NYT’s Murky Cold War History

Kudos to the New York Times for publishing a front-page article (10/8/09) about the U.S. advisers and lobbyists who have been working (in one form or another) on behalf of the coup government in Honduras. But the piece glosses over the U.S. history in the region. Reporters Ginger Thompson and Ron Nixon write that the coup government “has also drawn support from several former high-ranking officials who were responsible for setting United States policy in Central America in the 1980s and ’90s, when the region was struggling to break with the military dictatorships and guerrilla insurgencies that defined the cold war.”

When “the region was struggling to break with the military dictatorships and guerrilla insurgencies”? A little more clarity is needed there. The U.S.–to take two examples–supported a thuggish military government in El Salvador and created a “guerrilla insurgency” to try and defeat a left-wing government in Nicaragua. In other words, while “the region” may have wanted one thing, U.S. foreign policy sought to bolster violent, anti-democratic force. Stating these facts clearly would give readers a better sense of of the context–and demonstrate that people like Otto Reich and Roger Noriega are still on the wrong side.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.