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The Effects of Reagan and Bush’s Policies in El

Powerful Essays
The Effects of Reagan and Bush’s Policies in El Salvador and Iraq

United States foreign policy, since the Cold War, has been driven by ideology: good versus evil, capitalism versus communism, and democracy versus totalitarianism. America’s foreign policy objective from 1945 to 1991 was to contain communism, prompting Cold War calculus – the enemy of your enemy is your friend. The United States, following Cold War calculus, allied with unscrupulous leaders opposed to communism, like the Somoza dynasty in Nicaragua, the Reza Shahs in Iran, the dictator Franco in Spain, and the elite in El Salvador. Reagan’s belief that the Soviet Union was the Evil Empire committed him to support the brutal military regime in El Salvador, which he justified as protecting national security. Since September 11, the new American enemy is terrorism. To eliminate terrorist organizations, Bush has invaded Afghanistan and Iran. Bush has continued the precedent of ideology-induced foreign policy by justifying the invasions as introducing civilization to the primitive Middle East and simultaneously protecting American interests. Bush, like Reagan, has intertwined ideology with national security. Reagan’s intervention in El Salvador was driven by ideology, but was justified as protecting national security, whereas Bush’s invasion of Iraq was prompted by national defense, but was promoted as American ideology.

Defending National Security

The United States justified its involvement in El Salvador as protecting American national security, a notion fueled by anti-communist ideology. Reagan believed the FMLN (Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation), the radical leftist guerilla insurgency in El Salvador, threatened the U...

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...31-5.html November 17, 2003.

[6] “September 7, 2003 President Addresses the Nation” http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/10/20031031-5.html. November 17, 2003

[7] “National Security Advisor Dr. Rice Remarks to National Legal Center” http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/10/20031031-5.html November 17, 2003.

[8] “Missing Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Is Lying About The Reason For War An Impeachable

Offense?” John W. Dean. http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20030606.html November 5, 2003.

[9] 160

[10] National Security Advisor Dr. Rice Remarks to National Legal Center” http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/10/20031031-5.html November 17, 2003.

[11]“Iraq Democracy Watch: Report # 1 on the Situation in Iraq.” The Iraq Foundation.

http://www.iraqfoundation.org/news/2003/isept/26_democracy_watch.html. November 5, 2003.
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