Friday, June 10, 2016

When The Right Was Wrong

Remember when the hot issue in American politics was Jimmy Carter's Panama Canal treaty, where we agreed to turn over the Canal to Panama over 20 years?  If I recall correctly, Ronald Reagan rode to the presidency by ranting about the issue, mostly to please Jesse Helms so he could win the primary in North Carolina.

Carter got the treaty approved in the Senate, just barely, to a chorus of Republican predictions of doom.  Bottom line: the Panamanians were incapable of managing the canal and it was indispensable to American security.

Move forward some years and Panama hired the Chinese firm Hutchison-Whampoa to manage port facilities in the area.  Again Republican uproar.  This was the Chinese sneaking their Oriental tentacles into a strategic area. Some Republicans wanted to discard the treaty.  But time wounds all heels.

Today the canal is operating well and Panama has just finished expanding it.

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