Millard Fuller, who founded the U.S. charity Habitat for Humanity, a pioneering organisation that builds houses for low-income families around the world, died on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at age 74.
Reagan got elected in 1980 over then President Jimmy Carter, “Swift Boaters” on the right are anxious to compare Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter, this is how to trash that angle. They will point to a perceived weakness on foreign affairs and make inferences that are historically inaccurate and unfavorable to both former President Carter and Barack Obama. The problem is that the appeal could connect to people on an emotive level even without a shred of truth or objectivity.
After the fall of Saigon and the cultural upheavals of the 60′s the United States elected a moderate Southern Democrat to President of the United States over Gerald Ford, a moderate Republican, who “Pardoned” his predecessor Richard M Nixon. Ronald Reagan narrowly lost the Republican nomination in 1976 (to Gerald Ford who lost to Jimmy Carter). The Soviet Union was at the peak of it’s military power (Much stronger than present day Russia) and chose this period to invade Afghanistan by proxy, and Soviet ground and Air Forces (1978).
The Soviet war in Afghanistan, also known as the Soviet-Afghan War or just the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, was a nine-year conflict involving Soviet forces supporting the Marxist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) government against the mujahideen resistance. The latter group found support from a variety of sources including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other Muslim nations in the context of the Cold War. This conflict was concurrent to the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the Iran–Iraq War. (Osama Bin Laden was a fighter (mujahideen resistance) against the Soviets in Afghanistan)
The Iran hostage crisis (Persian: تصرف سفارت آمریکا) was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States where 52 U.S. diplomats were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, after a group of students took over the American embassy in support of Iran’s revolution. Reagan hinted at dire consequences and the Iranian did indeed release the Hostages on Carter’s last day in office, Reagan was free to not deal with the matter, was it his threats, or did the Iranian’s think they had got as much as possible out of the issue? I was a deft move but Iran is still a problem even with Cheney as Vice President.
The Iranian Revolution (also known as the Islamic Revolution. Persian: انقلاب اسلامی, Enghelābe Eslāmi) was the revolution that transformed Iran from a monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic. It has been called “the third great revolution in history,” following the French and Bolshevik revolutions, and an event that “made Islamic fundamentalism a political force … from Morocco to Malaysia.
American Military Forces had been reduced in size and funding since the mid 60′s height of the Vietnam war under Nixon, Ford and pre Afghanistan Jimmy Carter. All American Governments under both Democrats and Republicans were caught by surprise by the swift collapse of the unpopular Shah of Iran and were un prepared for the seizure of the hostages and the resulting diplomatic conflict.
Contrary to the weak image of Jimmy Carter that will be touted by the right, he initiated a military operation to secure the freedom of the hostages. Unfortunately, it was not realized that the Helicopter engines were not properly protected with sand shields and dust condition resulted in a collision of Helicopters in Iran outside of Tehran, and rhe mission had to be aborted with the tragic loss of many lives.
Jimmy Carter, as commander in Chief assumed full responsibility fot this disaster, but what could he have done better? Neither Jimmy Carter nor the Military knew what was going to happen, it was a bold plan and it failed and President Carter took responsibility for it. The problem is that 90% of the people that look at “Swift Boat” stuff will buy the attitude that Carter was weak and will not consider a failed military operation in the correct light. Once the operation failed, the Hostages were dispersed and the rest is history. Admittedly, it may have helped that the Iranian’s were not sure what Reagan would have done if they had not have released the hostages and Iran, thru the Iran Contra affair plagued the Reagan Administration as well.
Ronald Reagan inheirited a nation that was growing economically, partly as a result of exPresident Carter’s huge increases in defense spending after the disasters of the late 1970′s, the pump was already primed and Reagan continued the expansion, but playing Jimmy Carter as weak, in 2009 is mainly based on people having forgotten that he authorized the use of force to release the hostages. It is simply inaccurate to portray Jimmy Carter as timid and weak, he tried and the operation failed, it could not be repeated. So I have three basic points, 1. The collapse of Iran was not directly the fault of Jimmy Carter, nor was the Hostage crisis. 2. Jimmy Carter authorized a Military operation to free the hostages, it failed due to factors unrelated to his Political party in particular. 3. That the expansion of the economy under Reagan actually began with the increased defense spending put forward under President Carter, allowing Reagan to move forward with a strong start and solid fundamentals. Picking on Jimmy Carter can and should be exposed for the cheap political gimmick it is. (These essays are really about the use of diplomacy and negotiation to further our interests as opposed to “Bluster” that we have been using for the last eight years to such poor effect.)
Operation Eagle Claw (or Operation Evening Light) was a United States military operation to rescue the 53 hostages from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran on April 24, 1980. The failure of the operation led to the creation of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the U.S. Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (“The Night Stalkers”).
The hostages were eventually released after extensive diplomatic negotiations on January 20, 1981, Carter’s last day in office, after 444 days of captivity. Jimmy Carter was determined to ensure the release under his administration, particularly as the Democratic nomination for the 1980 presidential election neared, but the release did not occur until immediately after Reagan had taken the oath of office.