operation of the Suez Canal with justice to all concerned. USIS posts were instructed to gain publicity for the argument that The manner in which Egypt purported to nationalize the Canal does not inspire confidence that the interests of the international community or accepted standards of international conduct will be respected. Eisenhower argued. A rather awkward balance was struck.

158 The crisis for US propagandists occurred when. which he described as ‘a completely national undertaking carried out under bilateral treaty’. however. by the consistent rejection of the use of force and specific instructions to ‘avoid any personal attacks on Nasser’. One problem peculiar to American propagandists during the crisis was the need to prevent any public linkage between the Suez and Panama canals. for internationalization of the Panama Canal being considered in the UN or OAS forums’. … Now their thoughts are of big tankers and additional pipelines which will make it possible for nations to be less dependent upon the Suez Canal. urges Practical Suez Settlement – Will Not Use Force’ (27 September) set the US position out in the clearest possible manner.156 The State Department’s concern was demonstrated by a memorandum drawn up with the stated objective of enabling the US to avoid ‘any precedent or step which might result in demands.‘The Last Trump’ 225 dependent on foreign markets and investment before going on to argue that Nasser’s behaviour was leading international business interests to abandon thoughts of ‘enlarging and deepening the Suez waterway with consequent benefit to Egypt. American propaganda was clearly distinguishable from the kind of material emanating from British sources. arguing that conditions in Suez were completely unlike those in Panama. A defensive propaganda campaign was launched extremely swiftly. they opened themselves to some awkward questions about the US position in Panama. Eisenhower was more conciliatory.155 In public.’153 Accompanied. If British and American objectives were broadly compatible. Headlines such as ‘Eisenhower Urges Continued Search for Peaceful Suez Settlement’ (13 September) and ‘U. Eisenhower and Dulles were all too aware that in stressing the importance of international control of the Suez Canal. with the Israeli invasion of Sinai and the Anglo-French ultimatum to Egypt. the methods by which those objectives were being pursued were growing increasingly far apart. it became clear that Dulles’s diplomatic balancing act between the Anglo-French . Eisenhower expressed concern about the linkage of Suez and Panama as early as 27 July154 and at a meeting with Dulles on 8 August snapped that if the US were induced to leave the Panama Zone ‘we would take the locks with us’.157 Guidance issued to USIA placed the need to ‘avoid any linking of the Suez and Panama Canal situations’ at the top of its list of themes to avoid in USIA output. The divergence of British and US propaganda strategies over Suez can thus be traced back to Eden’s more radical interpretation of the OMEGA programme. News Review ’s coverage of the crisis provided many clear examples of the American attitude towards the use of force. from Panama or any other source.S.

Eisenhower’s speech of 31 October. Nor were we informed of them in advance. law. Jackson and his assessment of the requirements of the re-election campaign.226 The Failure of American and British Propaganda and Egyptian positions had failed. .’164 The speech.159 Suez provided an opportunity for the Voice of America (VOA) to prove its worth after the barrage of criticism to which its Middle Eastern services had been subjected throughout the 1950s. rather than British or French. was influenced by C.162 As had been the case during the diplomatic phase of the crisis. and international commitment. USIA stated that the Suez Crisis had presented information problems of ‘unusual complexity’. and that we are not delighted to have them as allies. USIA’s output during the period of military operations was dictated by a high-level policy statement. must be in American terms.D. USIA’s task was complicated by the involvement of America’s NATO allies and the fact that ‘Egyptian provocations contributed to the wrongful actions’. This is certainly true of one of the best-remembered passages. That does not mean that there are not strong bonds. in this case. … America wants international law to be respected and applied.160 In its annual report to the NSC. written by Emmet Hughes. The American people don’t really give much of a damn about France or England. but it serves equally well to describe the US approach to Britain in its Suez publicity. all in the name of securing peace’. Gregg has identified the key themes of the speech as ‘idealism. Whilst ‘there was no question that Egypt was wronged by the invasion’. It does mean that Eisenhower’s Suez rationale. VOA’s daily broadcasting time was increased from three to eight hours on 1 November.163 Gregg may have developed his concept of the ‘rhetoric of distancing’ in order to characterize Eisenhower’s communication of foreign policy decisions to the American electorate. USIA turned to its radio arm to deal with the crisis. if it is to have bite. upholding principle. however. the angry assertion that ‘The United States was not consulted in any way about any phase of these activities. USIA felt able to report that ‘the adherence of the US to principle in the Suez affair was a clear fact which it was possible to exploit’. What they are really and correctly interested in is America. Richard B. a schedule maintained until 2 January 1957. PAOs in Beirut and Damascus subsequently expressed their satisfaction with the quality of VOA broadcasts in November 1956 and reports of a large Arab audience in Syria stood in marked contrast to reports received from that country just two years earlier. Jackson had advised Hughes on 26 October that From here out let’s not talk about colonialism or France or Great Britain.161 Appraising its performance in November 1956.

169 A range of relevant themes were suggested. did not serve as a topical newspaper. to be given away in USIA’s Middle Eastern publications. Its declared objective was to minimize acceptance of the view that Soviet threats of action outside the UN have contributed to a settlement of the UK-French-Israel conflict with Egypt.‘The Last Trump’ 227 Jackson argued that US propaganda on the Suez issue should be geared to ensuring that ‘Law and Justice are invoked [and] our moral position is unassailable’. it should be remembered. USIS officials were instructed to gain publicity for the lines that ‘the United States has taken the leadership in seeking a solution through the United Nations and in supporting UN efforts’ and that ‘the United Kingdom and France had . USIA staff in Jordan were warning that public opinion was shifting in favour of the Soviets168 and a Policy Information Statement was issued to USIA to counter the trend. and the support which the US has accorded the UN in its task. but a summary of events usually running one or two weeks behind the daily press) was at pains to place as much distance as possible between the US and its rogue allies. comparing Suez in 1956 with Greece in 1947 and publicising the details of Soviet military equipment captured from the Egyptians).165 USIA consistently acted in accordance with this advice. time and again. US condemnation of Israel was given particular prominence. While British propagandists adopted the language of Cold War conflict largely as a means of attracting sympathy and support in the US (for example.000 copies of the text of the American resolution. News Review (which. the Near East Regional Service Center (NERSC) Beirut had printed and distributed 64. We want to emphasise the role of the UN in handling this crisis. VOA and News Review would stress. Within 24 hours. By mid-November. as was the Anglo-French veto of the American Resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal and an immediate ceasefire. A second American resolution calling for a ceasefire and withdrawal of foreign forces from Egypt was reported as having been ‘warmly endorsed’ by African and Asian countries.167 Over the following weeks.166 The United Nations occupied a central place in USIA’s treatment of the crisis. Having already emphasised US support for a UN-negotiated settlement that took respect for Egyptian sovereignty into full account. the positive role of the UN and US support for the principles of international law and the independence of the peoples of the Middle East. the Americans saw British policies as weakening the West’s Cold War position in the non-committed countries.

173 Typical material included the following VOA commentary. They were also told to publicise the more aggressive theme that the Soviet ‘threats’ of independent action outside the United Nations were directed not only against Britain. that the Anglo-French escalation of the Suez Crisis squandered a golden opportunity for Western propagandists in that it completely distracted world attention from events in Hungary. attempting to contrast the triumph of the (American-led) UN and the rule of law in the Middle East with Soviet refusal to allow UN observers into Hungary.170 It has often been argued. in which it was pointed out that In Hungary. not least by those engaged in the struggle at the time. with C. … The Soviets seek to capitalize on the dispute to expand their own influence and to subvert the freedom of the Arab peoples. France and Israel. the daily wireless file. but against the entire world community and world peace. The Committee also decided that the recent joint statement by Prime Ministers of the ‘Colombo Nations’ (India.228 The Failure of American and British Propaganda indicated their willingness to accept a cease-fire before the Soviet “threats” were made’. Following Eisenhower’s speech of 31 October. USIA used the Hungarian crisis to focus on the danger to small nations of close involvement with the Soviet Union while the OCB’s Ad Hoc Committee on Middle Eastern Informational Activities specifically recommended the use of this theme in Syria. Burma and Ceylon) should be circulated through the United States Information Services (USIS) media in the Middle East since ‘it deplored the use of Soviet troops in Hungary and called for an end to big-power military intervention in small countries’. the main thrust of the argument being that Hungary exposed the hypocritical nature of Soviet position over Suez.172 Using a similar approach. at least in its output to the Middle East. inasmuch as they flaunted the considered opinion of the vast majority of the United Nations. It is reportedly sending troops . to whom the Soviet notes were addressed. USIA made a determined effort to link the Suez and Hungarian crises.D. USIA’s media. Indonesia. broadcast on the morning of 2 November. and threatened to widen the area of hostilities to include other areas. USIA switched tactics. Jackson going so far as to describe Suez as a ‘Satan-sent diversion’.171 In fact. the VOA. nor is it supporting the cause of justice. a denunciation of Soviet actions by Tito was also picked up and distributed. and various publications all did their utmost to draw the attention of their Arab audiences towards events in Hungary. the Soviet Union is neither condemning the use of force. When that proved unrealistic.

Although the Eisenhower Doctrine was not officially announced until 5 January 1957. In the light of this development. American prestige reached levels not seen for years. The immediate challenge came from the Soviet Union and in that contest. considerable skepticism. USIA was able to exploit the situation in Hungary to undermine Soviet protestations of concern for Egypt and the Arab world. France and Britain could hardly have failed to boost American prestige in the Arab world. … Soviet official thinking has not accepted the principle that one code of justice applies equally to all the peoples of the world.176 The Propaganda failure of the Eisenhower doctrine The boost to American popularity provided by Eisenhower’s principled stand against Britain. the Soviet position in the United Nations with regard to the Middle East has occasioned. however. From Libya to Iraq. photographs of Pierson Dixon voting against the US at the UN.174 That the United States reaped a short-term propaganda benefit from its policies during the Suez Crisis is clear. it was thought. or of American Red Cross workers unloading medical aid at Port Said were grist to USIA’s mill.‘The Last Trump’ 229 into Hungary against the express wishes of Premier Nagy’s government. US officials were embroiled in precisely the kind of public relations disaster that they had been so adept at avoiding while Britain remained in the front line of Middle Eastern affairs. The success of US information officers in getting the Hungarian message across to a largely uninterested Arab world was mixed. reported that USIS officials in Tunisia were ‘not on our side’ but were cast in the role as ‘saviours of the Arabs and revelling in it’. The US. France and Israel in November 1956 seemed to give USIA an unprecedented opportunity to reverse the decade-long anti-American drift in Arab opinion. In the immediate aftermath of Britain’s humiliation. a fact not lost on embittered British officials. Before the year was out. Angus Malcolm.175 In this climate. had proved the sincerity of its pledges of friendship to the Arabs and the OCB was able to report that ‘USIS Cairo may be in its most favorable position since 1948’. among observers. but the boost to US popularity amongst the Arab nations as a result of Suez was easily discernible. a former head of IPD. a new policy had been in development since November 1956.177 Salim Yaqub has . Indeed Eisenhower’s opposition to Israel. press reports testified to the increased prestige of the US after its stand against British aggression.

the US Embassy in Cairo reported that the Egyptian press was carrying damaging reports about a forthcoming presidential request for Congressional authorisation for the use of force in the Middle East. the formation of a new regional defence organisation or the construction of a system of bilateral agreements backed up by a Congressional resolution authorising the use of military force to aid Middle Eastern governments requesting assistance. a series of bilateral agreements backed up by a Congressional resolution. Bowie argued on 27 December. Eisenhower’s hopes for reconciliation with Nasser had faded and the President informed Hoover.182 Any intended revisions were rendered irrelevant when. in a move hardly calculated to delight American officials. on 29 December. rendering the OMEGA programme redundant. In so doing he blundered into a public relations quagmire.183 On 31 December. During the period in which the statement was drawn up. if the US could harness its recently gained popularity. ‘the message needs to be considerably revised’. with the President urging the State Department to take the lead in orienting the Arab states towards the West and calling for a major regional economic assistance programme. British radio stations. were quick to treat these reports as evidence of a ‘reversal [of the] American policy against [the] use of force and against unilateral actions outside [the] UN’. the State Department also began casting around for a policy initiative. The State Department was more pessimistic. Eisenhower opted for the third of the State Department’s policy options. Three options suggested themselves: US accession to the Baghdad Pact.181 Believing that the propaganda capital earned during the Suez Crisis had provided them with the freedom of action to secure some longstanding strategic objectives. in noting that Herbert Hoover ‘has emphasized within State our ultimate objective of peacefully eliminating Nasser’. Rountree and Bowie that ‘we should work toward building up King Saud as a major figure in the Middle Eastern area’.180 By late November.230 The Failure of American and British Propaganda argued that the Doctrine had its origins in the mood of optimism that followed Eisenhower’s election victory. on the grounds that it ‘seemed basic that the United States must make its presence more strongly felt in the area’.179 Nevertheless. revealed that OMEGA was still central to State Department thinking. Dulles admitted to . Allen Dulles. White House staff. an accommodation with Nasser might be reached.178 As Eisenhower saw it. ‘Judged by these standards’. Robert Bowie noted that it was essential to avoid offending Arab nationalist opinion or to give the impression that the statement marked a US attempt to ‘replace British domination in the area’. On 28 November.

sought immediate guidance to enable them to deal with the breaking storm. with one newspaper denouncing the proposals as ‘the democracy of the dollar and of horsemen of American movies’. A typical attack neatly summarised the propaganda fiasco into which Dulles and Eisenhower had blundered: Arabs believe that Israel is the danger that threatens them while in opinion [of ] Americans it is Russia which constitutes threat to this area. meanwhile. it was reported that Syrian radio had predicted a ‘wave of unrest’ in the Middle East and. … Arabs themselves are the only ones charged with defending their homeland not Americans or others. in a pointed attack on the new proposals.186 Unwilling to admit openly that the containment of Arab nationalism was at the heart of the Eisenhower Doctrine. But it is our right to ask America with what authority does she speak of the Eisenhower Doctrine in Arab East? Who has asked her to come and defend us?187 From Cairo. … America insists despite black history of West dealings with us that we should ignore an imminent danger and focusing our attention on an unexisting [sic] danger. US officials noted that ‘editorial opinion appears to be crystallizing against such features of plan so far reported’. Raymond Hare reported widespread Egyptian ‘mystification’ at American policy188 and almost all posts announced a strong reaction .184 US officials in the Middle East. Another Jordanian newspaper report announced in the first days of 1957 that Arabs do not remember that Russia has ever attacked them in the past or is doing so at present. French and imperialism. then it should come to us on basis that enemies of Arabs are the Jews.185 Even in Jordan. British. Otherwise it would be better for America to quit the East and its people. But Arabs know very well that Western Powers have exhausted the Arabs with aggressions. had asserted that the Arabs themselves could fill any ‘socalled Middle East vacuum’. whose reports had been seized upon by the Arabic press. the emphasis placed on the Soviet threat simply opened the United States to the charge that it was asking Arabs to abandon their existing grievances and fears.‘The Last Trump’ 231 Eisenhower that he was ‘partly responsible’ for the leak after ‘giving out background’ to US reporters. It is not our concern to convince America of soundness of our viewpoint or weakness of its viewpoint. If America wishes to win sympathy of Arabs and their cooperation in this area. From Damascus.

As American officials in Amman noted. Guidance issued on 3 January merely reinforced the impression that the US saw the Middle East as a Cold War battleground in which ‘UN processes may not always be completely adequate in coping with Soviet power. The State Department instructed USIA to Avoid ‘power vacuum’ or ‘vacuum’.S. Some other phraseology new US goals here desirable in securing Arab support Eisenhower Doctrine. Most important was the need to counter the adverse publicity being generated by the concept of a ‘power vacuum’. USIA was told to stress US support for ‘the full sovereignty of each and every nation in the Middle East’ and to deny any change in US attitudes towards the UN or the use of force.189 The State Department was slow to respond. except where use of the term is required to disavow U. A Policy Information Statement was issued to USIA on 11 January. therefore. Charles Bohlen announced that the TASS news service was characterizing Eisenhower’s speech as ‘imperial’ and ‘colonial’191 and on 10 January. rather than basking in the glow of their post-Suez popularity. intention of trying to fill a vacuum. Finally.’190 Such statements simply fuelled Arab resentment and provided the Soviets with a receptive audience for their own propaganda. Jordanians feel this slur on new found Arab independence which proves increased US interest this area merely replacement one imperialism by another. Refer instead to vigorous action of the nations of the area to remain free. setting out the main themes to be employed in ‘selling’ the Eisenhower Doctrine in the Middle East.232 The Failure of American and British Propaganda against the implication that a ‘power vacuum’ existed as a result of the contraction of British and French influence. From Moscow. preferably which acknowledges claimed Arab political advances or dominant theme of independence now achieved. USIA was charged with the task of refuting British arguments that the Eisenhower Doctrine retrospectively justified the Anglo-French . the State Department and USIA found themselves embroiled in a desperate campaign to explain an unpopular policy to an hostile audience. and the willingness of the U. he warned that the Eisenhower Doctrine was ‘fast becoming [the] principal Soviet propaganda bogey’. to assist them in this connection if they so desire.192 In the first days of 1957.S.

displays and other means’. USIA sought to place official advertisements in major Middle Eastern newspapers explaining the new policy. USIS staff embarked upon a massive leafleting campaign. he pointed out. than the combined circulation of the Cairo Arabic daily newspapers. At a meeting of the OCB’s Ad Hoc Committee on Middle East Informational Activities on 10 January.’196 Initially. Stressing the dangers of Soviet communism not only echoed British propaganda.S. Policy and Programs at USIA.197 . the White House’s Staff Research Group was informed by Alfred Boerner.000 pamphlets. attention was paid to the task of dismissing the ‘power vacuum’ misunderstanding although this often resulted in an uncomfortable attempt to explain the difference between a ‘power vacuum’ and a ‘power deficit’.194 Such anaemic lines illustrate the awkward position in which American propagandists had been placed.195 On 16 January.‘The Last Trump’ 233 military action in Egypt by ‘emphasizing that U. it also seemed to vindicate the Arab criticism that the US was building up the Soviet threat as a means of distracting Arabs from the threat posed by Israel. USIA embarked upon what proved to be one of the biggest single-issue campaigns that it had yet undertaken. Huntington Damon revealed that USIA’s Wireless File had been dominated by material on the President’s Middle Eastern initiative and announced plans to ‘start a new campaign in the field to gain favorable reaction to the new policy by use of contests. Again. Undeterred. Denials that the US was aiming to establish its own military presence in the area (necessary if Arab audiences were to be convinced that the US was not out to ‘replace’ Britain) could be twisted by hostile commentators into a statement of support for the British-led Baghdad Pact. Boerner announced on 21 January that USIS Cairo was in the process of distributing more than 400. Boerner drew particular attention to the fact that ‘VOA broadcasts to the Middle East … have been stepped up. By mid-January. that the Eisenhower Doctrine had ‘been given top priority in USIA worldwide press and VOA output’. Chief of Plans.193 News Review set out to assuage the hostile reaction by stressing the continuity of the Eisenhower Doctrine proposals with the long-term American respect for the independence of the Middle Eastern nations (an argument that begs the question of why a new policy announcement was deemed necessary in the first place). action under the proposed resolution would be taken only at the request of Middle Eastern states’. however. and field posts in the Middle East are instituting program actions to gain popular understanding and support. with many Egyptian newspapers refusing to accept these advertisements. a higher figure.

attacking the President’s Middle East Plan is being widely distributed and advertised in Egypt in a campaign that in many ways parallels the techniques used by USIS to spread information on the Eisenhower proposals. the pamphlet is believed to be subsidised by the Egyptian Government to offset the impact of the previous USIS pamphlets explaining the US stand on the Near East.200 On another occasion.203 The indecisive nature of the American response is clear from the halfhearted guidelines adopted to govern anti-Egyptian themes and USIA output on Nasser.000 copies of the President’s speech.201 For the first time. In addition. USIA reported that Nasser was stepping up both his attacks on the US and his counter-propaganda campaign against USIA’s efforts to promote the Eisenhower Doctrine. paid advertisements explaining the proposal were placed in the major daily and weekly Arabic language newspapers. Boerner could report that In USIS Cairo’s major campaign to publicize the Eisenhower Middle East Plan over 776.198 It is to be doubted that even a campaign which eventually led to the distribution of over a million leaflets and news releases199 could be of much effect in the face of the implacable hostility of the Egyptian Government. was particularly colourful in his denunciations of American policy. US officials in Cairo reported that Sadat had dismissed Eisenhower’s statement as a bid to ‘impose American protection on Mid-East with dollars and with soldiers and with tanks’ before accusing the President of ‘kindling the first sparks of World War III’. USIA was informed that the Egyptian Ministry of Education had ordered ‘the destruction of materials on the Eisenhower proposals’ which USIS staff had arranged to be delivered to ‘all of the schoolmasters and teachers in Egypt’. the OCB had suggested providing . USIA was faced with a large-scale Arab propaganda campaign to depict the US as ‘imperialist’ and its staff were somewhat at a loss as to what was to be done. explanatory pamphlets. Certainly officials were taken aback by the local hostility with which the Eisenhower Doctrine was received. Anwar Sadat. Boerner informed the White House on 15 April that A vicious anti-American pamphlet.202 In April.234 The Failure of American and British Propaganda By March. In January. one of Nasser’s closest political allies. Sadat described Dulles as being ‘as arrogant as Eden at his peak’. leaflets and newsletters were distributed. In March. Violently nationalistic in tone.

USIA was informed that ‘USIA output on Nasser should not be actively hostile’. It is entirely possible that the State Department’s continuing determination to ‘eliminate Nasser by peaceful means’ would have led to a nationalist reaction against the US with or without the bungled launch of the Eisenhower Doctrine. intent upon carrying on the same old thing of cold war backed up by saber rattling. Boerner concluded in July that the main reason for Egyptian antiAmericanism ‘appears to be reaction and anger over what the Nasser regime believes to be the US role in isolating Egypt from the Arab bloc’206 and it is clear that the Eisenhower Doctrine formed a key part of that policy of isolation. USIA was not ‘to take a “soft” attitude towards Egyptian actions which cause concern’. it is remarkable how unprepared they were to deal with charges of ‘American imperialism’ once the British were no longer on the political front line.207 . but it was stressed that ‘an unpublicized diplomatic effort rather than public attacks on Nasser offer the best possibility for obtaining a reasonable Egyptian response to our efforts to settle outstanding problems’. most notably of course.205 Given that American propagandists had long understood the difficulties faced by British officials operating under the disadvantage of being identified as ‘imperialist’. The essence of the problem confronting American propagandists was identified by Earl Newsom in a report delivered to the OCB on 22 January. The State Department continued to advocate a policy in keeping with the early stages of the OMEGA proposals. these hundreds of millions of people may get the impression that we are sliding back to a cozy comradeship with Britain. Nevertheless. In drawing the fire of the Arab nationalist movement upon ‘American imperialism’. despite the intensification of Egyptian anti-American propaganda. Newsom argued that There is a grave danger in the ‘military aid and economic aid to our friends’ concept that the peoples of the Middle and Far East will lose that great burst of new confidence in American leadership growing out of the Suez Crisis. that it was primarily an anti-Soviet and anti-communist rather than an anti-nationalist measure. It did not help that the new policy was based on a set of ultimately indefensible positions.204 By March. and expulsion of foreign students from Egyptian schools for refusal to demonstrate against Great Britain’ as one of the specific information projects to be undertaken in the Middle East. however. the Eisenhower Doctrine represented a major propaganda failure.‘The Last Trump’ 235 ‘appropriate publicity of the illegal activities Egyptian military attaches and Egyptian teachers. … Under present circumstances.

has no intention of interfering in the internal affairs of Middle East countries’. was also misplaced.’210 Events in Damascus appeared to vindicate such claims and stories of American ‘plots’. most notably when Syrian intelligence uncovered and publicly condemned American covert activities in August 1957.209 Not long before the exposure of the CIA’s efforts to foment a coup in Syria. Egyptian newspapers had announced that ‘Only America plans conspiracies in the Arab world and pays its conspirators in dollars. wherever it can be achieved subtly.S.208 The State Department’s advice to USIA in response to these allegations. largely on the grounds of his role as protector of Islam’s holiest sites. real or imagined and found a receptive audience in the Arab world. making a mockery of the standard line deployed in support of the Eisenhower Doctrine that ‘the U.211 In September 1957. Arthur Larson. the growth of closer relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. This approach set the stage for a series of confrontations in the summer. Nevertheless. policies support and protect legitimate Arab nationalist aims’.236 The Failure of American and British Propaganda In using the Cold War theme to mobilise the conservative Arab states against Egypt and Syria. the second of which was to ‘show that U. particularly in its emphasis on the importance of establishing the ‘obvious fabrication and complete lack of credibility’ of the Syrian complaint was particularly disingenuous.S. informed Eisenhower that USIA had ‘initiated a broad psychological campaign to counteract unfavorable repercussions resulting from Syrian developments’.212 The legalistic use of the word ‘legitimate’ did little to disguise the fact that USIA output had become dangerously separated from the clandestine realities of the CIA’s activities in the region. Eisenhower replicated the bankrupt policy with which the British had sought. The US is now a synonym for imperialism. The campaign had two major aims. pointing out that The Department wishes to obtain the maximum publicity for the visit throughout Arab countries to demonstrate the close and friendly relations between the U. to isolate the Egyptians from the ‘Arabs further north’. during 1955–56. USIA Director. … We wish to further. Saud’s January 1957 visit to the United States was seized upon as an opportunity for a major campaign to enhance Saud’s regional prestige. The promotion of King Saud as a leader capable of appealing to a wider Arab constituency than Nasser. The State Department set out its position in guidance to USIA on 28 January. and Saudi Arabia. … We wish to encourage continued adherence by the Saudi Government to moderate and constructive .S.

213 As Salim Yaqub has demonstrated. was scarcely an issue in the Eisenhower administration’s confrontation with the Nasserist movement. Saud’s Islamic credentials did not translate into significant political influence in the Arab world. then as Yaqub argues. whose formal duties included the protection of Islam’s holy places. Yaqub points out. ‘In the court of Arab public opinion’. and Eisenhower was naïve to suppose that the king’s religious credentials could make up for this fact.‘The Last Trump’ 237 policies. ‘Islam’. but the effort went nowhere. building him up as a pan-Arab rival of Nasser was not.’215 Little that USIA could do in the way of informational output.214 If this was the case. Yaqub concludes. … Clearly Saud was no match for Nasser. whose outlook was largely secular. even if it was backed up by Aramco’s financial muscle. freed from the destructive aspects of emotional nationalism as exemplified by Nasser. presenting Saud as an alternative regional leader to Nasser was neither a sensible nor a realistic policy.’216 . ‘Separating Saud from Nasser was a feasible objective. could change this basic fact of Middle Eastern politics. ‘the Nasserites decisively won the argument. Eisenhower tried to make it an issue by promoting the regional leadership of King Saud.

on the other hand. William Benton.1 If British propagandists had few illusions about the challenge that faced them in the post-war Middle East. ‘Notes on Propaganda’. The United States. The propagandist is a man who canalizes an already existing stream. Americans had generally played ‘a non-imperialistic role in world affairs’. Harper’s Magazine.Conclusion The Failure of Western Propaganda in the Middle East Propaganda gives force and direction to the successive movements of popular feeling and desire. Western prestige and popularity in the Middle East declined precipitously. but it does not do much to create these movements. Aldous Huxley. informed the US ambassador in Cairo that The United States is the only country which combines the qualities of moral leadership with the resources necessary to carry out a program of international information and cultural affairs based on principles international in their validity. It might be argued that in 1945 large swathes of Middle Eastern opinion had already been alienated by decades of British imperial machinations in the region. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. free from narrow bias and from special 238 . No. emerged from the Second World War with unprecedented global prestige and significant reserves of goodwill founded upon a widespread understanding that. 1936) Between 1945 and 1957. in contrast to the United Kingdom. In a land where there is no water. In April 1947. he digs in vain. 174 (December. Few could have predicted the speed with which events would transform the psychological climate of the region. life for their American counterparts must have seemed relatively simple.

