U.S. History 1877-Present 12.10: Peanut Farmer for President
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Aliens v Predator. Batman v Superman. Jimmy Carter v Iran. We saved the best one for last.
|U.S. History||U.S. History 1877-Present|
Similarly, the Middle East gave Carter some troubles, but he did...
manage to broker piece between Israel and Egypt...
with the famous Camp David Accords,
which was kinda like making cats and dogs agree to share a bowl of food.
Other than that though,
the Middle East was Carter's worst nightmare.
It all began with a coup d'etat.
Don't all good crises?
Well, the Shah of Iran, an American ally....
was overthrown by the followers of...
The Ayatollah was a fundamentalist Shia Muslim leader...
who supported a return to the Islamic values that...
the Shah had ditched for Western ideals.
You know like chowing down on a...
capitalism deluxe burger and fries.
Long story short,
Khomeini was no bro to the U.S.
He remembered all too well the 1950s...
when the C.I.A supported the overthrow...
of Iran's democratically elected...
prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh,
"M 'n M" to his friends.
Yeah, Mossadegh was into democracy, freedom of religion, and human rights...
all things the U.S. is supposed to be down with.
But Mossadegh also wanted...
to nationalize Iranian oil,
which the U.S. and its allies like about...
as much as a kick in the face.
Well, this plan was especially unpopular with the British...
company, now called B.P.,
that controlled Iran's oil at the time.
Well, imagine Prince Charles...
making a face ten times more sour than the one he usually makes.
That's how the Brits felt about that.
Well the threat of rising oil prices was enough...
to push the C.I.A and British Intelligence...
to orchestrate a coup to toss him out of power...
and reinstate the undemocratic Shah.
So, basically, the U.S. was into making the world safe for democracy,
so long as it didn't make gas prices...
go up a lot.
Anyway, since 1953...
when the Shah returned to power,
Iran has been more or less westernizing
and was being friendly with its oil.
Khomeini set out to undo the Western...
leaning policies that had taken root in Iran...
during the Shah's rule.
That meant there weren't gonna be any more...
Iranian Big Macs.
Well the Shah was exiled from Iran,
but Carter welcomed him to the U.S....
to receive medical treatment for cancer.
All this went over about as well in Iran as if Carter had
decided to open a pork ribs joint in Tehran.
A mob stormed the American Embassy...
and took half as hostages.
Ayatollah Khomeini thought the mob's actions were just swell,
and he demanded that the U.S. return the exiles Shah
and his wealth in return for the 53 hostages.
The more than yearlong fiasco
that followed has become known as the Iran Hostage Crisis.
The militants in Iranan held daily, televised demonstrations
in front of the Embassy, burning the American Flag and President
Carter in effigy.
Well, Carter turned to the U.N., citing Iran's action...
as a violation of International Law.
Well, surprise, surprise,
Khomeini didn't respect the authority of the U.N.,
and ignored their request for a release of the hostages.
Carter then tried to wage an economic war with Iran
He froze all Iranian assets in America and tried to get
all of America's allies to join in an embargo of Iranian goods.
The thing is, Iranian supplied oil to much of the Western World,
so not all nations were willing to take a stand.
All other world leaders had to do
was take one look at Carter's approval ratings
to see what high gas prices could do.
With the American public clamoring for action,
Carter authorized a rescue mission in 1980,
but the raid was aborted when helicopters malfunctioned over the
dusty Iranian desert
and another helicopter collided with a
transport plane, killing eight Americans.
Nice job there.
After this, the American public became obsessed with
Nightly news coverage showed the protests outside the Embassy,
hurting Carter's image even further.
After over 400 days
as captives, the hostages were finally released
when Carter unfroze several billion dollars of Iranian assets
in the U.S. to serve as a ransom.
But there was no recovering for Carter.
When Reagan came a-knockin' in 1980,
the Peanut Farmer President
lost by a landslide.
A liberal democrat was tossed out of the White House,
peanuts and all.
The conservative 80s had arrived.
Some think the decade was great.
Some say it was awful.
But one thing everyone can agree on...
the haircuts got worse.
Yup, way, way worse.