Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton Seeks Approval for Haitian Invasion the Main Reason for Delay of Action Could Be Practical

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Clinton Seeks Approval for Haitian Invasion the Main Reason for Delay of Action Could Be Practical

Article excerpt

Rejecting any notion of negotiating with Haiti's military rulers, the United States is seeking the United Nations' blessing for the option of a military invasion to oust them.

"They must go," President Bill Clinton said Wednesday.

U.S. diplomats are beginning preliminary talks with members of the U.N. Security Council, seeking support for a resolution that would bolster the United States if Clinton decides to invade Haiti, administration officials said.

Clinton says he has made no decision on invading but retains the prospect as an option to oust the coup leaders who seized power almost three years ago.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that Clinton's administration has set aside any plan for armed intervention until September at the earliest.

Quoting U.S. and foreign officials, the Times said the main reason is practical: The U.N. force that would be needed to provide order on the island after U.S. troops come ashore will not be ready before the fall.

At the same time, administration officials noted, Democratic leaders in Congress have asked Clinton to hold off, expressing fears that the American public is not yet convinced that an invasion is justified.

On Wednesday, Clinton and his aides were adamant that there will be no new negotiations with Haiti's de facto rulers despite an assessment by Rep. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., that Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras is flexible and "not as intransigent as he appears to be. …

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