The story of American and British failure in the Middle East after 1945 is essentially one of policy miscalculation. respect and honor in the attitudes of the peoples of the Arab world to one of embittered distrust and animosity.Conclusion 239 pleading. it would appear that the propagandists not only failed in their task. with Nasser way ahead’. Allen. In the space of a few short years the United States has gone from a position of unequalled esteem. The general question of the decline in Western prestige across the region deserves a far more sophisticated response. Certainly. In this book.2 Just over a year later. with Britain languishing in well-earned disgrace and the United States reeling from a series of increasingly vicious Egyptian and Syrian attacks on the Eisenhower Doctrine. in the context of the Suez Crisis. therefore. Our leadership can be vital at a time when the world is in the midst of what Secretary Marshall calls a ‘riot of propaganda’. that Egyptian counter-propaganda ‘succeeded in neutralizing [British attempts] to mislead and to undermine Arab opinion’. but failed spectacularly. be at the heart of any investigation into Western psychological strategy . An appreciation of the relationship between propaganda and policy making must. had been forced to concede that It is probably not an exaggeration to say that the US information program in the Arab states is faced with problems of unprecedented delicacy. In the spring of 1957. I have attempted to chart the use of propaganda by American and British governments as part of their broader strategies of engagement with the Middle East. Aburish. by any standards. Egyptian commentators such as Mohamed Heikal and Abdel-Kader Hatem have suggested. his successor. George V.3 This.5 Even so.4 Said K. The startling decline in Western prestige that occurred between 1945 and 1957 would seem to suggest that these psychological operations had been rather less than successful. one should be wary of slipping towards the simplistic conclusion that Western propagandists were primarily responsible for ‘losing the propaganda war’. was a startling fall from grace. similarly. argues that any Anglo-Egyptian competition for the ‘Arab street’ was ‘an unequal contest. and it is unduly harsh to point the finger of blame only at those responsible for publicising and popularising flawed policies. Any appraisal of the performance of Western propagandists must take into account the fact that their work could not function in isolation from the policy context in which it was formulated.

is only an auxiliary instrument for the prosecution of foreign policy. ‘propaganda divorced from policy is an utterly bankrupt proposition’. even though it may be able to have some effect in cushioning the inevitable consequences. with special reference to the Middle East. from his United States Information Services (USIS) office in Damascus. From Baghdad. Soviet. their most ingenious techniques would be of little use. it was clear to Meyer. … Thus. that If a nation’s foreign policy is wrong or weak. by our conduct in economic matters. if not his superiors in Washington. pointed out that ‘any information program. As the BBC’s Donald Stephenson pointed out in 1946. Portsmouth Treaty etc. notably the Palestine issue. the Foreign Office Middle East Information Department (MEID) defended its own performance by noting that the ‘success or failure of any propaganda line is closely tied up with actual events and so far these events (Palestine. James Moose.) could not have been more unfavourable’.8 This lesson does not appear to have been quickly learned and in 1952 William Grant Parr. the information program cannot overcome the basic wrongness nor weakness. and its origin is not to be sought in inadequate presentation of US background. still found it necessary to point out that The present unfavorable situation is primarily the result of United States policy decisions and actions in consequence thereof. Armin Meyer. American or otherwise. This was certainly clear to British and American propagandists at the time. they warned that in the absence of an effective policy approach to the Middle East. Anglo-Egyptian Treaty Relations. Public Affairs Officer (PAO).240 The Failure of American and British Propaganda in the post-war Middle East. Time and time again. In this sense. and by our efforts in the social sphere in assisting the alleviation of misery attendant upon such abject poverty as abounds in this area.9 As late as May 1954 the American ambassador in Damascus. On the foreign policy itself rests the major responsibility for its own success’. We are judged by our actions in the political field. notably oil. it is evident that the value of the information program … is dependent upon basic American policy. conceptualised the problem in the following terms: If we consider the dog’s body to be our policy and USIE to be its tail.6 Eighteen months later. . I think we should explain to the Department that if the dog is blind he may not reach his objective no matter how much the USIE tail wags.7 American propagandists would have agreed wholeheartedly.

… The remedy.10 In the Middle East. in conversation with Eisenhower in August 1954. the leading champion of the American propaganda programme.11 Ironically. there is no such thing as a guy going off in a corner and doing psychological warfare . it is instructive to note the conclusion of the man who did more than most to rectify the problems experienced by propagandists alienated from the policy-making elite. therefore appears to lie in the field of policy moves (not policy declarations) rather than in the field of informational activities. The British system. the analysis of propaganda in relation to wider diplomatic and strategic policy reveals the extent to which both Britain and the US failed to sufficiently integrate the various elements of their policymaking systems. the United States Information Agency (USIA) still found itself the target of attacks from Congressional funding committees and felt itself to be thwarted by the apathy and condescension of Foreign Service professionals and career diplomats manning the political desks of the State Department. Undoubtedly. When things went wrong.D. they were quick to lay the blame for policy failures at the door of the propagandists who they believed had not utilised the resources at their disposal with sufficient skill. of psychological warfare. with semimagical powers to compel people to conform to the propagandists will’. Nevertheless. C. expressed his irritation at the lack of progress towards an integrated psychological warfare machine. observing that In this business of climate. without the same channels of communication and consultation between the information departments and policy-making elite.Conclusion 241 news or opinions nor even in skilful Communist propaganda. Jackson. In this light. if any. was even more vulnerable to mishap and malfunction and faced complete collapse under the pressures imposed by the 1956 Suez Crisis. the effectiveness of Western propaganda continued to be diminished by the tendency of officials to ascribe mysterious powers to the propaganda agencies at their disposal. the reformed US national security bureaucracy had succeeded by the end of 1953 in offering a consultative role to the propaganda agencies and such developments marked progress in the right direction. ‘Many Americans think of propaganda as a bag of tricks. ‘They ignore or gloss over the fact that political warfare must be based on national policies and that its effectiveness is largely determined by the policies it is in position to exploit’. a matter of techniques and devices. one United States Information and Educational Exchange Program (USIE) official complained in 1950.

then the psychological warfare boys can do things. ‘So. they are reminiscent of an earlier assault upon ‘Eisenhower Revisionism’ in which Robert J.12 Jackson’s thoughts on the thematic concerns of Western propaganda in the Middle East are also worthy of attention. Iraq: NO. Since ‘human societies cannot be formed into projectiles aimed at ideological images’. questioning whether each faced a genuine threat from communism or the Soviet Union. ahead of ACTS of Government. In April 1957. Westad concluded. McMahon suggested that ‘the single most dynamic new element in international affairs in . as we say in America. Saudi Arabia: NO. ‘none of them had much success’. In his April 2000 Stuart L Bernath Memorial Lecture. noting a fresh British emphasis upon the Soviet threat to the Middle East. ‘what’s all the shooting about?’13 The question is one that has begun to concern historians. he suggested. The only thing that is new is that the headquarters is now above ground. In particular. ‘does not constitute very impressive evidence: Syria: YES – but what is new about that? Syria has been the underground Communist headquarters for the area since the end of the war. But if they are expected to do things in a vacuum … you might as well not have them around. Lebanon: NO. Odd Arne Westad identified the struggles in the Third World as a key area for the reconceptualisation of the Cold War as part of contemporary international history. Israel: NO. He argued that Third World countries became the main victims of the Cold War as ‘the ideological rivalry of the two superpowers came to dominate Third World politics’ and leaders seeking to ‘catapult’ their countries into modernity used superpower allies to enable them to ‘wage war on their own people’.’ he concluded.14 These observations open up a number of analytical opportunities. Jackson compiled a checklist of Arab states. … If there is action and follow through. Jordan: A Question Mark.242 The Failure of American and British Propaganda separate from. Iran: NO. Egypt: YES – but a doubtful Communist asset both political and militarily. independent of. The result.

arguing instead that Actually. and offering them economic aid’.18 Not only was the Cold War not the only game in town. the ideological conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union is a short-term problem. Connelly suggests. … The issue of communism is important.16 McMahon’s central point was that Western policy was fundamentally misguided in seeking to impose an inappropriate Cold War perspective upon Middle Eastern politics.15 In the Middle East this led to a policy ‘characterized by missed opportunities. McMahon argued that the Eisenhower administration not only ‘grievously misunderstood and underestimated the most significant historical development of the midtwentieth century’. and assertive nationalism throughout the developing world’. This view has been challenged by Matthew Connelly.17 This argument contains intriguing echoes of an article published some 39 years earlier by the retiring head of USIA. but no war or peace will be won until the issue of nationalism and the revolution of rising expectations are successfully met.Conclusion 243 the 1950s was the emergence of a vigorous. Allen’s analysis suggested that in many parts of the world it was not even the most important game in town. a genuine fear of international conflict along racial or religious lines existed independently of the Cold War worldview. For Allen. accepting the neutralism of some new states. the reality of the ‘East–West’ Cold War was less significant than the potential for conflict between ‘North’ and ‘South’ and it is precisely this concern that has animated Connelly’s superb study of the Algerian independence struggle and the . Allen. broad-based. More basic and more abiding in the sense of history are the issues of nationalism and the revolution of rising expectations. Responding to the question. ‘Are the Soviets Winning the Propaganda War?’ Allen questioned the relevance of the suggestion. but had also ‘insisted on viewing the Third World through the invariably distorting lens of a Cold War geopolitical strategy that saw the Kremlin as the principal instigator of global unrest’. to ‘appease antiwestern sentiment by accelerating decolonization. strategic miscalculations. George V. Eisenhower hoped. and counter-productive actions’ as Eisenhower failed to seize the historic opportunity for an American accommodation with Arab nationalism. therefore. who argues that the ‘ “Cold War lens” did not circumscribe the views of Eisenhower and his contemporaries as much as those of the historians who have studied them’ and that although Eisenhower and Dulles saw the prosecution of the Cold War as ‘their most pressing task’.

for that matter.21 The key point is that in the Middle East. Jackson’s 1957 bemusement regarding what all the Cold War ‘shooting’ was about. given the limited room for manoeuvre available.’23 It may have been an exaggeration for George Allen to claim that ‘US foreign policy vis-à-vis the Palestine problem’ was . Officials had failed to reconcile the Arab commitment to anti-colonialism and antiZionism with their own objectives of incorporating the Arab states within a secure. Western sphere of influence. The focus of public attention in the Near and Middle East and South Asia is so totally different from the focus of public attention in this country. It is probable that any attempts that might have been made. They are all absorbed in their problems of the Near East and Middle East and South Asia.244 The Failure of American and British Propaganda changing international order – in which Connelly sees ‘the origins of the post-Cold War era’ – in which it took place.22 Jones’s reference to ‘the Arab–Palestine thing’ is telling. therefore. ‘the distorting Cold War lens’ was never fully removed.19 It is questionable whether Connelly’s characterisation of Eisenhower’s approach to the Third World as a form of appeasement20 can be successfully applied to the Arab world. would have achieved little. McMahon may be nearer the mark in suggesting that ‘militant nationalism … whether influenced by the Kremlin or not [was] perceived as a significant threat to American interests that demanded a vigorous response’. even if they did so only to disguise their own attempts to attack and undermine nationalist leaders. As Shepherd Jones observed from the State Department desk for Near Eastern affairs.D. They are absorbed in the Arab–Palestine thing. Nor. From within the policy-making bureaucracy. there was no easy response to C. … We have no idea how egotistical we look to peoples in that part of the world. As a result. As a State Department think-tank specifically charged with improving Arab–American relations concluded in 1952. find that in point of fact the United States do not. was the Western distinction between communist tyranny and Western freedom immediately apparent in the Arab world. … We are all absorbed in a cold war and there is a terrific difference in perspective. ‘If the Arabs. who rightly or wrongly see in Israel their number one enemy. they will not be moved into our camp by propaganda. both in its dismissive tone and the recognition that it was an aspect of Middle Eastern political life with which Western propagandists had failed to deal. Eisenhower and Dulles continued to conflate Arab nationalism with Soviet penetration and communist influence.

Conclusion 245 ‘entirely responsible’ for the post-war collapse of American prestige. irrelevant.24 Nevertheless. Arthur Larson. 41 People-to-People Committees are now beginning to channel the activities of hundreds of private organisations toward the helping of our objectives. The technical competence with which they did so was thus. We publish 59 newspapers and magazines and daily pour out a fast wireless press file of 8000 words.000 employees. had no difficulty in arguing that ‘they are doing an awfully good job in most of the places I visited. to a large extent.26 One is reminded of Robert Marett’s account of his time in the Foreign Office’s Information Policy Department (IPD) and his observation that the business of propaganda was primarily about mundane technical and logistical factors rather than the creative arts of persuasion and argument. or by our 336 mobile units which carry them into the most remote regions. In this respect. They really do win friends for the American people’. … In addition to these governmental activities. The technical competence of Western propagandists in the region was indeed remarkable and in identifying the self-defeating nature of ‘official propaganda’ and placing so much emphasis on private agencies and local mediators to carry their message. arrange translation and publication of millions of books and keep up a constant flow of special exhibits. could inform Eisenhower’s Cabinet that USIA can communicate any particular message to half the population of the globe in 24 hours.000 films which are shown commercially or in private shows. ‘anybody of average intelligence can think up a propaganda line . he wrote. … We have made over 12. We maintain 157 libraries. they attained an impressive level of operational sophistication.25 By 1957. the fact remains that the preoccupations of British and American policy makers were very different from those of the Arab governments and peoples and that this discrepancy led Western propagandists consistently to strike at the wrong targets in the Middle East. most of them local people. … We employ over 12. Ted Streibert’s successor at USIA. both the British and American governments had developed a highly effective machine for the dissemination of propaganda in the Middle East. ‘I have always had a very practical approach to propaganda’. Our radio system broadcasts more words per day than CBS and NBC combined – in 43 languages. Shepherd Jones. The irony was that by the mid-1950s. in response to an enquiry about the performance of USIS personnel made by the chairman of the State Department’s Information Policy Committee.

stressing Eden’s manipulation of the domestic media and the surprisingly effective recovery operation mounted in the months following the crisis. educational and religious institutions. The ‘men and machinery’ to get the message across were in place and they succeeded in conveying that message to government officials.246 The Failure of American and British Propaganda to suit a particular situation. Shaw is quite right to dismiss the erroneous image of Eden as a Prime Minister ‘fatally ignorant of the power and importance of public relations’. Taylor has argued that the failure of the British information services in the post-war decade was ‘not so much due to an actual divorce of policy from propaganda. The problem was with the message itself.30 but it is equally important to contrast the limited success of British propaganda for a domestic (and. subsequently retreating from this position with the suggestion that ‘even if the British Information Services had been provided with adequate support and funding to fully explain British foreign policy. perhaps. In this sense. Taylor is slightly ambiguous on this question. Tony Shaw’s emphasis on the positive aspects of Britain’s propaganda achievements during the Suez Crisis. In November 1956. But the line will be of no value unless there exist the men and machinery to put it across’. Taylor has also drawn attention to the fact that in 1956 official expenditure on the overseas information services was at its lowest level since the end of the war. political and labour organisations. even mass audiences when the need arose.28 The point is well made. this book has shown that this latter interpretation is more convincing. the British government could have trebled the size of its propaganda budget and still failed to win support for its policies in the Arab world. with the comprehensive failure of psychological operations in .27 One peculiarity of the failure of Western propaganda in the Middle East after 1945 is that there can be little doubt that the relevant information agencies performed effectively as technical instruments of information dissemination. an American) audience. The implication is that a correlation exists between the decline in financial support for British overseas propaganda and the ‘disastrous loss’ of British prestige caused by the Suez Crisis. but to the fact that policy was being determined without adequate consideration of the problems of presentation’. it is likely that they would still have been fighting a losing battle’.29 With regard to British propaganda in the Middle East. although one might comment in response that the Suez Crisis clearly did represent an ‘actual divorce of policy from propaganda’ as Eden left his official information services completely unaware of the true direction of policy. Philip M. is also in need of some qualification.

moving beyond the narrow framework of the Suez Crisis. where it has anyway long been at work without our conscious help. It can certainly be argued. It is this that explains the optimism of the News Department official who argued that It may seem paradoxical that. that failure to provide sufficient resources for the BBC and British Council was a serious error. for example.32 Such positive appraisals were all very well. is in fact a measure of how great it already is and an earnest of the opportunities that are still open to us. at a time when Western influence in the Middle East appears to be in decline. where it has become self-defeating. to the economic and social fields. Taylor’s suggested correlation between under-investment in information services and the decline of British prestige and influence takes on a more interesting appearance. particularly in relation to the conduct of cultural diplomacy and the task of ‘projecting Britain’. … Nationalism.Conclusion 247 the Middle East itself. particularly in the cultural and social fields. observed that The work of the British Council has been to show the distinctive nature and the advantages of British cultural life and British education.31 It is also true that British representatives in the Arab world often talked about long-term cultural diplomacy in extremely positive terms. Its impact has been considerable and beneficial both to Syrians and to the interests of the United Kingdom … and this must have helped in the gradual improvement in the climate of opinion that we think has taken place since the height of anti-British feeling during the Palestine War. The explanation is that what we are advocating is a shift of influence from the political field. Despite the failures caused by an inappropriate Cold War emphasis and an inability to deal with the psychological forces unleashed by the Arab–Israel dispute. but they tended to be forgotten when rising political temperatures produced an atmosphere in the Middle East in which a reliance on cultural activities appeared naïve. Here. As the British ambassador to Iraq pointed out in 1952. we should set any hopes on its increase. Western propagandists did have a potentially attractive product to sell. which looks at first sight like a formidable obstacle to that influence. One assessment of British Council activities in Syria. It cannot be said that the work of the British Council has much effect in the political field where it cannot compete with the more violent .

economic and will-power behind it. simply attribute to the propagandist a magic power which he does not possess and which the most authoritative practitioners of the art have always been especially eager to disclaim. this commitment to building up the tools of cultural diplomacy had come rather too late. As Huntington Damon pointed out. in order to be effective. and with Britain now seen as a junior partner of the US and.34 After a decade of under-funding. our actual foreign policy and the military. … But the critics who deduce from the mere fact of such a decrease that our propaganda has been ineffective. however. despite the temporary placement of US forces in that country’.33 The problem was that in the absence of lengthy periods of friendly relations. no longer an important power in the Middle East. it may be doubted whether cultural activities alone could have resolved the problems created by the impressions made by Western political actions.248 The Failure of American and British Propaganda and immediate impact of political and economic pressures.36 British and American propaganda in the Middle East failed because despite the technical competence with which it was conducted. the institutions of cultural propaganda were those least highly regarded by leaders whose attention was monopolised by short-term political factors. reflecting on ‘Soviet penetration into the Middle East … the overthrow of the pro-Western government in Iraq [and] the replacement of a pro-Western by at best a neutral government in Lebanon.35 Seven years after the Jackson Committee. as Charles Hill’s enquiry into the overseas information services identified the British Council and the BBC as the institutions most likely to re-establish some measure of goodwill for Britain in the Middle East. ‘must be coordinated to appeal to the political aspect of the Arab’s orientation. Even had it come earlier. pointed out that It might be argued that the cumulative effect of these events has been a decrease of United States prestige and status. a second enquiry into American propaganda under Eisenhower. Only when confronted with the collapse of their political house of cards at Suez did the British Government commit itself fully to the ‘cultural’ approach. Unless the two are integrated they cannot be effective for our purposes since the major conflicts between the Arabs and ourselves are political and the cultural approach cannot be expected to operate by itself in a vacuum’. rightly or wrongly. It needs a lengthy period of friendly relationship to secure significant results.e. the cultural approach. The prestige and standing of this country depend – apart from short-term tactical coups – not on words but on deeds. it was . i.

or at the very least disassociate US actions from them. failed to set the Middle Eastern political agenda. Thanks anyway. to inform you that my conscience compels me to refuse any bulletin from your office. In order to do this.38 . in short. The final world should perhaps go to the Egyptian gentleman who entered into a correspondence with the US Embassy’s Information and Educational Exchange Program (USIE) office in Cairo in 1950.37 Since the two most important ‘whipping boys’ were the Arab–Israel question and the concept of ‘Western imperialism’. Western policy makers. as a friend to America. As the Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) explained in 1953 The first step in a strategic psychological plan for the area must be to create a psychological atmosphere which will force the leaders of the area to face squarely up to their problems and permit them to cooperate with Western efforts to prevent the loss of the area to the USSR. the US must act to remove the symbols used as whipping boys by the area politicians – remove them. Even if America spends billions of dollars on such propaganda the Arab would not be convinced. I thank you very much for your generosity in sending me your printed materials and bulletins several months ago.Conclusion 249 not capable of effecting any significant change in the political climate in which it was forced to operate without substantial shifts in Western policy towards Arab nationalism and the Arab–Israel dispute. or even to listen to your broadcast VOA for the deep wound that pierces my heart. and for your policy at Arab Palestine. Nevertheless. I regret. The beautiful talks about liberty and democracy can. by no means. convince a heart cut into pieces for the lands of fathers and grandfathers. a heart which pities the hundreds of thousands of Arab children and wives and old people sent astray all round. these issues were firmly lodged at the top of the list of Arab political grievances. distract attention from them. the Martyr. it matters not whether one looks back from the 1950s or the present day. as an Arab who loves his country. we have every hope in the Third War and it is surely coming.

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1980). Henderson. 157–87. A War of Words. 1991).). Information Agency (Boulder. 3 ( June 2000). 32. which successfully weds the ‘cultural turn’ to a detailed discussion of high-level policy. George Washington University (NSAGWU). Connelly. 1930–1958 (London: Collins. Fergusson. in Medhurst (ed. 2003) and Scott-Smith and Krabbendam (eds) The Cultural Cold War in Western Europe 1945–1960 (London: Frank Cass. 1974). The Word War. p. CO: Lynne Rienner. ‘U.html#mesa. Eisenhower’s War of Words: Rhetoric and Leadership (East Lansing. The Strategy of Truth: The Story of the U. Gendzier. 36. ‘Taking Off the Cold War Lens: Visions of North–South Conflict during the Algerian War for Independence’. 35. 739.S. www2. 1975). 105. Eisenhower in Mid-Course. 31. The United States Information Agency (New York: Praeger. the collections of essays in Gienow-Hecht and Schumacher (eds). Abdel-Kader Hatem. 1979). An History of the International Broadcasting Activities of the United States (New York: Arno Press. Whitton (ed. 1992). The Trumpet in the Hall. American Historical Review. 1993). 1945–61 (Berkeley. 1999). Dodds-Parker. 1986). 1968).B. Marett. pp. Epic Encounters: Culture.S. 1969). See. The Diary of James C. U. 2003). see McAlister.S. pp. See. 126–9. Propaganda in the Middle East’ (accessed December 2004). Notes From the Minefield (Boulder. 33. Eveland. 1945–2000 (Berkeley. Culture and International History (New York: Berghahn Books.W. ‘The Rhetoric of Distancing: Eisenhower’s Suez Crisis Speech. in particular. 2004). Lesch Syria and the United States (Boulder.gwu/edu/~nsarchiv/index. Foreign Policy and the Shah (Ithaca. 1970). CA: University of California Press. Alteras. for example: Watt.S. 1970). Information Service (Washington. An important exception to this trend is Von Eschen’s Satchmo Blows Up the World (2004).S. IN: Indiana University Press. 34. An Inside View of Britain’s Overseas Information Services (Oxford: Pergamon Press. Political Eunuch (Ascot: Springwood Books. Sorensen. The Ordeal of Power: A Political Memoir of the Eisenhower Years (New York: Atheneum Publishers. 1954–55 (Bloomington. D. Information and the Arab Cause (London: Longman Group Ltd.: Public Affairs Press. 37. Ferrell (ed. 1962). NY: Cornell University Press. Dizard. Beloff.) Propaganda and the Cold War (Washington.). Clark. 2001) and Klein. 1900–1975 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.C. 1994). 1961). CO: Westview Press. Vol. Succeeding John Bull: America in Britain’s Place. Dizard. 31 October 1956’. FL: University Press of Florida. Media and U. CA: University of California Press. The Story of American Propaganda (New York: Harper & Row.: Public Affairs Press. Gregg. Mayhew.C. Norton & Company. The Central Office of Information (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd. 38. The Story of the U. 1968). Ropes of Sand: America’s Failure in the Middle East (London: W. Through the Back Door. The Voice of America. 1998). Gasiorowski. 39. Pirsein. Hughes. Cold War Orientalism: Asia in the Middlebrow Imagination. No. pp. A Cold War Witness (London: I.252 Notes 30. D. Hagerty. ‘The End . MI: Michigan State University Press. Tauris. 102–3. Eisenhower and Israel (Gainesville. For examples of the approach Connelly comments upon. CO: Westview Press. Inventing Public Diplomacy. Interests in the Middle East. 1983). National Security Archive. 2003). 1963).

Dizard. in Louis and Bull (eds). Ashton. RG 84. pp. Defty. Yaqub. 4 February 1953. Great Britain. 1995). formerly Public Record Office. 47–103.-Saudi Relations (Bloomington. Maryland (USNA). pp. Box 12. The Middle East Between the Great Powers. Anglo-American Conflict and Cooperation. Warner memorandum. Churchill’s Grand Alliance: The Anglo-American Special Relationship 1940–57 (London: Hodder & Stoughton. 2000). Parry-Giles. Kew. The ‘Special Relationship’. America and Anti-Communist Propaganda. King Saud. RG 59. College Park. ‘Truth as a weapon of the free world’. FO 371/61570/E11708. Bansingstoke: Macmillan Press Ltd. Box 12. 7 October 1948. Freiberger. NC: University of North Carolina Press. 41. 11. The Rhetorical Presidency. 12. The ‘Special Relationship’. p. Address by George Allen to the first meeting of the US Advisory Commission on Information. FO 1110/128/PR865. Lot 53D47. 2000). in Louis and Bull (eds). Louis. USNA. 278 (November 1951). 1996). IL: Ivan R. 26 December 1945. 7 October 1948. Office memo enclosing circular airgram No. The Origins of the Eisenhower Doctrine. Lot 188. Charmley. NC: University of North Carolina Press. 1986). Britain. cultural history’ in May. From Arab Nationalism to OPEC. Dee. Allen to the US Advisory Commission. 1952–7 (Houndmills. 1 ‘The Men and Machinery’ 1. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press Ltd. E. Box 121. Containing Arab Nationalism. 40.S. 12. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press Ltd. RG 59. p. Rosenberg. Lot 53D47. 261–83. RG 59. AngloAmerican Relations since 1945 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1953–57 (Houndmills. The National Archive. Tayekh. Benton to Byrnes. 11. 1945–62 (London: Leicester University Press. Box 152. (ed. ‘U. 5 December 1947. Inventing Public Diplomacy. Benton to Tuck. the United States and the Transfer of Power in the Middle East. and the Making of U. Eisenhower. Petersen. p. Brecker. 13. Box 12. United States National Archives. USNA. 45. UK (NAPRO). Freedom’s War. Ovendale. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. Citino. American Cold War Strategy: Interpreting NSC 68 (New York: Bedford Books. Lot 53D47. Hahn. pp. 8. RG 59. USNA. 7. 1991). 2002). Box 2237. USNA. The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East (Chapel Hill. Eisenhower. ‘American Anti-Colonialism and the Dissolution of the British Empire’. 3. Britain and Nasser’s Egypt. 501/1-2953. 341. USNA. 42. 10. 163. 4. p. 6 October 1948. 6. and Egypt. 1993). p. Pat Allen to Stone. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Vol. 2004).S. See for example. 2. 249–60. Britain. .). IN: Indiana University Press. 29 September 1948. NAPRO. RG 59. Lucas. The United States. 9. The US.Notes 253 of the British Empire and the Assumption of World-Wide Commitments by the United States’. 5. 4. Macmillan and the Problem of Nasser (Houndmills. Dawn Over Suez: The Rise of American Power in the Middle East (Chicago. 8 February 1946. 1945–1956 (Chapel Hill. 1992). 1996). British Embassy (Washington) to Eastern Department.

