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Old July 10th, 2016, 01:40 AM   #41

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Possibly, but I just explained the Shah was put in because an elected government tried to nationalize British oil interests. The British and US agreed to split the oil business if the US would do the coup. The Shah was used against the Soviets, but that wasn't why he was put in.
Yes but was nationalization the first step to a communist takeover?
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Old July 10th, 2016, 01:45 AM   #42

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More to the point, the Islamic Revolution was a counter-reaction to the repression of the Shah. Putting in the dictator didn't prevent Iran from becoming an authoritarian Islamic theocracy, it CAUSED it. The discontent against the Shah was directly linked to Mossadegh's overthrow and the subsequent use of Iran as a western pawn.
Do we buy that? If the Iranian revolution was against autocracy then why did they install an even worse dictatorship? The million strong crowd that welcomed the Ayatollah home weren't campaigning for democracy.

It's arguable that rather than the Shah's repressive policies that getting him toppled it was his liberal policies, women's rights, recognising Israel, land reform, all too much for fundamentally conservative Iran.
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Old July 10th, 2016, 01:53 AM   #43

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I'll start from Theodore Roosevelt since I only know much about 20th Century US Presidents. His best act would have to be establishing the modern Presidential model. His worst? Probably discharging the people in the Brownsville affair.

William Howard Taft... eh. His best was going even further than Roosevelt in his "trust-busting". His worst act was advocating and furthering the "Dollar Diplomacy" approach.

Woodrow Wilson's best was his WWI leadership and passing women's suffrage, although he did have to change his mind on that one. I personally find Wilson quite overrated and undeserving of being top 10. Anyways, his worst is definitely re-segregation, though his failure to follow up on things post-WWI like the League of Nations, and his failure to resign after the stroke all damage his presidential legacy.

Warren G. Harding's best act was actually achieving a "Return to Normalcy" and getting past the darker side of the Wilson administration. His worst was his blatant ignorance of all the corruption in his own administation.

Calvin Coolidge's best was restoring honor and integrity in the American presidency after the Harding scandals came to light, as well as promoting a more laissez-faire take on things. That said, his "limited governing" approach crossed into "no governing at all" at times, such as during the agricultural crisis.

Herbert Hoover doesn't have too many good things to choose from. He supported Prohibition and just about everything he attempted to contain the Great Depression compounded it. I suppose his goodwill tour in Latin America was a positive thing.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt has lots to choose from for his best, but I'lll just say it was essentially his overall leadership throughout the Great Depression and World War II - I find his New Deal policies a bit overhyped and mixed. His worst is the Japanese internment, though the Supreme Court packing comes up second.

Harry S. Truman's best was ending WWII with the bombs (a very difficult decision) and starting out the Cold War well with NATO, the Berlin Airlift, the Marshall Plan, the Truman doctrine etc., but his worst act was getting bogged in the Korean War.

Hence, Dwight D. Eisenhower's best act was ending the Korean War. His worst was either planning the Bay of Pigs or the Iran Coup.

John F. Kennedy's best was probably the Cuban Missile Crisis, while his worst was the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

Lyndon B. Johnson's best was all the legislation he got through, but if I had to choose one, then it'd be the Civil Rights Act of 1964. His worst, of course, is the Vietnam War escalation, which is the only thing keeping him from being one of the greats in my opinion.

Richard Nixon's best is a toss-up towards initiating detente policies with the USSR and reestablishing diplomatic links with China. His worst was probably Watergate because of how unnecessary it was and how it ruined the Presidential reputation for years, but his extension of the Vietnam War is right up there.

Gerald Ford's best was probably pardoning Nixon (which I know might be controversial). His worst might be his attempts at healing the economy, which were well-intentioned but didn't turn out well.

Jimmy Carter's best would've been the SALT II treaty if it actually did anything. As it is, his environmental/energy policies are probably his best. The Iran Hostages were the worst part of his Presidency which probably cost him re-election.

Ronald Reagan's best were probably easing US-USSR relations with his negotiations with Gorbachev. Iran-Contra was the big black mark on his presidency.

George H.W. Bush's best act was Panama, since post-1990 acts can't be included (Soviet relations and the Gulf War). His worst? Hard to say, since this is pre-1990, meaning his pardoning of those complicit in the Iran-Contra Affair and his decision to raise taxes (which killed off his attempt at re-election) can't be counted. I don't think he made any serious missteps before 1990, to be honest.
Hoover was a great and genuine humanitarian, making it ironic that he was faced with the greatest humanitarian crisis America ever suffered.

I never understood the Cuban missile crisis, Russian subs already had the ability to destroy the US from the Atlantic and a lot closer than Cuba was?

