If the invasion of Panama was wrong, why didn't the world protect Panama?

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,659
Dispargum
#11
There was no 'international outrage'? Why should anyone be outraged by freeing a country from the grips of a dictator who was indicted on charges of racketeering, drug smuggling, and money laundering?



If you look at the UN Security Council vote to condemn the US invasion, only the US, Britain, France, and Canada voted against condemnation. Finland abstained. Of course the USSR, China, and Yugoslavia, being Communist nations, voted against the US. It was after all still the Cold War. But every other country also voted to condemn the US invasion. Some of these Third World countries were military dictatorships so of course they voted to support Noriega. But some of those countries were reasonably democratic and one might expect at least one or two to support the US, but it didn't happen.
 
Jun 2017
2,594
Connecticut
#12
According to wikipedia, the invasion of Panama provoked an international outrage, so why didn't the world stop America and defended Panama?
A nuclear arsenal(combined with the fact that most of the nuclear powers including the US are permanent UNSC seats with permanent vetos) is almost always a free pass to do whatever a country pleases unless it relates to another country with nuclear weapons(not saying this is right saying this is what it essentially is). Even if it that weren't the case, the benefit of trying to intervene in Panama was drastically outweighed by the cost(as is almost always the case in these scenarios of yours).

Also Panama only exists because we decided we wanted to build a big hole in the ground and the Colombians told us no. We basically are responsible for Panama existing in the first place. If we were to repudiate all sketchy US invasions we'd have to give Panama back to Columbia.

This is not to say I agree with the invasion. I don't agree with it but a military coalition gathering to fight the US would be an insane idea that in the best scenario would be a colossal failure and at worst would end the human race.
 
Last edited:

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,608
USA
#13
If you look at the UN Security Council vote to condemn the US invasion, only the US, Britain, France, and Canada voted against condemnation. Finland abstained. Of course the USSR, China, and Yugoslavia, being Communist nations, voted against the US. It was after all still the Cold War. But every other country also voted to condemn the US invasion. Some of these Third World countries were military dictatorships so of course they voted to support Noriega. But some of those countries were reasonably democratic and one might expect at least one or two to support the US, but it didn't happen.
I wouldn't consider such UN voting as "international outrage" though.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,659
Dispargum
#14
I wouldn't consider such UN voting as "international outrage" though.

The failure of the US to garner any support in the Third World was, or should have been, a disappointment. Perhaps the UN was voting out of pique at not being consulted first. The US attacked with the element of surprise and didn't go to the UN first as we usually do. The Organization of American States also condemned the invasion. Peru recalled its ambassador to the US. I think that qualifies as outrage in diplomatic circles.


If you're looking for mobs burning American flags or storming American embassies, I don't think there was much of that.
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,608
USA
#16
The failure of the US to garner any support in the Third World was, or should have been, a disappointment. Perhaps the UN was voting out of pique at not being consulted first. The US attacked with the element of surprise and didn't go to the UN first as we usually do. The Organization of American States also condemned the invasion. Peru recalled its ambassador to the US. I think that qualifies as outrage in diplomatic circles.

If you're looking for mobs burning American flags or storming American embassies, I don't think there was much of that.
Third world countries never supports Great powers in these types of actions. They would rather support a brutal drug trafficking tyrant in stead. So there was no need for US to seek their support.

If there were no mobs attacking US embassies across the globe, there was no "international outrage".
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,659
Dispargum
#17
Third world countries never supports Great powers in these types of actions. They would rather support a brutal drug trafficking tyrant in stead. So there was no need for US to seek their support.

That's a bit simplistic. As I said in an earlier post, some Third World countries can be expected to support brutal drug trafficking tyrants, but not all. Britain was able to marshall UN support for the Falkland Islands War. The US was able to gain UN support for the 1991 Gulf War.
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,608
USA
#18
That's a bit simplistic. As I said in an earlier post, some Third World countries can be expected to support brutal drug trafficking tyrants, but not all. Britain was able to marshall UN support for the Falkland Islands War. The US was able to gain UN support for the 1991 Gulf War.
In both the cases, foreign invasion was the cause, but that was not the case with Panama.

I don't believe third world countries would have supported the forced ouster of either Mugabe or Gaddafi.

I don't think there is a reason to get approval from UN for every situation like this. Did Russia get UN approval before conquering and annexing Crimea? A country has to do what it thinks is right.
 
Last edited:

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,659
Dispargum
#19
When the US invaded Haiti in 1994, it was to restore a democratically elected government that had been overthrown in a coup. The operation was supported 12-0 with two abstentions in the Security Council.

In Panama, Noriega had refused to relinquish power after losing an election. Very similar circumstances.

If Mugabe or Gaddafi had been voted out but refused to give up power and someone wanted to invade to restore democracy, I'm sure some Third World countries would have supported it. The Third World is not a monolith with a unified agenda. What was then called the Third World consisted of over a hundred countries with a broad spectrum of political philosophies. Some were willing to cooperate with the Western democracies. Others were not.

In 1989, the US did not try very hard to win support in the UN. They could have, but as you say, the US didn't have to in that circumstance. Maybe that's what made the world so angry - no one likes being ignored.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,940
Las Vegas, NV USA
#20
At the time of the invasion the US controlled Canal Zone still existed. A treaty had been signed to turn the canal over to Panama by 2000 and this was done. The 1989 invasion took place when Noriega attacked US troops who were legally in place in the Canal Zone. After Noriega's ouster and arrest, regular elections were held and US forces left except for those in the Canal Zone. They were withdrawn before or in 2000 when Panama took complete control of the Canal Zone.
 

Similar History Discussions