Americans became increasingly suspicious of anyone with communist ties or interests, past or present, and the government Egan to take further involvement in the affairs in other nations that seemed at risk to leftist revolts. This compromised the rights and privacy of many innocent Americans, and crossed into the sovereignty of other nations. During the Cold War, America compromised it’s fundamental values and at the expense of it’s own citizens and in the affairs of other nations to increase tension In this era.
Domestically, the United States abandoned Its value of privacy and freedom to political beliefs due to growing concern of communism at home, and Seen. Joseph McCarthy speeches as well the Interrogations through HUGH contributed to this fear. McCarthy, a Republican from Wisconsin, denounced communism and publicly accused members of the State Department and other government positions of being communists. He is quoted in his book, McCarthy: The Fight For America (1952), “A government Job is a privilege, not a right.
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There is no reason why men who chum with communists… Who are consistently found at the time and place where disaster strikes America and success comes to international Communism, should be given positions of power.. ” (Doc 5). However, McCarthy claims were false, and they were part of a publicity stunt for him to gain attention. As a Republican, he faced no communist skepticism, whereas the Democrats did, and he used this tactic to further gain support from the working class republicans.
He was Impressionable upon many blue collar workers who associated liberals and communists together, and made democrats a bigger target, Although the superficial Intentions of McCarthy beliefs of keeping communists out of the government were good, they were form of hiding his true goal of ruining the reputations of other politicians. McCarthy later admitted the truth about the fraudulent claims, but damage had been done in rousing unrest and putting other innocent politicians in negative spotlights, against integrity McCarthy was supposed to stand for as a senator.
Additionally, the House Committee on Un- American Activities (HIJACK) held hearings for numerous Americans who were suspected of communist interests. Average middle class Americans to Hollywood writers in the entertainment business were interrogated about their own political beliefs and past experiences as well as those of others. Lillian Hellman, who was ailed for falling to comply with Yucca’s requests, wrote this to the committee, “If I answer the committee’s questions about myself… L will [also] have waived my rights under the fifth amendment and could be forced legally to answer questions about others… Answering about others] to save myself is, to me, inhuman and indecent to refrain from asking me to name other people” (Doc Three). Hijack’s hearing policy made it difficult for Americans to withhold information, and even more, they were put in a situation that made them expose private information of others. Helmsman’s espouse to HUGH also included a portion on how she believed that speaking about other people’s involvement would be against Christian ideals as well as American tradition. Many people interrogated by HUGH felt pressured to “bear false witness” and Juxtaposing other Americans as leftist supporters to avoid contempt.
HUGH led to many Americans being blacklisted, out of Jobs, or losing support as being falsely marked a communist. The basis on which HUGH was founded on, to expose communists for the protection of the American government and people and prevent uprising, resulted in something similar to a modern day witch hunt. HUGH was a mistake, as it led to unrest over a non-existent threat to the nation, at the expense of the livelihood and Jobs, privacy and sense of security, because of how it, much like McCarthy betrayed American fundamental values in this time period.
Outside of the States, the United States stepped into the political affairs of foreign nations, such as Greece and Guatemala, and betrayed it’s previous values of not interfering into issues abroad. The Greek Civil War was being fought between democratic and communist party supporters, and America agreed to give aid to to get against the communists. In the interest of containment, preventing the spread of communism, America believed that this was a necessary step to protect its interests to keep the Soviet Union from gaining further power.
However, the Soviet Union believed that this conflict was not appropriate for the States to put their efforts towards, and that it wrongly crossed a boundary into another nation’s sovereignty. The Soviet News once wrote, “Truman, indeed, failed to reckon either with the international organization or with the sovereignty of Greece… We are now witnessing fresh intrusion of the U. S. A. Into the affairs of other states. American claims to leadership in international affairs grow parallel with the growing appetite of the American quarters concerned” (Doc Two).
From the Soviet point of view, the United States’ actions were unwarranted, and are a direct result of their need for security in areas where they have no right to govern. The Soviets did not take involvement, and their point of view is a criticism of United States that can even be drawn to it’s previous ideals. Washington preaching to avoid entanglement in foreign affairs, the Monroe Doctrine, and the Roosevelt corollary, all were statements that made it clear that foreign conflicts were not of their concern. But in the Cold War, this ideal changed into the containment policy and the Truman doctrine.
An even more severe breach of American values during the Cold War occurred in Guatemala, where a new issue had begun. Jacob Urbane Gunman had been elected by the Guatemalan people by a large majority. Urbane was associated with Marxism, and one of the major platforms he campaigned and was elected on was land redistribution in effort to aid the poor and hungry. The land largely to be redistributed would come from the United Fruit Company (AFC), a wealthy corporation that was based in the states. There was a great amount of uncultivated land that Urbane thought could be put to better use by being given to those in dire need of it.
The New York Times discussed Arbiter’s power in Guatemala and plans for the redistribution, “Urbane noted that the assemble and belong in terms of ideas with which they sympathize… Urbane said no one could doubt that [redistribution] of about 400,000 acres of uncultivated JIFF land meant better prospects for thousands of Guatemalan” (Doc Seven). The United States began to worry about the political and economic implications of this decision in Guatemala, and what it could mean for the economy at home and the future of communism in the Western Hemisphere.
The company was worth over half a billion dollars, and many worried that if Guatemala fell, other Central American nations could fall to communism in a domino effect. Senator William Longer of North Dakota commented on American involvement in the situation in Guatemala describing it the situation as, “a sensitive and very grave threat to world peace, [the U. S. Acting]with such elephantine delicacy. I do not believe that the… Senate [has] been adequately informed… The malevolent influence of the $548 million U. F. C. N Guatemala, which some have charged is bigger than the government itself… We ought to be, committed to the principle that every sovereign nation has a right to determine for itself its own form of government” (Doc Six). Lancer’s belief was ignored in this situation, as America organized a intrusive coup d’??tat that took Urbane out of power, hoping to prevent the spread of communism and keeping peace within the West. Lancer’s statement held another likely reason to the American involvement, to protect the economic interest.
He would have pointed a finger of blame at America for interfering with Guatemala, who defended the rights of any political practice, what the United States claimed to protect prior to the Cold War, and to alter the course of their political rule and decisions, disrespecting their sovereignty and right to self- determination. It was apparent that the United States knowingly crossed boundaries of other nations’ freedoms to protect it’s own self interests, and sent aid where it was inappropriate, and in both situations abroad, was contrary to the values the nation as once built on.
Overall, the United States overstepped the boundaries of private domestic lives and in the political issues of other nations, and abused it’s power to act in interests of the Truman Doctrine and anti-communism, at the expense of straying from its fundamental values. Although the reasoning behind the government’s actions was to prevent the spread of another government, that threat was not imminent, and their attempts to eradicate potential Marxist uprisings resulted in more damaging effects to the nation’s innocent people. Our values were even more abandoned in
Guatemala, where we did acted against a government, albeit influenced by Marxism, was much like our own in the way it gave political freedom and expression to it’s people. The United States sacrificed it’s own traditional ideals of protecting these rights and not interfering in the issues of other nations, for our own benefit, which was not as successful as the government hope. Even today, the question on what motivates the government to act abroad, and whether economic self-interest or desire to change the politics of other nations for our own benefit, play a part and remains a relevant question.