World Finance

I’m very tired of everyone trying to explain what is going on in the global economy. To which everybody else simply responds “Well if you know what is happening, then fix it!”.  This doesn’t seem like the best way to approach the problem. If consumers could help in some way (other than not taking out bad loans) then we should tell them what to do, otherwise keep the mob in the dark. The more the average person knows, the less they understand, and the more they panic. A person can be rational, reasonable, and capable of not acting like a fool.  People on the other hand are crazy, irrational and prone to stampedes.

Money doesn’t exist, it’s just one way to measure value.

Empire and Nationhood by Heiss–2003

Empire and Nationhood                       


The sources used by Mary Ann Heiss in Empire and Nationhood are successful in providing credible background for her statements regarding  British and American sentiments during the Iranian Oil dispute. The lack of sources from Iran means that it is a largely a two, instead of three sided account of the events.  She creates a detailed picture of the negotiations from a western viewpoint using largely the correspondences of Great Britain and the United States while the viewpoint of the Iranians is pieced together from secondary sources and public announcements.  The cultural bias of the western representatives is commented on, so although there is a record of Iranian negotiations, they are biased and often indignant descriptions by diplomats.

          The overview of the Anglo-Iranian Oil crisis draws on many secondary works and a few books or articles written by people involved or living in Iran at the time.  The secondary works are for the most part written by western historians whose titles do not suggest an evenly balanced perspective.  For example the official history of the British Petroleum Company is cited a few times and many of the books are primarily concerned with the cold war.  Iran was certainly important in the cold war but focusing on it might tend to show the perspectives of those fighting the war rather than that of Iran, which was a chess piece in the games being played between the US and the USSR.

          The sources that contribute to the descriptions of the strained relations leading up to the rise of the nationalization movement and the rise of Mossadeq are a mix of British and American correspondences and books concerning the rise of Mossadeq and the political situation in Iran before him.  This chapter, “too little too late” shows the greatest balance between eastern and western sources used.  The difference is that the sources from the Middle Eastern perspective are written long after the events took place while correspondence on the part of the western diplomats give a more accurate sense of the feeling at the time.  Authors whose names indicate Middle Eastern heritage are significant because they are referenced sparingly once Mossadeq is prime minister.  This may have something to do with the secrecy Mossadeq afforded himself once in office.  Also, the remainder of the book is largely an account of the negotiations between Mossadeq and representatives of England and the US.  This means that presently we can look at the negotiations because there is a record of the internal consultations on the western end but we do not know the full extent of the pressure and constraints put on Mossadeq by political entities and public opinion.  A dispatch from the state department to someone involved with debating Mossadeq on a key point shows the reasoning behind the American position while the reasoning behind the Iranian posture can only be guessed at.

          Another reason for the one sidedness of the documentation is that for the most part, it was a Prime Minister talking to a diplomat who is already biased against the PM. Mossadeq had the power to make concessions so the political motivations behind his actions have to be derived from the situation in Iran.  We have such a good record of the western motivations because American and British agents were constantly conferring with each other and their respective governments.  It is unlikely that Mossadeq communicated with his advisors in writing and probably kept the details of his situation secret.

          An important factor with regard to documentation that is not discussed in the book is the fact the Tehran at this time was chock full of spies.  Channels of communication are never one hundred percent secure so information that was considered sensitive would be unlikely to be sent by telegraph for example.  The author demonstrates the general fears of the US with regard to soviet interactions in Iran, but the specific threats, real or perceived, are not revealed.  The author mentions documents relating to the MI-6 and CIA inspired coup that are withheld but only touches upon why the US thought the USSR would automatically take power in Iran if the economy were to fail.  There is certainly logic behind the containment policy in Iran but because there is little mention of popular Iranian sentiment regarding communism aside from the actions of the Tudeh party, the policy seems to stem mainly from American paranoia.

          The only primary sources that voice the position of Iran are the Correspondences between his/her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and the Persian government, and related documents (concerning the oil Industry in Persia, February 1951 to September 1951) (Concerning the joint Anglo-American proposal for a settlement of the oil dispute, August 1952 to October 1952)  The problem with these sources is that they were most likely documents that could be made public and were, if it suited a political aim.  Most of the negotiations were done without the public knowledge or proposals were made informally at first with the reaction often eliminating the need to present them formally.  What we can see in these formal documents are the last ditch efforts by Briton to save face by standing behind proposals they knew would be rejected.

          It is clear that the United States was integral in the dispute between the Iranian Government, the AIOC and the British Government but the records taken from the national Archives verses the ones taken from the Public Record Office show that the available American records are more concise and therefore less accurate.  The documents from the Public Record Office in England include minutes, memorandums and other immediate sources.  These kinds of sources, if unaltered, are likely to be the most accurate and the most revealing.  The record of the Secretary of Defense should in contrast be far less revealing and is certainly not cited as frequently as the Foreign Office correspondence.  These American sources are not likely to contain information that could be considered inflammatory.  That is to say that the United States would not be likely to make information public that could add to the hatred of the US by Iran.

          The author does a satisfactory job of filling in the blanks created by the lack of Iranian primary sources.  She gives a reasonable assessment of the political situation in Iran based on western perceptions that were probably fairly accurate because of the strategic concerns in Iran.  The memoirs of Mossadeq may have helped to explain some of the pressures he faced in Iran but even a person’s memory of their own actions cannot be trusted as fact.  While the author does not attempt to analyze individual Iranian sentiment for lack of material, it would seems possible to find a primary source written by an Iranian who was not Mossadeq or the Shah.  She does a good job showing the shift from British to American domination of the Iranian oil as well as their reactions to the nationalist movement.










Review Bibiography


International History Review v. 21 no. 4 (Dec. 1999). Mejcher, Helmut, reviewer—There was an error with the Factiva server when I tried to print this review before class but I had read it with the paper.

Diplomatic History v. 23 no. 3 (Summ 1999). Hoffman, Elizabeth Cobbs, reviewer.




The National Debt

This isn’t a good sign, literally. The federal debt clock in New York no longer has enough digits to show the debt because it now exceeds Ten Trillion dollars.  I never understood the philosophy of having lots of debt as an economic policy but it does seem like average Americans have also adopted this idea and look at the shit we are in now.

YOU personally owe 86 grand

YOU personally owe 86 grand

Something to keep in mind.

I don’t advocate the dissolving of our government.  The government should, however, remember that the people have the option.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Lies Through the Ether: American, German, and British Propaganda during World War Two

Radio was a significant, though largely unrecognized weapon used in World War two by both Axis and Allied nations.  The medium was used effectively when targeting countries or areas that already had large internal divisions.  It was also used significantly to unify the United States and promote the war effort.

 It is important to define the different types of propaganda used during the war and who employed them.  Some people could see a broadcast as propaganda while another might consider it patriotism. The defining difference in the context of World War II is between overt broadcasts where the agenda is promoting the war effort and broadcasts that are deceptive about the source and the agenda is to provide the enemy with subversive information or influence. Black propaganda employs accurate information in order to appear credible and employs false information to undermine moral or incite rebellion within the enemy population.  It generally uses appeals to fear and stereotyping to create divisions and often claims to be broadcasting from within the county of the target audience.  White propaganda generally consists of accurate news and information that favors political agendas by playing down or omitting negative information and exaggerating positive information.  Grey Propaganda does not identify the source of the broadcast and is a more subtle version of black propaganda.[1]

Great Britain and Germany both had large broadcast campaigns to relay inaccurate information about victories, defeats, conditions as well as often being deceptive about the identity of the broadcast stations themselves.  The United States also operated clandestine stations after we entered the war but it was most effectively used in America as a way to sell the war to the American public. The emphasis was on unifying the nation to win a war against our way of life and the dangers of losing the war was very real.