PREM 8/322. 17 February 1955. ‘The US Information Program Since July 1953’. Box 19. pp. 29. 16. XVIII. Marshall to Nitze. Box 120. 13 September 1945. Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. The BBC Arabic Service. Ibid. Box 14.). was absorbed into IPD in 1949. Inventing Public Diplomacy. No. 1959–61. Berding to Johnson. 68–9. December 1954. Ibid. 17. Propaganda and the Cold War. Special ‘S’ Reports of the Office of Research 1953–63. see. 25. Dwight D. C. Given that IRD had once counted Guy Burgess among its employees. The Word War. #35 NSC 5611. p. Box 7. Biddle to Stone. Box 7. Kansas (DDE). 28. S-27-54. 136. Folder: Administration Policy Direction 1954–55. Lot 188.. 35. ‘From OWI to USIA: The Jackson Committee’s search for the real “Voice” of America’. The Rhetorical Presidency. pp. The International History Review. 22). 19. Box 5. 19. 63–4. RG 306. Western Europe and the Information Policy Department (IPD. dismissed by BBC officials as ‘an uninspiring collection of dugouts’ (Partner.P. pp. 10 December 1970. Middle Eastern. NAPRO. Streibert interview. DDE. in Whitton (ed. DDE. NSC Series. ‘Campaigns of truth: The psychological strategy board and American ideology. The Foreign Office’s Information Research Department (IRD) believed that the Central Office of Information (COI) had been penetrated by Soviet intelligence. ‘The potentialities of American psychological statecraft’. 32. 129–40. PREM 8/322. Dizard. Dyer. Sprague Committee Records. 66. USIA(2). 13 November 1945. 3 April 1952. 22. White House Office. RG 306. Memorandum by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. OH-153. Vol. ‘A Study of USIA Operating Assumptions’. Lot 62D333. Inventing Public Diplomacy. 20. 1938–1988. 79). 23. DDE. pp. NAPRO. Box 1.(45) 60th Conclusions. Abilene. 20 October 1947. pp. 33. Eastern Europe. Far Eastern. 24.M. it would perhaps have been better advised to concentrate on its own security. p. p. Box 7. 1 (Winter 2002). 30. Extract: C. . p. 30 June 1956. ‘Note by the Minister of Information’. USNA. 55. PREM 8/322. 34. 130. 30 June 1953. USNA.(45)168. Eisenhower Presidential Library. fn. America and Anti-Communist Propaganda 1945–53. Parry-Giles. Status of Projects Subseries. NAPRO. p. 18. Jackson Committee Records. White House Office. Parry-Giles. 3 August 1954. 15. Defty. 6 December 1945. Middle East Information Department (MEID). 1951–53’.254 Notes 14. see also Guth. 23 November 1945. Status of Projects Subseries. Report for the Prime Minister by the Lord President of the Council. DDE. undated. Britain. No. 27. Latin American. See Lucas. USNA. American Journalism. Sorensen. 81–2. Dizard. 29. 21. NSC Series. Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. Vol.. pp. The Rhetorical Presidency. Arab Voices. Office of Research and Intelligence 1955–59: General Records. RG 59. 2 (May 1996). Oral History Transcripts. Report to the President. The new information agencies were: American. NSC 5509(7). RG 59. 35. Annex III. 26. USNA. 31. 279–302.

24.E. pp. There is a growing literature on the IRD. NAPRO. Although Britain’s economic difficulties eventually led to Treasury demands for savings and. Britain. 27). FO 953/61/PME1499/G. Peck memorandum. 41. Britain’s Secret Propaganda War. 37. Kirkpatrick minute. 1 (1980). Press Attaché. despite the pressure of rising costs. pp. No. FO 1110/716/PR10111/31/G. FO 1110/460/PR126/5G. Wilford. for example: Smith. 30 September 1948.000–10. See. 24 July 1951.). MEID Monthly Report. No. NAPRO. Review of International Studies. America and Anti-Communist Propaganda 1945–53. 46. 47. Vol. NAPRO. No. ‘A Very British Crusade: The Information Research Department and the Beginning of the Cold War’. 67–83. FO 1110/700/PR1093/6. ‘Appendix B’ attached to letter from Kirkpatrick to Benton. FO 1110/460/PR126/5G. 92. 45. 24 June 1948. 48. Millennium. 4. FO 1110/11/PR497/G. FO 1110/565/PRG16/11. No. ‘Anti-Communist Propaganda Operations’. British Intelligence. 3 (1998). 9. Information Department. 3 (April 2004). 9 November 1955. 1948–56’. FO 1110/697/PR1089/17.’. 2 (1982). ‘Anti-Communist Propaganda Operations’. Baghdad to IRD. Box 122. Culture and Society. IRD memorandum. Media.S. 121–22. ‘Covert British Propaganda: The Information Research Department 1947–1977’. Vol. USNA. 40. 353–69. 28 January 1948. Damascus to Foreign Office (received) 16 December 1954. NAPRO. Vol. Mayhew has himself been quoted as saying that the ‘social democracy’ angle was little more than a device to make the idea of IRD more palatable to the Labour left (Lashmar and Oliver. Mayhew. 172–3. NAPRO. 38. 30 September 1946. 52. NAPRO. 6 June 1955. ‘British Propaganda since World War II: A Case Study’. 18 December 1947. 1991). 1945–51 (London: Routledge. A War of Words. Lucas and Morris. 42. FO 953/392/PME142. Vaughan. Warner to Balfour. pp. Through the Back Door.M. 56–84. NAPRO. 49. 2 March 1954. Black.Murray to IRD. 4. NAPRO. Box 3. 50. 1975). The less conspiratorially minded might argue that IRD simply decided that ‘projection of Britain’ material was more properly the work of IPD and the British Council. ‘The Use of IRD material’. 51. Lot 53D47. the available finances for the official information services remained stagnant at around £9000. ‘The Information Research Department: Britain’s Secret Cold War Weapon Revealed’. FO 1110/815/PR1080/8. p. J. Fletcher. NAPRO. ’RG 59. Fouracres to Glass. Marsack to Pollock. Organising the Propaganda Instrument: The British Experience (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. Strategy and the Cold War. 44. . p. ‘Cloak Without Dagger’: How the Information Research Department Fought Britain’s Cold War in the Middle East.000 per annum in the mid-1950s. Defty. 6 November 1946. USNA. RG 59. US Advisory Commission on Information Semi-Annual Report to Congress. Lot 188. FO 953/389/PME114. Office of International Information and Cultural Affairs (OIC).Notes 255 36. 24 July 1951. 43. pp. 39. 53. Cold War History. 19 June 1953.I. Lashmar and Oliver. in Aldrich (ed. NAPRO. ‘The Present Set-Up and Functions of B. enclosing memorandum.000. Vol. pp. Marett. April 1951. Britain’s Secret Propaganda War.

NAPRO. RG 59. Lot 52D449. 17 February 1952. 74. Lucas. NAPRO. 7 May 1948. Box 195. Enclosure to Cairo to State Department Despatch No. Box 196. Haigh to MEID. ‘Revealing the Parameters of Opinion: An Interview with Frances Stonor Saunders’. Frances Stonor Saunders. Lot 53D47. 63. Lucas. September 1948. F. Box 14. 8 February 1949. RG 59. 70. Proposed Statement on Private Enterprise Cooperation Before Appropriations Committee. Pubsec Cairo to MEID. FO 1110/700/PR1093/1/G. DDE. 8 August 1947. USNA. RG 59. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 61. The Cultural Cold War in Western Europe (2003). 30 June 1953. 71. Lot File 62D333. 69. Information Department. Address by George Allen to the first meeting of the US Advisory Commission on Information. 20 May 1953. USNA. FO 953/367/PME145. Freedom’s War (1999). Information Department. 5 November 1946. Box 19. Wilford. FO 1110/700/PR1093/1/G. Begg to Harris. 73. 2 June 1956. No. 72. in Scott-Smith and Krabbendam (eds). Paper circulated at the Beirut Conference of Public Affairs Officers. 2533. NAPRO. Whitman File: Name Series. 66. 12 January 1954. Howard to Eisenhower. . 57. Scott Lucas and Hugh Wilford have been at the forefront of recent historical research into the Cold War’s state-private networks. 6 February 1953. Who Paid the Piper (1999). ‘ “Total Culture” and the State-Private Network’. 2 March 1954. USNA. ‘Report on Trip through Palestine. 68. 13 November 1950. Patterson to Marshall. RG 84. 12 January 1954. Lebanon and Syria’. RG 59. A-462. Box 12. FO 953/4D/P147. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. NAPRO. 55. in GienowHecht and Schumacher (eds). Box 53. USIS–OIE Cairo Report of Activities. FO 1110/616/PRG104/49/G. Culture and International History (2003). NAPRO.256 Notes 54. RG 84. Baghdad to IRD.74/3-2853. RG 59. Kirkpatrick memorandum. 58. Aldrich. Baghdad to IRD. PSB D-22. See also essays by Wilford. USNA. NAPRO. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 62. USNA. PSB Program for the Middle East. Box 171. DDE. NAPRO. NAPRO. 16 July 1953. Lucas. 56. Bowman to Hulten. Jackson Committee Records. Evans to State Department. FO 953/367/PME428. Kotek and Gienow-Hecht in the Scott-Smith and Krabbendam volume. 67. 60. ‘Beyond Freedom. USNA. United States Information Service (USIS) Country Plan – Egypt. Box 1. 24 August 1948. 64. Information Department. Pubsec Cairo to MEID (received) 4 February 1948. RG 84. 511. Beyond Control: Approaches to Culture and the State-Private Network in the Cold War’. FO 953/952/PME145. USNA. 7 October 1948. 20 March 1952. ‘Calling the Tune? The CIA. Report to the President. Lot 53D266. USNA. USNA. 59. Box 2. Lucas. RG 84. the British Left and the Cold War’ (2003). 65. Box 187. Baghdad to IRD. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. Lot 52D365. Peck to Glass. FO 1110/700/PR1093/6. USNA. See Saunders. Box 171. RG 59. undated. 17. 19 May 1947.

Further accounts of Secret Intelligence Service’s (SIS’s) links to the Arab News Agency (ANA) can be found in Lucas. COI memorandum. NAPRO. p. 13 May 1952. NAPRO. Jordan. 90. Pollock minute. RG 306. NAPRO. 10 June 1948. 4 February 1954. FO 953/386/PME67. Dorril. 94. ‘Reuters’. The Hidden Hand. Montagu Pollock to Eden. FO 953/P10485/1239. Vol. FO 953/370/PME523. 9 February 1948. 51. 76. 20. NAPRO. NAPRO. NAPRO. 102. ‘The American Way: Edith Sampson. Gasiorowski. 125. 4 October 1947. the NAACP. No. Box 6. Publicity Section. p. FO 953/1241/P10485/58. 104. 511. FO 953/592/PME145. 97. 8 September 1957. 77. Cairo to MEID. NAPRO. Ropes of Sand (London: W. Carter memorandum. USNA. p. 10 February 1956. Box 170. FO 371/63033/J4813. USNA. Child minute. 1984). NAPRO. 95. Sprague Committee Records. 1999). p. ‘British Propaganda Since World War Two’. 80. Aldrich. Ibid. A History of Reuters (Oxford: Oxford University Press. undated (received 28 January 1947). 7 November 1952. The Friends (London: Wiedenfeld and Nicolson.I. 82. FO 371/98248/E19345/31. and African American Identity in the Cold War’. p. 87. 15 May 1952. U. 2 June 1948. Kirkpatrick minute. NAPRO. PSB D-22. 337. 83. Troutbeck to Eden.(O)57(4). Barclay minute. Box 19. Read. West. USNA. British Intelligence Services: A Short Report (London: Mandala 2 Projects. 577. FO 953/1476/P1041/23. NAPRO. undated. 1988). 85. 103. The Power of News. FO 953/49/ PME283. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. Makins minute. 78. Foreign Policy and the Shah. USIA(2). USIA Publications. FO 953/382/PME507/30. FO 953/61/PME1499/G. Laville and Lucas. RG 306. 92. ‘The US Information Program Since July 1953’. 30 September 1946. NAPRO. 10 March 1948. RG 59. 4 (Fall 1996). 99. Lot File 62D333. 28 June 1948.W. ‘Note on the Ikhwan al Hurriya’. 1959–61. NAPRO.80/2-454.Notes 257 75. NAPRO FO 953/1239/P10485/29. Emek. Sanger to Byroade. 96. Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) Program for the Middle East. Gathorne-Hardy memorandum. 91. Haigh to Pollock. Barclay memorandum.S. 6 February 1953. FO 371/98247/E10345/2. 103.. 27 June 1956. NAPRO. USNA. 338. 86. USIA Inspection Reports. DDE. NAPRO. FO memorandum. Barclay to Watson. Box 195. 84. Norton and Company Inc. 20 March 1952. 74. Haigh to MEID. 100. Jackson to Whitman. 85. No. 28 June 1951. DDE. ‘The Monthly Arabic Magazine’. 8 February 1949. Fletcher. 1980). Whitman File: Name Series. CAB 134/2325/O. 8 November 1954. 8 May 1952. 28 May 1952. FO 371/98247/E10345/16. Diplomatic History. 98. Fletcher. MI6. 101. 128. 89. The Power of News. p. Bowker to FO. News Review. USNA. RG 84. See Eveland. 93. Box 2. FO 953/385/PME40. NAPRO. No. 79. 81. p. 88. Read. No. ‘British Propaganda Since World War Two: A Case Study’. Divided We Stand. . Box 19.

16 September 1955. RG 84. RG 84. 115. 105.85/3–1653. Subject Files of the Office of Administration. Lot 52D449 and 55D251. 110. USNA. 12 August 1957. FO 953/592/PME145/21. FO 953/1552/P1041/70. USNA. USNA. FO 953/1241/P10485/55. 10 December 1956. USIA Inspection Reports. Box 1. COI memorandum. ‘Report on Cultural Relations Activities. Box 6. FO 953/1715/P1011/26(A). USNA. Caffrey to State Department. DDE. FO 953/1241/P10485/47. 7 December 1954. INF 12/231. INF 12/734. McKee to USIA. 112. Box 196. 511. OCB memo. 116. MEID Monthly Report. 28 February 1957. 119. Stewart minute on ‘Paper by the Central Office of Information’. USNA. NAPRO. Box 1. Box 4. 10 February 1956.–Dec. RG 84/3253. 114. . Harris memorandum 17 January 1952. ‘Al Aalam: 1952–1957’. February 1953. #35 NSC 5611. RG 306. USNA. MacLaren minute. ‘Reading Rooms’. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 18th meeting. Publications and Libraries’. NAPRO. Near East (File #4) (2)(Nov. USIS-Cairo Special Report. Books Abroad Advisory Committee. NAPRO. NSC Staff: Papers 1948–61. RG 59. ‘Al Aalam: 1952–1957’. DDE. NAPRO. Executive Secretary’s Subject File Series. Jordan. 126. NAPRO. 22 November 1954. 9 April 1953. OCB 091. 28 August 1948. NSC Staff Papers. Underwood to Barclay. See also. 118. 123. 2 October 1948. 23 September 1955. USIA Foreign Service Despatches 1954–65. USNA. CA-311. Box 1. RG 84. USIA Circular CA-481. Folder: Information Centres 1952–53. RG 59. undated. USNA. 10 June 1954. Cairo to IPD. Box 3. Box 1. NAPRO. 117. 113.4. RG 59. 125. RG 306. Appendix I. COI memorandum. USNA. 8 February 1949. 9 June 1952. Box 146. 121. 20 April 1955. November 1945–May 1946’. 16 March 1953. OCB Secretariat Papers.. NAPRO. 10 February 1956. Haigh to MEID. White House Office. USNA. FO 953/392/PME142. Cairo. 129. Ibid. 127. RG 306. 120. USNA. 21 May 1946. 31 January 1948.258 Notes 104. 14 August 1952. White House Office. FO 953/1551/P1041/16. 15 July 1952. Ibid. INF 12/734. OCB Central File Series. Harrison minute. Box 195. 107. INF 12/734. Press Office. 1948–61. ‘Report of OCB Working Group on Books. 24 November 1948. ‘Principal contents of the past 12/18 issues of Al Aalam’. US Advisory Commission on Information. Amlegation Jidda to PAO. Baghdad to IPD. undated. 4 May 1955. 13th meeting. 109. 108. NSC Staff Papers. FO 1110/123/PR846. NAPRO. White House Office. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 130. NAPRO. Lacy to Compton. 1956). RG 306. AmEmbassy Amman to State Department. 511. 122. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. ‘Al Aalam’. DDE. RG 306. 124. Box 7. NAPRO. NAPRO. 1948–61. 30 June 1956. 111. Data for the Jackson Committee on Overt Information and Propaganda by International Information Administration. 106. ‘USIA Informational Programming to the Middle East in Present Crisis’.00/4-953. Subject Files of the Office of Administration. Ministerial Committee on Overseas Information. Barclay to Edwards. 128. ‘1954–1955 IIA Prospectus for Egypt’. USNA.

E1/631. USNA. E1/1815/1 (2).80/6–1755. BBCWAC. Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. Waterfield to Director of External Broadcasting. Summaries of Semi-Annual Evaluation Reports. 25 February 1955. 136. File 1. Caversham (BBCWAC). A-39. A-218. DDE. 29 September 1953. FO 953/1652/PB1041/75. ‘The BBC Near East Service’. Baghdad to MEID. FO 953/60/PME1607/G. NAPRO. DDE. FO 953/52/PME1113.’ 17 June 1955. FO 953/1422/PB1045/42(d). 1956). NSC Series. 1952. 1946–54. ‘The Near East Arab Broadcasting Station’. NAPRO. . 146. November–December 1949’. 26 October 1948. Morrison to MEID. BBCWAC. 145. NSAGWU. 27 January 1949. NSC 5720(5). Marshall to AmEmbassy Cairo. NAPRO. 133. 20 November 1956. ‘The BBC Near East Service’. FO 953/602/PME108. 156. Iran. OCB Central File Series. FO 953/373/PME412/193/993. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 152. Ruthven–Murray minute. Houstoun-Boswall to Warner. AmEmbassy Tehran to State Department. No.Kirkpatrick to MEID. 1 May 1947. 5 September 1946. NAPRO. 10 September 1947. FO 953/736/P10430/3. 132. OCB 091. 1 August 1956. 140. FO 1110/128/PR901/G. Hart to MEID. Box 5. No. Watrous memorandum. 143. Status of Projects Subseries. Jackson Committee Records. Glass to Marett. RG 59. Sharq al-Adna’. US Embassy (Com’d.Near East (File #4)(2)(Nov. NAPRO. 153. USNA.). NAPRO. NSC Staff Papers. 6 July 1953. ‘Report on the Near East Arab Broadcasting Station. 10 February 1948. 134. Lot 52D449. Information Department. OCB Working Group on NSC 5428. 144. White House Office. RG 84. February 18–24.Notes 259 131. Correspondence XYZ(2). ‘Memorandum for the Chairman. 10 December 1956. 23 October 1956. RG 59. 30 June 1957. FO 953/1652/PB1041/73G. White House Office. enclosing Paxton’s ‘Report on Middle East Tour. DDE. 20 November 1956. US Propaganda Activities in the Middle East – Documents. Dodds-Parker memorandum. Dodds-Parker memorandum. 151. 1948–1961. 142. E1/1815/1 (2). NAPRO.–Dec. 137. NAPRO. 141. 150. Box 187. 154. 5 September 1946. 3 February 1950. Period Ending 31 May 1952. 45. 157. E1/1815/1 (2). NAPRO. PREM 11/1149/103. ‘United States Information Service Daily Wireless Bulletin. 28 December 1949. 22 April 1948. 1166’. 11 December 1951. Box 11. FO 371/52744/E9717. Zanuck to William Jackson. BBC Written Archives Centre. FO 953/603/PME469. Moberly minute. 135. Box 7. NAPRO. USNA. Lot 53D266. Waterfield to Atkinson Grimshaw. NAPRO. Watrous memo. Waterfield to Furlonge. BBCWAC. 149. 23 October 1956. 138.4. 155. 15 July 1949. 147. USNA. Proceedings of the Beirut Conference of Public Affairs Officers. 611. NAPRO. RG 59. NAPRO. NAPRO. ‘USIA Informational Programming to the Middle East in Present Crisis’. 148. PREM 11/1149/103. W. Stephenson memorandum. Waterfield to Figg. 2 March 1953. 139. Box 195. FO 371/52744/E9717. NAPRO. FO 371/81983/E1433/1. Near East. 25 July 1956.

RG 59. USNA. 103. No. 169. Summaries of Semi-Annual Evaluation Reports. Box 139. RG 59. United States Information and Educational Exchange Program (USIE) Country Paper for Egypt. Box 5. 179.744/4-1954. DDE. RG 59. 178. FO 953/594/PME606. February/March 1953. Country Project Files: Egypt. 173. 174. Sanger to Damon. DDE. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. Report of the NSC 169 Study: An Estimate of the Effectiveness of US International Broadcasting. Baghdad to MEID. April–June 1947. 172. February and March 1946. FO 953/699/P10167/44. OCB memorandum by Dale Smith. Kinross to Pollock. Allen report. NAPRO. Box 56. 176. FO 953/60/PME1421/6. OCB 000. USNA. 29 September 1950. RG 59. USNA. Paper No. NAPRO. 164. Lot 53D266. Lot 52D449. 181. RG 306. ‘Radio Broadcasting Report for October. August 1950. 161. See also RG 84. 166. 175. USIA Administration Subject Files. 1948–61.’ 4 August 1955. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. April–June 1947. USNA. OCB 000. No. Lot 53D266. AmEmbasy Cairo to Department of State. 511. Lot 53D47. Box 153. 19 April 1954. USNA.77(8). 50. 163. Wardle-Smith to IPD. Ropes of Sand. White House Office. 3 August 1954. Baghdad Legation and Embassy General Records 1936–49. 28 May 1954.87/4–2053. NAPRO. 160. FO 953/699/P10167/49. Nevins to USIA. Quarterly Report on the Activities of the Publicity Section. Information Department. Quarterly Report on the Activities of the Publicity Section. USNA. NAPRO. 171. 1953.’ April 20. RG 59. NAPRO. 33. 2506. 16 June 1954. Bromley to IPD. 1948–61. Evans to Patterson.84A4/5–2854. USNA. Russell to Department of State. 180. Moose to Department of State. RG 84. NAPRO. Report of Radio Committee. Box 3. RG 59. USNA. FO 953/373/PME592. 28 December 1954. Thompson to Streibert. RG 59. 23 July 1948. British Embassy. USNA. Box 187. RG 306. USNA. 21 August 1946. 165. Box 4. USIA Foreign Service Despatches 1954–65.260 Notes 158. RG 306. RG 59. Beirut Conference of Public Affairs Officers. NSC Staff Papers. 1946’. p. USNA. Paper circulated at the Beirut Conference of Public Affairs Officers. FO 953/49/PME283. Macy to Begg. Lot 60D605. 8 August 1947. OCB Central File Series. 167. USNA. RG 84/3253. 159. White House Office. 8 August 1956. 170. Box 4. Box 107. Baghdad USIS Narrative Report for January. ‘Semi-Annual USIS Report for Egypt. Egypt. RG 84. USNA. RG 59. 28 May 1954. Box 153. Weathersby to USIA. ‘1954–1955 IIA Prospectus for Iraq. EG5301: Radio Listening. 511. 177. USNA. Eveland. OCB Central File Series. NSC Staff Papers. NAPRO. 511. 168. 8. No.834/5–2854. Period Ending 30 November 1951. 30 September 1949. Trevelyan to Warner. 162. Lot 52–367. 17 February 1952. British Embassy.77(File #5)(12)(August–November 1954). 18 January 1947. FO 953/49/PME283. 21 February 1952. Box 187. Box 2. 26 October 1950. USNA. 182. 511. RG 59. ‘The VOA in the Middle East’. USNA. Box 41. .

NSC Staff Papers. Box 110. 197. based on reports from overseas posts received between July 1952 and June 1953). Britain. Jones. Box 5. It is this campaign that led Frances Donaldson. FO 371/61558/E9559/G. 3 (Autumn 2004). 24 June 1949. Wilson report. 204. Lot 54D202. 198. 9 June 1953. 195. USNA. FO 953/1463/P1011/88. 190. USNA. Schwinn memorandum. 191. 13 October 1954. Stone to Joyce. 26 July 1951. which repeatedly caricatured Council representatives as long-haired effete. No. ‘Briefs for Anglo-US Talks on Middle East’. A-1053. 196. PREM 8/1506. 6 October 1950. Lot 53D47. Barrett memorandum. p. 28 March 1956. 30 September 1946. America and Anti-Communist Propaganda. USNA. NAPRO. NAPRO. enclosing Inspection Report for USIS Iraq. 185. White House Office. March 1946. USNA. were financially supported by the Shell oil company. Local Broadcasting as a Publicity Outlet (undated. Box 6. Box 9. DDE. ‘Future of the British Council’. Block to Schwinn. USNA. 12 May 1948. Vol. Intelligence and National Security. USNA. 16 June 1950. The British Council. Speaight minute. Lot 53D48. NAPRO. 189. 4 (Winter 2002). NAPRO. FO 953/61/PME1499/G. The British Council also appears to have accepted money from private corporations and there is evidence to suggest that its activities in Venezuela. 13 November 1956. USNA. The First Fifty Years (London: Jonathan Cape Ltd. NAPRO. 1984). Box 110. Lot 53D48. 186. Douglas to State Department. Defty. 188. 187. 203. Defty. 1950–51’. John Foster Dulles Papers. Box 197. p. 192. FO 1110/327/PR58/37/G. ‘Close and Continuous Liaison: British Anti-Communist Propaganda and Cooperation with the United States. 10 April 1950. 14 October 1947. 20 May 1953.(51)231. RG 59. Box 6. 27 September 1949. Box 12. OCB 091. p. McCardle to Murphy. and FO 953/1421/PB1045/23. 194. 17. USNA. RG 84. 63). ‘The ‘Preferred Plan’: The Anglo-American Working Group Report on Covert Action in Syria. NAPRO. 149. Ad Hoc Committee on Middle Eastern Informational Activities. 202. DDE. Box 4. ‘United States policy in the Near East’. RG 59. Chancery to Middle East Secretariat. Box 18. Lot 53D84. NAPRO. 100–30. in her ‘official biography’ of the Council. Lot 54D202. The Council was consistently on the receiving end of attacks from Beaverbrook newspapers. to label Beaverbrook ‘one of the few deliberately wicked men in British history’ (Donaldson. Subject Series. Herbert Hoover Jr’s office(1). 1–15 October 1954. 24 June 1949. ‘Information and Cultural Services in the Arab Near East’.Notes 261 183. C. RG 59. Cook to Newsom 28 December 1954. 1948–61. effeminate and ineffectual money-wasters. 6 October 1950. USNA. Vol. Cairo Embassy Top Secret Records 1944–54. Schwinn memorandum. 19. RG 59. RG 84. 405. 12 June 1954. 184. 199. Butler to IPD. Intelligence and National Security. RG 59. Lot 53D47. Box 2. COI memorandum. RG 59. Baghdad USIS General Records 1956–58. FO 953/1422/PB1045/30. first meeting.P. pp. 1957’. 200.4 Middle East (12–17–56). Chapman Andrews to Malcolm. Barrett memorandum. . Folder: File received from Mr. 193. Lot 60D669. INF 6/808. USNA. No. Kirkpatrick minute. RG 59. 201.

