Day 12: Fulfilling Carter’s Panama Canal Treaty?

Ah! Finally the Truth

SBNP January 2, 1990, 3rd Page, Head & Subheading

Panamanian takes control of canal as treaty honored

First US. soldiers pulled out of Panama

Headline Harry: “See my faith in the US of A is reaffirmed. They are honoring the international treaty that Jimmy Carter signed. What’s this about no regard for international law? See – we do honor our commitments. Also notice that we are removing our troops. We liberated them from that evil man Noriega and now we can go home.”

Dune: “Did you read any further in the article?”

Harry: “Of course not. No need to. My man, George Bush, will take care of things. Besides I’ve got more important concerns – the Sports Section.”

Trivia Tom: “Did you know that the Los Angeles Times spent a full 24 pages in the Sports Section on the Super Bowl to accommodate all the advertisers for Super Bowl Sunday.”

Cynic Sally: “They know where they can find the American male’s attention. It’s certainly not on international events.”

Establishment Ed: “Come on Sally. Lighten up. Don’t be so down on everything. Enjoy your Self. Be more Self-ish instead of Them-ish.”

Sally: “But I just keep thinking about the families of those 2000 Panamanians – about all the damage that has been done to Panama City. It makes me cry.”

Dune: “Let’s see what the article has to say. Maybe some good news for a change.”

SBNP 1-2-90

“Panama achieved a milestone when a Panamanian took control of the Panama Canal for the first time in its 75-year history. Fernando Manfredo, ... , became acting administrator, a move taken under the 1977 treaties that gradually turn the waterway over to Panama. … The post of administrator has been held by Americans but the treaties require that it be filled by a Panamanian citizen after Jan. 1, 1990. The former Panama Canal Zone, the strip of land that runs along the 50 mile long ditch came under Panamanian control in 1979. The treaties transfer the canal itself to Panama on Dec. 31, 1999. Manfredo 62 was named acting administrator because the United States rejected the candidate proposed by Noriega’s deposed government. The Noriega regime opposed Manfredo. The new government of President Guillerrmo Endara was unable to name its own candidate by Monday’s deadline. Endara said he would give careful thought to the nomination, which must be approved by President Bush and US Senate.”

Dense Dune: “Seems confusing to me.”

Cynic Sally: “Bush had his finals and passed with flying colors.”

Dune: “Whadaya mean?

Sally: “Earlier on, in the fall of 1989 many Senators criticized Bush for not aiding the military insurrection in Panama. They were upset because those in power knew that Noriega wasn’t going to accept their candidate, Manfredo.”

Ed: “If Noriega had accepted him he might still be in power.”

Sally: “They also knew that the Panamanians weren’t going to give up the Canal Zone. That was a given.”

Dune: “What was the matter with Noriega’s candidate?”

Sally: “He was unacceptable because he could not be controlled by the US.”

Dune: “What about self-determination and Carter’s human rights program.”

Sally: “Don’t be so naïve. The power mongers were upset when Carter signed the treaty with the Panamanians in 1979 giving them rights to the Canal Zone. When Noriega rebelled they could see that they would lose control of the area and with it their unholy profits. Feeling trapped someone came up with the brilliant plan to invade Panama on drug charges, as the American Public has been programmed to hate anything or anybody associated with the ‘drug’ word. Then establish a puppet government responsive to US wishes along traditional patterns. Then the US would be able to choose their own Adminis-Traitor, (Am I spelling that wrong?) In the bargain the US would once again reassert control of Panama & the Canal Zone.”

Harry: “That Carter again. Messing everything up with his idealism. If he hadn’t tampered with the international order, there would have been no need to liberate Panama. Those do-gooders make things worse with their meddling.”

Establishment Ed: “God bless George Bush. We thought he was a wimp. But we were wrong. He employed the American army in a police action to rectify the situation.”

Sally: “Yeah. Beating up on a country of 2.5 million with 26,000 troops using the latest in modern military warfare – all those new expensive toys that the military has been wanting to play with for so long. He’s not a wimp. He’s a bully.”

Ed: “But we honored the treaty. So what if a few thousand people died in the process and an international city was destroyed. We honor our commitments. Quit your whining. We’re trying to establish a democracy.”

Dune: “I don’t understand. Why didn’t the press just say that America invades Panama to avoid giving up the Panama Canal to the Panamanians? Why are they trying to throw up this smoke screen of drugs & debauchery? What are they trying to hide? What are they trying to cover up?”