Nixon's extension of the Vietnam war probably saved countless lives and strengthened the US hand in the peace talks

Ford's pardoning of Nixon was probably a sensible thing and you must also counter it with him pardoning the draft dodgers.

Not sure we can blame Carter for the Desert One disaster, who do you blame for a sandstorm?
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Old July 10th, 2016, 01:55 AM   #44

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Reagan's stealing of Carter's notes prior to the 1980 debate could've well been another Watergate, if not worse, but I don't believe it was ever exposed at the time.

Anyway, the worst part of Watergate isn't even the immediate offense. It's the damage to the integrity and reputation of the US presidency, which wasn't healed until Reagan came along. Had Reagan's note-stealing or the Iran-Contra affair turned into another Watergate, the US would probably have lost all faith in the Presidency.
The difference is party politics vs national good. Regan could honestly claim what he did was to benefit the country, Nixon's was purely to benefit his re-election.
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Old July 13th, 2016, 01:12 AM   #45

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Originally Posted by SirOrmondeWinter View Post
The difference is party politics vs national good. Regan could honestly claim what he did was to benefit the country, Nixon's was purely to benefit his re-election.
I can't say Reagan stealing notes from Carter's office to give him the edge in their debate can be claimed to be "for the good of the country".

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Hoover was a great and genuine humanitarian, making it ironic that he was faced with the greatest humanitarian crisis America ever suffered.
How much of it do you blame on him and how much of it do you blame on Coolidge and Roosevelt?

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I never understood the Cuban missile crisis, Russian subs already had the ability to destroy the US from the Atlantic and a lot closer than Cuba was?
They didn't have the ability to destroy the US, lol.

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Nixon's extension of the Vietnam war probably saved countless lives and strengthened the US hand in the peace talks
Depends on how you look at it, but as I recall, the statistics indicated that he added to a considerable amount of deaths - close to 20 000. I don't think that can be considered a positive thing. LBJ might've ended the war by the end of the 60's and saved those 20 000.

That said, somebody here mentioned that Nixon's relationship with China costing its relationship with India - I'm not too sure on that, but if that's the case, it's a matter of compromise. Nixon needed to play off China and Russia, by far the two largest and most powerful communist states, and a relationship with China was necessary to end the Vietnam War. It's necessary for the President to make hard decisions, and I support Nixon's diplomatic approach.

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Ford's pardoning of Nixon was probably a sensible thing and you must also counter it with him pardoning the draft dodgers.
Carter was the one who pardoned draft dodgers, not Ford, and if I recall correctly, he wanted a blanket pardon as opposed to a selective one.

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Not sure we can blame Carter for the Desert One disaster, who do you blame for a sandstorm
Well, Carter could've continued with it anyway, but being the pacifist that he was, I respect his decision.

But the state of the hostage crisis did end up deteriorating, that can't really be questioned.

Last edited by The Living Daylights; July 13th, 2016 at 02:00 AM.
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Old July 18th, 2016, 03:23 AM   #46

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Originally Posted by The Living Daylights View Post
I can't say Reagan stealing notes from Carter's office to give him the edge in their debate can be claimed to be "for the good of the country".

How much of it do you blame on him and how much of it do you blame on Coolidge and Roosevelt?

They didn't have the ability to destroy the US, lol.

Depends on how you look at it, but as I recall, the statistics indicated that he added to a considerable amount of deaths - close to 20 000. I don't think that can be considered a positive thing. LBJ might've ended the war by the end of the 60's and saved those 20 000.

That said, somebody here mentioned that Nixon's relationship with China costing its relationship with India - I'm not too sure on that, but if that's the case, it's a matter of compromise. Nixon needed to play off China and Russia, by far the two largest and most powerful communist states, and a relationship with China was necessary to end the Vietnam War. It's necessary for the President to make hard decisions, and I support Nixon's diplomatic approach.

Carter was the one who pardoned draft dodgers, not Ford, and if I recall correctly, he wanted a blanket pardon as opposed to a selective one.

Well, Carter could've continued with it anyway, but being the pacifist that he was, I respect his decision.

But the state of the hostage crisis did end up deteriorating, that can't really be questioned.
I think Regan 'stealing Carter's notes' is overstating the matter. James Baker was given them by Casey (although Casey always denied the claim), they may have been stolen or they may have been leaked by someone within Carter's campaign or they may have just been accidentally thrown out and recovered. I think the truth died with Casey which is true of many things of the era. Either way there's no evidence that Regan ever knew anything about it.

Yeah, if silent Cal had a good quality it was knowing when to bow out!

Wrong;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel-class_submarine

20, 000 NVA and Vietcong in their sanctuaries in Laos and Cambodia. Saved the lives of thousands of Allied troops and civilians;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodian_Campaign

Ford introduced the pardons and Carter expanded on them.