227. 17’. USNA. Bowman memorandum. Defty. ‘Saidism without Said: Orientalism and U. NAPRO. 23 July 1954. 219. Arab Minds’ 1. 3 July 1953. Memorandum of Conversation between MacKnight and Watson. NAPRO. Lot 62D136. Southworth to Barrett. FO 371/104258/E10345/49. 23 July 1954. 232. 214. 207. 1983). NAPRO. 17 March 1951. 741. Allen minute. 208. CA-1369. 3. 27 April 1951. 217. RG 59. Record)’. USNA. Lot 58D753. 22 April 1950. 6 July 1953. USNA. 223. undated. 220. NAPRO. Joint State–USIA to NEA posts. Chapman Andrews to Bowker. ix. 229. 343. NAPRO. 206. Box 62. 122. 24 August 1954. American Historical Review. Lot 52D365. An Interpretation of the Arabs (London: Wiedenfeld and Nicolson. FO 953/1077/PB1046/1. 18 October 1950. 221. 741. 2. USNA. RG 59. 5 May 1950. NAPRO. Box 2. 3 July 1953. NAPRO. FO 1110/662/PR1016/171G.5287/5-2050. 1205. 4. NAPRO. 224. 216. RG 59. 209. Lot 52D365. ‘First US–UK Information Committee Meeting held Oct.262 Notes 205. Cairo to IRD. 3 July 1953. FO 371/104258/E10345/31. 21 August 1953. . 212. Martindale to State Department. Falla minute. The Arab Mind (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 225. RG 59. Memorandum of Conversation between Hamilton and Watson. No. FO 371/104258/E10345/49. 7 June 1951.S. 9 September 1952. Box 2. 228. ‘Voice of America Broadcasts from Kuwait (Agreed Anglo-U. Box 62. Rotter. 230. 2 ‘Western Voices. USNA. Cairo to IRD. NAPRO. USNA. RG 59. USNA. p. 215. p. Kohler to Sargeant. RG 59. Lot 52D365. 995. NAPRO. 210. USNA. Box 62. ‘Close and Continuous Liaison’. Crocker to State Department. 5 June 1950. RG 59. Pryce-Jones. USNA. NAPRO. No. 31 March 1951. Warner to Balfour. 741. Watson to Malcolm.5274/5-550. 24 May 1951. NAPRO. USNA. 25 February 1955. 5 July 1948. RG 59. Powell-Jones minute. USNA. RG 59. Warner to Barrett. Ford to State Department. (October 2000). 24 May 1951. FO 371/104258/E10345/36. FO 953/1077/PB1046/11. p. 624.5200/6-550. 511. RG 59. Lot 52D365.S. Cairo Embassy Top Secret Records 1944–54. 231. Box 82. RG 84. FO 1110/11/PR497/G. RG 59. Memorandum of Conversation. FO 371/104258/E10345/31. Box 6. Chancery. 31 August 1954. FO 371/104258/E10345/41. Kirkbride minute. Box 62. 226. Patai. 218. 211. FO 371/104190/E1022/6. Vol. 213. 105. Chapman Andrews to Bowker.00/8-2454. Devine to Patterson. 1989). FO 953/1190/P10422/12. No. NAPRO. p. 10 May 1951. diplomatic history’. 313. USNA. Falla minute. 222. The Closed Circle. Watson to Nicholls. Chancery. 24 June 1948. No. NAPRO. CA-5587. FO 371/104258/E10345/41. 3 June 1953. Lot 52D365. Joint State–USIA circular. FO 1110/662/PR1016/171G. Fellowes minute. FO 953/1529/PG14517/37. NAPRO. 21 August 1953.

203. pp. pp. 20. 229–31. 1995). 30. 25. See for example. Shaheen. Britain and the Arabs. 29. 16.). Tauris. Split Vision: The Portrayal of Arabs in the American Media (Washington. 17. formerly Public Record Office. 8. Orientalism (New York: Random House. DC: The American-Arab Affairs Council. 389. American Orientalism (London: I. Caught in the Middle East (Chapel Hill. Said.. Frankel. Patai. p. 379–80. ‘Orientalism Now’. Raphael Patai devoted an entire chapter to ‘The question of Arab stagnation’. p. 200. 24. 97. Orientalism. 1978). Ghareeb (ed. 3. Said. p. 11. 274. ‘Taking off the Cold War lens’. 1982). History and Theory. 6. 7. Europe and the Mystique of Islam (London: I. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Said. pp. 744. 2004). 1975). Halliday. ‘Tough guys and American Cold War policy: images of Israel. Said. 32. See. 130–1. 18. Vol. 3. Britain and the Arabs. 4.–Saudi Relations (Bloomington. 11. 2004). p. See also Rodinson. Empire and Nationhood (New York: Columbia University Press. 1983). 22. was quick to identify and challenge such views in his encounters with ‘old school’ British imperialists. Halliday. Mart. Covering Islam (Revised edition. Halliday. In November . FO 371/ 52310/E769. 51–2. 23. National Archive. Islam and the Myth of Confrontation (London: I.. p. 296–307. 3 (1996). Islam and the Myth of Confrontation. 33. Reel Bad Arabs. pp. 401. 1999). for example. Yaqub. Heiss. 26. Connelly. Glubb. 247–67. 1 July 1945. NC: The University of North Carolina Press. ‘Taking off the Cold War lens’. No. Containing Arab Nationalism. 9.B.S.Notes 263 4. 34. UK (NAPRO). Kew. Ibid. p. Hahn. 1945–73 (London: Oxford University Press. Diplomatic History.1988). 12. pp. pp. Eisenhower. 10. 20. p. 15. New York Review of Books (June 24. 1997). 143–4. p.B. 14. Orientalism (New York: Random House. Tauris. Prakash. Connelly. p. No. on the other hand. How Hollywood Vilifies A People (New York: Olive Branch Press. 740–1. 96. 34. 1983). p. ‘The Question of Orientalism’. 2002). Islam and the Myth of Confrontation. 13. pp.B. The Ambiguities of Power. Eisenhower. Lewis. Bolt. 2nd ed. 88. 28. p. p. 1997). Vol. 2001). pp. Ibid. p. British Foreign Policy. British Foreign Policy Since 1945 (London: Zed Books. 3 (October 1995). 202. Victorian Attitudes to Race (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 21. King Saud and the Making of U. 19. p. Ibid. Citino. Ibid. London: Vintage. 4. 28. Little. 1971). 2003). pp. 9–11. Glubb. p. Glubb memorandum. The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East (Chapel Hill. 205–6. Ibid. Tauris. in The Arab Mind (Revised edition. IN: Indiana University Press. pp.. From Arab Nationalism to OPEC. p. 1948–1960’. 31. 5. ‘The New Relationship’. p. 27. cited in Curtis. The Arab Mind.. NC: University of North Carolina Press. 1978). 208.

/E1026/1. 46. 7 December 1955. 6 February 1953. Ibid. The Arabs (New York: Mentor Books. 50. 388. RG 59. 569. PSB D-22. FO 371/98251/E1054/2. Nov. Box 8. MI6. 60. the President wrote to NATO commander. be kept indefinitely in that position. remained ‘completely Victorian in this regard’ Dwight D. 1953–54. 39. 45. Caffery to Department of State.80. 40. 38. 6 February 1953. Eisenhower to Gruenther. USNA.264 Notes 1954. RG 59. Orientalism. Lot 62D333. cited in Said. Stonehewer Bird to Bevin. FO 953/1563/PB1041/1. FO 371/52459/ E5857. PSB D-22. 15 June 1946. 42. NAPRO./E1026/1. Allen to Dulles. 55. RG 59. No. USNA. p. Desp. Abilene. 1908). FO minute. RG 59. enclosing draft of NSC 5428. 58. Whitman File.80. 754. 54. Ibid. 21 April 1948. Pollock minute. 1964). 7 December 1955. 1954(1). 21 December 1954. bemoaning Churchill’s resistance to his own argument that ‘In this day and time. DDE. USNA. ‘United States Objectives and Policies With Respect to the Near East’. 12-755. PSB D-22. 1956’. 611. Nutting. USNA. 2 March 1952. RG 59. Box 2. NSC Staff Papers 1948–61. USNA. 43. Box 2. FO minute. 35. by force. Dorril. 146–7. PSB D-22. Lot 62D333. NAPRO. RG 59. 8 March 1952. Box 2. 38. enclosing draft of NSC 5428. White House Office. 20 March 1952. #35 NSC 5611.Box 1. FO 371/98244. NAPRO. ‘Nationalism and Policy in the Middle East’. Waterfield to Lambert. undated. Executive Secretary’s Subject File Series. Maryland (USNA). PSB Program for the Middle East. FO minute. FO 371/98244. Modern Egypt (New York: Macmillan. 47. FO 953/1563/PB1041/1. 41. 611. PSB – Miscellaneous Memos. NAPRO. Fellowes memorandum. RG 59. 6 February 1953. FO 371/68385/ E24371/G. NAPRO. 28 April 1953. 52. College Park. United States National Archive. Allen to Dulles. 57. p. 2113. Alfred Gruenther. 20 March 1952. DDE. 36. 51. 44. pp. USNA.74/4-1153. C. DDE Diary Series. 24 March 1948. PSB E-8. 49. Stonehewer Bird to Bevin. Connelly. Cromer. NAPRO. for example. 30 November 1954. December 1953). FO 953/49/PME283. 37. p. Box 7. ‘The USIA Program as of June 30. NAPRO. Troutbeck to Bevin. Kansas (DDE). 53. Lot 62D333. 59. ‘Taking off the Cold War lens’. NAPRO. no so-called “dependent people” can. NAPRO. Eisenhower Presidential Library. ‘Broadcasting in Arabic’. 12-755. FO 371/52459/ E5857. NAPRO. Publicity Section (Cairo) to FO (received) 28 January 1947. NAPRO./E1026/1. Eisenhower complained. enclosing ‘Broadcasting in Arabic’ (paper read by Waterfield at a FrancoBritish-American Conference on the Middle East and North Africa. Box 2. No. p.’ Churchill. FO 371/98244. 11 April 1953. 15 June 1946. 611. 48. 224.D. No. 224. FO 371/68386/5347/103/65/G. 56. Jackson Records. Members of PSB Panels and Agency Points of Contact. . Lot 62D333. 6 February 1953.

USNA. 1 (March 1998). 96. USNA. pp. 67. 75.Notes 265 61. and on technical progress and development on Western lines’ (NAPRO. NAPRO. Box 2. Box 2. 2003). Ibid. in Cull. 1 November 1954. Trevelyan to Warner. Lot 62D333. FO 953/49/PME283. p. USNA. 6 February 1953. 6 February 1953. 20 April 1948. Lot 53D266. ‘British Cultural Diplomacy and the Cold War. USNA. Dow to Bevin. Lewen to Glass. IM-122-55. Citino. Nicholls to Shuckburgh. RG 59. A Historical Encyclopedia. 8 February 1949). FO 1110/700/PR10104/143/G. Diplomacy and Statecraft. Operations Co-ordinating Board (OCB) Memorandum. 82. NAPRO. FO 953/594/PME606. RG 59. 30 September 1949. 84. RG 59. ‘Anti-Communist Propaganda in Egypt’. 1945–73 cited in Curtis. 83. 19 December 1955. From Arab Nationalism to OPEC. 81. ‘Cultural propaganda’. 65. 80. USIA Intelligence Memoranda of the Office of Research 1954–56. 3 ‘National Projection’ 1. NAPRO. Lot 62D 333. Quarterly Report on the Situation in Egypt and the Activities of the Publicity Section. 5 August 1949. NAPRO. and their whole economy depends on the flow of capital from the West. ‘Notes on talk by Bernard Lewis’. 69. 63. Ibid. See Welch. 1946–61’. 1 April 1952. Le Rougetel to Bevin. Report to the Secretary of State’. 112–34. 71. RG 59. Box 3. 64. Box 188. pp. 9. Chapman Andrews to Bowker. 1500 to the Present (Santa Barbara. FO 1110/316/PR43/8/G. 68. NAPRO. NAPRO. State Department Transcript of Proceedings. 101–2. ‘The failure of the Iraq Treaty and Arab Nationalist Movements’. PSB D-22. 74. USNA. . ‘Sir William Strang’s Tour in the Middle East (21st May–18th June. April–June 1947. Working Group on Special Materials for Arab and Other Moslem Countries. Box 128. 18 February 1950. Ibid. 78. CA: ABC-CLIO Inc. 7. Britain and the Arabs. British Embassy. 76. FO 1110/PRG104/75/G. 2. NAPRO. Box 2. 9 July 1949. Ibid. No. FO 953/601/PME501. Propaganda and Mass Persuasion. RG 59. Strang’s views contrast markedly with the view of Consul General Dow that ‘The Jews are a Western-looking rather than an Eastern-looking people. FO 371/115825/VR1051/8/G. 70.. The Ambiguities of Power. 79. RG 59. undated [1948]. pp. Lot File 66D148. 72. 8 March 1955. Glubb. NAPRO. 1949). Lot 62D333. Vol. No. PSB D-22. Lot 62D333. NAPRO. 62. Frankel. Lee. FO 371/68385/ E24371/G. 73. 66. 131. Burrows memorandum. NAPRO. 6 February 1953. p. No. Box 2. RG 306. FO 371/75054/E2478. 384. USNA. USNA. Culbert and Welch (eds). Pollock minute. 77. FO 371/68385/E5274/103/65/G. 23 September 1953. Folder PSB D-22. FO 371/75067/E8752. 1 April 1954. PSB D-22. British Foreign Policy. 51–52.

NAPRO. 2 March 1952. March 1946. USNA. NAPRO. USNA. No. RG 59. Lot 62D430. 7. Operations Co-ordinating Board (OCB) meeting. FO 371/98244/E1026/1. Stonehewer Bird to Bevin. 152. Lot 53D84. August 1950. RG 59. FO 1110/820/PR1088/3/G. FO 371/52459/ E5857. 1 January–1 July 1946. RG 59. USNA.’ 1 November 1956. FO 953/1346/PG1932/1. RG 59. Lot 66D449. 28. National Archive. USNA. 19 October 1956. FO 953/49/PME283. in Gienow-Hecht and Schumacher (eds). Education Division’. RG 59. 20. Beeley to Eden. No. ‘On the Diversity of Knowledge and the Community of Thought: Culture and International History’. 224. FO 371/98276/E11345/7. August 1954. 85. Box 197.A. FO 953/58/PME1342. 5. McClelland to British Embassy. 23 February 1953. enclosing memorandum. BW 39/11. 26. 23. No. USNA. 3–4. 21. 1 January–1 July 1946. 24. 10. Creswell to Eden. Creswell to Eden. Chapman Andrews to Grey. No. 186. BW 39/11. Wheeler to FO. College Park. 15 June 1946. Stonehewer Bird to Bevin. 8. 19. Washington. 1947. ‘Suggestions for British Council Expansion in the Middle East 1956–59. ‘American Colleges in the Near East’. Box 1. USNA. Lot 52D449 and 55D251.’ 8 May 1956. 16. 15. USNA. ‘United States Economic and Social Interests in the Middle East’. Box 2. . BW 1/98. Lot 53D47. 13. Culture and International History. 224. BW 1/98. US Information and Educational Exchange Program (USIE) Country Paper for Syria. NAPRO. 152. Lot 53D47. FO 371/52459/ E5857. 9. Fellowes minute. USIE Country Paper for Iraq. 22. Box 41. 8 July 1947. pp. ‘Expansion in the Near and Middle East. 17. Wilson. 11. NAPRO. Overseas ‘B’ Department. FO 953/1317/PG1162/1. Box 197. Box 41. Box 197. 26 June 1952. attaching memorandum. 12 June 1947. 27. RG 59. No. NAPRO. British Council memorandum. Glubb memorandum. FO minute. NAPRO. United States Educational Foundation (USEF) to State Department. ‘Nationalism and Policy in the Middle East’. February 1953. NAPRO. 25. 24 June 1952. Lot 53D84. British Council minute by the Controller. 24 June 1952. RG 59. Data for the Jackson Committee on Overt Information and Propaganda by International Information Administration. NAPRO. Lot 53D84. NAPRO. NAPRO. No. 15 June 1946. NAPRO. 2 May 1955. 1 July 1945. NAPRO. Publicity Section (Cairo) to FO (received) 28 Jan. NAPRO. August 1950. 25 January 1952. 12. NAPRO. FO 371/52310/E769. FO 371/61544/E6379. UK (NAPRO). United States National Archive.266 Notes 3. 8 November 1956. RG 59. United States Information Services (USIS) Baghdad Report. Maryland (USNA). 6. 4. Gienow-Hecht. Kew. Report by J. FO 371/98276/E11345/7. FO 953/1317/PG1162/1. Formerly Public Record Office. British Council memorandum. USIS Baghdad Report. 14. Box 222. NAPRO. ‘United States Economic and Social Interests in the Middle East’. NAPRO. ‘Report of a Visit to Iraq by the Overseas Inspector. 18.

48. 193rd meeting. ‘The Projection of Britain’ (1946 text). Dodge to Sanger. RG 306. Ibid. RG 306. 8 April 1953. Tuck to Byrnes. Damon to Hadsel. News Review. No. 26. ‘U. 39. USNA. No. 44. 37. News Review. 36. . Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 7 October 1952. George Washington University (NSAGWU). No. Box 170. 2 February 1953. Lot 53D387. News Review. Doc. News Review. Eisenhower Presidential Library. Kansas (DDE). In early 1948 United States Information Service (USIS) staff in Cairo reported that ‘official French sources’ were issuing press material that ‘damned America by snickers and the light touch … leading the reader to conclude that Americans are feather-minded … love their meals above their fellowmen … are far more interested in political advantage than world affairs’ (USNA RG 84. Box 170. Box 196. H. No. 12 April 1955. enclosing memorandum.7. USNA. 2 July 1953. 4 January 1952. No. NAPRO. Box 2237. Lot 53D47. FO 953/1316/PG1161/12. News Review. Abilene. Box 5. 14 April 1946. RG 84. See Carruthers. RG 84. No. USNA. January 1948). 40. RG 59. 30 July 1951.’ 27 September 1955. 25 June 1953. News Review. Doc. Dwight D. 28 May 1953. 93. RG 59. News Review. USIA Publications. Box 153. 16 April 1953. 685. 17 February 1955. No.. USIA Publications. Box 153. Glubb memorandum. Ibid. RG 306 USIA Publications. ‘The Projection of Britain’ (1952 text).. RG 306. 10 September 1953. RG 306. 42. 511. 50. Nicholls to Bass. in Rawnsley. Box 172. 31. USNA. 1 July 1945.. 46. 30. 29 July 1954. 501/5–2853. Chancery. 60. 51. No. 30 April 1953. RG 84. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. News Review. Box 171. 33. RG 59. National Security Archive. USNA. NEA News Guidance. USIA Publications. NAPRO. 49. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. ‘ “Not just washed but dry-cleaned”: Korea and the “Brainwashing” scare of the 1950s’. USNA. ‘Near East Students at US Colleges and Universities 1950–55. Cold War Propaganda in the 1950s. NAPRO. RG 306. 34. 47–66. Box 170. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 30. 41. RG 306. FO 371/52310/E769. FO 953/1216/P1011/1. USIS–OIE Cairo Report of Activities. USNA. USNA. USIS–OIC Cairo Report for September 1946. Cairo to IPD. 43. Box 170. 37. United States Information Agency (USIA) Intelligence Bulletins of the Office of Research 1954–56. USIA Publications. No. Box 4. Propaganda in the Middle East’.00/4–853. NAPRO. 635. USNA. USNA. 16. 90. USNA. 32. 38. No. pp. Box 120. 45. FO 953/1216/P1011/1. 27. Tuck to Benton. 4 January 1952. RG 59. Report on OII Output for June 1951. enclosing memorandum. 2. 47. IB-53-55. Box 170. USNA.S. 14 January 1954. USNA. Ibid. 2. USIA Publications. Whitman File: NSC series. 24 January 1952. Box 171. Nicholls to Bass. No. 35. Minor to Department of State. 17 April 1947. State Department Infoguide Bulletin 328.Notes 267 29.

Box 196. USIS–OIE Cairo ‘Films and Recordings Report for October 1946’. 11. 71. Iraq. 13 September 1954. USIA Fortnightly Guidance for the NEA Area.D. Progress Report of Information Activities in the Middle East for the period December 1946–December 1947. 60. 80. 17 February 1955. 30 June 1953. Baghdad to MEID. NSC Series. Information Department. FO 953/52/PME510. Howes to Pollock. NAPRO. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 57. Information Department. No. 44. The USIA Program. INF 12/734. News Review. ‘Films and Recordings Report for November 1946’. Period Ending 31 May 1952. 29 July 1954. Wheeler to FO. DDE. RG 59. Jackson Committee Records. Box 4. 67. ‘Al Aalam’. RG 84. No. 25 October 1955. 30. 3 February 1947. 75. NAPRO. 55. USNA. Box 93. 30 September 1954. Box 5. No.835/9–954. 15 July 1949.. 22 April 1948. The USIA Program. 59. NAPRO. 1 April 1948. . Edman to USIA–State. Strong to Dulles. 69. 10 July 1947. NAPRO. Box 14. FO 953/379/PME20. FO 953/395/PME358/254. 77. USIS–OIC Cairo ‘Films and Recordings Report for July 1947’. Box 5. Houstoun-Boswall to Warner. NAPRO. 8 November 1947. 68. USIS–OIC Cairo. Lot 52D449 and 55D251. FO 953/376/PME397. 65. Box 1. Jackson to Adams. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 72. February 1948.268 Notes 52. Cairo. USNA. Box 172. to FO. 58. 511. 74. 56. Box 172. FO 953/592/PME514. 76. NAPRO. NAPRO. RG 84. Ibid. 53. DDE. Summaries of Semi-Annual Evaluation Reports. NSC Series. December 1948. to Middle East Information Department (MEID). Box 196. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 22 April 1948. 61. RG 59. 63. RG 84. NSC 5430(5). NAPRO. Box 153. USNA. White House Office: Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. Parkes to Pollock. Part 6. 73. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. NAPRO. Central Office of Information (COI) memorandum. NAPRO. NAPRO. 78. FO 953/1216/P1011/1. DDE. 9 September 1954. FO 953/63/PME177. June 1947. 12 October 1957. Gallagher to Marett. RG 84. USIS–OIE Cairo Report of Activities. RG 59. Box 5. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. White House Office: Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. FO 953/373/PME412. FO 953/603/PME469. FO 953/1553/P1041/38. FO 953/49/PME1969. DDE. Jackson Records 1953–54. USNA. Whitman File: Dulles-Herter series. Morrison to FO. Box 153. Baghdad. 70. USNA. 79. DDE. RG 84. 9 September 1954.. NAPRO. ‘The Projection of Britain’ (1946 text). Report to the President. C. Byroade memorandum. Lot 60D262. Publicity Section. 66. USNA. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. USNA. Status of Projects Subseries. RG 84. 11 August 1949. 54. Status of Projects Subseries. 64. USNA. USIS–OIC Cairo Report. Part 7. Ibid. 12 August 1954. USIS–OIE Cairo Report. Ibid. 62. 19 January 1954. USNA. NSC 5509(7).

MA: Harvard University Press. Murphy to Rockefeller. Part 6. Box 8. 88. 17 February 1955. ‘USIS Program on Baghdad Radio’. RG 84. 17. 15 January 1951. 91. White House Office NSC Staff: Papers 1948–61. Box 3. No. 1. Special Assistant’s Chronological Series. 101. Part 6 – The USIA Program.). NSAGWU. Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. Monod. USIA Fortnightly Guidance for the NEA Area. Cairo to State Department. Box 188. Box 6. 11 August 1955. Allen report. USNA. DDE. 97. 95. 66. Allen report. USNA. Box 1. Box 153. White House Ofice. Cairo Embassy 1936–55.Notes 269 81. RG 84. 30 June 1953. RG 84. NSC Series. Enclosure No. Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. Box 153. Baghdad to State Department. NSC Series. in Scott-Smith and Krabbendam (eds). 85. Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War (Cambridge. Baghdad to MEID. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. Report to the President. 21 August 1946. USNA. Planning Coordination Group Series. Baghdad Legation and Embassy General Records 1936–49. 17 April 1950. Murray to MacLeish. 30 September 1953. USNA. 89. Ibid. USNA. 86. Inventing Public Diplomacy. 83. Briefing Notes Subseries. Allen report. Baghdad USIS General Records 1956–58. Von Eschen. 84. Begg to Harris. Box 107. NSC Series. for example. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. The Cultural Cold War in Western Europe 1945–1960. NAPRO. Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. 300–12. White House Office. S-33-53. 90. Memoranda and Summaries of the Office of Research. US Propaganda Activities in the Middle East – Documents. NAPRO. 1954–56. 92. RG 84. RG 306. Box 14. Status of Projects Subseries. USNA. 21 March 1945. USNA. President’s Special International Program. RG 84. ‘Summary of Dr Johnson’s Statement’. FO 953/740/P10453/1. USNA. 98. 20 March 1952. FO 953/373/PME592. No. No. pp. RG 59. USNA. RG 306. 82. Dizard. American Legation. 23 July 1948. 103. 19 August 1955. Box 5. #9 Bandung. IS-38-56. 1. NSC 5525(6). Jones to Barrett. American Embassy. 96. 100. 1 January 1957–30 June 1957. Box 3. Lot 60D262. See also. 23 December 1954. USIS–OIC Cairo report for October 1947. DDE. White House Office. DDE. DDE. USNA. Samuel to Beaumont. 2004). DDE. DDE. 8 July 1953. Box 18. See. Special ‘S’ Reports of the Office of Research 1953–63. 2nd semi-annual report. 94. 102. . USIA Intelligence Bulletins. ‘ “The USIA Program”. 21 August 1946 and Box 153. 87. Box 93. Box 172. Satchmo Blows Up the World. Information Department. Box 2. 10 June 1955. Status of Projects Subseries. 10 April 1956. 93. RG 59 Lot 53D266. Lot 52D449. RG 84. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. Box 4. NSC 5509(7). RG 59. ‘Who’s the real ambassador? exploding Cold War racial ideology’. 23 July 1946. ‘Film Distribution Channels in Egypt’. Box 153. USNA. in Appy (ed. Dulles Papers. Jackson Committee Records. 99. See also Von Eschen. 24 February 1946. 1742. p. ‘ “He is a Cripple an” Needs my Love’: Porgy and Bess as Cold War Propaganda’. 21 August 1946.

