In all of the coverage of the rescue of the hostages from the Colombian terrorist organization known as the FARC, it is disturbing to see the mainstream media nearly universally refer to the FARC as “Colombian rebels” or a “feared insurgent group.”
The FARC is one of the globe’s most lethal narcoterrorist organizations. Or was, anyway. It seems to be imploding even as a criminal and terrorist organization. However, it has been a primary mover of cocaine through central America into the United States to fund its operations. Its members murder native Colombians and terrorize the countryside, and kidnap Colombian citizens as well as international visitors, including Americans. The FARC has been officially categorized by the United States, the European Union and a host of other nations as a terrorist organization.
Yet rarely do you see American media refer to the FARC as terrororists; instead normally tough-minded journalists use the self-mythologizing propaganda rhetoric of the FARC leaders themselves, labeling these terrorists and drug runners as “feared insurgents” and rebels, as if whatever political legitimacy the FARC may have once aspired to is even remotely alive today.
Washington Post writer William Branigin seemed almost surprised in his reporting of comments by one of the American hostages, who was held for years by the FARC. After referring to the kidnappers as a Colombian “rebel group,” Branigin writes:
One of the former captives, Marc Gonsalves, 36, of Bristol, Conn., called the rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, “terrorists with a capital T” and described abusive conditions that he said have caused even some of the organization’s own guerrillas to kill themselves.
Addressing the FARC, Gonsalves said: “Don’t tell us you are not terrorists. Show us that you’re not terrorists. Let those other hostages come home.”
Have we become so naive as to think that terrorists can only come from the Middle East?