 The bulk of the subversive radio broadcasts was in the European theater and was more effective in directly influencing those on the battlefield or in contested areas.  In addition, much of the American propaganda was either destroyed or banned following the war because the government did not want to be accused of misleading the public or providing inaccurate information.  The US also did not operate any black propaganda until we entered the war while these kinds of broadcasts had been going on in Europe for many years.  

An important issue at the time for both sides was the existence of a “Fifth Column” within allied countries.  The “Fifth Column” is a term used to describe a dissenting organization operating to undermine or overthrow the presiding government.  Axis powers preyed upon the fear of a fifth Column, its size and power, while the allies tried to discredit these efforts.  There were few cases of the reverse happening because of the extreme oppressive nature of the axis regimes.  This is to say that the Gestapo was extremely effective at finding and killing any dissenters.  For the most part, Allied broadcasts did not seek to achieve any military objective but instead was focused on decreasing moral among the enemy.

The United States rally-cap Radio.

             Prior to the United States entrance into the war the information given to American broadcasters from Britain was intended to sway the US neutrality.  It is important to note the British broadcasts to the United States and the influence they had.  Collaboration with American journalists like Edward R. Murrow, the BBC experimented with many forms of news broadcasts before finding one that kept the American audiences listening.  This became easier during and after the battle of Britain because the BBC got rid of most restrictions and started to broadcast directly to the American people instead of broadcasting to a general public that the Americans might be a part of.[2]  American broadcasters reporting on the war were in general vehemently anti-Nazi and began identifying with our soon to be allies through emotional appeals, “the defense of Britain will be something of which men will speak with awe and admiration so long as the English language survives” (Murrow)[3].  Broadcast air raids and battles from London with running commentary by American journalists soon followed and these journalists learned the selective broadcast technique that would later prove instrumental on the home front.  The experiences of these journalists is significant in that they lived in London for the most part and were injured and exposed to attack like any other Londoner.  These events often gave an emotional and sometimes fearful tone to the radio personalities listened to by American audiences. After we entered the war, the focus of wartime broadcast shifted to patriotic appeals.

 The collaboration of the four networks after America’s entrance to the war to relay information, accurate or not, was instrumental in influencing the general opinion about the war and its progress.  This was done through films, TV and most significantly radio because at that time 80% of American households had a radio. For example, the program “This is War” aired during primetime on Saturday night reached an estimated 20 million people each week between February and May 1942[4]  One of the first and most effective programs was a 13 show series called “This is War, which turned dry statistics into moving tales of world war and national mobilization…depicted the war as a truly global event, one that required all Americans to support their nation’s crusade against fascist tyranny”[5]    The Office of War Information set voluntary wartime guidelines called the Network Allocation Plan which was tacitly approved by network producers. These guidelines called for providing truthful information and censoring information that would help the enemy.  Advertising was also linked to the war effort with government tax breaks for informational ads. Officially there were never any conscious lies told to producers or broadcast to the public but as radio was largely an entertainment medium, accounts of battle were often severely fictionalized.  The broadcasters found an effective mix of fact and fiction to both show the dangers of losing and also to promote the idea that we were winning.  The other staples of these kinds of broadcasts were a promotion of sympathy for the allied powers and moral appeals. Accounts of brutality by the axis powers against the allies were often very graphic and served to show the evil nature of the enemy and the plight of our allies.[6]

 Though these accounts were certainly not even handed with atrocities no doubt occurring on both sides, it would not have taken a lot of rhetoric to show moral superiority over the Nazis.  One important reason for this was the fact that America’s own significant racial divisions were never mentioned and neither were moral or ethical excesses in countries like Russia and China.   In contrast to how people like the Chinese were depicted in media prior to the war, the pigtailed laundrymen became noble warriors.[7] Underlying these dramatized messages appealing to emotion and patriotism was always encouragement of war production through war bonds etc.  The creator or “This is war” Norman Corwin states in the first episode “the fight is on, and you are in it, whether you handle a bayonet or a monkey wrench” (Corwin, February 14, 1942)[8]  this subjective interpretation of news and constant flag waving significantly aided the United States in the war effort at home.  The United States would also contribute important Radio technology, including a giant transmitter from RCA to help with the clandestine operations already going on in Europe.   

                                    Techniques of Black Broadcasts

Many different techniques were used by all sides to reach their respective subversive aims.  The most common method was to pose as a group that is very close in ideology to the target audience most of the time and sneaks in almost subliminal appeals to fear and authority.  They commonly claimed to be a part of the minority political party.  These types of broadcasts were intended to sway political beliefs but were often recognized as being supported by the enemy.  Other broadcasts tried to imitate or even impersonate the official government broadcasts.  A skilled British broadcaster might make a speech purporting to be Hitler or the Germans would use a technique called snuggling to insert their own information over a BBC broadcast by broadcasting at an adjacent frequency but with more power.  During battles, verifiable military information was supplied to establish credibility and was supplemented by false information to ultimately confuse the enemy.

                                                Nazi Radio

The propaganda employed by Britain and the US was a reaction to the Nazi tactics and was an imitation of what the Germans did to influence their own people and possible allies outside Germany.  Propaganda in general was highly regarded by Adolf Hitler and he even devoted portions of Mein Kamf to extolling its virtues.  As his preferences and ideals had to be the same as everyone else’s, propaganda was a large and important part of the Nazi war machine.  The use of Radio in particular was successful in reaching and influencing Germans and non Germans alike.  Broadcasts were given within Germany and occupied countries along with flyers, newspapers and film, but to more effectively impair their enemies, the Nazis put out a lot of radio broadcasts directed at dissenting groups.

  The propaganda minister of the Nazi Regime, Joseph Goebbels, also attached great significance to radio, calling it the most influential invention since the printing press.  Goebbels also states, in a radio address, that “It would not have been possible for us to take power or to use it in the ways we have without the radio and the airplane. It is no exaggeration to say that the German revolution, at least in the form it took, would have been impossible without the airplane and the radio.”[9]

 The Nazi Government began by fostering the manufacture of more than 10 million receivers for issue to the general public.  They then nationalized all broadcast stations and set programs to focus on German unity and anti-Semitism.  Shortly after this Broadcast nationalization in 1933, the propaganda ministry set up black and grey station to undermine the moral of the enemy and encourage already present divisions.  This technique was used most notably in France and Great Britain, exploiting communist and racial divisions as well as nationalistic ones.  One of the first uses of Black propaganda by the Nazis was during the Spanish civil war to create confusion in Spain to Franco’s advantage.  It also played a part in the annexation of Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia in 1938.[10]  The RRG (German Broadcasting Company) set up many stations with several target audiences.  These audiences or broadcast zones were set up according to the agenda at the time. For example, broadcasts to France were numerous and frequent immediately prior to the invasion.  Broadcasts were targeted at France, Great Britain, British Colonies, The Balkans, the Soviet Union (post non-aggression pact), the US and the Netherlands.[11]

Following the Nazi-Soviet pact, the clandestine station Radio Humanite was created by the Nazis to instigate French communists. This station claimed to be broadcasting from within France and at first promoted acts of sabotage against French military, “Use all your resources of intelligence and all your technical knowledge, prevent, delay, or make unusable what is manufactured for war”.[12]  There were many acts of sabotage by French Communists which were no doubt influenced by the idea that there is an already a large group of supporters for their cause.  Other black propaganda stations were set up with varying formats, the idea being an appeal to repetition in slightly different forms.  As the German army invaded France, these stations tried to create panic in the country by exaggerating the size and strength of the advancing army, appealing to fear and promising that surrender is the only way to survive against the invasion.  Voix de la paix (voice of the people) went so far as to claim great numbers of casualties and an imminent grisly fate for all French people.  These kinds of reports were always contradictory to the official French government line but it was difficult to distinguish legitimate French stations from the clandestine ones.[13]  The reasoning was that the more conflicting information people are exposed to, the more confusion there is and the more fear there is, leading to a much weaker resistance.

