Panama The General Who Won't Go

The U.S. ponders how to handle a troublesome ally

All week long, while his rebellious country simmered, General Manuel Antonio Noriega, the besieged ruler of Panama, calmly went about preparing for the wedding of one of his three daughters, Sandra. In a Latin equivalent of the royal wedding, she was to marry the son of a general of the Dominican Republic at a lavish Sunday ceremony. The wedding, however, did not come off as planned. Instead, Sandra was married without fanfare at midweek, evidently to avoid the demonstrations that have become an almost daily feature of life in Panama City, the country's steamy capital.

The hastily rearranged nuptials seemed to...