124. 15 May 1952. Box 93. USNA. 17 January 1952. 31–3. USNA. State Department Instruction. Nutting minute. 126. 18 December 1947.D. NAPRO. FO 953/592/PME145. Washburn memorandum. 118. British Imperial Strategy and the Origins of the Cold War 1944–49 (Leicester: Leicester University Press. Box 27. 16 April 1954. Satchmo Blows Up the World. NAPRO. 106. ‘Information and Cultural Services in the Arab Near East’. 10 February 1949. RG 59. 115. RG 59. 28 October 1954. George Allen address to first meeting of the US Advisory Commission on Information. RG 59. Box 197. 125. 114.(51)231. No. p. USNA. 21 August 1950. Lot 188. MA: University of Massachusetts Press. 110–31. Box 197. Box 171. Von Eschen. March 1946. Box 62. USNA. Box 4. Lot 53D47. USIA Publications. No. Kent. for example. RG 59. News Review. Lot 53D47. NEA News Guidance. Box 168. 107. USIA Publications. 15. Begg to Barry. C. ‘Future of the British Council’. RG 306. 7 May 1955. W. No. Lot 53D84.. 113. Haigh to MEID. RG 59. Memorandum by the Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs. 8 February 1949. Box 12. 4 ‘Who Can Be Neutral?’ 1. 84. No. 5. Box 170. NAPRO. 112. Jackson Papers. USNA. 1993). 129. 119. RG 84. Ibid. Lot 60D262. 4 October 1947. Washburn memorandum. 109. Von Eschen. 7 October 1948. 8 February 1949. 15 July 1949. RG 84. No. 21 July 1955. ‘Information and Cultural Services in the Arab Near East’. Ikhwan al Hurriya Bulletin. FO 953/592/PME145. 32. 110. Lot 53D47. 13 February 1948. NAPRO. RG 59. DDE. RG 306. USIS Baghdad Report. Wilson report. Lot 52D238 and 53D254. Ibid. FO 371/68385/ E24371/G. USIA Fortnightly Guidance for the NEA Area.270 Notes Cold War Constructions (Amherst. 116. 313. Baghdad USIS General Records 1956–58. Hunt to Barrett. USNA. 17. USNA. 108. 26 July 1951. C. Kirkpatrick to MEID. 31. 4 February 1952.. Lot 53D84. 127. 120. 2000). II. 123. pp. FO 953/603/PME469/11/988. 128. 111. 1 January–1 July 1946. USNA. 122. PREM 8/1506. 105. Box 12. 29 March 1951. FO 953/1461/P1011/45. 11 January 1955. See. Haigh to MEID. 13 November 1953. 117. March 1946. 121. Box 120. FO 953/603/PME146/11/988. Vol. Box 197. NAPRO. RG 59. 23 December 1954 and No. RG 59. USNA. USNA. Lot 53D84. USNA. . No.P. Dorsz to Marshall. pp. A-413. Tyler to Stone. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. FO 953/382/PME528. NAPRO. News Review. USNA. Houstoun-Boswall to Warner. 7. Colonies and Commonwealth Relations. NAPRO. Box 86. Halford minute. NAPRO. 104. Satchmo Blows Up the World. CA-7722. USNA. 17 August 1948. RG 59. 1931–67.

87/3-3053. J. RG 84. Box 14. FO 1110/660/PR1013/5. 1735. FO 371/52310/E3135/96/65. United States Information Services (USIS) Country Plan – Lebanon. Box 187.80. U. Box 2. 13. ‘Soviet Penetration in the Middle East’. RG 84. enclosing memorandum by Philip Ireland. 27. 18 June 1954. Folder: Committee Area Directors. USNA. ‘Factors Affecting Egypt’s Policy in the Middle East and North Africa’. Maryland (USNA). 20 March 1950. for example. CAB 158/19. 30 March 1953. Report by the Joint Intelligence Committee ( JIC). CAB 158/23. 2 June 1947. 6. J. J. 20 April 1956. Box 151. Report by the JIC. NAPRO. Note by M. 7 December 1955. Lyon to Byrnes. 24. National Archives. No. USNA. RG 306. 16 April 1948. 18.C. Box 150. ‘Survey of World Communism in 1953’. 78. No. USNA. 12. 44–5. Report by the JIC. 1990). USIA Administration Subject Files.I. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. Jackson Committee Records. 15. NAPRO. 8 April 1948. 1 March 1954. Rennie to Glass. RG 84. USNA. pp. 1 June 1946. Kirkpatrick minute. 5. 4. Report by the JIC. 1 June 1953. J. 196–7. 12-755. 19.(54)10(Final).Notes 271 2. Chancery. 30 June 1953. 29 June 1953. ‘Survey of World Communism in 1954’. Report by the JIC. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 16 July 1946. Box 150.L. ‘United States Objectives and Policies With Respect to the Near East’. 25. 17. No. 21. My years at the State Department (New York: W. ‘Survey of World Communism in 1955’.S. 20. 3.C.(56)20(Final). Annex: ‘Soviet Activities and Aims in the Middle East’. 511. 10. United States National Archive. NAPRO. 6 July 1953. CAB 158/15 (Part I). Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 14 July 1946. 8. 1214. 28 April 1953. Douglas to Marshall. ‘Report to the President’. NAPRO.W. NAPRO. 23. USNA. 20 July 1946. Cairo to Information Research Department (IRD). Soviet Policies in the Middle East (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. NAPRO. Norton & Company. Acheson. RG 59.I. NAPRO. FO 371/52327/4369/797/65. Shone to Bevin.83A/6-1853. FO 953/61/PME1499/G. 14. Present at the Creation. 30 September 1946.Murray to Peck.C. 72. FO 1110/316/PR43/8/G. Fay to IRD. USNA. FO 1110/776/PR1016/2/G. Ibid. NAPRO. enclosing Meyer memorandum.C. CAB 158/23. NAPRO. RG 84. 1735.I. 10 February 1955. Minutes of Area Directors Meeting. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. NAPRO. Lyon to Byrnes. USIS Country Plan – Iraq. CAB 158/17 (Part I). Golan.I. USNA. 26. 1969).(55)10(Final). RG 84. Fitzgerald. Information Policy as viewed from Iraq. 5 November 1954. formerly Public Record Office. 511. J. 20 July 1946. RG 59. 7. No. Allen to Dulles. 22. ‘Survey of World Communism in 1952’. FO 1110/585/PRG44/8/G. Lyon to Byrnes. 611. 18 April 1956. UK (NAPRO). Wadsworth to Marshall. NAPRO. NAPRO. 9. Box 166. A-1285. See. pp. J. College Park. . Ankara to IRD. DDE.(56)10(Final). 1 May 1946. Kew. enclosing revised draft of NSC 5428. 16. RG 59. 24 March 1955. Information Department.(53)29(Final).I. 11.C. No. USNA. FO 1110/565/PRG16/13.

1952–63. Folder: Egypt 1956. Lot 52D365. FO 371/52327/E2692. FO 1110/820/PR1099/2/G. 29. FO 1110/676/PR1034/5/G. USNA. Laswell to Benton. Greenhill minute. NAPRO. No. Ibid. NAPRO. 10 March 1956. NAPRO. 36. Damascus Embassy General USIS 1955–57. 23 June 1947. Box 151. 9 May 1946. ‘Notes on Hizb al-Qawmi al-Suri (SPP) in Damascus. Cairo Embassy Top Secret Records 1944–54. FO 953/380/PME30. CAB 159/16. NAPRO. 38. 51. Mattison to Byrnes. A-69167. 33. 17 October 1946. 7 May 1948. Box 151. Haigh to Middle East Information Department (MEID). FO 953/932/PG1883/1. Warner to Houstoun-Boswall. Dwight D. Box 4. J. RG 59 Lot 54D202. NAPRO. FO 953/367/PME428. FO 371/98244/E1026/1. No. (54) 67th Meeting. Box 80. 42. FO 371/52327/E2692. to IRD. 54. ‘Statement of message of US propaganda effort in various countries’. RG 59 Lot 61D53. 32. . RG 59.C. Killearn to Bevin. USNA. NAPRO. Fay memorandum. 35. Pubsec Cairo to MEID. Loomis to Weathersby. Kirkpatrick memorandum. Box 12. Gauntlett to Rennie. 53. NAPRO. FO minute. 1950–53. Box 1. Box 4. Eisenhower Presidential Library. 17 March 1953. 20 March 1952. FO 1110/316/PR43/8/G. Gardener to Grey. RG 306. 30. 34. USNA. 18 February 1950. 290. 21 January 1950. RG 84. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. Kansas (DDE). 50. 27 February 1956. Box 151. ‘Anti-Communist Propaganda in Egypt’. Strategic Services Unit. 3 October 1946. 52. Pubsec Cairo to MEID (received) 4 February 1948. Ikhwan al Hurriya Bulletin No. 22 July 1955. Pubsec Cairo to MEID. NAPRO. 39. 56. 23 May 1946. USNA. Box 3. Chancery. FO 1100/600/PRG80/5/G. 47.272 Notes 28. 7 May 1948. RG 84. FO 371/63033/J2166. 48. Dow to Bevin. Box 48. 19 June 1946. FO 1110/823/PR1093/6. 49. FO 371/75054/E2478. FO 953/61/PME1499/G. Patterson to Marshall. 37.I. USNA. RG 84. Kellas to Grey. NAPRO. NAPRO. USNA. 24 February 1948. FO 953/592/PME145. AmEmbassy Beirut to State Department. 41. 45. 29 November 1954. Abilene. Cairo to Information Research Department (IRD). 46. NAPRO. 55. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. Jackson Committee Records. 19 February 1951. RG 84. Bahrain. 3 May 1956. 19 April 1955. FO 953/367/PME428. Weathersby to Near East Regional Service Centre (NERSC) Beirut. NAPRO. USNA. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. War Department Intelligence Dissemination No. Information Department. FO 1110/PR1089/6/G. Fisk to Phillips. Residency. Minutes of Meeting held on 29 July 1954. 29 May 1953. NAPRO. USNA. Mattison report. NAPRO. 8 April 1946. 27 December 1945. Office of Research Country Project Correspondence. 40. NAPRO. 20 March 1950. Greenhill minute. NAPRO. NAPRO. 8 April 1946. 31. USNA. 44. 449. 57. NAPRO. 29 April 1947. 2661. FO 371/53327/J53/53/16. FO 953/367/PME145. 8 February 1949. 43. NAPRO. Amman to IRD. 13 July 1956. RG 84. 8 February 1949.

76. 9 June 1955. 18. USNA. NAPRO. 68. 224. 12 June 1947. 75. 3 May 1955. FO 1110/926. NAPRO. FO 953/1481/P10416/2/G. FO 371/52459/E5857. 74. FO 1110/821/PR1089/6/G. 2 October 1946. Verney to Barclay.Notes 273 58. 65. NAPRO. USNA. to MEID. FO 371/104258/E10345/49. 70. 73. Tel Aviv. No. 8 July 1955. Information Office. Chancery. 62. News Review. Gardener to Grey. 78. No. 3 May 1955. 26 April 1954. Box 77. 16 April 1953. 69. No. 63. Kemp minute. An Arabic language article entitled ‘WFTU: a Subversive Organisation’ was produced by IRD and RIO Beirut and appeared in the Jordanian press in March 1956 (NAPRO. 15 June 1946. USIA Publications. RG 306. 511. undated. 21 May 1952. Ibid. Murray to Grey. 36. R. 66. NAPRO. Box 2. 71. 18 July 1955. 26 April 1954. Gardener to Grey. RG 306. USNA. NAPRO. FO 371/98276/E11345/7. 26 October 1954. FO 1110/776/PR1016/10/G. Rapp to Heads of all Middle East Missions. White House Office Staff Papers 1948–61. Beirut to IRD. . Beirut to IRD. No. 6 June 1955. NAPRO. Falla minute. Cairo. FO 957/132/3.. RG 59. 72.. Lot 61D53. 3 September 1953. RG 59. 30 July 1951. 21 August 1953.00/1-954. NAPRO. to IRD. 61. FO minute. 67. 21 April 1954. 81. Murphy to Rockefeller. 9 January 1954. Wheeler to Middle East Information Department (MEID). 85. 25 January 1952. Stonehewer Bird to Bevin. ‘United States Economic and Social Interests in the Middle East’. 792. 60.80/10-2654. Wright to Grey. 9 April 1956). 83. NAPRO. DDE. RG 59. Buss minute. 84. Ibid. NAPRO. 3 March 1952. Information Office. NAPRO. Publicity Section. News Review. NAPRO. FO 1110/776/PR1016/10/G. expressing concern about the likely contents of any material such a journalist might publish upon his return to Britain (FO 1110/776/PR1016/10/G. United States Information Agency (USIA) Publications. NAPRO. IRD was less enthusiastic. Murray to Grey. 28 January 1947. FO 371/98276/E11345/7. Gardener to Grey. News Review. FO 371/52459/E5857. Newsom to MacKnight. NAPRO. enclosing ‘Information Policy for the Point IV Program’. 1 February 1951. Planning Coordination Group Series. Caffery to Department of State. enclosing ‘United States Economic and Social Interests in the Middle East’. 59. Goodison minute. FO 1110/823/PR1093/5. FO 953/1481/P10416/2/G. Clark to Sanger. 3 May 1955. 82. 16 August 1954. NAPRO. USNA. NAPRO. 541. FO 1110/688/PR1053/5. USNA. 3 March 1953. 19 September 1955). USIA Publications. 80. 19 August 1955. FO 953/1351/PG1881/1. No. USNA. RG 306. 64. even if a candidate could be found. 60. Box 170. doubting that a left-wing British journalist could be found to take the job on (‘they are unlikely to do it to please us’) and. Grey to Murray. 77. Box 170. NAPRO. USNA. RIO Beirut to IRD.80/4-1653. Weathersby to Joint State-USIA. FO 1110/821/PR1089/6/G. No. FO 1110/821/PR1089/6/G. FO 953/58/PME1342. RG 59. NAPRO. 79. 674. Box 170. 1613. 18 July 1955. FO 953/49/PME283.

Ibid. Box 1. USNA. Box 188. 90. Makins to Foreign Office. Wheeler to MEID. 18 October 1955. RG 306. 108. Non-Recurring Subjects 1953–58. USNA. No. Stevenson to Eden. NAPRO. 100. 94. 288. 14. 111. Box 8. 87. 14 October 1955. Box 172. 103. Office of Research and Intelligence General Files 1955–59. like Nazism. RG 59. NSC Staff: Papers 1948–61. presumably a clerical error. USNA. 102. 101. Murphy to Rockefeller. was ‘no more than racism’).. 12 May 1955. USNA. News Review.74/2-1453. 22 June 1951. November 1955. Box 172. Operations Co-ordinating Board (OCB) Secretariat Series. 104. News Review. DDE. Caffery to State Department. 10 February 1948. 19 August 1955. Box 7. 16. 12 October 1957. FO 953/62/PME14. FO 953/1476/P1041/20. Box 5. 6 August 1954. RG 306.274 Notes 86. 93. 18 July 1952. White House Office. Ibid.. 88. 106. 6 July 1954. Box 93. RG 306. 89. 97.000 on the figure presented in the original research paper. 5 May 1955. Planning Coordination Group Series. Box 128. RG 59. 96. 24 December 1946. USNA. USNA. 2489. News Review. 4 September 1953. No. ‘Planning and Programming in the Area of Moral and Spiritual Values’. Box 170. USNA. Lot File 66D148. USNA. NAPRO. 112. 14 October 1954. RG 306. and attached minutes. 105. White House Office. News Review. 6 August 1954. Millard minute. USNA. ‘Psychological Aspects of US Strategy Panel Report’. NSC Staff Papers 1948–61. RG 306. 92. No. which was translated into Arabic and distributed in the Middle East in early 1953. USIA Feature Packets. No. Lot 53D266. 12 January 1954. 1626. 37. 98. 8. Box 172. DDE. Box 188. Lot 5D57. 19. 16 September 1954. 91. RG 59. 22 April 1954. Box 172. No. PREM 11/1079. RG 59. USIA Publications. ‘Al Aalam’. NAPRO. Gathorne-Hardy to Marett. Box 2. Ibid. Lot 60D262. 109. FO 953/380/PME30. COI memo. 12. 99. FO 953/1629/P1041/2. NAPRO. Gathorne-Hardy to Marett. NAPRO. No. . 107. Lot 53D266. 95. 110. USNA. 5 January 1956. INF 12/734. USIA Publications. Representing an advance of 100. No. No. USIA Publications. Global Theme II. Regional Information Office (RIO) Beirut to IPD. USNA. NAPRO. Damon to Wadsworth.. OCB memorandum. Abiouness to Semmerling. No. ‘Information Program Guidance Special Series: Moral and Religious Factors in the USIE Program’. FO 953/1476/P1041/20. RG 59. undated. No. NAPRO. FO 371/108349/JE1022/3. No. 13. 1 April 1954. 14 February 1953 (Caffery was rather less keen to draw attention to the Minister’s additional observation that Judaism. Ikhwan al Hurriya Bulletin. 511. Russell wrote a short piece. Ibid. NAPRO. 9 June 1952.. ‘Who Can Be Neutral’. USIA Fortnightly Guidance for the NEA Area. 19 February 1953. News Review. 18. ‘Words and Deeds’.

511. No. Box 1. 131. No. No. News Review. No. 30 April 1953. JIC (54) 72 (Final). 140. CAB 158/18 (Part I).Notes 275 113. 62D430. 23. 123. 22 June 1953. 3 May 1957. 118. FO 953/381/PME294. NAPRO. USIA Publications. ‘Anti-Communist Propaganda in Egypt’. 5 February 1953. RG 306. 15 August 1950. 26 May 1952. NAPRO. Damon to International Information Administration (IIA) directors. USNA. Cairo to IRD. 15 June 1946. 126. Weathersby to State-USIA. No. FO 371/52327/E4369. FO 1110/227/PR2674. 114. News Review. 410. 6. Data for the Jackson Committee on Overt Information and Propaganda by International Information Administration. USNA. USNA. RG 59. 122. Shone to Bevin. NAPRO. Payne to State Department. Damon to Connors. Payne to State Department. No. USNA.. Lot 52D449 and 55D251. NAPRO. Chancery. Box 1. 18.. 18 February 1950. 31 May 1949. 124. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 14 March 1946. RG 59. RG 59. 119. 25 June 1952. FO 371/52459/E5857.. RG 59. FO 1110/662/PR1016/17/G. 23 July 1954. RG 59. Cairo Information Department to IRD. ‘Soviet Penetration in the Middle East’. Kirkpatrick memorandum. Ibid. 116. State Department Infoguide Bulletin No. . 132. 134. NAPRO. 8 April 1952. 72. No. 15. No. 135. Lot 53D266.7421/4-2253. 137. Ikhwan al Hurriya Bulletin. NAPRO. Ikhwan al Hurriya bulletin. NAPRO. RG 84. Box 230. ‘Communism and Islam’. 511. Ibid. 22 April 1953.. Murray to Parkes. 115. 129. 117. 128. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. USNA. Ibid. NAPRO. Box 40. 511. 20 March 1950.74/12-3155. USIA Publications. FO 1110/316/PR43/81G. Ibid. 17 October 1946. 138. NAPRO. 136. FO 953/61/PME1499/G. NAPRO. 11 November 1954. 31 July 1953. 141. NAPRO. NAPRO. 417. 31 December 1955. USNA. No. 127. 10 October 1950. Box 150. Stonehewer Bird to Bevin. FO 371/53327/J1266/53/16. FO 975/25. USNA. USNA. 9 March 1953. No. 34. 1806. Ikhwan al Hurriya Bulletin. 133. Box 170. 9 April 1953. 130. USNA. enclosing memorandum. NAPRO. Bowker to Bevin. 125. USNA. FO 953/863/PG1163/17C. Ad Hoc Working Group on Islam memorandum for OCB.74/3-953. 22 March 1951. FO 1110/609/PRG93/8/G. Mackenzie to IRD. 15 November 1949. USNA. RG 59 Lot Files. Report by the JIC. 720. Ibid. 1 May 1946. 224. No. 120. ‘Political Developments in the Middle East and Their Impact upon Western Interests’. Horn to Mackenzie. 51. Lot 52D449 and 55D251. Box 170. 6 April 1948. RG 84. FO 953/863/PG1163/15E. February 1953. No. 26 August 1952. 121. 139. 296. Box 188. IRD Research Report. RG 306.

Myers to IRD. Inverchapel to FO. 17. USNA. Ibid. No. 5 May 1950. Glass to IRD. 200. Ibid. Ireland. USNA. 149. RG 84. Box 1. U. A-52. Heikal. Cairo Embassy Top Secret Records. 27 July 1955. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. RG 59. formerly Public Record Office. 147. No.. Box 197. enclosing report by Philip W. Ovendale. January 1948’. USIA Publications. 1 January–1 July 1946. 1005. Box 170. 31 October 1947. NC: University of North Carolina Press. FO 1110/933/PR1089/10. USNA. Patterson to Marshall. Cairo. Carter minute. 5 ‘The Less Said the Better’ 1. 6. Lot 188. ‘U. . RG 59. 4. Memorandum by A. No. 2 February 1946. January–December 1946. Policy towards the Arab–Israeli conflict. NAPRO. FO 1110/225/PR472. 4 March 1946. NAPRO.H. USNA. 34. 148. FO 371/61559/E10018/G. 2661. 170. Palestine and the Great Powers (1982). 30 July 1955. Maryland (USNA). FO 930/433. USIS–OIE Cairo ‘Report of Activities. RG 59. Cutting the Lion’s Tail. Information Policy as Viewed from Iraq’. Box 48. USNA. 2533. 144. 19 February 1951. Tuck to Marshall. Box 171. CO 537/4206. Hahn. 10 June 1946. News Review.S. NAPRO. White House Press Release. Britain. p. Carter to Stone. p. 5. Ikhwan al Hurriya Bulletin. National Archive. 1997). RG 84. Suez through Egyptian Eyes (London: André Deutsch. NAPRO. 16. NAPRO. 14. USNA. 1952–1960 (Chapel Hill. 5928. 10. 1944–54. Box 187.. Lyon to Byrnes. 9. No. Box 124. 1986). FO 1110/823/PR1093/6. FO 1110/821/PR1089/4. 26 May 1952. 146. Meyer. 12. Box 218. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. Kellas to Grey. 5 March 1955. Lot 53D84. to IRD (received) 18 June 1956. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 19 May 1947. FO 371/61559/E10018/G. Ibid. United States National Archive. caught in the Middle East. Britain and the Arab–Israeli Conflict 1948–51 (1988). 11 March 1949. Damascus. Box 150. Kew. FO 1110/823/PR1093/6. Box 196. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. NAPRO. RG 84. 7 May 1946. NC: University of North Carolina Press. No. 1 July 1946. 145. 15. 53. Byrnes to Amlegation.S. USNA. Lot 52D365. College Park. 30 April 1946. UK (NAPRO). 1945–1961 (Chapel Hill. Readers unfamiliar with the topic should consult excellent accounts such as: Cohen. Rundall minute. 2004). Ibid. ‘The Labour government’s policy and publicity over Palestine 1945–7’. the United States and the End of the Palestine Mandate (1989). 8. NAPRO. Morris. Caffery to State Department. RG 84. 143. Box 150.276 Notes 142. 23 June 1947. United States Information Services (USIS) Baghdad Report. Jerusalem. Levey. RG 84. USNA. No.. Israel and the Western Powers. 5 June 1946. Report by the Public Informations Office. 8 April 1948. Pappe.. Ibid. 2. 13. NAPRO. Press Attaché. Tuck to Byrnes. Fisk to Phillips. 25 October 1947. 3. 11. 7.

30 May 1948. 16 May 1948. NAPRO. No. 9 March 1948. Mattison report. Sharq al-Adna. 47. 19. 48. CO 537/3931. 20. 44. 26. 46. FO to Singapore. O’Sullivan report. Wadsworth to Byrnes. 36. FO 371/68386/E6364/103/65. Mattison to Byrnes. . Houstoun-Boswall to FO. NAPRO. Haigh to Pollock. 357. FO 953/5J/P1849. 1266. FO 953/592/PME145/21/916. 45.. Sharq al-Adna. NAPRO. RG 59. RG 263. FO to His Majesty’s Representative at Cairo. 28. NAPRO. 23. NAPRO. No. 1925. 243. RG 263. Box 210. No. 21. CO 537/4206. Fox-Strangeways to Gutch. 277. 1 November 1949. FO 953/381/PME294. Ikhwan al Hurriya Bulletin. File 1. USNA. 42. FO 953/375/PME103. Morris. Ibid. 34. 43. 302. No. Sharq al-Adna. No. Box 151. 22 October 1947. Sharq al-Adna. Box 197. 449. 319. No. 18 May 1948. Ikhwan al Hurriya Bulletin. No. 291. 272. 41. Box 216. No. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 12 February 1948. RG 263. 282. 9 May 1948. No. 15 April 1948. Haganah Radio. Beirut. BBC Written Archives Center. Tweedy to Waterfield. USIS. Box 151. Cauersham (BBCWAC). 49. 10 July 1946. 10 February 1948. FO 953/392/PME142. USNA. 296 (indexed 26 April 1948).Notes 277 18. 170. No. 37. 32. No. 25. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 19 June 1946. 24. Box 125. USNA. ‘The Labour government’s policy and publicity over Palestine 1945–7’. 26 March 1948. No. Information Department. FO 371/68386/E8737/103/65. 23 March 1948. 29. RG 59. 27. 30. NAPRO. No. FO 953/380/PME30. FO 953/370/PME867. USNA. 1 January–1 July 1946.. #14. NAPRO. NAPRO. USNA. NAPRO. NAPRO. NAPRO. Ibid. FO 953/381/PME294. USNA. RG 84. May 1948. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. E1/631. Ibid. 23 July 1948. 5. 292. Baghdad to MEID. 2 February 1948. No. NAPRO. No. 24 November 1948. 39. USNA. Jerusalem. No. Information Department. USNA. 8 February 1948. 9 May 1946. 41. NAPRO. USNA. NAPRO. Lot 53D84. Box 151. Report by the Public Informations Office. p. 33. Ikhwan al Hurriya Bulletin. Middle East Information Department (MEID) Monthly Report. FO 371/68386/E8738. 31. Haigh to MEID. RG 263. 30 December 1947. 25 May 1948. Lot 188. CO 537/3931. Sharq al-Adna. Houstoun-Boswall to Wright. 22. NAPRO. Ikhwan al Hurriya Bulletin. 294. Baghdad Report. Ibid. 38. 35. FO 953/5J/P1849. 8 February 1949. Box 224. 4 February 1948. 16 October 1947. RG 84.. NAPRO. Box 217. FO 953/381/PME294. No. 19 March 1948. Monthly Review of the Lebanese Press. NAPRO. FO 953/373/PME592/193/993. RG 84. January–December 1946. 239. Office of International Information (OII) Weekly Guidance Notes. 40. Troutbeck to Wright. 25 May 1948. Box 211.

