Monday, February 07, 2011

Reagan and Panama

As the Ronald Reagan 100th birthday commemorations really get going, the Charlotte Observer notes the importance of North Carolina to his presidential aspirations, and reminds us how Latin America was the main connection.  What is perhaps most remarkable to remember is that Reagan successfully generated outrage at something that was irrelevant.

He had failed in his early primary challenges against President Gerald Ford. But when he got to North Carolina, his campaign was taken over by Republican Sen. Jesse Helms and his sidekick, Raleigh attorney Tom Ellis. They made the Panama Canal the signature issue, as Reagan pulled off a historic upset, breathing new life into his presidential effort.
"We bought it, we paid for it, it's ours and we're going to keep it," Reagan said of the canal.

The transfer of the Panama Canal was ultimately smooth, untraumatic, and perfectly compatible with U.S. national security to boot.  Even Henry Kissinger supported it, yet Reagan and Helms managed to get people riled up all the same.  Happy 100th!


Christopher Hinn 9:04 AM  

Happy 100th birthday Mr. President! There are many negative issues against your presidency but I really do admire you.

leftside 5:40 PM  

I hardly heard Central America mentioned at all this weekend. Nothing at all about the fact that his Government was found guilty of war crimes and aggression by the ICC (Reagan mocked the ICC instead). Forgotten apparently are all the other massacres and war crimes committed by his/our guys throughout the region during his reign.

Reagan also reinstated the travel ban to Cuba, and also banned Cuban artists and schientists from travelling to the US.

Anonymous,  8:11 PM  

Iran/Contra affair.....

mike a,  12:49 AM  

Happy 100th to Ronald Reagan. Conventional wisdom has not yet come to his side on this issue, but rest assured that if/when the Chinese or Arabs or someone else makes a move to block the canal, we will rue the day that Jimmy Carter signed this stupid treaty.

Still, even if you can make the argument that for diplomacy's sake, Carter did the right thing, we should have at least kept the military bases. Do you think they would have come in handy in the past 15 years in support of Plan Colombia?

Randy Paul 9:37 AM  

Actually, the ICC didn't exist when Reagan was president. You're thinking of the International Court of Justice.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP