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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 13, 1959


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    This report emphasizes American propaganda in the Middle East, such as promoting democracy and American way of life, as well as its anti-Soviet propaganda. The report also extensively lists the Americans' participation in the region such as how much money and resources were devoted there, including from private institutions.
    "Soviet Report, 'The Ideological Aggression of American Imperialism in the Orient'," January 13, 1959, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, f. 5, op. 30, d. 300. General Department of the Central Committee, 1953-1966, microfilm, reel 73. Contributed by Roham Alvandi and translated by Gary Goldberg.
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8 April 1959

Subject to return to the

CPSU CC General Department]


I am sending brief information about the ideological aggression of American imperialism in the Orient


G. Zhukov

13 January 1959

N 182


Cde. N. A. Mukhitdinov has seen.

[[to the] archives

[[illegible signature]]

30 March 1959]


the ideological aggression of American imperialism in the Orient

The main directions of American propaganda in the countries of the Orient are praise of "American democracy", "the American way of life" and US foreign policy, the economic "aid" of the US to poorly-developed countries, popularization of the so-called "people's capitalism" of the US, anti-Soviet propaganda in all its forms, and propaganda directed at discrediting Communist and worker's Parties.

The main reliance is made on a portrayal of the imaginary "imperialist ambitions" of the Soviet Union in the Orient. Everything possible is being done to discredit the Communist movement and the movement in defense of peace in Southeast Asia and the Arab countries, and also Soviet policy in these regions. Streams of slander erupt about the "oppression" of national minorities and "persecutions" of Muslims which supposedly exist in the USSR, wild yarns are spread about the "terrors of concentration camps" and the "police regime" in the USSR and the countries of people's democracy. The principles of Marxism-Leninism are subjected to constant malicious attacks. Recently the system of popular education in the USSR was subjected to fierce attacks. Along with this, US "cooperation" with the countries of Asia and Africa is strongly advertised, and the Baghdad Pact and SEATO as a means of "defense" of the countries of the Orient from Communism are heavily propagandized. Attempts are being made to convince public opinion of these countries that "friendship and cooperation" with the US are a guarantee of their future prosperity.

The US has put an enormous staff at the service of its propaganda goals in the countries of the Orient, spreading propaganda and counter-propaganda on a large scale and using the most diverse forms and methods.

In 1957-1958 the US budgeted $32 million just through government service channels (USIA) for propaganda to Asian and African countries, or 1/3 of all USIA expenses for propaganda abroad. In the 1958-1959 fiscal year it was planned to considerably increase (by $2 million) the expenses for American propaganda in Africa, and the Near and Middle East with a reduction of appropriations for propaganda to Western Europe.

In 1957, about 1900 people worked in American information centers in the countries of the Near and Middle East, including 320 Americans. US library information centers in the countries of the Orient have at their disposal reading rooms, film archives and motion picture projectors, lecture rooms, exhibits, and universities. The USIA concentrates all types of propaganda in its hands: printed, radio propaganda, lectures, and film. It engages in the organization of exhibits, English language courses, evenings of music, etc. In practical terms, it also directs the activity of private American organizations such as the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Kellogg Foundation, which pursue propaganda work in Asia under the cover of cultural, scientific, or publishing activity. The US information centers have also been entrusted with the task of disseminating American literature and establishing contact with local publishers to locally publish the propaganda materials with their help which the Americans need.

Private American organizations operate in Oriental countries under USIA management. For example, the Franklin Organization controls all American cultural activity in Arab countries and is one of the centers for the publishing of American propaganda literature, including anti-Soviet [literature]. Many publishers, newspapers, magazines, and also cultural and scientific organizations of the Arab countries are under the influence of the Franklin Organization. In Southeast Asia countries much work in this direction is being done by the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Asia Foundation.

