IS now.nStrategically, as 967o of the U.S.’s “onenocean” naval fleet can still pass throughnthe canal, any limitations on its mobilityncould paralyze our naval capabilities.nFurthermore, the inhibition of U.S. presencenin the Caribbean would diminishnefforts to check the growing Marxistnthreat in the Caribbean and CentralnAmerica. And in the end the surrendernof the canal would further weakennAmerica’s image to the rest of the world.nCrane bases these and other argurrientsnlargely on what will happen when thenworse fears of Panamanian control ofnthe canal become a reality. He makes nonsecret of his distrust of the Panamanianngovernment and its intentions. Not onlynhas the Republic of Panama had 60 governmentsnin its 71 years of existence,nbut the “tinhorn dictator” General OmarnTorrijos has increased the Panamanianndebt by nearly 1000% since seizingnpower. The vagueness of the treaties’nkey provisions have already led to significantndisparities of interpretationsnbetween U.S. and Panamanian spokesmen.nFinally, why give away propertynthat the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty ofn1903 (and confirmed by Supreme Courtndecisions) clearly established as U.S. territory—territorynbought and paid for bynthe U.S. with Panama’s consent andnblessings? Should America surrender ancanal that it built (and paid for), efficientlynoperated and defended (while helpingnPanama to achieve independence andnattain one of the highest per capita incomenlevels in Latin America) to thendictator of a “politically and morallynquestionable regime?”nThe irony of Representative Crane’snpush to mobilize forces against thentreaties is that he has little to say in thenactual political decision-making: only thenSenate is constitutionally entitled to ratifyntreaties. But Philip Crane, who earnednhis Ph.D. in American history with anminor in Latin American studies, plainlynrelishes using his expertise as he delineatesnhis opposition. And by elevatingnthe conservative challenge to the treatiesnabove simple party rhetoric. Crane hopesnthat educating and persuading then141nChronicles of CulturenAmerican public against the treaties willnbe one and the same job.nCrane’s fighting spirit is amply supportednby the impressive collection ofnarguments and data in Captain Paul B.nRyan’s, U.S.N., book The Panama CanalnControversy. He speaks on the subjectnwith authority and acumen acquirednduring his naval and diplomatic careernin the Caribbean. A chapter entitledn”Sea Control and Maritime ChokenPoints” seems particularly elucidating tona layman and is fully convincing in itsninferences. DnWooten’s ChallengenJames Wooten: Dasher: The Rootsnand the Rising of Jimmy Carter;nSummit Books; New York.nMr. Wooten obviously belongs to thatnvanishing breed of newspapermen whonare fascinated by the trivia of truth. It’snan unfashionable proclivity in times whennreporters have discovered the new profitabilitynand new methods of marketingn”truth”: rather than submitting to thendemands of dishonorable power brokers,nthey cater to the even more dishonorablenfad-and-myth producers. JournalistnWooten, however, is less awed by presidentsnthan he is by their cunning, tricks,nmasks and disguises. Cunning in politicsncan be seen as either an honorable orndishonorable feature: it is up to the mannin the White House to personally performnin such a way that the difference distinctlyncomes across—and he can then be judgednon the merits of his performance.nUp to now, there have been plenty ofnindications that Mr. Carter’s cunning,nand his performance, are somewhat lessnthan honorable. That he has managed tonhoodwink both the public and the medianabout himself is disturbing. And we arengoing to have to pay for our naivete inntaking him for both a shrewder and morensincere man than he really is. Time andntime again, our political conscience, ornour soft political underbelly, has provennvulnerable to electoral show biz, andnnnCarter hit us with an exceptional forcenof artifice. He succeeded in assemblingnan image of intelligence, sensitivity, reliabilitynand decency, while of late wenhave begun to wonder whether he isn’tnmerely smart, calculating, conformingnand effectively self-serving. During thenlast two years, his abundantly trumpetednspirituality has distilled to ambitiousness.nWooten registers all this with a clear eyenand well-oiled typewriter. Too littlenemphasis, in our opinion, is put on thenominous vulgarity of the first family,nwhose meretricious comportment departsnso markedly from even the folksiest waysnof presidential kin in the past. DnWilson’s KiplingnAngus Wilson: The Strange Ride ofnRudyard Kipling: His Life and Works;nViking Press; New York.nBy now, there’s little doubt thatnBritain’s hasty relinquishment of colonialismn(what an ugly word to describensuch a complex phenomenon) in thenaftermath of World War II was a perplexingnprocess that somehow brought morenconfusion than purification to historynand the world. It contributed to thencollapse of the United Kingdom andnEnglishness rather than elevating themnto new moral heights. Whether or not itnadvanced the socio-civilizational maturitynof the liberated people, one can’t helpnfeeling that some of them, chiefly thosenin Africa, could have used a few morendecades of benign tutelage and well-pacednprogress before moving on to statehood.nRudyard Kipling had an accurate viewnof this situation and was, perhaps, thenonly one who could articulate his beliefsnwith such awesome literary and intellectualnforce. He thus had to bear the wrathnof England’s noblest and most shortsightednconsciences. Despite his viewsnhe won a Nobel Prize, which in 1907nwas still dispensed solely on the basis ofnartistic merit. The furor of the do-goodersnwas no less vicious than that of the chauvinisticnoppressors and Kipling, over anperiod of years, had to endure the accusa-n