As a result of propaganda of this kind. 1945–1951 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. Bevin to Troutbeck. pp. Lot 53D47. NAPRO. Houstoun-Boswall to Murray. 65. 59. Meeting: Information Policy Committee. FO 953/373/PME863. 52. 8 November 1948. 11. FO 953/367/PME662. FO 953/367/PME594. 329. 62. FO 371/75064/E3158. NAPRO. NAPRO. Box 89. 3 March 1949. RG 84. RG 59. 16 September 1950. FO 953/698/P10167/16. NAPRO. 63. 20 May 1949. No. NAPRO. USNA. 16 July 1948. FO 371/75054/E2478. FO 953/379/PME20/20/965. No. 67. ‘Detailed Discussion of Need For Early Diplomatic Initiative by U. Ikhwan al Hurriya Bulletin. Lot 52D335. Chapman Andrews to FO. 4 August 1948. NAPRO. NAPRO. NAPRO. 68. 72. Morrison to MEID. Sharq al-Adna. 1 January 1949. 73. 20 May 1949. 53. 8 March 1949). 57. RG 59. 56. 74. 16 November 1948.. Sterndale Bennett to Shuckburgh. NAPRO. 55. ‘Progress Report of Information Activities in the Middle East for the Period December 1946 to December 1947’. FO 371/73469/J2037. Information Department. Information Department. 54. 70. NAPRO. The ‘moral’ aspect of British pro-Arab sentiment is intelligently dissected in Wm. Box 198. 60. USNA. 13 December 1954. August 1950. Cairo to MEID. No. 24 November 1948. 30 July 1948. Cairo to MEID. FO 371/75054/E2478. NEA/P to United States Information and Educational Exchange Program (USIE) 22 December 1949. 15 May 1950. USNA. NAPRO. Box 41. 14 December 1948. NAPRO. 2 November 1948. RG 263. to IPD. 71. FO 953/383/PME717. Box 6. 1. Box 249. 61. No. NAPRO. NAPRO. 17 August 1953. August 1950. 14 September 1948. Cairo to MEID. Britain’s ‘de facto’ recognition of Israel in 1949 came as a shock to many in the Arab world. Box 4. FO 371/111076/VR1072/282. USIE Country Paper for Egypt. Houstoun-Boswall to Bevin. 323. USNA. United States Information and Educational Exchange Program (USIE) Country Paper for Iraq. The British Empire in the Middle East. 1984). Haigh to Warner. Haigh to Pollock. FO 953/367/PME594. Troutbeck to Wright. 16 February 1949. 16 August 1948. FO 953/370/PME867. 58. Information Department. 69. Ikhwan al Hurriya Bulletin. 114–18. Roger Louis. Ibid. and prompted a number of resignations from the Ikhwan al Hurriya (NAPRO. Overnight Guidance No. USNA. NAPRO. Lot 54D202. FO 1110/327/PR58/47/G. 64. FO 953/362/PME593. Tel Aviv. USNA. No. 30 July 1948. FO 953/383/PME889. British Legation. Campbell to FO. NAPRO. Government Re Arab Refugees and Related Palestine Issues’. Ikhwan al Hurriya Bulletin. FO 953/361/PME511/2/H. NAPRO. 136. Bevin to Troutbeck. 19 August 1950. . RG 59. Lot 53D84. 51. RG 59. FO 953/383/PME717.S. NAPRO. State Department Transcript of Proceedings.278 Notes 50. 66. Egypt Cairo Embassy Top Secret Records 1954–55. FO 371/75054/E2479. 317.

USNA. USI Publications. 22 October 1953. 1952–61. FO 371/111073/VR1072/177. Hansard. No. Israel’s Border Wars. 79. 845. 95. 13 May 1954. Box 170. NAPRO. NAPRO. 96. RG 59. NSC Series. 19 June 1953. USNA. FO 371/111092/VR1076/17. Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. NAPRO. USNA. 20 May 1954. 19. 511. RG 59. 93. USNA. 23 October 1953. 6 September 1954. FO 371/111074/VR1072/184. FO 371/104784/ER1091/244.Notes 279 75. 86. 20 May 1954. 80. Eisenhower Presidential Library. Box 187. then the temporary souring of relations with Israel was outweighed by the benefits to British interests in the Arab world. 43. Lot 53D266. Records. RG 306. Sterndale Bennett to FO. No. State Department Policy Information Statement for USIA (NEA-44). 97. FO 371/111073/VR1072/175. Dwight D. NAPRO.00/2-653. FO 371/104789/ER1091/397. Moore to FO. FO 371/104790/ER1091/428. Benny Morris has cited a letter to the State Department from the US consul in Jerusalem which predicted that the Israelis would find the prosecution of their campaign against Hutchison ‘difficult’ on account of his ‘personal popularity’ and his having ‘gained the respect of all who know him by his . USIA Publications. Fowler to Baker. 5 May 1954. RG 59. Box 97. NAPRO. 16 October 1953. 13 May 1954 and No. 91. 20. 25 August 1954. No. No. USNA. 194. 517. Bailey to Brewis. 21 October 1953. 90. No. Sterndale Bennett to Shuckburgh. Willard to State Department. Lot 60D262. Morris. 308. Vol. 19. 83. FO 371/111087/VR1074/91‘A’. Ibid. 10 August 1954. State Department Circular. Box 171. RG 59. 1299. 20. 429. News Review.. No. 16 October 1953. 19. c. 76. 89. News Review. FO to Tel Aviv. 1949–1956 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. 17 April 1954. Box 97.80/1-2053. USNA. Progress Report on NSC 155/1. 92. 98. Excerpts and Summaries. 18–24 February 1952. USNA. 84. 13 May 1954 and No. Kansas (DDE). 81. Lot 60D262. State Department Policy Information Statement for USIA (NEA-30). Makins to FO. RG 306. 20 June 1953. 24 September 1953. 6 February 1953. 13 July 1953. Box 187. FO 371/104789/ER1091/394. Sterndale Bennett to FO. 16 August 1954. 267. 1993). Wilson to FO. RG 306. 20 January 1953. News Review. 85. 1705. NAPRO. Box 171. Falla minute. Proceedings of the Beirut Conference of Public Affairs Officers. NAPRO. Proceedings of the Beirut Conference of Public Affairs Officers. 611. 88.Murray. FO 371/111073/VR1072/177. 87. 18–24 February 1952. No. 29 July 1954. NAPRO. Falla minute. RG 59. USNA. Lot 53D266. No. 94. 78. it was felt by several officials that if Glubb’s comments had secured his position in Jordan. NAPRO. despite the initial annoyance with Glubb for causing Britain some discomfiture with the Israelis. Box 5. 82. No. No. Duke to Shuckburgh. 13 May 1954. White House Office. 77. Abilene. FO 371/104784/ER1091/239. Policy Papers Subseries. FO 371/111089/VR1074/168. In fact. United States Information Agency (USIA) Publications. USNA. NAPRO. enclosing correspondence with J.

114. 122. FO 371/115870/VR1076/114/G‘B’. 27 March 1954. Arthur minute. RG 59. 511. 6 October 1955. NAPRO. RG 59. FO 371/111095/VR1079/9/G. DDE. 119. No. NAPRO. FO minute. 33. 120. FO 371/111069/VR1072/1. FO 371/111078/VR1073/81. 112. No. 2749. Indeed. Wikeley to Falla. 18 December 1954. 10 August 1954. FO 371/111095/VR1079/9/G‘A’.280 Notes intelligence. NAPRO. Troutbeck to Eden. NEA-123. 4 September 1954. NAPRO. Makins to FO. 123. 110.80/12-755.80/9-454. Wikeley to Falla. 213. NAPRO. 611. 24 August 1955. No. FO 371/113681/JE1194/372. NAPRO. 313n. 109. NSC 5525(6). 4 September 1954. 100. 11 August 1955. Strong to Dulles. 124. USNA. FO 371/111078/VR1073/81. Ireland to Dulles. NAPRO.80/9-454. FO 371/111078/VR1073/90. NAPRO. No. FO 371/111095/VR1079/10/G. Box 6. 113. 24 June 1953. 1 September 1955. NAPRO. Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs: Records 1952–61. and there was a tendency later in the year to regard French members of the UNTSO team as being unacceptably pro-Israeli. RG 59. FO 371/111104/VR1091/169. 611. Wikeley to Falla. NAPRO. 742. State Department Circular. p. White House Office. fairness and impartiality’ (Morris. 18–24 February 1952. 21 July 1954. 99. NAPRO. Malcolm minute. RG 59. British officials tended to condemn Bennike for being too weak and not standing up to the Israelis. USNA. USNA. No. 611. Israel’s Border Wars. the British consul in Jerusalem declared that he did not believe there to be ‘any truth in the suggestion that Bennike has pro-Arab bias’ (NAPRO. 611. FO 371/110086/VR1074/45. 15 December 1954. USNA. 11 October 1955. 814. 11 May 1954.80/9-354. FO 371/115874/VR1076/184/G. 102. 135. 30 June 1954. 108. 107. AmEmbassy Baghdad to State-USIA. 125. 511. 103.87/11-1653. 17 December 1954. NAPRO. 104. 211. 117. Makins to FO. USNA. NSC Series: Status of Projects Subseries. 105. FO 371/111080/VR1073/154. No. Box 187. 111. Shuckburgh minute. FO 953/1420/P10437/4. FO 371/111078/VR1073/81. 11 May 1954). No. NSC 5428 ‘United States Objectives and Policies With Respect to the Near East’. Hare to Dulles. RG 59. 115. Proceedings of the Beirut Conference of Public Affairs Officers. 116. Scott to FO. USNA. No. The USIA Program. 521. No. FO 371/111079/VR1073/123. if anything. Wikeley to Falla. CA-2907. FO 371/113676/256/JE1194/256. RG 59. NAPRO. 3 September 1954. RG 59. Shuckburgh minute. 28 December 1953.). In turn. 121. USNA.00/10-1255. NAPRO. NAPRO. 16 November 1953. NAPRO. Wikeley to Falla. RG 59. 611. 15 June 1955. USNA. . 11 May 1954. Goodison minute. 118.80/9-154. FO 371/115879/VR1076/314/G‘E’. No. Jebb to FO. 104. 18 May 1954. 17 September 1955. Shuckburgh minute. 19 October 1955. 106. Lot 53D266. 7 December 1955. 101. NAPRO. Wikeley to Falla.

135. NAPRO. 129. Department of State Press Release No. FO 371/115880/VR1076/335. 8. No. No. FO to Washington. 23 August 1956. FO to Cairo. Box 172. 15 May 1950. FO 371/115880/VR1076/335 ‘B’. 133. Sanger to Jernegan. 24 August 1956. Graham minute. No. Makins to FO. NAPRO. Ibid. VR1076/334/G. Hare to Department of State. 137. 19 February 1951. 3 August 1955. RG 263. 127. 4 November 1955. Hansard. p. Louis. 7 November 1955. Ibid. . NAPRO. 21 June 1954. FO 371/115882/VR1076/396. FO 371/115874/VR1076/189/G. 21. Arthur minute. 146.. No. 8 September 1955. 17 May 1954. 139. 131. 17 November 1955. 151. NAPRO. 134. FO 371/115883/VR1076/414. 148. FO 371/115879/VR1076/315/G. 9 November 1955. 300. Sharq al-Adna. USNA. 149. Box 7. NAPRO. FO 371/115880. 152. 145. 17 November 1955. 143. Text of Address by John Foster Dulles before the Council on Foreign Relations. RG 306. News Review. 136. Lot 54D202. Lot 52D365. No. 18–19. 15 August 1955. 147. RG 59. Shamir. FO to Amman. Series II. 725.80/5-1754. Arthur minute. The Crisis and its Consequences (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 99. 28 December 1954. Policy Information Guidance for USIA. Sterndale Bennett to FO. No. NAPRO. p. Box 56. ‘The Collapse of Project Alpha’. 3808. Department of State Transcript of Proceedings. USNA. NAPRO. NAPRO. USNA. McCardle Papers. 529. 29 August 1956. NAPRO. 128. NAPRO. Ibid. FO 371/115879/VR1076/315/G. 126. NAPRO. No. NAPRO. 142. in Owen and Louis (eds). Shuckburgh minute. FO 371/115875/VR1076/272/G. 457. Policy Information Guidance for USIA. 1984) p. Shuckburgh minute. 30 January 1956. 1989). USNA. Arthur minute. 517. 27 September 1955. NAPRO. RG 59. The British Empire in the Middle East. Fisk to Phillips. Shamir. 1945–1951 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. FO 371/115872/VR1076/150/G. FO 371/115880/VR1076/343. 26 August 1955. 140. No. 2587. Lot 60D605. FO 371/115881/VR1076/381. FO 371/115880/VR1076/334/G.USIA Publications. 742. Meeting: Information Policy Committee. 138. 1998. RG 59. Arthur minute. USNA. 27 September 1955. 144. 9 November 1955. c. NAPRO. RG 59. DDE. 19 November 1955. Nicholls to FO. 130. Box 6. 150. ‘The Collapse of Project Alpha’. 132. 141. 85. Box 48. Rose to Sterndale Bennett. FO 371/115880/VR1076/331/G. 6 ‘Equal Partners’? 1. 7 November 1955.Notes 281 125. 36. FO 371/115874/VR1076/189/G. No. NAPRO. Box 704. Vol. Suez 1956. 11 November 1955. USNA. 611.

1009. FO 371/52310/E3135. 9. 434–6. Franks to Bowker. No. 288. The Buraimi Dispute. No. 1 July 1945. 13. 2 October 1955. 18 August 1945.. United States National Archive. 1992). 30 July 1955. formerly Public Record Office. Ibid. NAPRO. 4. p. 17. 5 December 1953. 33. Maryland (USNA). Barclay minute. 26 October 1955. No. 1992). The Buraimi Dispute. 611. p. 30 June 1954. Duke to FO.. NAPRO. 6. Priestland (ed. Ibid. 466–7. 635. The Buraimi Dispute. p. FO 953/1522/PG1168/8G. 7 February 1947. p. 7 May 1953. 11.). NAPRO. NAPRO. pp. NAPRO. 32. enclosing memorandum by Brigadier J. 30. 5. Shaw to Hall. Barclay to Waterfield.. No. FO 953/1191/P10422/26. Burrows memorandum. 34. January 22nd’. 36. 304. FO to Cairo. FO 953/1108/PG1161/8. Priestland (ed. 5 October 1955. FO to Middle East Posts. FO to Baghdad. RG 263. 1956 (Archive Editions. 12 July 1955. FO 371/114622/EA1081/334. 827. ‘The Background of Anglo-Egyptian Relations’. 18 August 1945. 6. 17 April 1953. UK (NAPRO). 3. FO 953/1108/PG1161/8. FO to Certain of Her Majesty’s Representatives. 1954–55 (Archive Editions. 29 October 1955. Glubb. Sterndale Bennett to Nicholls. 28. 20. FO minute.B. Contemporary Documents 1950–1961. 138. 2 February 1948. Vol. NAPRO. FO 371/102773/JE1055/1. FO to Amman. 10. 5. RG 263. 18. pp. Ibid. 21. NAPRO. 26 November 1951. p. FO 371/104290/EA1081/434. No. The Times. RG 263. FO 371/91182/E1022/10. . 6. The Buraimi Dispute. FO 371/102775/JE/1055/86. Vol. Vol. Box 209. p. p. ‘Notes for Secretary of State’s speech in House of Commons debate.282 Notes 2. Ibid. 3. FO to Certain of Her Majesty’s Representatives. 320. Publicity Section. FO 371/68385/E24371/103/65/G. FO 371/68384/E1442/103/65. Shuckburgh Minute. FO minute. USNA. NAPRO. Ibid.. FO to Baghdad. 12 January 1956. NAPRO. 22. Hansard cutting. 16. Priestland. Publicity Section. FO 953/4G/P900. Blackham minute. 351–2. FO 371/114/623/EA 1081/348(A). No. NAPRO. Vol. Box 684. 1953 (Archive Editions. No. Cairo to MEID. 3. FO 953/367/PME428.. NAPRO. 533. 193. 1992). 8 March 1952. The Buraimi Dispute. Sharq al-Adna. 121. 73. NAPRO. Barclay minute. FO 953/49/PME283. Ibid. 233. 25 October 1955. 14 July 1955. Malcolm to Watson. p. 7 April 1948. 22 May 1947. 120. Burrows to FO. Priestland. 19 July 1951.. No. Priestland. Vol. 7. 17 June 1954. NAPRO. 19 July 1947. Sharq al-Adna. Fry minute. 31. 19. 1955 (Archive Editions. 15. USNA. 27. 12. NAPRO. Cairo to Middle East Information Department (MEID). Kew. 14. 7. Ibid. 17 April 1953. National Archive. 25. 25 January 1948. NAPRO. College Park. Eden minute. Box 654. 16 September 1955. 27 July 1951. 13 April 1955. Shaw to Hall. Ibid. Gault to FO. pp. Shuckburgh minute. FO 371/98251/E1054/2.). 29. FO 953/48/PME125. 23. 10 November 1953. 7 May 1948. 24. ‘The failure of the Iraq Treaty and Arab Nationalist Movements’. 11 June 1954. Sharq al-Adna. 8. 20 July 1951.. 26. 35. FO 371/52310/E3135. NAPRO. 501. No. Draft Note. NAPRO. FBIS. 225. 10 June 1954. 1992). NAPRO.

Sharq al-Adna. ‘Defence of the Middle East’. 19 May 1953. Policy Information Statement for United States Information Agency (USIA). FO 953/1114/PG11637/76. Cairo to Information Policy Department (IPD). USNA. FO 953/1319/PG11637/15/G. 21 May 1953. USNA. USNA. 42. 63. 7 February 1952. 45. 611. Parkes to Malcolm. RG 263. 20 June 1956. Nutting minute. Eden. NAPRO. RG 59. Box 659. 65. NAPRO. FO 953/1114/PG11637/17. 46. NAPRO. 39. FO 953/1477/P1048/1. 56. 7 December 1955. NAPRO. 539. RG 263. vol. 25 January 1956. Report of the Chairman of the Working Party on Information. 11 May 1955. NAPRO. Duke to Marett. FO 371/115496/V1073/424. Cairo to IPD. NAPRO. J. NAPRO. 8 March 1955. 38. NAPRO. 44. 49. FO 953/1115/PG11637/100. No.Notes 283 37. 15 November 1950. Stevens to Lloyd. 6 December 1951. Stevenson to Nicholls. NAPRO. 98. 71. FO 371/102847/JE119141/19. FO 953/1319/PG11637/15/G. 7 February 1952. 53. 54. FO 371/121255/V1073/211. No. 220. 67. Information Department. 40. NAPRO. Stevenson to FO. 24 April 1956. NAPRO. 60. Ministry of Defence (MOD) to GHQ Middle East Land Forces. 58. 50. NAPRO. 47. 22 December 1953. NAPRO. 4 August 1950. 43. 4 February 1954. FO to Baghdad. 7 February 1952. 23 December 1953. 2 January 1956. p. FO 371/121294/V10714/3. FO 953/1230/P1041/16. 66. Stevenson to Nicholls. 41. Stevenson to Nicholls. Hansard. 69. NAPRO. FO 953/868/PG11616/3. FO 953/1354/PG18837/2. NAPRO. 511. Full Circle (London: Cassell. 379. USNA. 21 November 1951. FO 953/1477/P1048/6. Sharq al-Adna. INF 12/610. FO 953/1629/P1041/1.80/12-755. 51. 18 November 1955. FO 953/1319/PG11637/24. Parkes to Malcolm. NAPRO. Gauntlett to Stewart. FO 953/1319/PG11637/15/G. FO 371/115529/V1073/1280. FO 953/1319/PG11637/15/G. 17 September 1954. Stevenson to Warner. 27 October 1951. Ibid. 59. Central Office of Information (COI) reference paper. Stevenson to Troutbeck. 11 April 1956. Sterndale Bennett memorandum. FO 371/102848/JE11914/36. 55. 5 February 1952. 61. 1960).00/1-2556. Baghdad Pact Council Briefs. NSC 5428 ‘United States Objectives and Policies With Respect to the Near East’. Hooper to Rose. NAPRO. 30 March 1955. NAPRO. NAPRO. 16 April 1952. NAPRO. FO 953/1114/PG11637/17. 23 August 1956. col. NAPRO. NAPRO. CA-5571. Information Department. 64. FO 371/121252/V1073/135G. Chapman Andrews to FO. NAPRO. 27 October 1951. . 48. 10 May 1953. Murray to Morris. 68. 7 February 1952. 57. NAPRO. FO 953/1477/P1048/2. NAPRO. FO 953/868/PG11616/4. No. 17 May 1952. Box 533. Rapp to FO. Record of 24th meeting of the Deputies. FO 371/121262/V1073/321. RG 59. 92. Stevenson to Nicholls. 52. NAPRO. 62.

See McNay. USNA. Box 218.80/6-1953. Lot 60D262. Box 228. NSC 155/1 – Near East (2). USNA. 79. RG 84. INF 12/610. 88. 74. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. 2 June 1951. 82. Charmley. Working Group on Special Materials for Arab and Other Moslem Countries. Vol. RG 84. Box 228. 1 April 1952. 90. RG 59. Thorpe. NAPRO. Box 228. 89. The Buraimi Dispute. No. Priestland. 5 May 1950. Vol. 84. 7 August 1953. No. Churchill’s Grand Alliance (London: Hodder & Stoughton. Whitman File. 27. State Department Policy Information Statement (NEA-3). 9. RG 84. Caffery to State Department. 23 February 1947. Lot 60D262. RG 59. Shepherd to Bowker. Lot 53D266. 80. 30 January 1957. 20 January 1953. State Department Transcript of Proceedings. No. 83. 17 June 1953. pp. Hoopes. Trott to Morrison.80/1-2053. USNA. 91. RG 84. USNA. 2003). USNA. 86. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. NSC Planning Board Report to NSC on US Objectives and Policies with Respect to the Near East. 17 September 1954. 92. 1995). 611. USNA. Willard to State Department. FO 371/98247/E10345/17. USNA. Hopkins to Dulles. Circular 408. 78. 611. Information Department. Priestland. 12 May 1955. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. Tuck to Henderson. 17 October 1951. 71. 87. p. NSC Series. The Buraimi Dispute. DDE. USNA. The Devil and John Foster Dulles (London: André Deutsch. RG 59. FO 371/68386/E7453/G. 289. Circular 329. Abilene. for USIA. ‘Britain Sees The Light At Last’. p. ‘Information Policy for Arab States’. 76. Box 5. COI reference paper. enclosing memorandum. Dwight D. 29 May 1948.I. NAPRO. 11 September 1954. Pelham to Eden. Box 93. 7 August 1953. The British Accent in American Foreign Policy (Columbia: University of Missouri Press. Box 97. Allen to Lovett. 103. USNA. 81. 93. USIA Fortnightly Guidance for the NEA Area. . p. USNA. Kansas (DDE). Trott to Bevin. Acheson to Cairo. NEA-2. State Department Memorandum of Conversation. 2275. NAPRO. Box 228. 17 October 1951. Bowker to Shepherd. Eisenhower Presidential Library. 178–81. 5 August 1954. ‘Defence of the Middle East’. 75. 19 July 1952. Circular 359. Box 46. PRO. 10 October 1951. USNA. 10 May 1952. attaching American Friends of the Middle East (AFME) pamphlet. Acheson to Cairo. Eden (London: Chatto & Windus. RG 59. 94.S. No. Box 93. 31 October 1951. RG 84. 2001). Box 123. II. 30 July 1954. FO 371/98247/E10345/17. Cairo Embassy Top Secret Records 1944–54. 359. enclosing Morde to Tuck. Lot 60D262. Policy Papers Subseries. 1005. RG 84. FO 953/1476/P1041/23. Saudi Arabia (2). II. P. 77. 25 June 1948. Acheson and Empire. 19 June 1953 85. USNA. Acheson to Cairo. 1973). 17 December 1952. Box 188. USNA. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. White House Office: Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. 322.284 Notes 70. Box 97. Lot 188. Acheson to Cairo. NAPRO. 28 February 1947. No. Circular 359. Lot 60D262. 72. International Series. Baghdad to IPD. 73. 95. USNA. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. USIA Fortnightly Guidance for the NEA Area.

116. DDE. 7 April 1956. Ibid. 30 January 1956. 611. 106. 631. Box 8. 102. FO Brief for Washington Talks. General Correspondence and Memoranda. Charmley. DDE. Box 170. Allen to Dulles. Whitman File. Vol. NAPRO.. P. 99. 171. 46. 103. Box 93. 101. RG 59. 115. 689.80/2-156.. p. Box 7. USNA. NAPRO. Ibid. 112. 29 June 1956. Vol. for USIA. No. NSC Series. Dulles Papers. Ropes of Sand. p. 108. 120. 747. AmEmbassy Baghdad to State Department. 104. USNA. 2002. AmEmbassy. Luce to Jackson. Lodge to Eisenhower.D. 105. 3 November 1955. 45. Churchill’s Grand Alliance. 289th meeting of NSC. 11 January 1956. 13 July 1954. RG 59. Eveland. Atkinson-Grimshaw to Glass. No. 27 October 1955. 29 October 1955. 1931–67. enclosing draft of NSC 5428. It is also conceivable that covert measures to undermine Saud were being undertaken by the Egyptians. 100. NSC Series. 611. 21 January 1956. VII. 376–7. CA-3616. Ibid. 169–70. 118. 20 April 1956. 12 January 1956. 12-755. FO 371/119149/JE14211/1996. AmEmbassy. Jackson Papers. Box 71.. P. Whitman File. 114. 537. Ibid. RG 59. DDE. 2 July 1956. 121. 119. 6 November 1953. Ibid. 124. USIA Publications. 312. 1 December 1955.S. USNA. Vol. USNA. 28 June 1956. USNA. Iraq. Ibid. Baghdad. Box 2. RG 306. 2 October 1956. Cairo to State Department. USNA. 26 June 1956. Riches to Nutting. USNA. 611. 511. 38. 9 November 1955. 122.80/4-756. RG 59.Notes 285 96. Makins to Eden. Whitman File. FO to Washington. IV. Byroade to Dulles. The Buraimi Dispute. General Records 1956–58. 5 November 1953. NAPRO. 111. 113. FO 953/1477/P1048/4. Cairo to State Department. 123.I. No. USIA Fortnightly Guidance for the NEA Area No. 7 December 1955. Vol. 272nd meeting of NSC. 16 December 1955. 109. Box 7. FO 371/104258/E10345/52G. Washington to FO. DDE. FO 371/114627/EA1081/466. Ibid. Dulles to Lodge.80/1-1156. 11 January 1956. NSC Series. No. pp. 97. although this idea may well have been deliberately fostered by Anglo-American propagandists as part of a campaign to sow discord between the Saudis and the Egyptians. No. 110.80/11-755.. 511. p. . NEA-128. News Review. RG 59.. Priestland. CA-5778. 263rd meeting of NSC. 17 July 1956. 28 January 1954. 117. Morris to Riches. Lot 60D262. 107. DDE. NEA-143. C. RG 84. Makins to FO. pp. VII.I. NAPRO. RG 59. USNA. V.S. 98. FO 371/114624/EA1081/388. 747. No. USNA. Makins to FO.80. 611. 43. NAPRO. for USIA. p. 12 November 1953.80/1-1156. Box 7. No.

