The Good Neighbor Policy
On March 3, 1947, President Truman had given a speech, in Mexico City, Mexico, concerning a few western ideals. These ideals; independence, nationalism, freedom, democracy and human dignity are all of which the western world, particularly the United States, had promised to uphold to developing countries throughout the world. It could be said that throughout history the United States has betrayed these promises.
Considering the good neighbor policy, as defined in the speech given by President Truman on March 3, 1947, it could be said that the United States has imposed its ideals on developing countries that in some way could be beneficial to her, as the cases of Iran and Guatemala in the 1950s and Chile in the 1970s illustrate.
In President Truman’s own words “The good neighbor policy guides the course of our inter-American relations….It is the application of democracy to international affairs. It is the application of the Golden Rule”. The characteristics of any self-respecting individual within a democratic society sets the standard for which the good neighbor policy should apply to international relations. All nations are to have a mutual respect for one another. This as President Truman says is “An expression of that bond of common belief we call democracy” and “It is the only road into the future that will lead us to our goal of universal peace and security”.
Included in the good neighbor policy is the Doctrine of Nonintervention, which is to assure each nation the freedom to develop as they wish. “In 1933, at the Conference of Montevideo, and 1936, at the Conference of Buenos Aires the United States pledged to observe the Doctrine of Nonintervention, to prevent a stronger nation from imposing its will on a smaller, weaker nation” stated President Truman. The United States had ‘promised’ to remain faithful to the spirit of the law.
... . Locke would agree with the actions of President Bush as he entered the United States into a state of war with Iraq; but would ... therefore would disagree with the actions of President Bush. It is clear that a state of war is the conflict between two ... John Locke, with the actions of President Bush? To understand how it is that a state of war comes about we must ...
In the midst of the 1952 United States presidential election, Britain was facing its own issues in its country, mainly providing the British people a high standard of living, which was largely dependent upon the oil out of Iran. The British government primarily owned a corporation, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, which held a monopoly on Iranian oil. Mohammad Reza Shah, a corrupt monarch, had a contract with the British government, which had only sixteen percent of the profits from the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company going to the country of Iran. In the spring of 1951, Mohammed Mossadegh came to power as the prime minister of Iran, and he, as many Iranians wanted, he wanted to end the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, and nationalize the oil industry to develop Iran. When the Iranian Parliament voted to nationalize the oil industry Britain became outraged, and dumbfounded how a country such as Iran was able to rise up and hurt Britain so bad. It was at this time that the British government realized that it did not have the means to end the nationalization law that had been in-acted by the Iranian government. As Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected the next president of the United States, the chief of CIA operations in the Middle East, Kermit Roosevelt, happened to be traveling through London after having left from a trip to Iran. It was then the British government had decided to recruit the help of the CIA to carry out a coup which the British themselves were unable to do. The British were eager to get this operation, known as Operation Ajax, underway, even before Eisenhower was inaugurated, they sent Christopher Montague Woodhouse, a top British intelligence agent, to speak with, soon to be Secretary of State, Dulles. It was quickly decided by the two men that the best way to overthrow Mossadegh was to tell the American people he was leading Iran to communism. (Overthrow, pgs. 117-121)
As the plan came about, it was decided to send one million dollars to the CIA station in Tehran, to “bring about the fall of Mossadegh in any way possible”. Many things were done to bring about the fall of Mossadegh. These ranged from false information about his government being published in forms of news articles to hiring a retired general, Fazlollah Zahedi as the leader of a coup. On “Coup Day” as it was called, thousands of paid demonstrators would demand the dismissal of Mossadegh. If this were to fail those loyal to Zahedi would arrest him. On July 19, 1953, Roosevelt had crossed into the Iranian border to begin his work. He would create an artificial wave of anti-Mossadegh protests and would denounce him with accusations of him being anything from an atheist, Jew, infidel, to cartoons which depicted him to be a homosexual, to an agent to British Imperialism. On the day of August 19, 1953, Mossadegh was pushed to resignation.(Overthrow, pgs. 123-128)
... certain extent by the Dulles brothers but also by the British government. The British helped us and were supportive of our decision to ... his staff never did. By discussing the history of Iran, the Anglo-Iranian oil company, and Document NSC-68 I will try to ... American Foreign Intelligence, I would have to conclude that the United States should have examined their options more thoroughly, and decided ...
As stated in President Truman’s speech, the United States had promised not to impose its will on any weaker, developing nation. In the case of Iran in the 1950s, the United States prevented a country from becoming a self flourishing country, using its resources to better the lives of its people. The ridiculous part of all this is the fact that Iran nationalizing its oil industry had no effect on an American corporation. Instead it was a British company, which the United States seen fit to get involved in to prove its capabilities.
At the same time the situation in Iran, regarding the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was occurring, a situation of similar characteristics was brewing in Guatemala. As Mossadegh took office in Iran, president elect Arbenz was taking over power in Guatemala. One of the things he wanted to take care of was redistribution of uncultivated land. Under the Agrarian Reform Law, which the National Assembly had passed on June 17, 1952, the government was able to seize land on any estate larger than 672 acres, and redistribute it. This posed a huge threat to United Fruit as the company claimed it needed this land for future contingencies. United Fruit was one of the biggest American multinational companies of the time, it also happened to be owned by many within the new Eisenhower administration. The leader of this company was Sam Zemurray the “Banana Man”, and as the leader he hired Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, to a public relations post. Bernays was the self proclaimed “Father of Public Relations”. In a direct response to the proposed redistribution of United Fruit’s land, Zemurray proposed to Bernays that they launch a campaign to ‘blacken’ the image of Guatemala’s government, hoping to cause a series of events resulting in its demise. This was the first time that an American corporation waged a propaganda campaign to undermine the president of a foreign country.(Overthrow,pgs. 130-135)
... the reasons for the early troubles of the United States. For example, a strong national government would be needed to quell rebellions and ... hemisphere. This in other words meant that the United States no longer wanted European countries to have power in the west.In 1864 ... s presidency he and many Americans believed in Manifest Destiny, which was the belief that the United States was a superior nation ...
