Sensing the danger of the spread of communism in the Middle East during the late 1940s and early 1950s, the United States government worked hard to counter Soviet attempts to find and expand a breeding ground for their ideology. In its endeavor to influence the hearts and minds of people, US propaganda aimed at exposing the negative aspects of Marxism-Leninism in order to convince the Arab masses that communism represented a common enemy for both America and the Arab world. In this chapter, the discussion is mainly focused on Iraq since communism greatly flourished in it during the period cited above as the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) gained a wide popular appeal that frequently exceeded the popularity of other communist parties in the Arab world. The targets of US propaganda were from different sectors of Iraqi society, but focused especially on the ‘molders of opinion’, many of whom were religious leaders. As for the means, the United States Information Bureau provided financial assistance; distributed magazines, pamphlets and posters; manipulated news and radio broadcasts; and promoted books, libraries, music, movies, cartoons, and educational activities. But amongst the most effective means used was involving religion in propaganda activities due to its importance to Iraqis’ daily lives. The US propaganda efforts concentrated on portraying communism as an atheist ideology which was the sole enemy of Islam and featured stories of persecution of Muslims within the Soviet Bloc. On the other hand, the US embassy in Iraq tried to project the idea that unlike the Soviet Union, America was a friend to all Muslims as both were united against a Godless enemy. ...

Additional Metadata
ISBN 978-0-8265-1853-8
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/41148
Series ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
Note Author Manuscript version, published in: Philip Muehlenbeck (ed.), Religion and the Cold War: A Global Perspective. Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Press, pp. 113-138
Citation
Al-Rawi, A.K. (2012). "Campaign of Truth Program": US Propaganda in Iraq During the early 1950s. In ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/41148