Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Haiti Still Stymies Clinton as Military Defies the UN Administration Policy Blasted by Critics on Both the Left and the Right

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Haiti Still Stymies Clinton as Military Defies the UN Administration Policy Blasted by Critics on Both the Left and the Right

Article excerpt

THE obdurate refusal of Haiti's de facto military government to abide by the Governors Island Accord, which calls for the restoration of democracy, has left the Clinton administration holding firm to a policy that liberals charge strengthens Haiti's renegade military and conservatives contend will only end in more bloodshed.

When Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras refused to step down as called for in the accord to clear the way for exiled President Jean Bertrand Aristide to return by Oct. 31, the administration and the United Nations reimposed economic sanctions. The United States also froze the assets of 41 top Haitian military leaders and backers of the coup.

Last week, US special envoy Lawrence Pezzullo told a House committee the administration plans to maintain that course, hoping it will force the military to comply with the accord. For many supporters of Mr. Aristide, that is viewed as a weak response to the military's flagrant defiance of the international community.

Forty-four black leaders called last week for the Clinton administration to impose a complete embargo to dramatically increase the pressure on Haiti's current leaders, many of whom were trained and equipped by the US. (The New York Times reported yesterday that a Haitian intelligence service set up by the US engaged in drug trafficking and political violence.) Several also called for military intervention to force the return of Aristide.

"The longer they stand with US arms in defiance of the US and the UN, they weaken the US. They weaken the UN. They destroy our ability to be a force to do good around the world," said the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Many conservative analysts also view the administration's current policy as wrong-headed, but for different reasons. Their primary concern is the administration's insistence on linking the return of democracy to the return of Aristide.

"I think we are making the mistake of promoting Aristide's interest over the interests of this nation. I think it's a mistake to equate him with the restoration of human rights and democracy," says Michael Wilson, an analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington. …

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