USIA distributes books by Americans authors in Oriental countries in large quantity which justify American policy and "refute" Communism. Such literature has the appearance of an "academic approach" to the problems and is aimed at the local intelligentsia and students. Recently the USIA published a book in Arabic translation by the American D. [Counts/Koontz] [Kaunts], "Instruction in the USSR". The book contains a dirty slander of the educational system in the USSR. However, the USIA mainly relies on local publishers in the publication of such materials, widely financing local reactionary publishers, publishing the dirtiest, most slanderous, anti-Soviet brochures through them in their name. For example, the USIA subsidized the publication in Damascus of the brochure, "What I Saw in Communist Countries" by Ahmed Talas. The brochure by Suleiman [Awad], "Down With the Motherland, Long Live Russia", and the brochure by the Indonesia writer Rustam [Effendi],  "Russian Aggression in Hungary", as a straw author, and a whole series of others published there are filled with vileness and anti-Soviet fabrications.

After the formation of the UAR the main mass of USIA anti-Soviet slanderous literature has been published in Beirut. In 1958, for example, the brochures "Red Paradise" by Munir [Abdelhady Tahhan], "Communism and Democracy in the East and West" by Ibrahim Haddad, and others were published. A large number of brochures without authors are also published in Beirut, for example, "The Communist Means of Mutilating Children's Minds" and "The Facts about Soviet Asia". All kinds of slanderous fabrications are spread through Beirut publishers about Soviet policy with respect to Israel (for example, the anonymous brochure, "The USSR, the Bosom Friend of Israel"). All this "literature" has a lowbrow character and is mainly aimed at readers with a low educational level.

According to available information right now the USIA is preparing eight million copies of cheap booklets for publication for 24 countries of the Orient devoted mainly to extolling "the American way of life".

The quarterly bulletin of the American University in Beirut is widely used as a mouthpiece of American propaganda. Such inveterate apologists of imperialism as Toynbee and John Philby, and also a whole series of prominent Arab authors, for example, Charles Issawi, are active on the pages of this bulletin.

Articles in this bulletin which are presented as "objective academic research" essentially carry a clearly-expressed pro-American coloration and are directly or indirectly aimed at the USSR. This can especially be said of such bulletin articles as "A Spiritual Challenge [vyzov] in the Ideological War" by [Faris], "The Economic and Social Foundations of Democracy in the Arab East" by Issawi, "America and the Arab Awakening at the Contemporary Stage" by [Faris], and some others.

In 1958 the so-called "Institute of the Study of the USSR" financed by the Americans in Munich began to publish the journals "[Majallya ash-Shuuni is-Sovetiya]" in Arabic and "[Dergi]" in Turkish in which articles were placed written by emigrants from the USSR and containing dirty slander of domestic life of the Soviet Union.

Radio has the greatest importance in the entire system of American ideological propaganda to the countries of the Orient.

The amount of broadcasting to the countries of the Orient by our ideological enemies Voice of America and BBC totals 114 hours a day. The amount of broadcasting to the Orient is constantly increasing. On the 30th of July 1958, at the height of American intervention in Lebanon, US President Eisenhower turned to Congress with a request to increase the budget of Voice of America by $22,300,000 to expand programming to the Near and Middle East and Africa.

The US broadcasts to the Near and Middle East through radio stations in Tangier, Britain, Ceylon, Greece, and Israel. Their programs are broadcast on the domestic radio programs of Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, and Ethiopia.

In addition, at the present time 11 "secret" radio stations broadcast to the Arab countries: "The Voice of Truth", "The Voice of Liberty", "The Voice of Purification", "The Voice of Iraq", and others, which are located on Cyprus, in Aden, on the territory of member countries of the Baghdad Pact, and on US ships in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The powerful American radio station in Nigeria is used to rebroadcast Voice of America programs to the entire African continent.

Radio stations in Ceylon, Taiwan, and the Philippines are used to broadcast to the countries of Southeast Asia.

American film propaganda has taken on a large scale in the countries of the Orient. The proportion of American films in the commercial film markets of the countries of the Orient is 70-80% of the total available to rent. The number of American films imported into various countries is from 150 to 250 titles a year.

US information centers operate extraordinarily actively in the field of film propaganda in the countries of the Orient. According to 1956 data they had more than 3,000 portable film projectors and many thousands of films in these countries. Even in such a small country as Ceylon USIA has a film library and 600 film titles and 26 mobile motion picture outfits.

[illegible signature]

13 January 1959


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