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Lyndon B. Johnson did not have an alternative to the actions of escalating American involvement in the Vietnam War. He believed that the Russians were actively involved in funding the Communist Viet Cong that had refused to come to the negotiating table. Withdrawal from the Vietnamese conflict would have led to the collapse of the South Vietnamese government and sent a wrong signal to American allies worldwide.

The Iran-Contra Affair also referred to as Contra Gate was a scandal that happened during President Ronald Reagan’s tenure. During the time Congress had imposed an arms embargo against Iran and Nicaragua it was experiencing an insurgency. Due to a hostage situation with some elements related to the Iranian government, some government officials notably Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North entered into an agreement to sell arms to Iran in exchange for the hostages. Most of the proceeds were however diverted to fund the Nicaraguan anti communist insurgents that were known human rights violators. When the scandal was brought to light Reagan took all the blame on himself as he had always supported the insurgents deeming them similar to American founding fathers.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was very involved in foreign affairs and was involved from the first days of getting elected president. He was involved in the execution of the plan of Bay of Pigs in the first weeks of his administration which was a total failure with most of the American trained rebels getting captured by Castro. He increased involvement in Vietnam but he was planning on scaling down American involvement in Vietnam in order to avoid a repeat of Bay of Pigs; this was not successful as he died before he could implement his plans. He was also heavily involved in the conflict between West and East Germany when he confronted Krushchev who threatened war by increasing American troops in Western Europe. This led to building of the Berlin Wall which was a success since war was avoided.

The 1950s saw the achievement of major milestones for the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. It was during this period that Martin Luther King Junior became the preeminent leader of the movement after visiting Mahatma Gandhi in India. It was in 1954 that the landmark ruling in Brown v Board of Education was made that asserted that separate but equal schools were inherently unequal and unconstitutional. In 1955 Rosa Parks stood up for her rights refusing to give her seat to a white passenger in a bus which ultimately results in segregated buses. In 1957 Martin Luther King became the spokesman of the Civil Rights movement after establishing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Richard Nixon was successful in enhancing revenue sharing and establishment of an environmental program. It was during his tenure that American astronauts landed on the moon. He is also credited with reducing tensions between USSR and China and between Israel and their neighbors Egypt and Syria. His biggest failure was the Watergate scandal in which he was found guilty and which led to his impeachment.

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