Tag Archives: War on Terror

“Freedom Fighters”

The focus of my paper is the effects that cold war rhetoric in Latin America had in cultivating the modern war on terror. My paper focuses on the case studies of Nicaragua. This piece falls into the larger framework of how American intervention in Central America was justified, which will help me draw connections to the rhetoric used today in the “War on Terror”. This article’s main focus is on President Ronald Reagan’s use of the term “Freedom Fighter” to describe the Contras Rebels. This was part of Washington’s attempt to frame the Sandinist Regime as a brutal regime that needed to be stopped. As the United States provided covert support for the rebels in Nicaragua, it was very important for the support be framed in a way that made the United States seem to be promoting the American values of Freedom and Democracy. Referring to the Contras as freedom fighters helped achieve this goal. The reason this article is useful for my paper, is that it provides an example of how the rhetoric used to describe a group is an essential part of framing the US’s involvement in the region. Alternatively, the use of the term “Terrorist” was used in Latin America to describe those who the United States was fighting against. The article doesn’t address the validating of the description of freedom fighter used by Ronald Reagan, nor does it address the crimes committed by the Contras. Instead, the article by the New York Times serves as a mouthpiece for the President, echoing his talking points to justify his support for the Contras.