                                                British Clandestine stations

            British anti-Nazi clandestine stations began operating in 1940 with the “German Freedom station”, which overtly condemned the Nazis and made claims to German nationalism against Nazi oppression.  The decision to use black propaganda came after much debate as to what form it would take and was implemented only after Churchill became prime minister and directed the Special Operations Executive to “co-ordinate all action by way of subversion and sabotage against the enemy overseas”.[14] This Station, claiming to originate from within Germany was joined by indigenous anti-Nazi stations despite the fact that stations actually broadcasting from within Germany were constantly being chased around the country by the Gestapo.[15]  After August 1941, a secret department (Political Warfare Executive) was created to handle exclusively black and white propaganda and it was under the direction of this office that the most significant broadcast operations were implemented.  The director of black radio broadcasts for Britain, Sefton Delmer, is attributed with massive advancements in the effectiveness of his operation principally because he used psychology to help the audience identify with the broadcasters.[16]

            The expansion of subversive propaganda was a result of the Nazi expansion of its borders and was effective because of the number and varying tones of subversive stations.  The number of “freedom stations” or Research Units as they were called internally grew rapidly in occupied countries as well as the number of general broadcasts to Germany.[17]  Prominent German exiles found jobs with the PWE, including many who were ex-Nazi officials.  The number of anti-Nazi stations increased, but the power of the broadcasts did not.  In order to reach such an extensive area as to include the growing war zones, many small stations had to be created and placed in strategic locations throughout Europe.  This was beneficial because each station would have its own sound and slightly different political views and so would be less suspect in the minds of the listeners.  The problem with these stations was the lack of power and thus broadcast range.  With the American entrance to the war, new and powerful technology was introduced and the clandestine operations received a boost.  This boost came in the form of a 600 kilowatt transmitter courtesy of RCA and a price gouging David Sarnoff.[18]  This transmitter, called the Aspidistra, was used to boost the power of black stations and the BBC, as well as override most jamming done by enemy transmitters.  It was also used after much debate in 1945 to make a fake broadcast regarding the advancement of allied troops on Germany.

            It is also important to note that while the existence of a Nazi fifth Column in Britain was not a significant faction capable of aiding the enemy in a substantial way.  There were, however, other more serious threats such as factions like the IRA which would have supported any enemy of the British crown.  Factions like these were aided financially and militarily by the Nazi regime and many broadcasts were targeting these groups.  For example, many broadcasts recounted atrocities against the Irish and made no mention of the war, making it believable that it was indeed an IRA station coming from within Great Britain.[19]

                                    United States Battlefront Operations

            Roosevelt gave a fireside chat in which he talks about how France was defeated so easily because of a fifth column operating within the country. [20] This gave significant power not only to the idea of a unified fifth column but also showed how effective the perceived use of propaganda was by the Nazis.  Later in the war, the US was even more concerned with the fifth column fear, in particular because the Nazi broadcasts “show also the value, in the Nazis estimation, of the political warfare upon which Britain and the United States are expending so much energy.”[21]  This statement, made in the New York Times, shows how serious Americans leaders considered propaganda on either side.

            Amidst these fifth column fears and following the defeat of France, an unofficial ambassador was sent to Britain to determine her wartime capabilities and what kind of assistance the United States could offer without entering the war formally.  “Colonel” William Donovan met with Churchill and the King, was educated about the resources Britain possessed, and was also educated about subversive warfare techniques being used by Special Operations (SO1, SO2, and PWE).  Reporting back to the cabinet, Donovan recommended, with outside support, the establishment of a super intelligence agency.  Among the supporting arguments for a new agency was that “the use of Radio as a weapon, though effectively used by Germany, is still to be perfected. But this perfection can only be realized by planning, and planning is dependant on accurate information.”[22]  Donovan was appointed the head of the new Office of Coordinator of Information (later called the OSS) and within this agency, the Foreign Information Service. The FIS was concerned with monitoring Axis broadcasts and countering with propaganda.  Taking a cue from Germany and Britain before him, Donovan set out to appeal to Germans fears of a fifth column.   The most well known subversive station was Radio 1212 which broadcast to Germany and started with accurate information with a pro-German bias.  The station would broadcast military defeats that Nazi officials had kept secret from their troops.   Particularly effective were the daily air raid reports because that kind of news was almost never available to the troops and they could also be broadcast before the air raids even happened.  This kind of radio could be called tactical grey propaganda because except for the nationality of the staff, no inaccurate information was broadcast until military commanders Eisenhower and Bradley started to direct the content on the station.  When the allies began the drive to the Rhineland, radio 1212 began to broadcast false information about the position of allied troops. [23]  This change no doubt had an effect on German troops who were by that time very fatigued and aware of how the war was progressing.

            When the US entered the war, transmitters were set up in Europe, Latin America and Asia and scripts were written in seventeen languages.  Because many of these broadcasts relied on domestic commercial companies, FIS also had to be concerned with making sure the broadcast adhered to a script produced by the FIS or was at least consistent with government agendas.  As FIS operations expanded, Donovan came into conflict with other officials who believed that there should be more information services while Donovan wanted international broadcasts to be used as instruments of war.[24] Among the ideas proposed for radio as an instrument of war was a pro-Nazi broadcast to the United States in order to try and discredit fifth column American Nazis. 

            One of the most notable and uses of Radio in war was the use of the Aspidistra transmitter during operation “Torch”-the allied invasion of North Africa under the command of Gen. Eisenhower.  This particular invasion was chosen because it was thought that the opposing troops would be mostly French and therefore pro-American.  Gen. Eisenhower saw radio as another weapon in his arsenal and incorporated its use into his overall plan for the invasion.  He created a committee of experienced covert radio personnel and insisted that they be under military command.  The commander of the new Physiological Warfare Service (PWS), Col. Charles Hazeltine had absolutely no experience in broadcasting or psychological warfare.  Disinformation was required to confuse the enemy as to where the invasion site would be and the defensive troops had to be convinced that cooperating with the allies would aid France.[25]

            During the invasion itself, a broadcast from FDR was given supporting the French who would not resist the Allies.  This broadcast was made in French and was carried on the BBC and the voice of America station.  Another address to the French by Gen. Eisenhower stated, “Our only objective is to defeat the enemy (Italian-German military forces in North Africa) and free France. I need not tell you we have no designs either on North Africa or any part of the French empire. We count on your friendship and ask for your aid”[26]  Other appeals were made to cooperate with the invasion from transmitters on battleships.  These broadcasts triggered the movement of the French anti-Vichy underground but did not significantly affect the defensive French troops.  This could be seen as a total failure of the radio aspect of the invasion considering that the allied forces met with strong resistance.  But since almost every other aspect of the invasion did not go as planned, it would seem that the broadcasts were ineffective because they unintentionally gave lots of false information, destroying their credibility.


The use of Radio propaganda during the Second World War is significant not only in influencing the outcome of the war but also because many modern techniques of broadcasting were perfected during this time.  Radio warfare is a battle like other military battles except it is for the minds and philosophies of people and not land or lives.  The battle also must rely on intelligence and research more than conventional warfare.  We can see the value of radio broadcast as an influencing medium at this time because of the enormous resources devoted to it by capable combatants.  The money and manpower of a nation during wartime are rationed and conserved and the fact that such a significant amount was spent of propaganda is a testament to the power of the mass media.  The techniques perfected during this time were used extensively during the cold war by the CIA against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw pact countries as well as in Latin America.  The main difference after the war was that the CIA and KGB, competing for spheres of influence, were the most active sponsors of black and white propaganda stations.

