Taken Hostage Essay

982 Words Nov 6th, 2013 4 Pages
Iranian Hostage Crisis
The relationship between the American people and their government drastically changed in the 1970s. The people began to distrust their government after The Watergate Scandal, oil prices, and the falling economy. President Jimmy Carter, elected in 1976 was seen by the public as an honest man that was working for the people not for the evils of Washington DC. Carter, being an outsider, grew very popular with the American people. His lack of insider perspective became troublesome when he could not explain his clear motives and direction he was taking America. This not only caused tension within his own administration, but also caused the American people to regain the feeling of mistrust they once felt with Nixon
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Farber takes note that this inherited relationship was due to Nixon and his foreign policy advisor, Henry Kissinger, as they chose to recognize the Shah as the primary keeper of U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf. The Shah was over thrown and put on trial by the Islamic radicals. Before proceeding with trial, President Carter permitted the Shah to be brought to America for medical treatment. This move caused tensions and anger to heighten between the Iranians and American government. A violent reaction was triggered in Iran as a mob of students invaded the U.S. embassy and took 52 Americans hostage in demand of the Shah to be returned. Farber never directly says Carter made a complete mistake in not meeting these demands, however he does acknowledge Carter’s failed attempts at releasing and rescuing the hostages. Henry Kissinger, foreign policy advisor, had a great influence on Carter, encouraging him to not destroy the positive relationship the U.S. created with the Shah. However, choosing to maintain the relationship with the Shah destroyed the chance he might have had with the Iranian government. The American people did not see this influence of Kissinger and other members of the administration, therefore their approval went down as it seemed that Carter was at the mercy of the Iranians rather than doing anything possible in order to save his people. Previous to the

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