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View Full Version : samurai_steve learns about Iran Contra



Judah Maccabee
3/02/2005 12:03am,
The first day of my American Foreign Policy class, my professor spent about 10 minutes out of 3 hours literally ranting on the issue of Reagan's deity-like status in the media, and how a little something called the Iran-Contra scandal was either ignored or whitewashed during the time after Reagan's death. Therefore, she explicitly assigned the book "Firewall" by Lawrence Walsh to provide some substantiation for her statements.

(the book was also assigned as one of three texts that directly addressed the issue of an overly powerful executive branch, but that's an entirely new thread)

The book is about Walsh recalling the experience of being the independent counsel in the Iran-Contra investigation. As I made my way through the book, I was astounded by a number of things that Reagan's administration resorted to in the interest of "national security."

As a fairly young person interested in politics and history, I readily admit that I have not fully explored the detailed history of our country, and have relished the chance to finally explore some of the more contemporary events and gain more perspective as to why some activists and partisans have the beliefs that they do.

Before I wax more personal on this matter, some of the "astounding" things:

- Congress passes the Boland Amendment in 1982, prohibiting aid to the Nicaraguan Contras. Congress also has amendments forbidding trade with Iran. Yet the president and his staff overrode those laws in the "national interest" of preventing the spread of Communism

- Reagan says "We will not trade arms with Iran or negotiate with terrorists", etc. Months later, he says "I know it in my heart and mind that we haven't exchanged arms for hostages, but the facts say otherwise" or something like that.

- Nancy "Just Say No" Reagan and her husband designate drugs as a scourge upon the country (especially weed), but a lot of evidence suggests that Ronnie and the CIA brought quite a bit of heroin and cocaine into the country to help finance the Contras

- Reagan and Co. get Saudi Arabia and private donors to provide millions in funding for the Contras in the wake of the Boland Amendment. Getting SA involved wasn't technically illegal, but was flagrantly unethical and counter to the laws of Congress (and extension, the American people).

- "October Surprise": An allegation by former insider Barbara Hanager(sp?) that the Reagan campaign bargained with Iran to delay the release of the hostages so that Carter would lose his re-election, and Reagan could start off with a feather in his cap.

There was other stuff, as well. And as someone trying to make the lifetime effort to understand the past as best as possible, something like this really puts some matters into perspective.

Any other personal or intellectual insight welcome on the issue. Maybe discussing Ollie North's presidential pardon by Bush I and his current success as a "talking head" on the news lately.

Wounded Ronin
3/02/2005 12:29am,
For some reason, though, there are scads of retards in this country who can only think good things about Reagan. If there's a "safe" legacy to recall by Conservative politicians, it's the legacy of Reagan.

The Economist, a conservative British economics magazine, once commented that what with all the Reagan monuments and buildings being created all over the US that Reagan was getting the same sort of treatment that "two bit dictators" give themselves in their home country.

I think that the moral is that when it comes to politics most people just turn their brains off and revert to some obscene party line, be they liberal or conservative.

punchingdummy
3/02/2005 12:35am,
Samari Steve...not all of what you listed is fact. One must be careful to separate the facts from allegations.

I think the single largest reason that history judges Reagan favorably is that he is credited, correctly or incorrectly, with winning the cold war. That, and he made Americans proud to be American again after several VERY tough years (of economic stagnation, military incompetence and political defeat). Regardless, if the USSR had not fallen on his watch I doubt he would be held in the same high regard.

nasty_totoro
3/02/2005 4:05am,
The Economist, a conservative British economics magazine, once commented that what with all the Reagan monuments and buildings being created all over the US that Reagan was getting the same sort of treatment that "two bit dictators" give themselves in their home country.



the economist isnt all that conservative ...

economically they're more liberals in the original sense of the word ...

socially they are down right progressive ... read the latest issue about gays in the military ...

nasty_totoro
3/02/2005 4:09am,
The first day of my American Foreign Policy class, my professor spent about 10 minutes out of 3 hours literally ranting on the issue of Reagan's deity-like status in the media, and how a little something called the Iran-Contra scandal was either ignored or whitewashed during the time after Reagan's death. Therefore, she explicitly assigned the book "Firewall" by Lawrence Walsh to provide some substantiation for her statements.

(the book was also assigned as one of three texts that directly addressed the issue of an overly powerful executive branch, but that's an entirely new thread)

The book is about Walsh recalling the experience of being the independent counsel in the Iran-Contra investigation. As I made my way through the book, I was astounded by a number of things that Reagan's administration resorted to in the interest of "national security."