            The impact of propaganda operations starting when broadcasting was in its infancy influenced to a large extent the global media and the manner in which they operate today.  The Nazis proved the effectiveness of radio as a way to spread ideas and as the British and Americans responded in kind, it became increasingly apparent that this medium was the optimal way to reach a mass audience.  The impact of patriotic appeals on the home front was significant in uniting the country behind one cause and against another.  This impact was not lost on the broadcasters relaying the messages and the methods used to sell the war were then used to sell products.

 Advertisements, particularly campaign ads, are extremely similar to the home front propaganda during the war. There are always appeals to national unity while emphasizing the reasons why the opponent is bad and will cause all sorts of problems for America.  Marketing methods are virtually the same as the research needed before broadcasting to another country.  Many subversive stations began establishing credibility and creating an audience by finding out what the target audience liked to hear.  The types of music, entertainment, and even the accent of the broadcasters were considered very carefully before a program came on the air.  The difference is that now broadcasters compete for market share or advertising dollars and not political opinions for the most part.  This is certainly due in a large part to a present lack of direct influence from the government in the media.

The use of radio as a weapon was an important part of the mediums evolution and its power in such a capacity is still recognized today.  The most current example of this would be the role radio propaganda played in Rwanda.  In that case, some broadcasters were tried for war crimes because they used radio to incite people to murder.  The power of subversive radio is recognized today in the US as well, exemplified by the anti-terrorist legislation that drove most neo-Nazi Radio shows off the air.  Radio in an incredibly influential medium and this was recognized largely due to its role in what we sometimes call “the good war”.




























Bergmeier, Horst & Lotz, Rainer. Hitler’s Airwaves: the inside story of Nazi radio broadcasting. Yale University Press. London. 1997

Howe, Ellic. The Black Game: British subversive operations against the Germans during the Second World War. Michael Joseph Ltd.  London. 1982

Soley, Lawrence C. & Nichols. John S. Clandestine Radio Broadcasting: A study of revolutionary and counterrevolutionary electronic communication. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1987

Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989

Stenton, Michael. Radio London and Resistance in Occupied Europe: British political warfare 1939-1943. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 2000

Cruickshank, Charles. The Fourth Arm: Psychological Warfare 1938-1945. Davis-Poynter Ltd. London. 1977

O’Donoghue, David. Hitler’s Irish Voices: The story of German radio’s wartime Irish service. Beyond the Pale Publications. Dublin. 1998

Delfiner, Henry. Vienna Broadcasts to Slovakia: 1938-1939 a case study in subversion. Columbia University Press. New York. 1974

Martland, Peter. Lord Haw-Haw: the English voice of Nazi Germany. The Scarecrow Press Inc. Lanham, Maryland. 2003

Bannerman, R.L. Norman Corwin and Radio: the Golden Years. University of Alabama Press. Alabama. 1986

Joseph Goebbels, “Der Rundfunk als achte Großmacht,” Signale der neuen Zeit. 25 ausgewählte Reden von Dr. Joseph Goebbels (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., 1938), pp. 197-207.

Marlin, Randel. Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuation. Broadview Press. Ontario, Canada. 2002

Radio propaganda and the art of understatement: British broadcasting and American neutrality, 1939-1941
Source: Historical journal of film, radio, and television [0143-9685] Cull yr:1993 vol:13 iss:4 pg:403 -432

BLACK PROPAGANDA BY RADIO: THE GERMAN CONCORDIA BROADCASTS TO BRITAIN 1940-1941  Doherty, Martin, Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television, 0143-9685, June 1, 1994, Vol. 14, Issue 2
Radio Goes to War: The Cultural Politics of Propaganda during World War II.
Shull, Michael S.. Film & History, May2005, Vol. 35 Issue 1, p87-88, 2p; (AN 16468655

WAR ON THE AIR: Nazi Style. Mackey, David R.. Today’s Speech, April 1957, Vol. 5, p32-34, 3p; (AN CQ00147)

The BBC North American Service, 1939-1945.  P. Spence, Media, Culture and Society, vol 4, 1982, p.367-380

This is War! Network Radio and World War II Propaganda in America. Spiller, James. Journal of Radio Studies. Volume 11, No.1 2004











[1] Bergmeier, Horst & Lotz, Rainer. Hitler’s Airwaves: the inside story of Nazi radio broadcasting. Yale University Press. London. 1997. p.195

[2] The BBC North American Service, 1939-1945.  P. Spence, Media, Culture and Society, vol 4, 1982, p.367-380

[3] Radio propaganda and the art of understatement: British broadcasting and American neutrality, 1939-1941. Historical journal of film, radio, and television [0143-9685] Cull yr:1993 vol:13 iss:4 pg:403 -432

[4]Radio propaganda and the art of understatement: British broadcasting and American neutrality, 1939-1941. Historical journal of film, radio, and television [0143-9685] Cull yr:1993 vol:13 iss:4 pg:403 -432

[5] This is War! Network Radio and World War II Propaganda in America. Spiller, James. Journal of Radio Studies. Volume 11, No.1 2004

[6] Bannerman, R.L.  Norman Corwin and Radio: The Golden Years. University of Alabama Press. Alabama. 1986 p.89

[7] This is War! Network Radio and World War II Propaganda in America. Spiller, James. Journal of Radio Studies. Volume 11, No.1 2004

[8] This is War! Network Radio and World War II Propaganda in America. Spiller, James. Journal of Radio Studies. Volume 11, No.1 2004

[9] Joseph Goebbels, “Der Rundfunk als achte Großmacht,” Signale der neuen Zeit. 25 ausgewählte Reden von Dr. Joseph Goebbels (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., 1938), pp. 197-207.–

[10] Marlin, Randel. Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuation. Broadview Press. Ontario, Canada. 2002. p.85

[11] Bergmeier, Horst & Lotz, Rainer. Hitler’s Airwaves: the inside story of Nazi radio broadcasting. Yale University Press. London. 1997. p.197

[12] Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989.p.15

[13] Howe, Ellic. The Black Game: British subversive operations against the Germans during the Second World War. Michael Joseph Ltd.  London. 1982. p.62

[14] Cruickshank, Charles. The Fourth Arm: Psychological Warfare 1938-1945. Davis-Poynter Ltd. London. 1977. p.17

[15] Soley, Lawrence C. & Nichols. John S. Clandestine Radio Broadcasting: A study of revolutionary and counterrevolutionary electronic communication. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1987. p.28

[16] Howe, Ellic. The Black Game: British subversive operations against the Germans during the Second World War. Michael Joseph Ltd.  London. 1982. p.19

[17] Howe, Ellic. The Black Game: British subversive operations against the Germans during the second world war. Michael Joseph Ltd.  London. 1982. p. 80

[18] Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989. p.31

[19] O’Donoghue, David. Hitler’s Irish Voices: The story of German radio’s wartime Irish service. Beyond the Pale Publications. Dublin. 1998. p.60

[20] Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989. p.47

[21] New York Times(1857-current file); December 20, 1942; ProQuest Historical Newspapers; The New York Times(1851-2002) p.39

[22] Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989. p.56

[23] Soley, Lawrence C. & Nichols. John S. Clandestine Radio Broadcasting: A study of revolutionary and counterrevolutionary electronic communication. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1987. p.43

[24] Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989. p.64

[25] Stenton, Michael. Radio London and Resistance in Occupied Europe: British political warfare 1939-1943. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 2000 p.211

[26] Soley, Lawrence C. Radio Warfare: OSS and CIA subversive propaganda. Praeger Publishers. New York. 1989. p.88