Sally: “Massive profits at great human cost. That’s what.”

Harry: “<Cognitive Dissonance> This talk is very disturbing. I’m getting a headache. America is a good country – the policeman of the world. We fight evil anywhere it arises. There is no smoke screen – no invasion – no greed – just the urge to do good – liberate those poor Panamanians from their evil drug running dictator, Noriega.”

Sally: “That’s the main reason for the propaganda. Americans want to feel good about themselves and their government. The truth contradicts their self-image. So it must be tailored to fit their needs.”

Troop Withdrawal?

Harry: “No need to be so negative. At least Panama’s liberation is almost at an end. The headlines report that our troops are already coming home.”

Dune: “Let’s read the article. Hmmm? It says that the ‘troop withdrawal’ only consisted of 141 soldiers from the heavy artillery division. That’s not many from an invasion force of 26,000, especially after 12 days of fighting.”

Harry: “Just some malcontents from Noriega’s dictatorship making trouble for everyone. According to the polls 97% of the people approve our presence and welcome us. It’s obvious the Panamanians love us. You cynics are always so negative. Probably jealous of Bush’s success.”

Dune: “Golly. The three percent that don’t welcome us are certainly putting up a fuss. Let’s see 3% of 400,000 people in Panama City equals 12,000. So the 3% who disapproved did so violently. They disapproved so violently that it has taken 26,000 highly trained US. troops at least 12 days to subdue these 12,000 enough so that they could send 141 soldiers home. Of course those 12,000 must have owned the 2 TV and 10 radio stations that we of the US of A had to shut down because they were inciting those 12,000 to so much violence that it was threatening our troops here and causing great damage.”

No Panamanian Prison can hold Noriega?

More SBNP:

“Endara said Panama lacked a secure enough prison to hold Noriega on criminal charges.”

Dim Dune: “Why doesn’t Panama have a prison secure enough? Isn’t Noriega so despised and hated by the Panamanians that they would love to have him in jail?”

Establishment Ed: “It’s those renegades that set Noriega up that are destabilizing the country – creating security breaches. They are everywhere and highly trained. They constitute mainly the poor class who run most of the jails.

Cynical Sally: “It’s all very logical, if you understand that America is protecting American business interests abroad. The wealthy American businessmen deal primarily with the wealthy Panamanians, who don’t control the jails – yet. Although with 26,000 American troops there I’m sure they will assume control of the police and prisons soon enough.”

Greed of Reagan/Bush era crushes Idealism of Carter era

News flash: Khomeini spiritual ruler of Iran refuses to have relations with these three racist countries – the United States, Israel, & South Africa.

“But, but, but ...,” belches the American Public, suffering indigestion & constipation from a poor diet, “America is not racist. We are the Home of the Free & the Land of the Brave – destined to liberate the peoples of the World.”

“That’s why our exploitation of 3rd world countries is so sad. Makes me feel like crying,” intones Judy, spiritual touch healer & mother of 2 teenage boys.

“Sad?!” bellows the American Establishment, “Why you should be happy that we are supporting American business interests ... <Ohh Uhh, I meant to say that>,” stammers this Liar, “You should be happy that we are supporting democracies of the Rich … <No! No!> … democracies for the Rich. <Wait a minute! I didn’t say that. I said> democracies for the people, by the people, one nation under Money. <Hey what’s going on?> One nation under Golf <er …> under God. You remember the line from the Pledge of Allegiance that we used to say as kids. What was that line? How did it go? ‘I pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, with liberty & justice for all the rich.’ Isn’t that it, or something like that?”

Dim Dune: “Our hope that human rights would be extended to all countries was dashed upon the rocks of Greed & Materialism – from Carter’s idealism in the late 70s to the Reagan/Bush materialism in the 80s.”

King, champion national debater: “Your talent for obfuscation is remarkable Dune. Why not just point out that the ideals of the initial democratic revolution have been subverted by money.”

Rojelio, Panamanian musician: “Hey man, what does this have ta do with Panama?”

Dune: “Carter’s administration voluntarily signed a treaty with Panama to give them back the Canal Zone in stages – part of his attempt to extend human rights to the rest of the world. Then the Bush administration brutally crushed this hope for international justice through their military intervention in national politics.”

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