As a fairly young person interested in politics and history, I readily admit that I have not fully explored the detailed history of our country, and have relished the chance to finally explore some of the more contemporary events and gain more perspective as to why some activists and partisans have the beliefs that they do.

Before I wax more personal on this matter, some of the "astounding" things:

- Congress passes the Boland Amendment in 1982, prohibiting aid to the Nicaraguan Contras. Congress also has amendments forbidding trade with Iran. Yet the president and his staff overrode those laws in the "national interest" of preventing the spread of Communism

- Reagan says "We will not trade arms with Iran or negotiate with terrorists", etc. Months later, he says "I know it in my heart and mind that we haven't exchanged arms for hostages, but the facts say otherwise" or something like that.

- Nancy "Just Say No" Reagan and her husband designate drugs as a scourge upon the country (especially weed), but a lot of evidence suggests that Ronnie and the CIA brought quite a bit of heroin and cocaine into the country to help finance the Contras

- Reagan and Co. get Saudi Arabia and private donors to provide millions in funding for the Contras in the wake of the Boland Amendment. Getting SA involved wasn't technically illegal, but was flagrantly unethical and counter to the laws of Congress (and extension, the American people).

- "October Surprise": An allegation by former insider Barbara Hanager(sp?) that the Reagan campaign bargained with Iran to delay the release of the hostages so that Carter would lose his re-election, and Reagan could start off with a feather in his cap.

There was other stuff, as well. And as someone trying to make the lifetime effort to understand the past as best as possible, something like this really puts some matters into perspective.

Any other personal or intellectual insight welcome on the issue. Maybe discussing Ollie North's presidential pardon by Bush I and his current success as a "talking head" on the news lately.


the question you have to ask yourself is ... are the things done on reagan's watch justified by the results produced ...

now you can say that he shouldn't have invaded grenada, bombed libya, and messed in nicaragua ...

but then he did go into afganistan, put the ussr into an arms races that would expose it's economic weakness, and rebuild american prestige after nam and iran ...

you have to take the good with the bad ... and in the end the big old berlin wall came tumbling down ...

patfromlogan
3/02/2005 4:21am,
You weren't around for this one. It partly concerns Poindexter, that lovely six time indited felon that worked for Reagan/Bush. Or who did he work for???

http://bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=13541

patfromlogan
3/02/2005 4:48am,
And you weren't around for Reagan's death thread.
http://bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=13213

God I was good back then, sure glad I've mellowed out and stopped wrecking my brain with pot!! (the illuminati told me to say that)






Negroponte who ran the cia/death squads in Honduras is now the Ambassador to Iraq. Gives the towel heads the right message, I'm sure.


"To this day I do not believe that death squads were operating in Honduras."
-Negroponte

Capt. Shady has his head in the sand, as The Specials sang years ago in the song Nelson Mandela:



Are you so blind that you cannot see?
Are you so deaf that you cannot hear?
Are you so dumb that you cannot speak?

I note that NO ONE who liked Reagan (also known as President Kill) is responding or posting now.
Except the dear Capt. and he is delusional.



The thread has a lot of good stuff.

One thing I would add to it now, on the fall of the USSR being from our great leader Reagan (Capt Shady and others) vs The Wastrel's views, is the influence of trade unions.

Judah Maccabee
3/02/2005 7:20am,
the question you have to ask yourself is ... are the things done on reagan's watch justified by the results produced ...

now you can say that he shouldn't have invaded grenada, bombed libya, and messed in nicaragua ...

but then he did go into afganistan, put the ussr into an arms races that would expose it's economic weakness, and rebuild american prestige after nam and iran ...

you have to take the good with the bad ... and in the end the big old berlin wall came tumbling down ...

What I discussed isn't meant to minimize the significance of those events, but to put them into perspective and balance.

My understanding with those interventions is that at that point with the "domino theory", it was nothing for America to be threatened by. As my prof explained, Vietnam went communist after we lost the war there, and now, portions of that region are some of the most prosperous (developing) nations in the world under a capitalist system; Angola in Africa went Marxist, and only they were that way. In places where we unsuccessfully intervened to prevent communism, communism never spread as the domino theory had suggested.

If you were to look at this in an "ends justify the means" fashion, look what the Iran-Contra action resulted in: A president who clearly and cogently violated both the letter and spirit of the law to illegally sell arms to a terrorist state (Iran) that just kidnapped more Americans after releasing the first round, illegally give funding to an insurgent group banned by Congress (Nicaraguan Contras), quite possibly brought tons of coke into the country through the CIA on an anti-drug, and threatened the most basic foundation of checks and balances our country was founded upon.

