President Clinton admitted yesterday that the Communist Chinese will,
in fact, run the Panama Canal when the United States pulls all of its
troops out and relinquishes control of the vital waterway Jan. 1, 2000.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office before leaving on a trip to
the west coast, Clinton addressed the issue of the imminent U.S.
surrender of the American-built multi-billion-dollar canal.

“I supported it at the time and I still support it,” Clinton said,
referring to the controversial 1978 treaties signed by then-President
Jimmy Carter and Panamanian dictator Omar Torrijos, requiring U.S.
surrender of the Panama Canal to the Central American nation at the
century’s end.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” the president said.

Clinton noted that the United States would be represented in Panama
for the year-end change-over by former President Carter, whose
administration negotiated the treaties, and Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright. Carter “deserves enormous credit” for winning Senate passage
of the treaties, which, Clinton added, were “very controversial,
immensely unpopular. A lot of the members of the Senate … had their
seats put in peril over it,” the Associated Press reported.

As the year end approaches, increasing congressional and military
warnings about America’s imminent loss of control of the canal have been
dismissed and scoffed at consistently by the Clinton administration.

During yesterday’s announcement, Clinton, once again, at first
brushed off concerns — voiced most recently by former Joint Chiefs of
Staff Chairman Adm. Thomas Moorer — that China is preparing to take
over the canal once the United States leaves. Moorer has asserted
publicly that China plans to seize control of the canal through a Hong
Kong company, Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. — a firm widely believed to have
close links to the Chinese military — which has won rights to operate
ports on both ends of the canal.

But then, in disarmingly unambiguous words, the president openly
admitted that China will, indeed, control the Panama Canal after Dec.

“I think the Chinese will in fact be bending over backwards to make
sure that they run it in a competent and able and fair manner,” Clinton

“They’ll want to demonstrate to a distant part of the world that they
can be a responsible partner,” the president said. “And I would be very
surprised if any adverse consequences flowed from the Chinese running
the canal.”

But the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is very
concerned about “adverse consequences.”

“I am appalled,” Moorer told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive interview,
“that the president would make such a statement, and that his advisers
would mislead him to this degree. If what he says takes place, and the
Chinese are allowed to remain and increase their presence, the results
will be catastrophic for the U.S.”

“If we have to go back in to restore the canal to its previous
position,” he said, “there will be many casualties, and they won’t be
confined to the canal area itself. Our inability to move our forces
back and forth (through the canal) will result in casualties of our
forces in other parts of the world.” If the U.S. is prevented from
navigating through the Panama Canal, it must travel an extra 9,000 miles
around South America.

Moorer added an ominous warning regarding China’s strategic use of
the canal.

“No one seems to grasp the threat to the U.S. that can be posed by
Chinese container ships. When the Russians brought missiles into Cuba,
American citizens went into a panic,” said Moorer. “But now, following
the lead of the president, Americans are practically ignoring” China’s
ability to do the same.

A Chinese dissident who spoke to WorldNetDaily on condition of
anonymity, echoed Moorer’s concern.

“The chinese Communists don’t have a sufficient number of long-range
ICBMs, and those they do have don’t have sufficient accuracy,” he said,
“even though they are drastically improving them, thanks to U.S.
technology. But the shortage of ICBMs can be compensated by, one,
submarines, and two, an enclave close to the U.S.”

Larry Elgin, president and counsel of U.S. Defense-American Victory,
commented, “I believe that the game is not over.” Regarding his
organization’s lawsuit challenging the imminent relinquishing of the
canal to Panama, Elgin noted: “If the treaties are invalid because they
were never fully formed … then it will be up to Congress. The canal
itself may never transfer.”

“The Clinton administration is supremely overconfident and arrogant,”
added Elgin. “This is a deep constitutional issue, and it could go
either way. Clinton is confident nothing can be done, but I think he is

The former chairman of the InterAmerican Defense Board, Gen. Gordon
Sumner, responded to President Clinton’s comment about being “very
surprised if any adverse consequences flowed from the Chinese running
the canal.”

“I think he’s been surprised repeatedly during his administration,”
said Sumner. “It’s a matter of critical national security importance
that we’re not surprised. We’re taking a risk to allow President Clinton
to perform for the money he has received from the Chinese.”

“The man is living in a dream world,” added Sumner. “He has paid no
attention to Latin America. I think it’s an obscenity that he said such
a thing. He counts China as America’s strategic partner, but they have
said publicly we are their number one enemy. That is a major

See Joseph Farah’s exclusive commentary,
“Clinton’s Panama Canal

David Kupelian is managing editor
of WorldNetDaily.

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