During the 1970's and 80's a new feature began to shape world politics
- · religion and politics. For example, new Iranian government in 1970's Ayatollah Kuhollah Khomeini was labeled as a fundamentalist islam government which changed the relations compared to when the Shaw was in charge.
- · Also happened with the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua which ousted Anastasio Somoza.
Ronald Regan made a new mixture of religion and politics at home
- · Kennedy wanted to separate religion and politics but Regan brought them together.
- · Religious terminology was used to state political agendas
- · He was nominally Christian, rarely went to church, but tried to appeal to born again Christians
Similarity between Regan and Wilson on religious issues
- · Both tapped into deep religious groups. Both members of Presbyterian church
- · both emphasized general will.
- · both rhetorical presidents. able to articulate a vision that tapped deep cultural roots and gave deep political power.
- · emphasized connection between democracy and peace while totalitarian governments were prone to attacks
- · Ha, how could US take over all of our land while not being aggressive. American presidents like to believe we are peaceful.
- · regan said we conflict with the soviets because we don't try to export our ideology. ha. When communist states try to expand we should try to stop them because we and God wanted peace.
- Like Wilson, regan rejected a balance of power. he wanted a total victory over communism. Unlike george kennen who was ok with a balance of power.
- · Afghanistan
- · Cambodia
- · Ethiopia, Angola were provided advisors by Soviets
- · Nicaragua because Sandanistas were communist
US had to support 'freedom fighters'
- · The US is inherently peaceful. The communists are not and they are aggressive. Thus the US had a global responsibility to stop this aggression so therefore US should start intervening. So you start out not intervening and you end up rationalizing intervening.
- · Rationalized that since America was made up of so many people, if it was good for America it was good for the rest of the world. Regan began to project this policy into the middle east and central America.
· 1979 under the leadership of Islamic clerics. war with iraq in 1980. Hussein was dictator in Iraq. They engaged in war throughout the decade and ended in 1988. Because Iran was a major threat, US supported saddam Hussein in Iraq. Later on, Republicans wanted to forget about this. During this period, US gave intelligence to Iraq. Regan was concerned that if Komeni defeated Iraq they may take over oil in Iraq.
Donald Rumsfeld in 1983
- · went to bhagdad and reached agreements. Sale of American agricultural chemicals of extreme volume. Far exceeded the amount of agriculture in Iraq and was used later on with chemical warfare.
- · After 9/11 Rumsfeld really believed Iraq had chemical weapons, which he should be certain because he sold them to him.
Another area where religion and politics came together was
- · Nicaragua jUly 1979 Sandanitas came in. Catholic church was dominant in Nicaragua normally. Catholic heirarcy was aligned with previous government. New development took place. Latin American bishops began spread theology. God liberated the poor not the rich. Liberation theologians began to try to have a kingdom of god on earth. The point is that the catholic church in Nicaragua was on both sides between the sandanitas and semosas. New government included catholic
- priests. The point is that Sandanistas were not atheists but looked at by Regan, this was ignored.
· was involved in a struggle between good and evil.
- · US came up to limits but that is now how things work. Other people are limited, but we are not.
- · In 1970's we lost the war in Vietnam. We were never supposed to lose wars. Economic opportunity is supposed to be expansive but OPEC and other economic problems created stagflation, but also sky rockeing prices, high interest rates during Carter.
- · Revolutions were happening around the world. Komanii, Sandanistas, Soviets were expanding in Afghanistan,
- · In this context, Regan wanted to break out of this decline.
Regan in 1983
- · proposed missile defense
- · Regan wanted to break out of limits of normal missile deterrents
- · Nevermind that it had not been tested, it offered the best result. One fundamental problem. New SDI that was developed was designed to stop incoming missiles with warheads. If we magically could achieve perfection, it still doesn't protect
- you. Why? because bombers dont go into outer space and that’s what this was designed to stop
- · Started his career writing about the decline of british empire. Came to Yale and joined the history deparment. Wrote a book published 1987 called the "rise and fall of great power"
- · Rise and decline of Spanish empire, dutch empire, French empire, british empire, then American empire
- · All Americans could agree the inept Europeans may rise and decline but the Americans can only rise. For paul kennedy to have the audacity to suggest this, it hit a raw nerve.
- · There may have been a decline during jimmy carter, but not under regan, regan argued.
- · Kennedy argued that economic prosperity always led to military expansion to secure this prosperity. The pattern is that eventually empires spend more and more on military purposes as a way of trying to hold on to prosperity, but as they spend more they reach imperial overstretch. As you try to make empire too powerful militarily, you bankrupt yourself. This is the relationship between economics and power.
Regan began to expanse military extensively
- · From George Kennans point of view, this all seemed unreal. He published a book in 1983 titled "the nuclear delusion" which talked about there being no objective reason why the US should be so scared about the Soviet Union. Kennen
- suggested the evil soviet union was used so that our empire by contrast would be a virtuous one. He suggested in this book that all of the frustrations Americans felt (Vietnam, hostage crisis, inflation, corruption) our society may feel out of control. May encourage people to go along with Regans plans.
Regan promised to return the US to our position of leadership.
- · Touched deep cultural roots in the US that Americans wanted to believe.
- · This gave regan's presidency a 'teflon' coating because even when people found out what regan said was not true they still wanted to believe it.
- · George Kennan saw no reason to be upset with Soviet power in the way that Ronald Regan did. Regan called for a 50% increase in military expenditure to 'catch up' with the soviets. Kennen and other analysts thought there was no need to do so.
