United States Policy and Law Term Paper
There seems to be two standards when it comes to the law of the land. There is one for the ordinary citizen and there is also one for the elite the CEOs, influential people and powerful politicians. It must be clarified though that when the high and mighty break the law, they do not do so in an obvious manner, like murder, petty theft, etc. When they break the law they look for weaknesses within the legal system and that is what they will exploit and this is the reason why they could not be punished like ordinary people. It can also be said that it is their knowledge of ambiguities in the law that gave them the ability to bend the rules. In the 20thcentury a term was coined to capture this deviant behavior and it is . One good example is the .
U.S. foreign policy dictates that the American government will not negotiate with terrorists. This policy is easy to understand because the act of negotiating with terrorists will make the U.S. government appear weak. Then, unscrupulous people and radical extremists will exploit this particular weakness and encourage them to kidnap Americans or blackmail them. In the 1970s this was the official stance of the American government even if international turmoil intensified in Asia and the Middle East (Williams, 1998).
For many policymakers it was a good decision to continue with their protocol regarding kidnapping and blackmail. But everything was about to change during the 1980s because Americans were hit simultaneously by bombings, kidnappings and the expansion of the Communist regime led by the former Union Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). President Regan was in a bind because he is well aware of the said foreign policy but American lives were on the line and at the same time the ascendancy of communist government threatened to upset the balance of world power.
The Iran Contra affair was without a doubt a good example of how a sovereign country can negotiate with terrorists. It does not require a political scientist to realize that the U.S. government risked so much for initiating this transaction but there were at least four major events that forced the Reagan administration to broker this deal. Firstly, the Reagan administration was greatly concerned about the growing Cuban and Soviet influence in the nation of Nicaragua while at the same time anxious that weapons can also be shipped from Nicaragua to communist insurgents in neighboring El Salvador (Williams, 1998). If this will happen then the U.S. government is faced with a multi-headed monster that will be very difficult to control and defeat.
Secondly, the Reagan administration authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to support and train Nicaraguan exiles known as Contras to engage in a guerilla war against the Sandinista government (Williams, 38). Thirdly, 241 American servicemen were killed in a daring terrorist attack in Beirut (Williams, 1998). And finally, Americans were kidnapped in Beirut and the most notable of them was William Buckley the citys CIA station chief; President Reagan was distressed when he received information that Buckley was tortured (Williams, 1998). This was the last straw because and made Reagan to decide to take action without the knowledge of Congress.
When the Israelis suggested to the Reagan administration that it was time to build bridges towards the Iranian government, the national security adviser Robert McFarlane and Director of the CIA, Bill Casey began to draw up a strategy not only to deal with the hostage crisis in the Middle East but also the communist problem in Nicaragua. They tried to hit two birds with one stone in one complex deal that would involve the Israeli and Iranian government as well as the in Nicaragua. Not everyone in the Reagan administration agreed to the but it was clear that the President wanted Buckley out of Beirut (Williams, 1998). The Iran-Contra affair was initiated and Israel will play a major role in it.
The main goal in the initial stages was to conceal the shipment of arms to Iran. In order to this it was their counterparts within the Israeli government that delivered American-made weapons to Iran using their own stock, with the understanding that the U.S. government will replenish it after the completion of the deal (Williams, 1998). Afterwards the sales of arms required numerous intermediaries and various diversionary tactics to hide it from the general public. As a result, the U.S. Department of Defense would sell weapons to the CIA, then the CIA would turn around to sell the same items to an armaments company controlled by retired Major-General Richard Secord, the general would then re-sell the weapons to Manuchar Ghorbanifar, an Iranian citizen, and finally Ghorbanifar will deliver the same to the Iranian government (Williams, 1998).