Carter was no pacifist, he had served in the US Navy (who actually thought a great deal of him). Delta force needed 4 helicopters for the rescue, they brought 6 to give themselves some insurance but lost three to the sandstorm so Charlie Beckwith scrubbed the mission, not Carter.

The hostage crisis deteriorated but again hardly Carter's fault. It only ended because the Shah had died and Iran needed its' frozen assets freed to fight Iraq.
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Old July 18th, 2016, 12:48 PM   #47
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Reagan - allowing Islamic terrorism to develop, allowing the fall of the Soviet Union.
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Old July 18th, 2016, 03:48 PM   #48

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From the point of view of an Indian like me, the worst mistake made by Nixon was to cosy up to China at the cost of relations with India.
The USA did not gain any substantive advantage because of their new found love of China and yet by supporting Pakistan in 1971 war with India badly set back the Indo - US relations by dozens of years.
Wasn't the cooling down of relations between the US and India inevitable due to the American 'alliance' with Pakistan from 1979 onwards?

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Originally Posted by The Living Daylights View Post
George H.W. Bush's best act was Panama, since post-1990 acts can't be included (Soviet relations and the Gulf War).
Really?? What was so good about the invasion of Panama?
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Old July 19th, 2016, 10:42 PM   #49

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Originally Posted by SirOrmondeWinter View Post
I think Regan 'stealing Carter's notes' is overstating the matter. James Baker was given them by Casey (although Casey always denied the claim), they may have been stolen or they may have been leaked by someone within Carter's campaign or they may have just been accidentally thrown out and recovered. I think the truth died with Casey which is true of many things of the era. Either way there's no evidence that Regan ever knew anything about it.[/b]
If I recall correctly, they were found in a dumpster at the back of Reagan's headquarters. That doesn't look too good. Regardless of whether or not it's an overstated matter, there's no way it can be painted to be for the good of the country, lol.

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Yeah, if silent Cal had a good quality it was knowing when to bow out!
Or deciding to abandon ship before the inevitable crash and sink? Not saying he did (he might've just left office over emotional/mental strains), though it is an argument that circulates around the Internet.

I do have sympathy for a number of Republican Presidents, Coolidge included. That said, I do tend to rank Democrats higher.



Your link doesn't suggest they can destroy the United States. And there's obviously something wrong with your claim if both sides of the Cuban Missile Crisis didn't see it your way.

Quote:
20, 000 NVA and Vietcong in their sanctuaries in Laos and Cambodia. Saved the lives of thousands of Allied troops and civilians;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodian_Campaign


Saved men relative to peace being signed in 1968?

Quote:
Ford introduced the pardons and Carter expanded on them.
I believe Carter was always pushing for more pardons.

Quote:
Carter was no pacifist, he had served in the US Navy (who actually thought a great deal of him). Delta force needed 4 helicopters for the rescue, they brought 6 to give themselves some insurance but lost three to the sandstorm so Charlie Beckwith scrubbed the mission, not Carter.
Eight were sent, but three were "lost" - so five remained. And Beckwith advised abort, which Carter confirmed.
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Old July 23rd, 2016, 12:41 AM   #50

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Originally Posted by The Living Daylights View Post
If I recall correctly, they were found in a dumpster at the back of Reagan's headquarters. That doesn't look too good. Regardless of whether or not it's an overstated matter, there's no way it can be painted to be for the good of the country, lol.



Or deciding to abandon ship before the inevitable crash and sink? Not saying he did (he might've just left office over emotional/mental strains), though it is an argument that circulates around the Internet.

I do have sympathy for a number of Republican Presidents, Coolidge included. That said, I do tend to rank Democrats higher.

[/URL]

Your link doesn't suggest they can destroy the United States. And there's obviously something wrong with your claim if both sides of the Cuban Missile Crisis didn't see it your way.

[/URL]

Saved men relative to peace being signed in 1968?



I believe Carter was always pushing for more pardons.



Eight were sent, but three were "lost" - so five remained. And Beckwith advised abort, which Carter confirmed.
Interesting, here's a question, who was going through the dumpster? Maybe that was the way Regan's people got them in the first place? But again, there's no proof that Regan himself knew anything about it. Iran/Contra can always be seen as being for the good of the country, freeing the hostages and countering the Soviets in Latin America, Watergate couldn't.

The Hotel class could each carry 3 missiles each with a 800kt warhead and there were 8 of them by the early 60s (bear in mind the Hiroshima bomb was 21kt). Therefore I can't understand why Cuba was such a big deal?

No way the North Vietnamese would have gone for peace in 1968, why would they? The losses inflicted on them by the Cambodia raids made them much more amenable.

Again, Charlie Beckwith's call and in my opinion the right one, you don't second guess the man on the ground. You should read Beckwith's autobiography and Inside Delta Force by Erich Haney.
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