Modeled after Operation Ajax in Iran, Operation Success was the plan to overthrow the government in Guatemala. Many news media outlets throughout the United States had written articles portraying Guatemala as a communist bound country. The New York Times had written that Guatemala was falling victim to “reds”, after writing that many other major newspapers and magazines followed suit. While that was occurring many prominent figures within Congress had been doing their part in the propaganda, one John McCormack(Mass.) the majority leader in the House of Representatives, and future speaker delivered warnings of Guatemala’s democratic leaders had “become subservient to the Kremlin’s design for world conquest”, turning themselves into “Soviet beachheads”. On December 3, 1953, the CIA had authorized three million dollars to start a propaganda campaign, wave of destabilizing violence, and end the campaign with an attack staged to look like an uprising. After carrying out this plan, President Arbenz was forced to resign on June 27, 1954.(Overthrow, pgs. 136-147)
Many western ideals, precisely independence, freedom, democracy, nationalism and human dignity were all promises the United States held out to the developing countries of the world. In the 1950s, Guatemala was blossoming as a democratic society, and was looking at ways to better the lives of its people by adopting traits of nationalism. No sooner did the United States get word that Guatemala was looking to decrease the influence of United Fruit, was a plan drawn up to overthrow the government. These events definitely go against the ‘promise’ set forth by the United States, because the intentions of Guatemala were simply to develop, posing no threat to United States soil. The United States caused an uproar, which sent the democratic government in Guatemala into turmoil, and the dignity of the Guatemalan people was destroyed when the United States accused their government of being communists.
... The state government of Georgia is the United States governmental body established by the Georgia State Constitution. Georgia is a republican form of government with ... thirty six years old and must have been a United States citizen for fifteen years and a Georgia resident for ... , an increase in one seat following the 2010 United States’ Census. Executive Authority rests with the governor in the ...
Much like the instances in Iran and Guatemala, Chile was a young democracy looking to advance the country into an independent nation. In the early 1970s Salvador Allende Gossens had become the president elect of Chile. Once the United States government got word of this a series of meetings were held between government officials and business executives and quickly gave warnings that the soon to be leader of Chile posed a threat to national security. It was at this time that it was determined, that making the government appear very weak was the only option. This became the first time in United States history that the government had decided to overthrow a leader who had yet to assume power. Even though Chile never posed any military threat to the United States, Henry Kissinger proclaimed “Chile is a dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica”. Allende was described as an anti-imperialist and happened to be a lifelong admirer of Fidel Castro, of Cuba. Allende had vowed to nationalize the American companies that had dominated his economy.(Overthrow, pgs.170-175)
Much like the events in Iran and Guatemala, the United States devised a nonmilitary campaign, to make it appear that the government of Chile was going to decrease the living standards of the Chilean people. In this operation, again propaganda was spread about the president. They spoke of President Allende stating that he would direct Chile into a Soviet-Cuba orbit of communism, and he was drastically weakening the economy of Chile. The economy began to suffer, not because of President Allende, but because of things done by the American government. American banks had been instructed to stop granting credit to Chilean businesses, while also spreading rumors of food rationing, bank collapses and a plan by Allende to seize private homes which was nonexistent. Once this part of the operation was underway the CIA began conspiring with the Chilean military officials to ask for the resignation of Allende. Finally on September 11, 1973, the Chilean military seized Allende’s residence, asking for his resignation, after some refusal, he ultimately agreed.(Overthrow, pgs.177-192)
... majority of one already.  I meet this American government, or its representative, the State government, directly, and face to face, once a year ... to review the acts and position of the general and State governments, and the spirit of the people to discover a ... law and the courts are very respectable; even this State and this American government are, in many respects, very admirable, and rare ...
The overthrow of the Chilean government, as with the two previously mentioned government overthrows, broke the ‘promise’ which President Truman had made when pledging the United States to follow the Doctrine of Nonintervention. In the events of Chile, in the 1970s, the United States ultimately imposed sanctions on them to weaken its economy. The American government had again overthrew a leader all based off his desire to nationalize his country from American corporations, which had monopolized many industries. As is the case with Iran and Guatemala, the United States clearly went against one of its promises, democracy, because after successfully overthrowing these governments, the American government installed leaders that had suited their needs, not allowing an actual democratic election.
Iran, Guatemala, and Chile were all nations that had aspired to become independent, not dependent on American corporations to live off. In order to do this the leaders Mossadegh, Arbenz, and Allende, respectively, wanted to nationalize the foreign corporations preventing their countries economic growth, but the United States immediately perceived this as a threat, thus attacking these countries in non military form. The irony is that the United States and Britain had many corporations throughout international countries, using their resources for American and British benefits, while both nations would never have allowed a foreign country to have a company using the resources on American or British soil. Evidence proves that the United States in these three instances imposed its will on developing countries, for the benefit of American corporations. The same can be said throughout history, the United States has used its power to push its ideas of democracy on other nations, which ultimately defeats the one thing democracy is about, freedom. As President Truman said pertaining to democracy “It is the only road into the future that will lead us to our goal of universal peace and security. Could it be that betraying these promises made has ultimately led to so many of the conflicts in the world today?
Kinzer, Stephen. Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq. New York: Times Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2006. Print