NAPRO. FO to Cairo. . FO 371/111046/VQ1682/1G. RG 59. 21. 14. Hankey to Bowker. Iraq: Baghdad Embassy General Records 1953–54. RG 263. 129. FO 953/1419/P1041/25/G. undated. Box 1. Fitzgerald minute. FO 371/113677/JE11941/270. 10. Box 172. 4 October 1955. NAPRO. May 1956–October 1957’. 2 June 1954. FO 371/98249/E1051/1. Bromley minute. Rose minute. DDE.S. Cairncross to Hancock. Maryland (USNA). 3 November 1955. Principal Contents. No. 127. No. Lot 62D333. 974. 16. 7 ‘The Last Trump’ 1. 20. FO 371/121648/VQ1022/3. FO 371/113676/JE1194/225. 30 September 1955. 19. NAPRO. 895. Whitman File. Box 4. 6. Beirut. 6 May 1955. 7 December 1955. Vol. No. 2. British Interests in the Mediterranean and Middle East. 31 March 1954. NAPRO. FO 371/113676/JE1194/231. 1958). No. NAPRO. Box 657. Chapman Andrews to Bowker. 511.40/4-3055. FO 371/68385/E24371/103/65/G. Ibid. 9. RG 59. FO 371/115469/V1023/28G. 3 July 1953. 27 July 1953. 1 October 1953. United States National Archive.00/9-3055. 44. RG 263. Fitzgerald to British Middle East Office (BMEO). NAPRO. No. for USIA. FO 371/113676/JE1194/225. Sterndale Bennett to Shuckburgh.286 Notes 125. 191. FO 371/102731/JE10345/14. 17. 8. 2049. 2 February 1955. 131. Gallman to Dulles. 5. No. formerly Public Record Office. Hooper to FO.. News Review.I. 30 September 1955. USIA Publications. 23 June 1953. FO 371/113678/JE1194/317(A). FO 371/115489/V1073/179. 6 October 1955. FO to UK Delegation to UN. No. 19 December 1951. 6 October 1955. NAPRO. April 28–30 1955. 42. National Archive. NEA-122. 164th meeting. 130. NAPRO. A Report by a Study Group of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (London: Oxford University Press. 3. NAPRO. NSC Series. NAPRO. 7. College Park. 1266. 30 September 1955. 19 March 1948. 12. Allen minute. Wilton minute. FO 371/113680/JE1194/356. 85. 18. FO 371/104258/E10345/36. NAPRO. RG 84. 5 October 1955. USNA. P. 17 January 1956. NAPRO. 2155. PSB D-22. 2155. 18 October 1955. 17 October 1955. CA-2609. RG 59. Mackenzie to Brewis. 30 April 1955. 22. 36. 13. Box 93 United States Information Agency (USIA) Fortnightly Guidance for the NEA Area. INF 12/734. NAPRO. 4. Kew. Box 2. 15. 11. FO 371/111046/VQ1682/2G. NAPRO. Kirkbride minute. NAPRO. USNA. Vol. 22 October 1955. Bromley minute. Lot 60D262. Sharq al-Adna. 6 February 1953. USNA. FO to Cairo. 128. Byroade to Dulles. Voice of Free Iraq. Glass to Fitzgerald. Box 683. RG 306. p. USNA. NAPRO. 126. 3 August 1953. 1213. USNA. No. NAPRO. USNA. USNA. ‘Al Aalam: 1952–1957. UK (NAPRO) FO 371/113675/JE1194/192G.

51. Top Secret Subject Files 1956–58. RG 59. DDE.74/4-1056. Vol. 12 May 1956. 25 May 1956. 1307. London Embassy. NAPRO. 236. AmEmbassy Amman to State Department. RG 59. 17 January 1956. 30. ‘Near Eastern Policies’. Box 1. No. Ropes of Sand. Eden to Eisenhower. 46. RG 59. Selwyn Lloyd to Eden. Payne to USIA. A copy of my contribution to the working party of the Baghdad Pact Counter-Subversion Committee’. NAPRO. Voice of the Arabs. . USNA. de Zulueta minute. 34. Lot 60D262. USNA. 28. Byroade to Dulles. 37.. 511. Abilene Kansas (DDE) Whitman File. de Zulueta minute. 4138. 50. Said Ramadan. 47. 39. USNA. 42. Damon to MacArthur. Box 5. Eveland. USNA. 40. RG 263. No. NAPRO. minutes of Operation Co-ordinating Board (OCB) meeting. enclosing ‘5. Box 77. 21 February 1956. 25 May 1956. Bowker to Chapman Andrews.Notes 287 23.40/4-3055. Lot 61D53.40/4-1255. Tousi 396. enclosing ‘1. 30 April 1955. NAPRO. 974. PREM 11/1450. Memorandum for the President. NAPRO. PREM 11/1450. No. Ibid. was acting as an adviser to a clandestine British station based in Cyprus (Heikal. 52. Ibid. Box 93. 41. 10 April 1956. Box 14. File received from Mr. USNA. 27 July 1956. FO 953/1495/PG1932/3. 49. Stephenson to Rennie. ’56 Diary. RG 84. 30 May 1956. FO 953/1652/PB1041/77G. 27 April 1955.. a prominent Moslem Brotherhood leader. 19. 7 May 1956. 278. Subject Series. No. 974. USNA. Ibid. 31. Heikal has also claimed that in late 1955. 611. Bowie to Rountree. No. FO 371/98249/E1051/1. 24. 28 March 1956. AmEmbassy Amman to State Department. p. 44. Miscellaneous. RG 59. Cutting the Lion’s Tail. Whitman File. 35. No.85/1-1756. 12 April 1955. 53. Box 13. 2049. 169–70. NAPRO. RG 59 Lot 62D430. DDE. Parker to State Department.85/2-2156. 28 March 1956. USNA. MacKnight to Kretzman. 8 May 1956. 25 May 1956. CA-6963. 27 January 1956. 38. USNA. 27. 22 March 1956. USNA. 100). Eden to Lennox Boyd. NAPRO. USNA. PREM 11/1450. Eden to Selwyn Lloyd. RG 59. 4 June 1956. Ibid. 48. 44. ‘United States Policy in the Near East’. John Foster Dulles Papers. 25. RG 59. 574. Eisenhower Presidential Library. Lennox Boyd minute. 36. PREM 11/1450. 236. 11 April 1956.89/5-2456. State Department Instruction. 4 March 1956. PREM 11/1450. PREM 11/1450. 17 January 1956. PREM 11/1450. pp. No. 29. Box 2. DDE Diary Series. Box 704. 24 May 1956. 4 May 1956. minutes of OCB meeting. 574. RG 59. de Zulueta minute.. 25 April 1956. 32. NAPRO. USIA Fortnightly Guidance for the NEA Area. 33. 574.85/1-1756. 18 January 1952. NAPRO. USNA. 13 April 1956. Herbert Hoover Jr’s office(1). Ibid. Mar. Mar. Aldrich to Dulles. 45. DDE Diary Series. Summary of recommendations given to Iraqi Prime Minister’. 26. 43. Dwight D. NAPRO. Hooper to Grey. ’56. USNA. RG 59.

Grey to Adams. Whitehall and the Suez Crisis. Ibid. Box 2. Reluctant Gamble (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.. Ibid. in particular. pp. undated (probably late-September 1956). 67. 57. Suez and the Mass Media. 482–3. pp. Dorril. Ibid. Ambassador to Egypt’. 58. 2 August 1956. R34/1580/1. 69. 65. 1956’. Lucas. also claimed the initial impetus for the station had come from Nuri Said. 60. 625. Suez and the Mass Media. 259. Chief of the Imperial General Staff’ in Kelly & Gorst. 76. 70. 29 June 1956. BBC Written Archives Centre. BBC minute. 3 ( July 1996). 66. 11. 68. Fergusson. Thornhill. November–December 1956. Shaw. 70. NAPRO. NAPRO. Britain’s Secret Propaganda War. Grey and Dean minutes. 61. 25 May 1956. 2003). Whitehall and the Suez Crisis (London: Frank Cass. 3 May 1956. Adams to Grey. ‘Alternatives to Nasser: Humphrey Trevelyan. See. 13 April 1956. 484–5. Vol. FO 1110/880/PR10131/1/G. Millard memorandum. Gorst. ME(O)(56) 3rd meeting.(57)220 Chiefs of Staff Committee. Rawnsley has unearthed intriguing evidence that the man who later confessed to responsibility for the broadcasts from France. FO 1110/942/PR10104/54/G. Part II of General Sir Charles Keightley’s Despatch on Operations in the Eastern Mediterranean. 1930–1958. p. Kelly & Gorst (eds. Pearson. Eden. 11 October 1957. NAPRO. FO 1110/942/PR10704/54/G. NAPRO. pp. Advisory Committee ‘ICE Progress Report’. p. RG 306. 2000). CAB 134/1297. NAPRO. ‘A Modern Major General: General Sir Gerald Templer. 12 November 1956. Intelligence and National Security. C. 63. 88.. ‘Overt and Covert: The Voice of Britain and Black Radio Broadcasting in the Suez Crisis. Ibid. MI6. 514. ‘Propaganda and Broadcasting in the Middle East’. Aldrich. 72. AIR 8/1940. 23 August 1956. Director General’s desk diary. 123. Caversham (BBCWAC). pp. ‘Propaganda and Broadcasting in the Middle East’. 77. Lashmar & Oliver. USNA. No. Sir Anthony Eden and the Suez Crisis. p. 21 September 1956. 18 April 1956. 62. 71. ‘Clandestine Anti-Nasir Radio Station Probably French’. Official Committee on the Middle East.288 Notes 54. 75. 59. The Hidden Hand. This raises the possibility of a link between the French ‘Free Egypt’ in 1956 and the ‘Free Egypt’ broadcasts believed to have been organised by Iraq in 1955 (Rawnsley.O. .. R34/1580/1. 56. Shaw. Whitehall and the Suez Crisis. 29 June 1956. 37–8. NAPRO. PREM 11/1450. Kirkpatrick memorandum. The Trumpet in the Hall. 74. Mahmoud Abu Al-Fath. MacKnight to Kretzman. in Kelly and Gorst.S. NAPRO. BBCWAC. p. FO 1110/948/PR10104/245/G. NAPRO. 17–18. The Hidden Hand. 27 August 1956. 18 May 1956. Eden. 73. Ibid. Extract from Record of Conversation. 64. ‘The Missing Link? Patrick Dean..). Aldrich. p. 55. Classified Research Reports. p. p. Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee’. USIA Office of Research. PREM 11/1450. ‘Note on British Propaganda and Egypt’. 2. de Zulueta minute.

90. FO 953/1689/PG11639/7. 1395. 93. Ibid. pp. Drew to Oakeshott.C. NAPRO. R34/1580/3. NAPRO. RG 59. NAPRO. 30 July 1956. undated (probably lateSeptember 1956). 84. ‘The Situation in Egypt as at 8th January. DDE Library. R34/1580/1. 1957’. DDE. Whitehead to C. 87. 97. 94. 10 January 1957). 98. OCB series. Partner. c. 8 January 1957. pp. 11 August 1956. 108. NAPRO. No. 101.C.S. No. Dodds-Parker. 85. 80. E1/1811/1. 44. 107. 515. 24 October 1955. CAB 134/1217. AmEmbassy Cairo to State Department. vol. E1/1815/1. Caversham (BBCWAC). FO 371/119083/JE14211/214. 6 September 1956. NAPRO.Notes 289 78. 79.. p. 15 October 1956. NAPRO. RG 306.00(W)/9-656. BBCWAC. FO 371/119111/JE14211/888A.(57)12/1. ‘Second Anti-Nasir Station may be on Cyprus’. Lloyd memorandum. PREM 11/1149. 14 August 1956. pp. No. 92. R34/1580/1. FO 1110/971/PR139/148/G. Box 2. ‘Overt and Covert’. FO minute. INF 12/717. PREM 11/1098. Near East – Radio Broadcasting (1). FO 953/1689/PG11639/10. Box 747. 83. 774. RG 263. BBCWAC. USNA. NAPRO. 1603.O. 102. USNA. Arab Voices. 23 October 1956. p. 3568. Grey to Johnston. Heikal. R34/1580/3. Eden. FO to Washington and other posts. ‘Propaganda and Political Warfare in the Middle East’. FO 371/119081/JE14211/119. ‘ICE Progress Report’. Draft memo. NSC Staff Papers 1948–61. White House Office. 2 August 1956.I. 196. 89. The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) produced its own historical analogy. Duke to FO. Classified Research Reports. Box 65. Vol. 99–100. 24 October 1956. Watrous memorandum. 96. 105. 3 August 1956. 81. 557. Box 4. 18 February 1956. 22 July 1958. BBCWAC. NAPRO. NAPRO. FO 1110/967/PR136/19/G. 10 January 1957. JIC report. No. 11 January 1957. Ministerial Broadcast by the Prime Minister. Central Office of Information (COI) monthly reports: July–August 1956. noting that ‘Perhaps the best recent parallel to Nasser is not Hitler but Peron’ (CAB 158/27. 100. FO 1110/880. USNA. BBCWAC. NAPRO. 88. 91. FO to Washington. 3419. 86. 99. USIA Office of Research. 106. Cutting the Lion’s Tail. Disaster File Series. Political Eunuch. 189. 14 September 1956. 82. Information Policy Department (IPD) minute. Subject subseries. 95. PR10131/10/G. Montgomery-Cuninghame minute. J. 430–2. 8 October 1956. 104. Advisory Committee minutes.(56)62. 102–3. Memorandum for Mr. 103. . Voice of Justice. SCANT No. Gleason. BBCWAC. 8 August 1956. Rawnsley. 18 October 1956. 5 August 1956. Full Circle. Ibid. NAPRO. BBC Written Archives Centre. Note of meeting between Sir Ian Jacob and Sir Charles Hill. Speech by the Selwyn Lloyd. NAPRO. Hansard. 25 September 1956. E. 17 October 1956. 101.

Voice of Justice. 2 November 1956. 1411. Box 763. NAPRO. 1427. NAPRO. 28 September 1956. No. No. 1428. 5 September 1956. 117. 21 November 1956. R34/1580/1. Box 763. Hansard cutting. undated. Vol. INF 12/717. Voice of Justice. 19 October 1956. 137. Note on visit of Acting Director-General to Monckton. Langardge to Bishop. Grey minute. NAPRO. P. Dixon to FO. FO 371/119141/JE14211/1784G. 1395. Office of Research Classified Research Reports. Vol. 131.1569. PREM 11/1149. SCANT No. DDE. 121. BBCWAC. 11 January 1957. RG 263. File Note. Voice of Justice. 8 October 1956. FO 953/1604/P1011/23G. E1/1815/1. COI monthly reports: December 1956. RG 263. Whitman File. International Series. and R34/1580/2. PREM 11/1149. 132. 207. PREM 11/1149. 44. 10 December 1956. 134. NAPRO. text of commentary and cutter’s shot list. ME(O)(56) Conclusions. 227. 126. No. ‘Cyprus Government Seizes Sharq al-Adna Broadcasting Station’. 210. No. 5 November 1956. 6 December 1956. 3 November 1956. 113. Box 755. 3 October 1956. Tehran to IPD. USNA. Suez Summary No. Editorial and Planning Committee meeting. Voice of Justice. 1 December 1956. USNA. NAPRO. The Hidden Hand. 123. No. ‘The Facts About Port Said’. Heath minute. 139. INF 12/732. USNA.290 Notes 109. FO 371/118910/JE1094/178. 25 October 1956. 138. NAPRO. FO 371/119147/JE14211/1939. Vol. Banister to FO. NAPRO. Box 747. 1401. NAPRO. Grey minute. 8. RG 306. No. Fergusson. 127. RG 263. BBC monitoring. USNA. 112. RG 263. NAPRO. PREM 11/1149. Ministry of Transport minute. NAPRO. 115. E1/1815/1. 22 November 1956. Box 750. 10 January 1957. 119. PREM 11/1149. 128. 133. 10. NAPRO FO 371/119160/JE14211/2279. 111. FO 953/1607/P10118/41. NAPRO. 130. 18. 263–8. 114. RG 263. USNA. 116. Press Section. RG 263. pp.204. vol. 1428. 124. 11 January 1957. 135. Hansard. USNA. Box 763. minute 2. 132. NAPRO. Aldrich. 27 September 1956. 20 November 1956. 10. NAPRO. EPC 55. The Trumpet in the Hall. 1402. No. Box 2. 3 November 1956. Box 751. 136. Voice of Free Egypt. INF 6/83. Voice of Justice. 1 November 1956. Box 47. Vol. Vol. NAPRO. 10 September 1956. 122. p. NAPRO. 118. Watrous to Assistant Head of the Eastern Service. USNA. . BBCWAC. Vol. FO to Certain of Her Majesty’s Representatives. No. RG 263. 490. FO 953/1612/P10118/150. FO 953/1615/P10118/199. 25 September 1956. 110. 558. BBC. 11 November 1956. 129. 22 September 1956. Vol. 12 December 1956. 125. 196. 2 November 1956. FO to Tehran. 13 January 1957. USNA. 120. Voice of Justice. c.

Dulles. SY-2–56. No. Press Conference Series. No. NEA-168. Rubottom to Dulles. USNA. Cited in Bowie. NSC 5720(5). 149. Box 33. Whitman File. in Louis and Owen (eds). Churchill’s Grand Alliance. p.I. 16 August 1956. News Review. Gregg. 27 July 1956. Broadcast Advisory Committee. 11 January 1957. Box 7. DDE. 153. Vol. Box 7. p. 3 August 1956. CA-1341. ‘The Rhetoric of Distancing’. Box 5. 1956 (8). for USIA. Voice of Free Egypt. Status of Projects Subseries. 187–95). pp. Press Conference. White House Office. Box 19. in Medhurst (ed. Dodds-Parker minute. RG 263. No. 161. Marret. for example Charmley. Snyder Press Release. Suez 1956. USNA. NEA-168. DDE. RG 306. Byroade to Dulles. Press Conference Series. Whitman File. USNA. 158. RG 59. US Advisory Commission on Information. TV Report to the Nation 10/31/56. USNA. Box 173. DDE. 27 July 1956. 144. 37. for USIA.S. 155. Cabinet meeting. USIA Publications. 142. Later USIA output consistently sought to dissociate the question of Aswan Dam funding from the Suez Crisis. Whitman File. Through the Back Door. DDE. United States Information Services (USIS) Baghdad to USIA. Department of State for the Press. DDE. NAPRO. 200. Whitman File.I. No. 152. 143.I. 26 September 1956. P. 164. Memorandum of Conversation. 160. 13 September 1956). White House Memoranda Series. Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. 159. Speech Series. Meetings with the President Aug. Field Research Reports 1953–62. 155. In addition to Gregg’s analysis. Suez Canal Report (Dulles) 8/3/56. ‘Eisenhower. RG 59. 8 August 1956. 331. Box 5. CA-1341. thru Dec. 10. Hagerty Press Release. Ibid. RG 306. FO 953/1612/P10118/150. RG 59. Speares minute. 157. 151. USNA. P. Speech Series. FO 953/1714/P1011/3.7301/8–656. NEA-168. 157. 38. 31 October 1956. P. RG 59. 974.7301/7-2756. Series II. RG 59.Notes 291 140. Office of Research. Box 16. Dulles Papers. 30 June 1957. CA-1341. 511. 16 August 1956. NSC Series. USNA. and the Suez Crisis’. Meeting 25 January 1957. 8 August 1956. 150. 163. 148. 146. Emmet Hughes’s recollection of the process of drafting Eisenhower’s speech contains many useful insights (Hughes. Eisenhower’s War of Words. p. The Ordeal of Power. 147. 8 August 1956. See. 154.S. 974. Cabinet Series. 141.00/8–1156.).00/8–1156. for USIA. Box 5. Whitman File. News Review subsequently published an article stressing that it had never been Eisenhower’s intention to claim that ownership of the Canal was international in character. 156. McCardle Papers. DDE. RG 306. Box 763. USNA. USNA. The USIA Program. 511. Press Conference. 1956 Statements by the Secretary. 162. 511. DDE. DDE. 27 November 1956. No.S. NAPRO. merely its usage (USNA. 184. 507. 1428. 1 December 1956. 6 August 1956.00/8–1156. 16 August 1956. 145. p. 31 December 1956. .

No. USNA. 178. 611. RG 59. Memo for the Ad Hoc Committee on Middle Eastern Informational Activities. Box 3. Box 3. USNA. The President disliked the name ‘Eisenhower Doctrine’ but.4 Near East (12–10–56). . 213. for USIA. Dulles Papers. Mallory to Dulles. 192.80/1-1057. 58–9. DDE. Containing Arab Nationalism. Ad Hoc Committee on Middle Eastern Informational Activities. 180. 167. November ’56. Early Morning Commentary #892. 190. 83–5). Hare to Dulles. No.80/1-357. Box 60. the preferred terms (‘American Resolution’ or ‘Middle East Doctrine’) failed to catch the popular imagination. Jackson to Compton. DDE. 20 November 1956. RG 59. USNA. 170. White House Office. Yaqub. 1931–67.80/1-257. Attachment #3. USIA Daily Summary. USNA. Memorandum of Conference with the President. RG 59. 2 January 1957. NAPRO. Hare to Dulles. 173. 2116. 1956’ (See also Yaqub. DDE. White House Office.80/1-457. 574. Middle East Message to Congress 1/5/57. USNA. NEA-173. RG 59. OCB 091. 175. 182. 177. DDE Diary Series. 166. RG 306. 174. Moose to Dulles. 721. 23 July 1956. Jackson to Hughes. No. ‘Monday. 181. Bowie memorandum. USNA. Jackson Papers 1931–67..80/1-257. DDE. Ad Hoc Committee on Middle Eastern Informational Activities. 168. 2074. 189. 10 December 1956. 2 January 1957. 3 January 1957. No. 169. USNA. RG 59. 21 November 1956.4 Near East (12-10-56). Whitman File. Box 19. DDE. DDE Diary Series. 611. December 31. 611. P. Box 40. NSC Staff Papers: 1948–61. Staff Notes No. 611. Mallory to Dulles. USNA.I. 14 November 1956. ‘Comments on Middle East Message’. DDE Diary Series. No.80/1-357. Ibid. Whitman File. General Correspondence and Memoranda Series. RG 59. 5 December 1956. 28 November 1956.80/1-257. NSC Staff Papers: 1948–61. Eighth meeting.292 Notes 165. OCB 091. Box 20. 700. NSC Staff Papers: 1948–61. Office of Research and Intelligence 1955–59 General Records. No. 185. 188.00/11-2056. USNA. 29 December 1956. John Foster Dulles Papers. Mallory to Dulles. No. 2 November 1956. 611. Containing Arab Nationalism. 611. pp. No. RG 59. 183. 10 December 1956. 511. RG 59. 1614. 611. pp.80/12-2956. 10 January 1957. 3 January 1957. State Department circular No. 46. 714. 26 March 1957.80/1-757. RG 59. Box 1. 1654. No.4 Middle East (12-17-56). 186. 191. DDE.4 Middle East (11-15-56). 611. White House Office. Bohlen to Dulles. December ’56 Phone Calls. Jackson Papers. Ibid. 4 January 1957. USNA. 176. Diary-Staff memos. OCB 091. Whitman File. Memorandum of Conversation with Senator Knowland. DDE. RG 59. 26 October 1956. Ibid. 171. 9 December 1956. Ibid. Draft Presidential Correspondence and Speeches Series. FO 953/1632/P1041/65. 172. 2 January 1957. despite his and USIA’s best efforts. 611. 13 November 1956. USNA. Malcolm to IPD. DDE. Memo for the Ad Hoc Committee on Middle Eastern Informational Activities. Box 14. OCB 091. Bohlen to Dulles. 7 January 1957. DDE. 27 December 1956. 179. 1683. 184.S. DDE. Second meeting.. 187.

199. 1996). Middle East Journal. 201. Tauris. OCB 091. 44. Boerner to Toner. No. State Department Policy Information Statement. 5 June 1957. White House Office. Box 7. 2296. 19. 2286.80/3-1457. White House Office. USNA. White House Office.4. USNA. Status of Projects Subseries. Box 2. NEA-176. 3 (Autumn 2004). Intelligence and National Security. No. White House Office. 209. White House Office NSC Staff Papers: 1948–61. 11th meeting. DDE. Lot 60D370. 5. RG 59. 22 January 1957. State Department Policy Information Statement. 206. RG 59. 14 March 1957. DDE. NSC Staff Papers: 1948–61. DDE. Larson memorandum. Part 6 – The USIA Program. Hart to State Department. Records 1956–61. 208. Box 103. 197.4 Middle East. Records 1956–61. 24 January 1957. Staff Research Group. 611. Boerner to Toner. . OCB 091. White House Office. Vol. Ad Hoc Committee on Middle Eastern Informational Activities. 18 January 1957. 1945–58’. 203. Office of the Staff Secretary. 207. See Rathmell. USNA. USNA. NEA-176. 11 January 1957. Little. 204. Box 21. OCB Central File. Records 1956–61. 1 (Winter 1990). 31 January 1957. NSC Staff Papers: 1948–61. Staff Research Group. DDE. Lot 60D370. Ad Hoc Committee on Middle Eastern Informational Activities. No. Box 174. No. 611. Staff Research Group. Containing Arab Nationalism. p. Box 103. DDE. DDE. USNA. USNA. DDE. 25 January 1957. 15 August 1957. Box 103. 195. 401–15. Box 77. 30 June 1957. NEA-194. Box 21. NSC 5720(5). RG 59. NEA-184. Secret War in the Middle East: The Covert Struggle For Syria (London: I. RG 59. AmEmbassy Cairo to State Department. Box 21. State Department Policy Information Statement. USNA. RG 306. ‘Cold War and Covert Action: the United States and Syria. RG 59. State Department Policy Information Statement. Box 21. DDE. Staff Research Group. News Review. State Department Policy Information Statement. NEA-177. 214. White House Office. USNA. 3 July 1957. 212. 1957’. Lot 60D370. pp. Box 103. Washburn to Staats. 611.80/1-1657.4 Middle East. Vol. Boerner to Toner. Weathersby to State Department. RG 59. 11 January 1957.Middle East(6). 210. RG 59. USNA. 205. Weathersby to USIA.Notes 293 193. Lot 60D370. Boerner to Toner. 16. pp. Jones. 15 April 1957. 213. enclosing Newsom memorandum. 211. 25 March 1957. USNA. 688. Records 1956–61. White House Office. DDE.B. RG 59.74/6-557. DDE. White House Office. 10 January 1957.80/1-1757. Yaqub. 28 January 1957. No. Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. Records 1956–61. Box 21. Staff Research Group. No. NSC Series. 200. 16 January 1957. 16 January 1957. USIA Publications. 17 January 1957. 198. Lot 60D370. 14 March 1957. 194. RG 59. 202. Box 103. White House Office. ‘The “Preferred Plan”: The Anglo-American Working Group Report on Covert Acrion in Syria. Boerner to Toner. ‘Report on Middle East Informational Activities’. 611. 196. OCB 091. 28 September 1957. 51–75.

