Why did many Palestinians, Iranians, & Guatemalans view the U.S. government with hostility during the 1950s?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Along the lines of the previous post, the groups of people mentioned above all perceived the United States as a Cold War expansionist or imperialist threat.  The belief was, at the time, in the desire to avoid Communism or non- Democratic governments, the United States would intervene in other nations' affairs.  The only real credible threat to U.S. power was Russia, so many developing nations looked to the United States as representative of modern day imperialism.  In some cases, the imperialism might not have been through the military, but through cultural expression and a desire to impose "Western ways" on these nations.  Given the fact that all of the nations mentioned (Iran, Palestine, and Guatemala) had emerged from their own experience with occupying nations/ imperialism, there was a level of mistrust with the United States.  Given the affairs of Korea and South East Asia, perhaps some of the skepticism towards America might have some level of justification.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The reason for this would be because they all felt the US had done them wrong.

With the Palestinians, the biggest issue would have been US support for the creation of the country of Israel.  Israel was created out of what had been Palestinian land in 1949.

For the Iranians and the Guatemalans, the issue was US support for coups that toppled their governments.  Both governments were at least somewhat democratically elected and both were overthrown with covert US support.  After those governments came much more dictatorial governments that were, at times, quite oppressive.

If you want to find out more, you can search for information about Mohammed Mossadegh (the Iranian leader who got overthrown) or Jacobo Arbenz (the Guatemalan).

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question