- · In this context Regan announced the science and technology upgrade.
Nuclear war would be
- · the war to end all wars, because no one would be around after.
- · In this context, with the decline, Strategic Defense initiative was offered by Regan. The new SDI did not really do anything but made people feel better.
The religious right offered another solution
- · Saw a nuclear war as the moment of rapture. good Christians would go to heaven. Armageddon theology became
- a solution to the despair. Regan offered a type of political evangelism as a way to offer new hope. George Kennen, Paul Kennedy offered much more rational interpretations but Americans did not want this. They wanted something emotionally satisfying.
Regan gave what Historian Garry Wills called
- · Disney land version of history.
- · Regan used rhetoric as a way of escaping from facts. An optimistic future may be drawn from an idealized past. Nevermind that things that Regan brought up didn't exist in the past, he depicted a much brighter future.
- · Regan was a blend of idealistic America. We are a virtuous, generous people. Don't let the facts get in our way. Don't let the fact that other governments often give much more of their GDP to other countries, we are more generous. America's
- original sinlessness. This created the popular appeal of Regan.
- · CIA could do dirty things as they did, but we are virtuous so the American people win. This allowed America to have a good feeling about themselves.
- · Actor. As an actor he played out his role as President as an actor.
- · Regan chose public relations over public policy. Used individual cases as if they were representative of the whole.
- · Regans references to history was actually references to movies. Only in the movies did his version of history happen.
- Regan talked about going to camps where Nazis killed Jews but he never left the country. He played this in movies. He was delivering the message Americans wanted to hear.
Summer 1989 after Regan ended his second term as president
- · Regan was commentating the annual all star game
- · Regan used to commentate baseball in des moine Iowa for Chicago Cubs games. He would watch the ticker tape and make up the game as he went. It would say who was up, when they were out, just the basics.
- · He was nervous for the all star game because people could see what he was talking about.
Early puritans experienced failure in New England
- · After they experienced that, a prophet would offer a better future and a promise to overcome failure
- · Victory was promised in Vietnam. We lost. Regan blamed weak politicians. If we took a strong stand John Wayne style we would have won. Regan tapped into these cultural roots and Americans looked to him for something they wanted.
In Central America,
- · Communism came into Nicaragua. Regan began to identify with supporting an alternative. Built up the Contras as they began to organize in Honduras and partially from Costa Rica. Regan was committed, used the CIA to channel American economic and military support to oppose the Sandinistas. Congress did not want the US to be involved in another war. Edward Boland, a representative from Massachusetts, introduced the Boland amendment in 1982 designed to not let
- US give support to Contras. 1982-1983 Regan administration found loop holes in this amendment. 1984 new Boland amendment closed these loop holes. US maintained normal relations with the Nicaraguan government through all this.
Regan was used Nicaragua as a test case
· American power in central America. If we cannot defend ourselves in Central America we cannot defend ourselves anywhere. This sounded much like the domino theory. We need to stop communism in Nicaragua before communism spreads through south America, mexico, and the US.
- · A way of dealing with Nic. and other areas around the world.
- · One dimension - overt - spread of democracy throughout the world. sounded much like Wilson during WWI, and one aspect of the Truman doctrine. This became a new goal. Help people in other parts of the world to develop new democracies. Towards Nicaragua and other parts of the world.
- · One dimension - covert - directed by national security counsel. Under lieutenant colonel Oliver North who was attached
- to the national security counsel just west of the white house. George H.W. Bush (Regan's VP) moved his office up to a different floor next door to Oliver North.
- · under direction of Oliver North began to organize "freedom fighters"
- · Plan was to arm the Cantras, nevermind that the Boland amendment didn’t allow this, the Regan administration was beginning to do this.
CIA relation to
- · Director of CIA was William Casey, who had an early career in the Office of Strategic Services (covert opps). Helped organize resistance behind the lines in prep for an invasion. French resistance prior to d=day. He likened what the US was
- doing in Nicaragua to this. This suggested that a US military invasion would happen next. Operations were justified by the Regan Doctrine
- · In Regans state of the Union in Jan 1985 he outlined what became known as Regan Doctrine
- · Support freedom fighters, liberation, would be applied to a number of places (Cambodia, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, etc)
World Anti-Communist League
- · Founded in 1966 with origins going back to 1950's
- · South Vietnam and Taiwan were basks of anti-communism. They began to work together and look to US for external support.
- · Wanted to not just stop but roll back or liberate communism.
- · Key member of the 1980's WACL was Major General John K Singlaub who was the American commander in south korea. When Carter called for withdrawl of American troops. Singlub publicly condemned Carter for this. MacArthur did this and lost his job. Singlaub also lost his job.
- · WACL had links to right wing death squads in latin America.
- · In Taiwan there were schools that trained death squads. Contras and others went to Taiwan to be trained by WACL.
- WACL also had a close connection to the Unification Church. Created by Sun Myung Moon of South Korea which had a link to the KCIA.
- · Moonies were frequently seen at airports. selling flowers and raising money for the movement. The Washington times was opened by the Unification church and was the leading conservative news paper.
- · WACL wanted people to expose and counteract communism. Train anti communist rulers.
General Singlaub in September 1984 outlined the ideas of the World AntiCommunist League
- · In the WACL conference in San Diego, said he was convinced this struggle was not a spectator sport.
- · WACL must not only supply support but also plans of action for movements
- Regan sent a message saying the WACL saying he wished them the best. This laid the foundation for the Regan Doctrine.