It's that last point that is one of the more galling ones to me. On the international sene, because there's no global enforcement body for international law, America gets to be King of the Mountain. But there's a necessary and fair expectation that within the country, rule by law is followed. That law can sometimes be ambiguous, and grant powers to the President that were never intended by the Framers. But there are clear-cut cases where the law has valid prohibitions on actions. When Congress passes an amendment banning funding to the Contras, and you go out and get the Saudis to start picking up the tab, that might not be technically illegal (at the time), but it most certainly violates the spirit of checks and balances.

punchingdummy
3/02/2005 7:21am,
My favorite Iran-Contra figure is, of course, Ollie. He was UNPOPULAR with Marines for his attitude and actions but, like many, has now re-invented himself. I suspect younger people who see him on TV know him as a reporter and talkshow host...and have little clue about his role in that dark chapter.

punchingdummy
3/02/2005 7:28am,
What I discussed isn't meant to minimize the significance of those events, but to put them into perspective and balance.

My understanding with those interventions is that at that point with the "domino theory", it was nothing for America to be threatened by. As my prof explained, Vietnam went communist after we lost the war there, and now, portions of that region are some of the most prosperous (developing) nations in the world under a capitalist system; Angola in Africa went Marxist, and only they were that way. In places where we unsuccessfully intervened to prevent communism, communism never spread as the domino theory had suggested.

If you were to look at this in an "ends justify the means" fashion, look what the Iran-Contra action resulted in: A president who clearly and cogently violated both the letter and spirit of the law to illegally sell arms to a terrorist state (Iran) that just kidnapped more Americans after releasing the first round, illegally give funding to an insurgent group banned by Congress (Nicaraguan Contras), quite possibly brought tons of coke into the country through the CIA on an anti-drug, and threatened the most basic foundation of checks and balances our country was founded upon.

It's that last point that is one of the more galling ones to me. On the international sene, because there's no global enforcement body for international law, America gets to be King of the Mountain. But there's a necessary and fair expectation that within the country, rule by law is followed. That law can sometimes be ambiguous, and grant powers to the President that were never intended by the Framers. But there are clear-cut cases where the law has valid prohibitions on actions. When Congress passes an amendment banning funding to the Contras, and you go out and get the Saudis to start picking up the tab, that might not be technically illegal (at the time), but it most certainly violates the spirit of checks and balances.

Again, if you are truly looking for an EDUCATION, you should seek a more balanced perspective. There is certainly some truth to what you have posted but, again, some allegation and liberal interpretation as well.

Judah Maccabee
3/02/2005 7:34am,
Well, that's why I posted here, to get some personal perspective, hopefully from older people who might have actually been through the whole thing and can share their thoughts. Hence:


Any other personal or intellectual insight welcome on the issue.

I'm more than happy to hear your take on these issues.

patfromlogan
3/02/2005 11:00am,
Hey dude, read atleast the Regan [sic] Dead thred. It has a lot on Iran/contra. And some groovy pictures too, if your stomach is strong.

Basically the neocon's view is that illegal war, terrorism, nun and priest murdering, drug running, hundreds of thousands killed, and so forth, are ALL justified by the greater good; they got rid of the Sandanistas and suppressed the rebel army in El Salvador. This is seen as a great victory for the good guys. So blood soaked murder thugs like Negroponte are in power, so what, the ends justify the means, after all, Stalin and Hitler were worse.

garbanzo
3/02/2005 2:03pm,
Ditto for Elliot Abrams, one of the biggest scumbags of the Reagan Administration with regard to Central America.

nasty_totoro
3/02/2005 3:43pm,
that might not be technically illegal (at the time), but it most certainly violates the spirit of checks and balances.

the question is simple ... did he or did he not violate the law ... this is an boolean question ... yes or no ...

bill clinton certainly violated the spirit of the law when he said "i did not have sex with that woman" ...

presidents have been breaking the spirit, if not the the law itself for centuries ... its just a matter of whether they do it in the interest of the country ... or their own ...

DiscoZ
3/02/2005 6:44pm,
Lets not forget the crack/cocaine sold imported in by selective govt. agancies which were selling arms to an *enemy* while supporting another future enemy who was busy gassing his own people.

Stold3
3/03/2005 6:31am,
Contra was a good game