Public Opinion and Foreign Policy

By Lester Markel; Council on Foreign Relations. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN
TWO VITAL CASE HISTORIES

By Arnaldo Cortesiand "Observer"

IN THE THREE preceding chapters we have discussed the job confronting us abroad and the roles of the State Department and private enterprise in carrying out that job. Now let us look at the principal battleground, Europe, to try to gauge how effective our program has been in the three major propaganda areas -- the black, the white and the gray.1 Are we or the Russians winning the battle for men's minds?

The Black Areas . These are the areas under complete or almost complete Communist domination. The channels of communication are largely in the hands of the Communists. Thus, we operate at a disadvantage; our program cannot be decisive in any immediate struggle. In these countries the reports indicate that, while the Russians are making full use of their advantages in communications, there is, in some countries at least, a strong residue of pro-American sentiment.2 The Voice of America is the principal American propaganda weapon. If only because of the multiplicity of their media and their absolute control of governments, the Russians have the advantage.

The White Areas . These are the countries, England, for example, where the struggle between Communism and the West is not immediately acute. In them there is a strong popular sentiment for the Western way of life and there is no sizable Communist party to contend with. In them the

____________________
1
See Chapter One, p. 36.
2
See Chapter Seven.

-197-

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