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The Causes Of The Iran-Contra Affair

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Iran-Contra Affair
With the 1960s and 1970s, came a growing need for change among the American people. A previously dominant liberal government was not taking a hard enough stance on the fight to end communism. All it took, was a final nudge to shift the vote from democratic to republican.
For decades, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East had depended on a friendly government in Iran. The newly appointed leader, the shah of Iran, began Westernizing the country and taking away power from the Ayatollah, powerful religious leaders. The United States poured millions of dollars into Iran’s economy and the shah’s armed forces, overlooking the rampant corruption in government and well-organized opposition. By early 1979, the Ayatollah had murdered the Shah and taken back power of the government. A group of students who took the American embassy hostage on November 4th, 1979, turned the embassy over to the religious leaders. Carter knew he must take action in order to regain the American embassy and the hostages, but with all of the military cutbacks, the rescue attempt was a complete failure and embarrassment. It took the United States 444 days to rescue the hostages. This was the final straw for many Americans, and enough to push them to the “right” side of the political spectrum, Republican.
The election of 1980 brought the re-nominated Democratic candidate, Jimmy Carter, against the newly nominated Republican candidate, Ronald Reagan. While Carter ran a rather “gloom and doom” campaign, Reagan came into the election upbeat and with high hopes of rebuilding the military. Americans, weary of the liberal government, elected Ronald Reagan. Reagan came into the Presidency wanting to restore United States leadership in world affairs w...

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...g Israel as a go-between. Millions of dollars from these sales were given to the Contras in complete disregard for the Boland Amendment.
At the congressional hearings, Oliver North took full responsibility for the scandal, claiming he did it in the name of patriotism. In reality, he and his security advisor, Admiral John Poindexter had lied to Congress, shredded evidence, and refused to inform the President of details in order to guarantee his “plausible deniability”. Ultimately, the Iran-Contra investigation raised more questions than it answered. Reagan held fast to his plea of ignorance, the full role of the CIA director remained murky, and the role of Vice President Bush remained mysterious as well. The Iran-Contra affair revealed how secretive government officials undermine the Constitution and compromise Presidential authority under the facade of patriotism.
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