Intercultural Communication in Courtship

           Intercultural Communication in Courtship:The Case of Chinese and Americans Alex Churchill and Erik George CO442: Intercultural Communication 2 May 2006                        Two sectors that lead the way in the quantity and quality of intercultural contact are business and education.  Since a large proportion of Americans report meeting their future mate in these same two settings – work and school – it should come as no surprise that along with the increase in intercultural contact there is a concurrent increase in the rate of intercultural and interethnic courtship activity (Choi, 2005). This paper will explore the cultural values that bear on courtship and communication, identify and predict interpersonal communication problems that could arise, and will suggest methods to mitigate their negative effect on a relationship.             The case of Chinese/American intercultural dating is selected as the lens through which this paper will explore its research questions.  This example was selected due to both the increase in contact between these two groups and because the distinct differences between these two cultures makes for a larger variety of inherent difficulties in interpersonal communication between their members.  Because of differences in values, communication styles, and culture-based expectations for dating, Chinese/American cross-cultural couples face distinct communication challenges that can fortunately be overcome through competence in intercultural communication. State of the Field, Terms, and Methodology  The question of communication problems in courtship and mate relationships has been studied across many contexts and variables before, including in research by Nicotera (1997), Blood & Nicholson (1962), Romano (1988) and Hamon & Ingoldsby (2003).  Because the nature of communication difficulties is highly dependent on the specific cultures involved, their research is most often divided into sections or subsections that analyses a particular bi-cultural dyad.  The above-mentioned research does come to use general conclusions about the universal nature and needs of any human couple (Sharlin, 2000 pp. 54-55) which will be utilized in conjunction with more specialized studies of American and Chinese cases.            Because even the cultural labels of “Chinese” and “American” are broad and ambiguous, this study will further sub-divide these terms into the three groups “native Chinese,” “Chinese-American,” and “American.”  For the purposes of both specificity and efficiency, our examples will use native Chinese to refer to the young and middle-aged urban residents in China’s coastal cities.  This is to exclude those Chinese of economic disadvantage because in the past members of these poorer groups have married Americans for political or economic reasons (Xinhua, 2006). We will also exclude marriages of extreme economic and educational inequality because they also pose problems that are outside the range of this study.  American refers to members of the dominant culture of the United States, whose members are more likely than not to be of European descent.  Last, Chinese-American refers to Americans of Chinese ethnic heritage that retain elements of their parent’s or grandparent’s culture.              Chinese-American/American and native Chinese/American are the couple pairs used to compose examples and hypothetical situations.  The research aims to provide the increasing number of American/Chinese couples with information to clarify, predict, and overcome the intercultural hurtles in their romantic relationships and marriages. 

Culture’s Role in Courtship: America

            Culture has a strong effect on courtship patterns and norms.  Americans score low on ratings of power-distance and formality, and this carries over to romantic relationships that are often much more casual, at least at first, than those in other cultures. The American emphasis on individuality and self-reliance as well as progress towards gender equality results in American women that can be more assertive than women in many other cultures.  Ideally, Americans tend to marry for reasons of love and put lesser emphasis on social class and wealth while these factors can play a large role in the mate selection criteria of other cultures.  Last, American communication style is assertive, direct and low-context.  This value is manifested in the level of frankness and directness in dating practices, which can be at odds with the notions of politeness and modesty present in other cultures.              In a study on mono-cultural American relationships, the “mateship attributes” that more than 50% of male and female respondents identified as important to a “mate-type” relationship were trust, friendship, love, and honesty (Nicotera, 1997 p. 22).  Qualities paramount in other cultures such as duty, interdependence and obedience (Kline, Horton & Zhang, 2005, p. 15) ranked much lower or were completely absent.  Foreign men studying in American universities often described the American dating system to be “completely different” from that of their home country – no matter where they were from (Blood & Nicholson, 1962  p. 241).  This can be a result of the qualities that Americans value in a mate, which de-emphasize commitment and duty.  In contrast to their home countries, many respondents noted that in America, dating “is an end in itself rather than oriented toward marriage,” (Blood and Nicholson, 1962 p. 242).  Although men from all areas of the world found this to be different, those from East Asia in particular expressed that Americans’ option to date with casual acquaintances without intent to marry to be the difference that are hardest to accept (Blood and Nicholson, 1962  p. 242.)            American culture values uniqueness and individual expression and so mate selection criteria is generally more varied than that of other cultures.  Among American couples, “shared interests and value system…the ability to give and take, and flexibility,” were mentioned as an important variable contributing to a successful marriage.  However, others mentioned the opposite, “an equalitarian relationship with many complementary features,” as an important factor (Sharlin, 2000 p. 54.)  Americans choose mates based on criteria that other cultures might require in a friend, not a life-partner: equality and shared interests.  In a 2000 study, Woo corroborates this assessment, with her conclusions that “[qualities] making for intimacy [among European Americans] were those closely tied to personal efforts toward realizing one’s individual identity, if not freedom or independence.  Individual autonomy, in fact, seemed to be taken for granted.”  Among the qualities valued by Americans searching for a partner, this preference for autonomy may be the most troublesome for the intercultural couple due to its lack of emphasis in the Chinese culture.            Norms of language use in America are unique when compared with traditional societies like China’s.   Because of America’s comparatively short history, diversity of ethnic backgrounds, and lack of a monolithic traditional culture to prescribe norms for behavior, Americans rely on a low-context communication technique that relies on direct verbal signals.  Factors that lead to effective communication among American couples reflects this cultural background, with most couples identifying “honesty and not expecting the other to engage in ‘mind reading’ to know what is wanted or felt,” as the most important (Sharlin, 2000, p. 66.)  Second only to the differences in role-expectation among Chinese/American couples, the preference of Americans for direct patterns of speech may one of the most difficult obstacles for successful intercultural relationships. Contrasting Culture: The Chinese Example              The Chinese counterparts of the elements of American culture described above show significant contrast.  As a culture Chinese show preferences for harmony, collectivism and hierarchy which presents issues in the context of the individualist-minded dating system common to Americans.  Though it is changing in recent years (Jankowiak, 1989, p. 64; Evans, 1995, pp. 357-359), Chinese relationships still tend to be more formal than casual, and the qualities attributed to a good mate are comparatively rigid.  Chinese communication style is also very indirect and along with the fact that a Chinese/American relationship will have at least one member speaking a second language, the possibilities for technical communication difficulties are significant.            Because of a continued reliance on traditional practices in China, there exists a large gap between the dating procedures among typical native Chinese and Americans.  Americans and native Chinese both engage in activities with spouses such as eating out, “talking activities,” and physical intimacy at similar rates (Kline, Horton & Zhang, 2005 pp. 13-14) but the order and timing of these activities has higher variance.  A 1992 study on sexuality in urban China finds that despite changes due to international cultural influence, “China highly emphasizes female virginity,” and “a girl will be ranked at a much lower status in the marriage market once it is suspected she is not a virgin,” (Zha & Geng, 1992 p. 9).  American attitudes towards sexuality are more liberal, and pre-marital sexual relations are treated with substantially less stigma.  There is also strong resistance in the conservative P.R.C. government to the deterioration of traditional sexual norms.  Jolly & Ram (2001) provide this representative statement by an official: “[sexual] liberation and freedom sound very attractive but on closer scrutiny can be seen to be fundamentally harmful to both the individual and society at large.”  Among a culture that places a high value upon reverence of the past, traditional value systems will persist in playing a large role in shaping the individual decision making process in the context of dating.              Although Chinese society has progressed away from the prescribed mate selection criteria promulgated in 1950 by the first version of the Chinese Marriage Law “appropriate criteria for mate choice: personal compatibility, political attitudes, and character”,  research shows that tradition persists here as well (Jankowiak, 1989 p. 65; Evans, 1995 pp. 387-388).  Kline’s study found that while several general positive emotions were associated with love in marriage were common to both Americans and Chinese, Americans reported “going out together,” or shared entertainment, as important along with honesty, openness, and unrestrained feelings as important qualities, all of which were absent from the Chinese responses (Kline, 2005 pp. 14-15).  This reflects American’s value of directness and equality in a marriage relationship.  The Chinese side, on the other hand, selected respectfulness, reliability, and faithfulness which were absent from the American’s survey (pp. 15-16).  This shows that an American may be expecting his partner to fill a role similar to that of an outspoken and equal friend while the Chinese prefer stable duty-fulfillment rather than unique personal compatibility with their partner.                Criteria other than character traits also enter into the equation of mate-selection among Chinese and Americans, and these too show manifest differences between the cultures.  The Chinese are a proud culture of relatively high ethnic homogeneity and harbor some historically-based prejudices against certain outsiders.  A 1994 study on anti-Black racism in China explains that “historical and contemporary evidence [suggests] that Chinese intellectuals have held notions of black inferiority,” and that “anti-Black bias can in turn be seen in the context of a recrudescence of elitist values that link and denigrate those who are dark and those who are poor,” (Sautman, 1994 p. 427).  This is continued reflection of the traditional idealization of fair skin in Chinese culture which associated it as representative of education and nobility in opposition to the peasantry which became tan from work in the fields.               In a similar phenomenon, the relatively rigid class structure in China does not allow for the free choice of mates more common in the U.S.  Instead, both hypogyny and hypergyny (marrying “up” and marrying “down,” respectively) are regarded as improper.  The case of a man marrying for upward social status is especially egregious, it is assumed that “men who use women’s disadvantages,” i.e. physical unattractiveness or age, “to gain social status are considered unscrupulous social-climbers who do not genuinely care for these women,” (Jankowiak, 1989 p. 68).  In this context, whether the man was interested in the woman to fulfill American style mate criteria (personal compatibility, shared interests) would probably not be considered.  The idea that people from different classes are inherently incompatible for marriage is certainly present in Western European and U.S. culture as well, but not nearly to the extent in China.  For example, in Chinese cities, “when women leave the university campus to go shopping downtown, they prefer to wear their university [ID] badge [because they]… ‘don’t want workers coming up to us and starting a conversation,” (Jankowiak, 1989 p. 68).  This blatant class discrimination, while perhaps unexpected in an ideologically Communist state, is nonetheless considered much more acceptable behavior in China than in the U.S.              Communication behaviors show another significant variation between U.S. and Chinese society.  What is defined as the “good communication skills” necessary for marital satisfaction in an American family includes “openness, honesty, and transparency in self-disclosure… an assertive, clear disclosing of and sensitivity to thoughts and feelings,” (Sharlin, 2000 p. 71).  However, often the opposite is the case in the Chinese situation.  Gao’s study on Chinese language usage finds that “meanings often reside in unspoken messages,” (Gao, 1998 p. 171).  This results in an emphasis on high-context, non-verbal communication.  For example, “a hand movement, a smile, and a shrug…convey embedded meanings,” which can be different from the meanings Americans would associate with these signals: “Chinese may smile to express embarrassment, frustration, or nervousness.”  Even when verbal communication is taking place, “nonverbal communication often provides important cues for interpretation of verbal messages,” resulting in lost or overlooked meanings for the non-Chinese observer (Gao, 1998 p. 171).   

