The Impact of Public Opinion on U.S. Foreign Policy since Vietnam: Constraining the Colossus

By Richard Sobel | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
Nicaragua: History, Reagan Policies,
and Public Opinion

INTRODUCTION

This chapter covers the events, policies, and public opinion that surrounded the giving of U.S. aid to the Nicaraguan contras during the presidency of Ronald Reagan (LeoGrande, 1993; Pastor, 1993). The story of American aid to the contras centered on the conflict between the Reagan administration and its Democratic-led congressional opposition. It was within this debate, where the advantage was constantly shifting from one side to the other, that the United States gave or withheld aid throughout Reagan's two terms in office in the 1980s. Getting “communism” out of Nicaragua was of the utmost importance to Reagan, but his inability to convince the American people of its importance marred his repeated attempts at garnering aid for the contras. The lack of public support limited the scope of Reagan's policies. This continual struggle to gain support from Congress and from the American people for aid for the contras marked the period from 1981 until 1990, into the Bush administration. It influenced the decisions made by the government in both the public and covert spheres.

The history of aid to the contras in Nicaragua running from the start of the Reagan administration in 1981 to the election of the Chamorro government in 1990 is a tale of zealous anticommunism amid congressional and electoral politics. An early act of the Reagan administration in 1981 was to end Carter-era economic assistance to the Sandinista government in Nicaragua that had taken power two years earlier in the overthrow of the Somoza regime. Reagan also secretly authorized Central Intelligence Agency covert operations in the region: these included the establishment of the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN) that came to be known as the “contras.” After contra attacks led the Sandinistas to declare a state of national emergency, the first U.S. press stories about the war appeared in early 1982 (Tyler and Woodward, 1982, p. A1).

For 1981, the administration provided $19 million for covert CIA financial and logistical support for the opposition (Gelb, 1982, p. A1). By mid-1982, U.S. support had transformed the contras into an army of four thousand (Brecher and Walcott, 1982, pp. 42–53). By 1983, they would number seven thousand, and by 1986, approximately fifteen thousand contras were at war with the Sandinistas (Brecher and

-101-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Impact of Public Opinion on U.S. Foreign Policy since Vietnam: Constraining the Colossus
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 276

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.