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ERIC Number: ED297395
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Nov
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Oliver North's Testimony before the U.S. Congress' Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and Nicaraguan Opposition: A Fantasy Theme Analysis.
Nelson, Gayle
How did Oliver North, who appeared to be a criminal and a liar, become an American hero? First the context must be considered. The Iran-Contra Affair was extremely complex with actors ranging from Eugene Hasenfus to President Ronald Reagan and settings ranging from Nicaragua to Israel to Iran. This complexity extended to the televised hearings where a cacophony of voices asked questions, reprimanded lawyers, and presented reams of sometimes contradictory evidence. Part of North's appeal stemmed from his unified rhetorical vision which extended the familiar cold war rhetoric to include Arab terrorism. This coherence was attractive to many Americans. In addition, his rhetorical vision depicted the United States as the defender of the weak and the champion of democracy. Another part of North's appeal stemmed from his white knight, clean-cut, patriotic, handsome father and husband persona who fought three villains: communism, terrorism, and "the system." Many Americans feel enmity, fear, or frustration toward at least one of these three phenomena. Americans often feel powerless and many feel that one voice, one vote doesn't matter. North demonstrated that one person can make a difference. North's persona as the Christian, clean-cut all-American marine who was a loving husband and father, a secretive James Bond, a gun-toting cowboy who went against conventions, and an underdog, an individualist who stood up for his beliefs, won the hearts and minds of many Americans. (Twenty-one references are attached.) (RAE)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iran; Nicaragua