Conclusions: Anticipated Communication Problems, and Their Solutions

            The communication scholar Edward T. Hall wrote, “While personality is undoubtedly a factor in interpersonal synchrony, culture is also a powerful determinant,” (Hall, 1983, p. 163).  So, while the personal characteristics are very relevant in even intercultural relationships, the above comparative culture study results in pinpointing several relevant differences between Chinese/Chinese-American culture and American culture in values, courtship role preferences, and language.  Each of these differences brings with it a host of anticipated communication problems which will need to be addressed for such an intercultural relationship to work.            In the areas of values and role expectations between Chinese and Americans, the primary sources of potential conflict in an interpersonal relationship will likely be the conflict between the American concepts of equality, autonomy, and individuality versus the Chinese expectations for duty and respect in a relationship (mostly the male expecting these qualities in the female).  It can be assumed that if a couple is already dating, these general value conflicts have already been addressed and disregarded.  However, Romano (1988) has found the opposite to be true: that in the earlier “honeymoon” stages of a relationship, conflicts of internal values will be overlooked and it is only after marriage that the couple “[becomes] fully aware of how many differences there are, how deeply embedded some of them are, and how these differences are going to affect their life together,” (Romano, 1988 p. xiii).  The latter stages, after marriage, are described as similar to the effect of culture-shock (Romano, 1988 p. xv).                Hypothetical examples are easy to formulate based on these differences.  A Chinese man married to an American woman may find it difficult to accept a wife who expresses her autonomy and need for personal growth by going out and getting a part time job to the point of neglecting what traditional China would consider a wife’s duties in the home.  In an polar example, an American male married to a Chinese woman may at first enjoy his traditional wife’s dutiful and compliant manner.  However, studies have shown that Americans of European descent reflect their values in “an attraction to individuals who displayed self-sufficiency,” (Woo, 2000 p. 169).  After the honeymoon period, the American husband may become displeased with his wife’s cultural-based inclination to wait for her husband’s approval before making decisions on her own.  These are both generalized examples, but are readily applicable and illustrate the potential for conflict inherent in a clash of values and expectations.                   Language problems can also create misunderstandings that lead to conflict, especially when an English-speaking monolingual American comes into contact with a Chinese who speaks English as a second language.  Although being a native speaker of English, as the lingua franca, might be considered to be an advantage to intercultural communication, it in fact leads more often to misunderstanding and conflict.  This is because without prior experience to the difficulties of operating in a foreign language, the native English speaker more easily and erroneously assumes that everything being said by their partner carries the same meaning as when they says the same words in the same way.  Even if their partner has a strong command of English, absolute clarity and nuance is difficult to achieve (Romano, 1988 p. 92).  If the American does not have the patience and flexibility to accomodate imperfect communication, they may assume that what is being said in English is accurately reflective of what their partner is thinking. This may result in a lack of comprehensive expression and the problems that come with it.                Despite the potential for problems, with sufficient motivation obstacles of intercultural communication can be overcome for Chinese/American couples.  In fact, “most social scientists writing from an assimilationist perspective see the amalgamation of different racial groups as an inevitable final step; and perhaps if the time span is stretched long enough, some type of racial intermingling will no doubt occur,” (Kitano, Yeung, Chai & Hatanaka, 1984, p. 179).  In fact, there is considerable success in this area already.  Weiss has shown in a 1970 study that due to proportionally more success at assimilation to American dating customs, Chinese-American women have had great success marrying Americans, despite some traditional cultural opposition (pp. 277-288).  Though at the time of the study, several factors contributed to a lower rate of success for Chinese-American males. These included a focus on academic studies that precluded sufficient socialization, negative American stereotypes of Chinese men, and a desire to preserve traditional Chinese dating behavior (Weiss, 1970 p. 277).            Studies suggest that a change in role expectations can pose a major difficulty for intercultural couples.  Specifically, “if one of the partners is forced to adhere to a more severe role delineation than was customary at home, there may be severe problems,” (Romano, 1988 p. 47).  Other research shows that one reason that the American male and Chinese female relationships might be more successful is that Chinese have shown to be significantly more persuasible than Americans (Chu, 1966, p. 171).  That is to say that because of a collectivist, authoritarian and hierarchical cultural upbringing, Chinese may be more amenable to changing their behaviors and expectations than their more stubborn American counterparts may be.  Though this would be present in both male and female Chinese, the traditional Confucian relationships deem males as superior to females in marriage, and so although Chinese men might be more persuasible than their American counterparts, they would likely be less pliable when forced to conform to an American wife’s expectations.             With an understanding of the potential pitfalls of intercultural relationships and a motivation to succeed, it is possible to overcome or avoid potential conflicts.  Particular factors contributing to success are (1) a strong motivation to succeed; (2) the presence of common goals between the partners – are you both working towards the same end?; and (3) sensitivity and flexibility towards the inevitable challenges of communication (Romano, 1988 p. 126).              With these factors present, researchers suggest a number of practical steps and ideas that in combination can help intercultural couples.  These include living together before marriage, visiting each other’s family, a commitment to learn the native language of each partner, observing your partner among his/her friends or seeing a professional counselor (Romano, 1988 pp. 141-147).  Based on the success of Chinese-American/American marriage, it can also be concluded that a desire and ability to assimilate into one of the partner’s cultural behaviors can result in a higher success rate (Kitano, Yeung, Chai & Hatanaka, 1984), although this is not always desirable or possible.  Instead, a willingness to understand the cultural reasons for each partner’s behavior (i.e. lack of ethnocentrism) is both more easily practiced and necessary.              Although Chinese and American culture have a large divergence in terms of core values, behaviors, marriage roles and language, romantic interpersonal relationships are nonetheless both possible and oftentimes successful. The large numbers of areas that hold the potential for conflict produce challenges for these couples.  But in an era of increasing contact between these two groups, research such as that contained in this paper will provide the information needed to overcome these challenges.    References Blood, R.O. & Nicholson, S.O. (1962).  The experiences of foreign students in dating   American Women.  Marriage and Family Living, vol. 24, no. 3, 241-248. Choi, C.  (2005, November 2.) Interracial dating rises, but marriage still lags.  Associated         Press State and Local Wire [Albany].  Viewed on April 29, 2006 via Lexis-Nexis       database. Chu, G.C.  (1966).  Culture, personality, and persuasibility.  Sociometry, vol. 29, no. 2,            169-174. Evans, H.  (1995).  Defining difference: the “scientific construction of sexuality and         gender in the People’s Republic of China.  Signs, 20:2, 357-394.   Fong, C. & Yung, J.  (1995).  In search of the right spouse: interracial marriage among Chinese and Japanese Americans. Amerasia Journal v21.n3 (Winter 1995):         pp77-93(21). Gao, G.  (1998).  “Don’t take my word for it.” – understanding Chinese speaking          practices.  International Journal of Intercultural Relations, vol. 22, no. 2, 163-    186. Hamon, R.R. & Ingoldsby B.B. (Eds.). (2003). Mate selection across cultures.            Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc.   Hall, E.T. (1983).  The dance of life.  Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday. Hirano, J., Sodei, T. & Kin, K. (2000).  Attitude toward marriage and mate      selection among Japanese and Korean college students.  Journal of Social      Sciences and Family Studies, 7, 25-39.   Hofstede, G.H.  (2001).  Culture’s consequences: comparing values, behaviors,      institutions, and organizations across nations, 2nd ed.  Thousand Oaks,             California: Sage Publications, Inc.   Jankowiak, W.R.  (1989).  Sex differences in mate selection and sexuality in the People’s          Republic of China.  Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs, no. 22, 63-83. Jolly, M. & Ram, K. (Eds.).  (2001).  Border’s of being: citizenship, fertility, and      sexuality in Asia and the Pacific.  Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan             Press. Kitano, H.H.L., Yeung, W., Chai, L. & Hatanaka, H.  (1984).  Asian-American interracial        marriage.  Journal of Marriage and the Family, 179-190.   Kline,   S., Horton, B. & Zhang, S (2005). How we think, feel and express love: a cross-cultural comparison between American and East Asian cultures.  Conference Papers –International Communication Association,            Annual Meeting, New York,    NY, p1-28 Miller, R. & Browning, S.L. (Eds.) (1999). Till Death Do Us Part: A multicultural        anthology on marriage. Stamford, Connecticut: Jai Press INC. not used Nicotera, A.M. (1997). The mate relationship: cross cultural applications of a rules            theory. Albany: State University of New York Press. Pimentel, E.E. (2000).  Just how do I love thee?  Marital relations in urban China.          Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, 32-47.  Romano, D.  (1988).  Intercultural marriage: promises and pitfalls.  Yarmouth:        Intercultural Press, Inc.   Sautman, B.  (1994).  Anti-black racism in post-Mao China.  The China Quarterly, no.           138, 413-437.   Sharlin, S.A. (2000).  Together through thick and thin: a multinational picture of long        term marriages. Binghampton: The Haworth Press INC.  Sinclair, K. (2006, January 17). Till death do us wed. South China Morning Post.   Weiss, M.S. (1970). Selective acculturation and the dating process: the patterning of     Chinese-Caucasian interracial dating.  Journal of Marriage and the Family, vol.       32, no. 2, 273-278. Woo, D.  Social patterns in intimacy and support: European Americans and Chinese      Americans.  In: Miller, R. & Browning, S.L. (Eds.) (2000). With this ring: divorce, intimacy, and            cohabitation from a multicultural perspective.     Stamford: Jai Press INC. Xinhua news agency, Beijing. (2006, March 8). Chinese advisers urge rights of women marrying foreigners protected.  Xinhua news agency [Beijing].  Accessed via BBC      Monitoring Asia Pacific. Zha, B. & Geng W.  (1992).  Sexuality in urban China.  The Australian Journal of      Chinese Affairs, no. 28, 1-20.      



Government and Media : A dependant relationship

Government and Media: A dependant relationship

RQ: How has the relationship between the Government and the Media changed over time with regards to covering military conflicts? 

 Information is power and it is safe to say that the United States wishes to be the most powerful country in the world. The most dangerous and coveted kind of information at this time is military information and given it’s ambition for global preeminence, the United States has made an art of selectively presenting military information so as to advance the goals of the administration. This in turn powerfully and effectively influences the news media in America as well as the public opinion concerning the actions of the government. The literature on the topic can be categorized by conflict, with the major changes occurring after the Vietnam War. After Vietnam the government changed its relationship with the press because it was thought that unsupervised journalists had had a negative impact on both the progress of the war and the perception of it back home.  The White House in particular made it’s relationship with the press “more adversarial, making presidents more certain than ever that reports from the battlefield will do damage to their own efforts as well as the national interest…this fear has motivated the White House to seek greater controls over what the media reports” (Thrall, 2000, p.47). Military actions in Grenada and Panama reflected the change as US reporters were restricted from access to the short conflicts.  The media during the first gulf conflict reflected another change in the relationship with the White House.  George H.W. Bush used the press to bolster support while at the same time imposing greater restrictions and censorship on battlefield reporting.  During the US invasion of Afghanistan and the current war in Iraq, the administration also used the press to create support for the military actions. This was very effective in the early stages of conflict immediately following the attacks of 9/11 but lost public support when many of the administration’s claims concerning Iraq turned out to be misleading.The most extensive literature has been written about Operation Desert Storm because it was the first large scale US military conflict that could be covered using modern media techniques and the administration did not want the coverage to mirror that of Vietnam. Many of the strategies on selective information release and censorship were also developed during this time and were extended into the currant conflicts.  The most significant theories used to create this government-military-media complex are framing, agenda-setting, and representation. It should come as no surprise that the most prolific author on the subject is Lance W. Bennett.During the Vietnam conflict, journalists were given practically unfettered access to the battlefield. They could go anywhere they wanted at their own expense and when traveling with an army platoon, there were no guidelines as to what could or could not be reported on, the decisions being left to the unit commanders (Barber, 2002).  The result was that Americans at home saw actual death on TV almost daily and also watched the growing body count come home in coffins. “War has always been beastly, but the Vietnam War was the first exposed to television cameras and seen in practically every home, often in living color” (Lewy in Huebner, 2005 p.2). This realistic/ “negative” coverage led many to conclude that this kind of unrestricted reporting was undermining the war effort and retroactive studies have also blamed the media for losing the war (Hiebert, 2003).  As a result, we do not see firefights or American bodies on TV (unless as a romanticized reenactment on the military channel) and the daily death count is relegated to a blurb in the international section in most major papers.During the Reagan administration, significant restrictions were placed on the press in the invasions of Grenada and Panama.  At the time Bennett agreed that “The art of message management was never carried to a higher form than during the Reagan years” (Bennett, 1988 p.90).  The press was banned outright from the two day invasion of Grenada and so all news of the invasion was gathered by military officials and released to the media by the White House. The media was granted slightly more access during the invasion of Panama although the newly elected president Bush ensured that there would be no images of war and information about the conflict would be carefully managed.  Then secretary of defense Dick Cheney was a vocal proponent of press restrictions,“About half the time, the White House press corp is going to be pissed off, and that’s alright. You’re not here to please them. The most powerful tool you have is the ability to use the symbolic aspects of the presidency to promote your goals and objectives…You don’t let the press set the agenda. They like to decide what is important and what isn’t important, but if you let them do that, they’re going to trash your presidency.”  (Thrall, 2000 p.134)Here is the former Secretary of Defense and current Vice President admitting that the White House needs to use agenda-setting and representation tactics to control the information released to the media.

