To Create a New World? American Presidents and the United Nations

By John Allphin Moore Jr.; Jerry Pubantz | Go to book overview

leader Nelson Mandela, who had been incarcerated for almost three decades. A year later, de Klerk, in compliance with UN resolutions, announced the end of all apartheid laws. Mandela would be elected the first black president of South Africa. Within just over a decade from Carter's reelection defeat, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa were all independent, ruled by democratic majorities, and full members of the United Nations; and apartheid was a curse of the past.


The Iranian Hostage Nightmare

Iran had once been the heart of the great Persian Empire. In the seventh century, Arabs brought to the Persians the Islamic faith, which displaced the indigenous Zoroastrianism. By the nineteenth century, Iran had become a pawn in the imperial competition between Britain and Russia, which were both trying to influence the ruling native dynasty. During World War II, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, with British collaboration, replaced his abdicating father as shah, and in 1945 Iran become one of the charter members of the United Nations. As the cold war hardened, the new shah, facing a Soviet threat to the North, tilted toward the West. Washington considered Iran a major source of petroleum, a key listening post, and a defense barrier against Soviet intentions. Following the CIA's overthrow of the Mossadegh government in the early 1950s, the shah pursued a vigorous policy of modernization and secularization, seeking to "westernize" his nation.

Early in his presidency, Carter had met with and toasted the shah as a valued friend. It was a friendship that would soon be sorely tested. In early 1978 conservative religious leaders of the majority Shiite Muslim faith, resentful of the shah's secularism, joined with unhappy students, merchants, and dissident political opponents in growing complaints about the shah's rule and about the presence of some 50,000 Americans training the Iranian military and operating the oil fields. More secular opponents condemned the Shah's violations of human rights in the treatment of his subjects. The burgeoning opposition united around a curious Islamic religious figure— Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, an eighty-year-old exile living in France. Street demonstrations accelerated. In early September the shah announced martial law; troops fired on civilian protesters, killing hundreds. In late December 1978, the shah appointed Shapour Bahktiar as prime minister and then, in the face of growing revolt, left the country. The following February, Ayatollah Khomeini returned victoriously from Paris, ordered the arrest of

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To Create a New World? American Presidents and the United Nations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • To Create a New World? *
  • Table of Contents *
  • Preface *
  • Frequently Used Citations *
  • Introduction *
  • 1: To Create a New World? American "Exceptionalism" and the Origins of the United Nations *
  • Dismissing the United Nations 7
  • The United Nations at Half Century 10
  • Woodrow Wilson and American Idealism 12
  • Traditional Arrangements of International Politics 17
  • The Twentieth-Century Crisis 21
  • 2: The Founders *
  • Fdr and the Un *
  • Yalta 44
  • Truman and the Un 47
  • Onset of the Cold War 53
  • Korea 69
  • 3: The Cold Warriors *
  • The President, His Foreign Policy Team, and the Un 84
  • The "Eisenhower Model" 91
  • Superpower Confrontation and the United Nations, 1953-1969 95
  • Cold War Tensions and UN Institutions 112
  • Jfk and the Un 118
  • Lyndon Johnson and the Un 131
  • Disarmament and Development 143
  • 4: The Realists' Ascent *
  • Nixon and the Un 176
  • 1968 184
  • Nixon and Watergate 186
  • "Nixinger" Diplomacy 188
  • Vietnam and Nixon 193
  • India and Pakistan, 1971 196
  • China 199
  • Yom Kippur 203
  • President Ford's Interregnum 208
  • 5: Two Sides of Idealism *
  • Carter and Foreign Policy 214
  • Carter, Human Rights, and the Un 219
  • Carter, China, and the Ussr 229
  • Breakthrough at Camp David 234
  • Carter and Africa 241
  • The Iranian Hostage Nightmare 248
  • Reagan and the Un: Phase One 254
  • The Middle East, Reagan, and the Un 262
  • Reagan and the World 268
  • Iran-Contra 274
  • Gorbachev 276
  • Reagan and the Un: Phase Two 280
  • 6: The New Moralists *
  • President Bush's UN Odyssey 290
  • President Bush's Use of the Un 298
  • President Clinton: the New Moralism and the Demands of Politics 315
  • Conclusion *
  • Appendix a Secretaries-General of the Un *
  • Appendix B U.S. Ambassadors to the Un *
  • Bibliography *
  • Index *
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