Contemporary US History
December 10, 2012
“Reagan Revolution through President Obama”
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the fortieth president of the United States of America. He was well known for his economic policies during his first term, which later on became well known as Reaganomics. This policy included large tax cuts which was started and implemented in 1981 Reaganomics ' was told to rejuvenate the morale of the American people and then let them not be dependent on the government. Supply-side economics is the basis for this economic policy which aimed to stimulate growth of the economy.
Identify at least (2) two major historical turning points in the period under discussion.
One historical turning point was more than twenty six years ago, Ronald Reagan ordered American troops to invade Grenada and liberate the island from its ruling Marxist dictator. By itself this would have been an insignificant military action: Grenada is a tiny island of little geopolitical significance. But in reality the liberation of Grenada was a historic event, because it signaled the end of the Brezhnev Doctrine and inaugurated a sequence of events that brought down the Soviet empire itself. The Brezhnev Doctrine stated simply that once a country went Communist, it would stay Communist. In other words, the Soviet empire would continue to advance and gain territory, but it would never lose any to the capitalist West. In 1980, when Reagan was elected president, the Brezhnev Doctrine was a frightening reality. Between 1974 and 1980, while the United States wallowed in post-Vietnam angst, 10 countries had fallen into the Soviet orbit: South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, South Yemen, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Grenada and Afghanistan. Never had the Soviets lost an inch of real estate to the West. The liberation of Grenada changed that. For the first time, a Communist country had ceased to be Communist (http://www.historynet.com/american-history)
A turning point for President Obama was on May 1, 2011, American soldiers killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden at his compound near Islamabad, Pakistan. Intelligence officials believe bin Laden was responsible for many deadly acts of terrorism, including the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. He had been on the FBI’s “most wanted” list for more than a decade. This was not only an historical turning point under President Obama this was a turning point for America.
Analyze the impact of the two (2) or more major historical turning points selected on America’s current society, economy, politics, and culture.
A historical point that impacted our current culture was the bombing of the World Trade Centre September 2001 this was considered to be the gravest attack of international terrorism to be committed against America, and indeed the roots of America’s current War on Terror were born in this. As part of the plot by international terrorists to effectively strike against the United States the plan was to cause great disruption to the dynamics of daily life, commerce, and finance. For some Americans, their grief manifested itself as anger and frustration, and they looked for someone to blame for the attacks. Reverend Jerry Falwell made news by saying on his television program "The 700 Club" that "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way–all of them who have tried to secularize America–I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'" And sadly, some anger erupted into attacks on people of Arab and Muslim descent, with nearly 600 incidents in the first 10 days after the attacks. Five hundred furious people mobbed a Chicago-area mosque and refused to leave until they were forced out by police. A Pakistani grocer was murdered in Texas. A man on an anti-Arab rampage in Arizona fatally shot a gas station owner who was an Indian-born Sikh. (This type of confusion was common since many Sikhs wear turbans, have beards and are seen as looking, as one told The New York Times, "more like bin Laden than Muslims do.") FBI Director Robert Mueller said over and over again that "vigilante attacks and threats against Arab-Americans will not be tolerated," but harassment and violence at mosques and in Arab-American neighborhoods continued for months. September 11th changed America in so many ways. Culturally we started to target non American’s.(www.history.com)
Explain ways in which the AIDS epidemic shook American’s general confidence beginning in the 1980s
The disease was first reported in 1981 and it was caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) attacking certain cells in the body interfering with it ability to fight off many diseases, including cancer. ) And it was absolutely incurable. A diagnosis of AIDS was a death sentence. The outbreak of the AIDS truly shocked the American people in the 80’s. At first the disease appeared to attack mostly homosexual and bisexual men. Soon, though, health officials found it to be affecting IV drug users, blood transfusion recipients, partners of AIDS victims and highest among African American women. Non one was exempt from the AIDS epidemic.
Give at least two (2) examples of how the deregulation movement of the Reagan era affects us today.
Discuss the factual rationale behind this nation’s decision to go to war with Afghanistan and Iraq after the 9/11 attacks as well as the response from the international community.
One factual rationale behind the war emerges: the potential for nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons development in Iraq. In fact, Saddam Hussein had once used chemical weapons on his own people, another act that clearly warranted suspicion from the United States. Such a vicious crime against one’s people brings to light two other common themes for the war with Iraq in 2003: removing the Hussein regime and bringing a known villain and evil man to justice. Saddam Hussein’s rejection of the United Nations Resolution 1441 by forcing nuclear weapons inspectors out of his country also takes its place in the long line of motivations for the war; defying the resolution gives the United States and any other member of the U.N. the right to take action, according to the resolution. Another rationale is reinforced by reports indicating that the United States had made the decision to invade Afghanistan two months before the 9/11 attacks. At least part of the background to this decision was the United States’ long-time support for UNOCAL’s proposed pipeline, which would transport oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea region to the Indian Ocean through Afghanistan and Pakistan.15 This project had been stymied through the 1990s because of the civil war that had been going on in Afghanistan since the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. ( Rashid, Taliban 75-79 ) In the mid-1990s, the US government had supported the Taliban with the hope that its military strength would enable it to unify the country and provide a stable government, which could protect the pipeline. By the late 1990s, however, the Clinton administration had given up on the Taliban. When the Bush administration came to power, it decided to give the Taliban one last chance. During a four-day meeting in Berlin in July 2001, representatives of the Bush administration insisted that the Taliban must create a government of “national unity” by sharing power with factions friendly to the United States. The US representatives reportedly said: “Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.” After the Taliban refused this offer, US officials told a former Pakistani foreign secretary that “military action against Afghanistan would go ahead . . . before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.” And, indeed, given the fact that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon occurred when they did, the US military was able to mobilize to begin its attack on Afghanistan by October 7. Some may say that this war was a war of necessity while others may say it was a war of choice.
In conclusion, from Regan to Obama our country has seen its shares of disasters, economic failures and tragedies. Under both of these 2 term Presidents we have also seem growth and opportunity. Under Regan, the most famous and admired was the introduction Economic Recovery Act of 1981. The purpose of this act was to reduce the burden of income tax on the individuals’ .The introduction of this Act was somewhat contentious as it gave rise to arguments in the congress. Under President Obama, we have health care reform, giving people the right to have affordable health care.
Rashid, Taliban 75-79