            Leading up to Operation Desert Storm, the first Bush administration used framing and representation techniques to gain support.  Saddam Hussein was likened to Hitler frequently, most often citing his use of chemical weapons on civilians as a comparison point. A pre-WWII frame was introduced as comparisons were made between the German invasion of Czechoslovakia and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (Bennett, 1993).  The press largely ignored some pertinent facts about Hussein, such as our very recent support of the country against Iran and the existence of terror cells based in Kuwait and instead reported on the rhetoric delivered by the administration.  

          When the actual attack took place, a short-lived and unique situation occurred that ironically changed the source of information about the initial bombing. During the initial bombing, the only source of information coming out of Baghdad was from CNN. Senior military officials on both sides admitted that on that night, the most valuable information pertaining to the conflict was on TV without the administration as middleman (Wiener, 1992).  

          Some scholars have argued that during the fighting, the media had the opportunities to report on the war objectively but most major media outlets chose instead to romanticize the conflict.  There was large support for the conflict initially and so the media focused on human interest stories with all the elements of good drama. The media amplified the idea that this was a just cause and that the US was quickly and effectively achieving victory (Hallin & Gitlin, 1994).  This can be viewed as a success story on the part of the US administration because the media did not ask for anything other than what the government gave them.  

          The agenda setting function of mass media was evident in Operation Desert Storm largely because the public supported the conflict. The effect is that increases in news coverage bring about increases in the salience of particular issues or events.  Given this effect, stories about the war were framed to be event driven and were often structured like episodes. (Iyengar & Simon, 1994).  This technique was effective in presenting the war as positive while at the same time limiting potentially confusing background information.  It seems that the media felt that the American people were not capable of understanding or not interested in historical implications or tangential information. 

           We can see the agenda setting function at the end of the conflict as well in that once US soldiers left Iraq, media coverage of Iraq ended. President Bush urged the Iraqi people to rise up against Saddam but without the backing of the United States, the opposition was slaughtered. Following the news during this time, one would not have seen this as a salient issue because there was little news coverage devoted to it.  

          The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq are still very much ongoing conflicts and as such, the effects of government-press-public relations can not be seen fully without the benefit of hindsight. In this case, the most significant discussions have to do with the release of information leading up to military operations and the findings after “Mission Accomplished”. Particularly evident and significant in the literature is the conflict between motives and actions. Often it seems that the administration will have an undisclosed plan and waits for an event that can be used to justify the plan. 

             To build the case for a unilateral “War on Terrorism”, President Bush used similar framing and representation strategies.  The attacks on September 11 were likened very quickly to the attack on Pearl Harbor, framing any response to such an attack as justified. Many still refer to the event as the first attack on American soil since World War Two (Mohamad, 2004).  This kind of statement strikes an emotional chord with many Americans despite the fact of its complete falsehood. There have been many attacks on American soil since WWII, some coming from international sources and some coming from domestic ones, Oklahoma City and the 1993 WTC bombing to name a few. 

           Making the case for invading Afghanistan immediately following 9/11 was fairly easy for the administration because they had actual evidence that the terrorist group responsible was based there with the support of the local government. This was compounded by the brutal and psychotic actions of the Taliban and as a result the bill passed with only a single dissenter in the House of Representatives (Snow & Taylor, 2006).  There were concerns based on the failure of the Soviets to gain control of the country but with a quick defeat of the opposition, these fears were alleviated and for the purposes of public relations, the war was won.   

         It is important to note that the names of military actions and congressional acts were important as part of the representation strategy.  Voting against the Patriot Act is obviously unpatriotic, just look at the name. Dissenting on the matter of Operation Iraqi Freedom means one does not want the Iraqis to be free etc.  This transparent representation is so overt, there is little written on the subject, the effects being fairly obvious.            Making the case for war in Iraq was far more difficult because there was no actual evidence that the country was a threat to the United States.  The invasion was already predetermined, however, so justification had to be created.  The Project for a New American Century (PNAC), a group consisting of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Lewis Libby wrote a report in September 2000 that stated that “while the unresolved conflict with Iraq [referencing failed UN inspections] provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force in the gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein” (Joseph, 2007 p.43 & Kumar, 2006 p.54).   

         With the plans for invasion already in progress, intelligence had to be gathered that showed a link between Hussein and Al Qaeda and that Iraq itself was a threat to the US. While the claims would later be revealed as false, the idea that Iraq was involved in 9/11 and also possessed WMDs was repeated over and over by senior government officials across major American media outlets, who in turn amplified the fear created by these assertions. George W. Bush explained the goal in 2002, “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda” (Joseph, 2007 p.45). It seems clear that the rhetoric coming out of the administration was important for the media because it was the only source of information concerning the intelligence. This kind of absolute reliance on elite sources with regards to information effectively made the White House the ultimate gatekeeper and framer of the motivations for war.   

         Looking at the conflict currently, there is a new development that threatens to erode the government hold on military information.  Embedded reporters can only see what the government wants them to see but recently there has been a rise in soldiers reporting their experiences directly to the internet. As the technology spreads, it will not be long before ordinary civilians in a war zone can release perhaps vital information instantly to the world.  The question is whether or not the major American media outlets will continue to rely heavily on elite sources and nationalistic considerations when reporting on military conflicts?  Evolving video and picture technology also raises the question of how much longer will warfare continue to be sanitized and romanticized on American TV?  The government no longer controls the release of intelligence as it would like to and this can be seen clearly in the decline of presidential approval ratings.  The outcome of the Iraq conflict will be have to be determined by actions based on facts and not rhetoric based on unseen motives.  

          Since “losing” the Vietnam War, American administrations have changed their policies with respect to information management in order to retain control of what the media reports and its impact on public opinion. As media technologies evolved, so did strategies for gathering and delivering information to the media on the part of the government. The common goal across the various conflicts is to present the positive news as most significant and to downplay or bury negative news. At times the news media has been collaborators in this process and at other times they simply lacked access to unbiased, non-elite sources.   

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