1974). Box 187. formerly Public Record Office.D. 44–5. Meyer memorandum. 473. FO 371/52744/E9717. 764. 16. Box 123. Lot 188. Jackson Papers 1931–67. 5 September 1946. Allen. pp. Box 171. A Diplomatic Revolution. 4 (Fall 2000). 6. College Park. p.. RG 59. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 4. 9. Benton to Tuck. 24. United States Information and Educational Exchange Program (USIE) Country Paper for Iraq. 28 May 1954. Ibid. 21 August 1950. Diplomatic History. p. 3 April 1947. enclosing memorandum. 270. 10. RG 84/2410. 336 ( July 1961). 101. 24. 7. McMahon. Pollock minute. Hunt to Barrett. ‘Taking off the Cold War lens’. Abilene Kansas (DDE). 561–3. 11. USNA. Lot 53D266. Connelly. RG 59. State Department Transcript of Proceedings.834/5-2854. Box 188. USNA. Information and the Arab Cause (London: Longman. Maryland (USNA). NAPRO FO 371/68385/ E24371/G. ‘U. C.S. Information Policy as Viewed from Iraq’. 15. Meeting: Information Policy Committee. Ibid. RG 59. No. Vol. 1. 25 June 1948. ‘Eisenhower and Third World nationalism’. Allen to Lovett. USNA. Proceedings of the Beirut Conference of Public Affairs Officers. Vol. 2. UK (NAPRO). Jackson Papers. 184. Box 123. RG 59. 17. Vol. 216. pp. August 1950. 112–3. ‘Eisenhower and Third World nationalism: a critique of the revisionists’. USNA. USNA. 20. 741. Political Science Quarterly. Nasser: The Last Arab (London: Thomas Dunne. 21. p. . ‘Are the Soviets winning the propaganda war?’. Lot 53D47. National Archive. Box 68. Algeria’s Fight for Independence and the Origins of the Post-Cold War Era (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Eisenhower Presidential Library. USNA. Kew. 2002). ‘Taking off the Cold War lens’. p. 22. 511. Connelly. Box 41. Connelly. 457–8. Dwight D. Lot 53D47. Lot 54D202. RG 84. 18–24 February 1952. RG 59. p. Box 6. Jackson to Lazereff. Lot 188. RG 59.294 Notes 215. Working Group on Special Materials for Arab and Other Moslem Countries. 741–2. enclosing memorandum. 25 June 1948. McMahon. USNA. 8 April 1948. Box 12. 13. Stephenson memorandum. Moose to State Department. Lot53D266. 14. 12. 15 May 1950.. 2004). 3 (1986). Log – 1954 (3). 3. 11 August 1954. State Department Transcript of Proceedings. 18. pp. pp. USNA. 23. Box 65. 463. pp. Conclusion 1. 8. 5. ‘The BBC Near East Service’. Allen to Lovett. ‘The new international history of the Cold war: three (possible) perspectives’. ‘Information Policy for Arab States’. 1 April 1952. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. Box 187. 19. USNA. No. Aburish. 24 March 1948. ‘Information Policy for Arab States’. Ibid. United States National Archive.. 22 April 1957. Abdel-Kader Hatem. pp. Westad. DDE.

Sprague Committee Records 1959–61. FO 371/98244/E1026/1. Martindale to Caffery. 32. NAPRO. Shaw. 15 May 1950. 2 March 1952. p. Cabinet meeting. White Paper on the Overseas Information Services. 1095. 25 March 1952. 85. 36. Marett. Nielsen to Boerner. Selling Democracy. FO 953/1346/PG1932/1. State Department Transcript of Proceedings. RG 59. Beeley to Eden. 18 January 1957. 33. Fellowes minute. Samuel to Eden. RG 59. FO 953/1377/PG1892/1. 26. 29. 37. Lot 62D333. 2 March 1960. 229. 26 June 1952. DDE. Suez and the Mass Media. PSB D-22. Taylor. Lot 53D266. USNA. Eden. Box 188. Whitman File. RG 84. p. Through the Back Door. 177. Meeting: Information Policy Committee. 6 February 1953. USNA. 35. 240. Ibid. 38. 34. 31. p. . NAPRO. Box 6. FO 953/1719/P1011/113/G. Box 218. DDE. Cabinet Series. 105. 30. NAPRO. Cairo Embassy 1936–55. USNA. History and Background (1). Lot 54D202. 1.. No. 26 June 1952. Box 2. RG 59. Damon to Glidden. p. July 1957. USNA. 28. No. Box 15. No. NAPRO. 17 May 1950.Notes 295 25. 27.

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154. 80. 8. 119. 87 Benton. 126–27. 13. 138. 185–91. Sir John Sterndale. 29–30. 212 Azhar. Clement. Lord. and anti-colonialism. 157. 219 Abbot and Costello. see also CounterSubversion Committee Baghdad Radio. 195. 135 Acheson. and British withdrawal from the Suez Canal Zone. 214 Barclay’s Bank. 101. 197 Anglo-American relations. 42–47 Anglo-Arab relations. 130. 178–88. 195. 95. 98. Ernest. 157 Bennett. 46 ALPHA. and Anglo-Arab relations. 181–82 American University of Beirut (AUB). 39–40. decision to withdraw from Palestine. 203. and anti-communism. 135–37. 46–47. 78–79. 105–07. 116 Attlee. 16. 168. 5. 24 Anti-Americanism. 25 Aswan Dam. 73. Sir Roger. 174–77. 111. 153–58 American Friends of the Middle East (AFME). 233–34 309 . 243 Arab News Agency (ANA). 133 Black propaganda. 10. 93 Arms supplies. 172–73 Benny. al. 12–13. 160–77 Anglo-Egyptian Agreement (1954). 75. 205. 145–46. 196. 157. 197. 89. 110. see covert propaganda Boerner. 70. 76. 200 Atoms for Peace. and Arab nationalism. 127.Index Aalam. 90. 267 Anti-Semitism. see Music Bandung Conference. and propaganda co-operation. 183–84. 188–90. 181 Akhbar. 123–24 Badeau. 69. 128–59. 182 Adams. 202 Allen. 230. 24 Barrett. 68–69. 87 Abdullah. 243–44 Allen. Gertrude. 261 Beeley. 141–42. 73 Baghdad Pact. 82. 173. 95. 209 African-Americans. 182 Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). 162. 28–29. 137. Winthrop. 23. 86 Aden. 208. John. William. Alfred. 70. 82. 274 Arab American Oil Company (ARAMCO). 234–35. 65. King. 49. 203–04 Ballet. 244–45 Arab League. allegations of anti-Semitism against. 78. 117 Bell. al. 121 Ben-Gurion. Louis. 6. 238 Bevin. 149–51. David. Sherman. 109 Authoritarianism. 203–04. Jack. 75 Andrews. 195. 129. 133–35. 63–64. 178. Sir Harold. see also Czech-Egyptian arms deal Armstrong. 89–90 Ahram. Chapman. see News Review/al Akhbar Aldrich. 140. 142. al. 237 Arab-Americans. 96. 257 Archaeology. 9. Dean. 93. Edward. 172–74. 137 Arab Legion. 100. see also Jazz Associated Press (AP). 239. 126. 10. 16. 199 Arab nationalism. 145. 206 Adams. 28. 42 Beaverbrook. 154. and the Arab-Israel dispute. 81–82 Arab-Israeli dispute. 20. 25–26. al. 46–47. Philip. 76 Belgium. 115. George.

Social democracy Democrat Party (US). 9. 120. 11. 79. Henry. 63. 223 Caffery. relations with Israel. relations with Egypt. 140. 98–103. 102. 82. Sefton. 60. comparison with Voice of America. 242–44 Collusion. 137 Delmer. 145. 137. 33–35. 47. 69. 5. imperialism and colonial policy. relations with Saudi Arabia. 21. 221–22. 87 Copeland. 87 Chatham House. 70–96. 5. 233. 247–48 Czech-Egyptian arms deal. 14. 36–38. 217–18. Miles. 39 Cairo Radio. 58. 218 British Council. and cultural diplomacy. 44. 195–96. 114. Charlie. 163 Byroade. Huntington. 236 Central Office of Information (COI).. 41. 13. 22–23. 162. 125. expenditure on propaganda. see Covert propaganda Cleland. Guy. 17. 80 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). 2. Charles. 24 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). 227–29. 46. and the Baghdad Pact. 167. Jefferson. see also Authoritarianism. 61. 160–63. 151. 86. 85–86. 78–79. 249. 35–37. 78–79 Cooper. 4–7. 219–20 Chaplin. 20. 236. 254. 176–77. The. 73–74. historiographical developments. 145 Dean. 240. 209. 121 Churchill. 125 Campbell. 208–10. 18. 125. and the Third World. 279. 157. 149. 230 Bracken. see also Voice of the Arabs Campaign of Truth. 85–86 Clandestine radio. Lord. 16–17. 38–39. 41–42. 174–77. threat to the Middle East. 193–95. 120 Cairo Packaging Center. and Arab nationalism. 7. 215–17. Bernard. 104. 120. 140–42. 84 Damon. 118 Christianity. 83–88 CINERAMA. 119. 232 Bowie. see also Sèvres Protocol Communism. 87 Cultural Diplomacy. 180 Coca-Cola. 285. 6. 202. 163–66 British-American Tobacco. 261. 193–94 Damascus Fair. 287. Cecil B. 60. 112. 116. 102 Dam Busters. 73. Gary. 168 Brotherhood of Freedom. 196–97. 72–74. see also Baghdad Pact Covert propaganda. see Ikhwan al Hurriya/Brotherhood of Freedom Buraimi dispute. 211 Deir Yassin. Robert.310 Index Bohlen. 182–85 Burgess. 163–66. G. Winston. 164–65. 184 Britain: and anti-Americanism. 204–05. 288 Cromer. 242 Conservative Party (British). 219. Moshe. 186–87. Sir Ronald. Wendell. 184.255. 114. Bing. and ArabIsrael dispute. 99 Capitalism. Brendan. and the Suez Crisis. 29. 202. 115. 254 Burrows. 203–04. 79. 8. 75. see also Cultural Diplomacy British Information Services Middle East (BISME). 85 Cold War. 83–84. 93–96. 55. 15 . 247–48. 34 Bribery. 84. 264 Cinema. 59 Crosby. 71. 84–86. 147. 202–03. and the Suez Crisis. 58. 151. British values and national character. and the Suez Crisis. 247–48. Patrick. 248 Dayan. 86 Democracy. 166–74. 24. 208 Demille. 158–59. 20 British Middle East Office (BMEO). 202. relations with Iraq. 190 China. 39 Counter-Subversion Committee. 29–30. 200. 177.

and the Baghdad Pact. 187–88. 79. 146 Fay. 127. 92 Economic development. 59. 183. 155–57. and the Buraimi dispute. 137–38 Hagerty. 280. and the Suez Crisis. 153. 292. Allen. Judy. James. 161 Free Egyptian Broadcasting Station. 145. 213 Drogheda Committee. 83. 208–09. 192. 230 Dulles. 127 General Motors. 185. 86.. and the Suez Crisis. 8. 87 Dixon. Hamilton. foreign policy speeches. 230–31. 34. 8. 208. 116. and the Suez Crisis. control of British overseas publicity. 150. 87 Garland. 239. see also Eisenhower Doctrine: and British imperialism. 111–13 Economic propaganda. Douglas. 291 Evans. 200 Franks. 87 Gaumont. and Arab-Israel dispute. 73.Index Development. John Bagot. Peregrine. and the BBC. 246 Education. 110. support for British propaganda activities. John. 80. Dwight. 218. British education projects in. 202–05. Paul. 16–17. 219. Gillespie. 14–15. 185. 126 Disney. 196. 78. relations with John Foster Dulles. 65. Arab hostility to. 221. 95. 1. 33 Gaza. and the Sudan dispute. 210. 228. 148 Ford Motor Company. Point Four Dickens. 288 Free Iraq Radio. 168. 223–26. 35. and educational exchange programs. 229–37. 41. 223–25 Eagle-Lion Films. 75–77 Gable. 224–25 Eden. 57. 156. 110 Egypt: American education projects in. Walt. 27 Fellowes. 202. reorganisation of American propaganda agencies. Clark. religious rhetoric. 115. 35. 211. 24 Foreign Office: attitudes towards propaganda agencies. 39. 77. revolution (1952). 216. 128 Eveland. 217. 124. and clandestine radio propaganda. 254 France. 202 Falla. 219–20. 216. and the Eisenhower Doctrine. 105–06. Bernard. 234–35. Sir Charles. British threat to Nile waters. 161. see Economic development. and communism. Denis. 19–20. 222 Duke. see also Jazz Glass. 62 Gillespie. 73–74. 155–56. Charles. 196 Fulbright program. Dizzy. 153. 62. 184–85. John Foster: and anticolonialism. 124. 72. 8. 63. 229 Dodds-Parker. 219 Haganah. 119. 125–26. 115. 230. Hamilton. 173. 213–14 Dulles. 107 Grey. 8 Hambro. and Nasser. 263–64. and Nasser. 222 Drew. 102. Pierson. 231–32. 207. 218–19 Fisher. see Britain Greenhill. Oliver. 153. 169–73 Egypt Committee. Wilbur. 31–32. Ronald. 90. 208–09. 52. 199. Raymond. 82. 71–78. 267. 72 Fergusson. 45. 279 Great Britain. and Arab-Israel dispute. see Cairo Radio. 99–105. 203. 215–16. 288 Franklin Publications Inc. 104. 208 Hare. 7. 65. 246. Sir Charles. 239 311 Eisenhower. Paul. 195. 76–77. 1. propaganda activities of. Anthony. 173. Voice of the Arabs Eisenhower Doctrine. 24 Gibb. and the Suez Canal Zone dispute. 189–90 Glubb. 229. 231 . 54–55. 216 Egyptian State Broadcasting. 211–12. neutralism. Leslie.

92. 215 Information Policy Department (IPD). and Soviet intelligence. 139. 102. 149. 134–35. 208. Charles. 67. 110 International Information Administration (IIA). 122 Irgun. 184. 2. on communism and Islam. 89–90. Bob. British intelligence activities in. 96 Jewish Agency. 136–37 Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC): assessments of communist threat to Middle East. see also McCarthy. covert propaganda in Shia communities. 87. international recognition of. 14. 119. 119. 203. William. Charles (C. Sir Knox. 62 House Un-American Activities Committee. 209. 226. 188. 125. 82. 136 Islam. 20. 279–80. 98–100. see also Religious propaganda. 87. 2–3. 51. 24. 10. 289 JOLT. 248 Histadrut. 171 Jones. 241–42. 17–19. 123. 25 Hughes. and Arab nationalism. 210–11. 100. 87. 238 Ikhwan al Hurriya/Brotherhood of Freedom. 230 Hope. 239. 228 Jackson Committee. and communism. 30. 146–47. Mohamed. 120. 125. 138. 141. 21. Philip.). 92. 40. King. 51. 40. 124. 195–97. 86. and the Palestine crisis. 99. 67–69. 142. 250. 207–08. and security guarantee. 77–78 Iran. 103. 121–23. 104. 118. 254. 109. 50–51. 87 Hopkins. 64. 89. 34. 119–25 Israel. 19. see also Radio Ramallah Hawkins. 248 Jackson. 27–28. Emmet. 103–04. and anti-neutralism. 58. see also Baghdad Radio Ireland. 245. 110–11. 99. 28. and bribery. 143–44 Jackson. 198. Aldous. 101. 77. 182 Iraq: 24. 113. 244. 135. 104. 101. War of Independence (1948). sponsorship of Princeton University Colloquium on Islamic Culture. 237. 134–39 Information Coordination Executive (ICE).D. 8. 6. 19–20. 126. 226–27. 142 Howard. 14. and the Suez Crisis. Operation. 287 Helm. 201. 273. and Al Azhar university. 199 Israeli Defence Force (IDF). Roy. 107. and the Suez Crisis. 144–49. 228–29 Hussein. 13. William. contacts with Middle Eastern left wing groups. Herbert. relations with UN. 199 Huxley. 127. 122. 87. 65. 16–17. 110 Hollywood. 71–72. view of Nasser. 116–17 Information Research Department (IRD). Albert. border raids. Coleman. radio broadcasting in. 207. Sir Ian. 244 Jordan: anti-communist activity in. on incompatibility of Islam and communism. 86–88 Hoover Jr. 48 Hill. 25. 94. 207 International Confederaton of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). in America and Britain. 115. Joseph Houstoun-Boswall. 40 . contacts with Middle Eastern leadership groups.. on communism and Islam. 265. 14 Jacob. see also Sports Hashemite Broadcasting Station. Shepherd. 86. 121. propaganda activities of. 120. see also Jazz Heikal. 291 Hungary. Garland Evans. see also American Friends of the Middle East Hourani. 61–63. 210 Jazz.312 Index Harlem Globetrotters. 115. national stereotypes. 208.

111. 167. 16. 172. 175 Middle East Information Department (MEID). 24. 195. 14–15. denounced as imperialist. and the Baghdad Pact. 49. 106 Mayhew. and Arab-Israel dispute. Henry. General Sir Charles. Armin. 203 Marett. Harold. 236. 131. 211–21. 160–61. The. 240 MGM. 6. 117 Mossadeq. 214–15. 7. 121. analysis of Middle Eastern neutralism. Foy. Donald. 19–20. 193 Mailer. Norman. 40 Lennox-Boyd. 33. 96. 119 Kirkbride. 11. Joseph. 99. Alexander. 222. see also Jazz Ministry of Defence (MOD). 105 Lawrence. 219. 204 Muslim Brotherhood. 111 Mason.E. 48. Angus. 143 Monckton. 213 . 1. 27. The. 56. 109 Landale Organisation. 83 Mattison. Robert. 203 Lewis. see also trades unions Labour Party (British). Roger. 212. Cecil. Harold. 217 Loomis. 69. 7 McArdle. 122. 127. and communism. 190. 22. Sir Miles. 203 Labour organisations. 121 Lebanon: communist Party in. 127 National Security Council. 18. 104. 83 Korean War. 26–27 Larson. Theodore. 185 Malcolm. 45. 17–18. Alan. radio broadcasting in. comparisons with Hitler Mussolini and Peron. 44–45. and collusion with Israel. 101. and the Soviet Union. 42 McCarthy. neutralism. 104. 213 Ministry of Information (MOI). 44 Korda. 218 Moose. 149–50. 184. Gamal Abdul. 156. Arthur. 245–46 313 Marshall Plan. 126 Kennan. and Czech-Egypt arms deal. 38. 207 Kohler. 32–33 Library of Congress. communist threat to. 188 Kirkpatrick. 193. Harold. James. 95. 245 Lasswell. 239. 208 Kellas. 87 MI6. 289. 222 Lampson. George. 187 Logan. Ivone. 114–15 NATO. Carl. 229 Maltese Falcoln. 10 Middle East Defence Organisation (MEDO). 120–21 Meyer. 41. 81 Kurds. 98 Khrushchev. and the Suez Crisis. 203. 240 Millard. 180–81 Moscow Radio. 196–97. Henry Cabot. 217–18 Lodge. 287 Naguib. 87 Nasser. Mohammed. Walter. Guy. 117. 78–79. 240 Morde. 172. T. 100–01 Lloyd. 27 Minor. 115. 125. 104–05 Lyon. 77 Libya. 16–17. 32.Index Keightley. 99 Kuwait. 46. Selwyn. 62–63 Libraries. 87 Marconi.. 192. 205 Miller. 174. 111. Sir Alex. 100 Macmillan. Arthur. 30. 208 Music. 17. Muhamed. 104. 52. 104–05. Bernard. 88–90. 89. Glenn. 51 Murray. see Secret Information Service Middle East: definition of. 87 Makins. 23. 202 Naked and the Dead. 158. 201. 87 Mecca airlift. 110. 40. 221–22. 212–14. 193–94. 109–11. Christopher. Nikita. Gordon. 106–07. 208–09. co-operation with American propagandists. 211 London Press Service (LPS). 105. James. Ralph. British intelligence activities in.

203. views on the ‘Arab mind’. 131 Roosevelt. 125. 121. 12. 133. see State-Private network Projection of America. 12 Office of War Information (OWI). 135–36. 189–90. 126. 5. 116 Opera. 62. 3 Psychological Strategy Board (PSB). 77. 147. 233. 84–85. 118. 104. 89. Palestinian refugees. 33 Parr. Beirut. 274 . A. 129. Jack. 207. see also Sports OMEGA. 89 Olympic Games. Henry. 18. Reuters. see also Islam Rennie. Arthur. 12. 2. Bertrand. 247 News Review/al Akhbar. 95. 24–25. 15 Reuters. 79–80. 247 Propaganda: definition of. 113. 219 Russell. TASS. 103–04. 60. 117. 111–12. 144. 180 Oklahoma. 183 Nicholls. 160 Pepsi-Cola.C. 87 Rockefeller. 73. 144–46 Radio Ramallah. 118. 56. 118 Palestine. 90. see also Arab News Agency. 86–87. 25–26. J. see Sharq al-Adna Near East Regional Service Center (NERSC). 240. 18. 14. 55–56. Associated Press. 5–6. 249. Operation. 16. William. 43. 183 Rougetel. 133. see also Said. 64. John Le. 155. 170. Nelson. 163–64. 206 Religious propaganda. John. 68. 14–16. Jack. see Neutralism NSC 68. see also Bandung Conference New York Times. Anthony. see also Music Portsmouth Treaty (1948). 26–28 Orientalism. 9. 33–35 Newsweek. 83 Reading Rooms. 78–79. 23. 80.. 13–14. 21. crisis of the British Mandate. Jewish immigration. 95. 202 Oral propaganda. 82–83. 132–36. 155–56 Panama Canal. see Music Operations Co-ordinating Board (OCB). William Grant. 92–93. 20–21 Pelham. 25. 133 RKO Pictures. 77. 143 Political Warfare Executive (PWE). 207 Republican Party (US). 162. 219–21 Pravda. 56 Porgy and Bess. 130–31. 240 Peck. 184 News agencies. and the Palestine crisis. 170–71 Office of Information and Cultural Affairs (OIC).J. 49–69. 77 Private Enterprise Co-operation. Norman. 130. 200. 188. 145. 81–82. 139–40. United Press News Department (Foreign Office). 95. 40. 235 Open Skies. 67 Rountree. 57. 227 Neutralism. 159. 78 Paramount. 118. 85 Projection of Britain. 31. 94. and the Suez Crisis. Beirut. 114–19. 115 Roosevelt. 291 Newsreels. Kermit. 230 Royal Air Force (RAF). 249. 216–17 Point Four. 46. 198–99 Rank. 225 Pan-American Airways. Edward Pakistan. see Libraries Reddaway. 119–25. 134 Princeton University. 154. 207 Regional Information Office (RIO). 207–08 Pollock. Franklin. 225–27. 157 Non-aligned movement. 222–24. relations with Congress.314 Index Near East Arab Broadcastng Station. 199–206. 123. 230. 24 PILEUP. 119. 169. 13 Nutting. 25–26. 240 Port Said: alleged British atrocities at. 60–66 Qibya raid.

71. invasion of Hungary. opposition to Truman’s policy towards Palestine. see AngloAmerican Relations Sports. 115–16. Anwar. 177. 115. 28. standard of living. Sir William. 203–04. 209–10. 84 TASS. difficulty of propaganda work in. Soviet imperialism’. 256 Stephenson. 151. 242. relations with USIA. 109–11. 236. 95–96. 80. 107–11. 218 Sharrett. 52. 101. 234 Said. 245 Sudan. 111. 18. communism in. Edward.Index Sadaka. penetration of the Middle East. 241. post-war propaganda responsibilities. 83. 246 Syria. 206–29. 228. alleged anti-Semitism. 248. 194. 106–07. 61. 207–08 Special Relationship. 113. International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. and the Sudan dispute. 190. al. 14. 74. requisitioned by the British Government. 186. 184 Times. 6. 106–07. Donald. 208. 94 Sharq al-Adna. ‘peace’ campaign. 247. and the Palestine crisis. Joseph. 227–29. World Federation of Trade Unions Trades Union Congress (TUC). 30–31. Ba’ath Party. 168 Trades unions. 99–101. 194–96 Saud. 152. Operation. 162–63. 156. 35. alleged pro-Israeli bias. 115 Tales of Hoffman. 25–26. Theodore. see also Histadrut. 184. 136 Stevenson. 194. see also Orientalism Said. 163–66. 157. and the Suez Crisis. 198. 261 Shishakli. 240 Stern Gang. 146 Shaw. and the Third World. American intelligence activities in. 101 Shuckburgh. 126–27. and the Voice of Britain. 114. 77–78. 23–29. Dorothy. Ralph. 31. 130–31. 78–79. 232 The Week In America. 12–13 Social democracy. 236–37 Saudi Arabia: and the Buraimi dispute. 88. 169 Stonehewer Bird. Wilbur. 104. 90–93 Stalin. 117–19.. 123 Stark. Evelyn. 16. 255 Soviet Union. 121–22 STRAGGLE. 115 SCANT. and the Czech-Egyptian arms deal. 19. 24. 166–69 Suez Canal: nationalization of. 243–44 315 Special Operations Executive (SOE). The. 30–31 Thompson. The. Artie. 164–65. 25. 170–72. 128. 38 Secret Information Service (SIS/MI6). Moshe. 169–73. 35–36. 19 State-Private Network. 19. 124 Sadat. communism in. 95. 88 Time-Life Inc. 27–28 State Department: loss of reponsibility for US propaganda. 221. British intelligence activities in. and the Arab-Israel dispute. 126. neutralism. 68 Streibert. 163. Hugh. 169. 12–13. 185. 15. 42. 189–90 Suez Crisis. 101. Freya. 49–52. 231. 134–38. neutralism. see also American Friends of the Middle East Three Came Home. 89. 221 Strang. corruption and bribery. Adib. 115. 207 Smith-Mundt Act. suppresion of Muslims. see also Jazz Shell Oil Company. Nuri. 153. 98–103. 218. 192–93. 193 Suez Canal Zone Base. 127. 71–72. 210. 123–24. 115. King. 198. 181–82. 215–16 Schramm. and the Suez Canal Zone dispute. 110 . 211 Shakespeare. William. 185. 257 Sèvres Protocol.

125. 15. 139. Ann. 40. 200 United Nations (UN). 27. Humphrey. 75. and the Suez Canal Zone dispute. Philip de. 155. 7. 134.H. and Al Azhar university. 244 Zulueta. 15. 23. 87–88. 111. and Arab-Israel Dispute. 210. 78 Twentieth Century Fox. 133 United States of America: anti-British sentiment and anti-colonialism. 234 United States Information and Educational Exchange Program (USIE). relations with Egypt. 93 USSR. Harry. 23–24. 149. 144–48. 87 TWA. 180–82. and Palestine crisis. 57 Zanuck. see Economic development. 128 Washburn. 134–35 Tuck. 86 Zionism. 208–09. 209. 241. 241. 25 W. Sir John. 67. 147. Gordon. 32 World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). 243–44. 226–29. 108. and the Suez Crisis. 42. 117. 124. 145 Truman. 14–16. 223–29 United States Educational Foundation (USEF). 61. 245. 44. 221 Warner Brothers. and the Eisenhower Doctrine. and Suez Crisis. 249 US Advisory Commission on Information. Smith and Sons. and Arab nationalism. Wireless File. 79–80. 145 Young. 23. 185–91. Daryll. 7. 39. 8. relations with CIA. 79 Whitman. 151. 44. 17–18. see also Egyptian State Broadcasting Voice of Britain. Woodrow. 240. 44–45. 196–97 Voice of Justice.316 Index Transjordan. Lana. 44–45. 67. and the Suez Crisis. 58. 33–34. 135. publications programme. 86 Warner. 223. 140–41. 66 Tripartite Declaration. S. 200. relations with Congress. 13. 131. 12–13. 88. 19. 42. Pinckney. 117. 28. 143. racial issues. 47 Welfare State. 77 United States Information Agency (USIA). 154. 110 Wyatt. 105. 137 Watson. Social democracy West Germany. 218 Voice of Free Egypt (British). Adam. see Jordan Trevelyan. 17. 34. 15. 130 Turner. 36–38. 28–29. 232–34. and the Suez Crisis. 129. establishment of. Abbot. 15. see Soviet Union Voice of America. 227 United Press (UP). 226–27 Voice of the Arabs. and the Arab-Israel dispute. 233. 12–13. 178–85. 220. 144–45. 125. 58. 5. 31–32. 25. 159 Troutbeck. Palestine Partition Plan (1947). 241. 90–91 Waterfield. 160. 202. Christopher. 130–32. Global Themes. 14. and the Eisenhower Doctrine. expenditure on propaganda. 215–16. 221–22 Voice of Free Egypt (Iraqi). 204–05 . George Kennedy. role within the foreign policy bureaucracy.