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September 16, 1994 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-16

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 16, 1994
U.S. forces in the Caribbean
The bulk of an invasion force will be in and around Haiti as early as this
weekend, U.S. defense officials say. An ever-growing fleet assigned to Haiti
could be bolstered by other warships already in the Caribbean.

Preparing for Invasion


Clinton lays out reasons to mterve e

Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON -In laying out his argument for a U.S.
invasion of Haiti, President Clinton yesterday offered the
nation four reasons for action: to protect Haitians' human
rights, to restore their democracy, to prevent a flood of
refugees - and to preserve the United States' credibility.
Three of those four arguments add up to a distinctly
untraditional, post-Cold War rationale for U.S. military
Never before has the United States gone to war to stop
refugees from coming to its shores. Rarely have human
rights and democracy been the central aims of a military
Perhaps because he is taking the nation to battle on such
unfamiliar ground, Clinton has had little success so far in
winning public support. Polls show huge majorities of the
public oppose invading Haiti and Democratic leaders in
Congress admit that there is little support for the action on
Capitol Hill.
But one part of Clinton's argument, at least, appears
unassailable: his fear that the credibility of the United States
would be hurt if he turned away from Haiti now.
Even some of the president's critics acknowledged that
Clinton is so heavily committed to ousting Haiti's military
regime that hesitation now would make him what one
Republican in Congress called "a laughing stock" both at
home and abroad.
Anthony Lake, Clinton's national security adviser, put
the credibility argument at the head of his list of reasons for
an invasion in a speech earlier this week: "First is the
essential reliability of the United States and theinterna-
tional community," he told the Council on Foreign Rela-
"Having exhausted all other remedies, we must make it
clear that we mean what we say. Our actions in Haiti will
send a message far beyond our region - to all who seriously
threaten our interests."
Even some foreign officials have echoed this argument.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe recently told report-
ers, with a hint of exasperation, that he could not quite
understand why the United States has waited so long.
"The signals from the administration have been a little
bit contradictory," he said.
To some historians, it seems ironic that Clinton is using
the same argument that Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M.
Nixon once employed to keep American troops in Vietnam,
a war that Clinton opposed as a young man.
"Nixon used to talk the way Clinton's talking now," said
Stephen Ambrose, a historian at the University of New
Orleans and author of a recent book on D-Day. "He said the
United States would be a 'pitiful, helpless giant' if we didn't
stay in Vietnam."
And it is equally ironic that Clinton's Republican oppo-
nents sometimes sound like the peaceniks of old: "Credibil-
ity lost by political bungling should not be redeemed by
American blood," Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) said this week.
Nevertheless, said political scientist Robert W. Tucker,
Clinton's credibility argument has a long and sometimes
honorable pedigree.
"This is the way great powers behave," Tucker said.
"They're not going to be defied by smaller powers. If they
feel obliged to rationalize their actions, they always say it's
a matter of credibility."
Previous presidents have found themselves in similar
positions, he noted. One was Clinton's Republican prede-
cessor, George Bush, who invaded Panama to topple dicta-
tor Manuel A. Antonio Noriega in 1989.


Led by Maj. Gen. Jean-Claude Duperval (left), the Haitian military's deputy commander-in-chief,
and Brig. Gen. Philipe Biamby (center), the militaryu's chief-of-staff, Haitian soldiers jog down
a street in Port-au-Prince.

Continued from page 1.
courageous decision, but he actually
just backed himself into a corner," he
said. "Clinton still needs to demon-
strate a reason why our national secu-
rity is being threatened."
Clinton said last night that his de-
cision was based on protecting na-
tional security, maintaining the U.S.
border, upholding democracy, and
upholding the reliability of U.S. com-
mitments to other countries and their
commitments to the United States.
First-year Law student Adam Lutz
said security was probably not the
only reason Clinton came to his deci-
sion. "Part of the reason for Haitian
refugees not being allowed into the
U.S. might be motivated by racism."

Whether they agreed or disagreed
with Clinton's decision, students
weighed heavily the human factors
College Republicans' Fletcher
asserted that former Haitian Presi-
dent Jean-Bertrand Aristide has a his-
tory of human rights violations him-
self. The government under Aristide
may be just as hostile, Fletcher specu-
Engineering sophomore Chris
Shuart supported Clinton's actions.
"I think it's the only way to end
the oppression of the Haitians. Inva-
sion is necessary because the Haitian
dictators have been uncooperative,"
said Shuart.
But Pokrywka said he hopes the
United States can return troops as
soon as possible. "(We) don't want to
be stranded there," he said.

Secret CIA operation tries
to weaken Haiti's military
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The CIA launched a major
covert operation this month to try to topple Haiti's
military regime without a full-scale U.S. invasion but so
far the attempt has failed, officials said yesterday.
The secret operation included an attempt to recruit
officers in the Haitian armed forces to undermine the
country's leaders, Lt. Gen Raoul Cedras, Brig. Gen.
Philippe Biamby and Lt. Col. Michel-Joseph Francois,
they said.
. U.S. agents were authorized to offer money, com-
munications equipment and weapons to "friendly ele-
ments" in the military in hopes that their actions would
provoke the collapse of the regime or at least weaken it.
The officers targeted included not only suspected
political dissidents hidden inside the military but also
what one source called "freelancers" who might be
motivated by money or a desire for power.
That effort was only one part of what officials
described as a broad-scale effort to "destabilize" the
military regime, which seized power from Haiti's elected
president in 1991 and then defied U.S. and United
Nations demands to step down.
"We are using every means at our disposal to get rid
of this regime in hopes of avoiding the necessity of an
invasion," said one senior administration official in-
volved in Haiti policy. "Every means."
So far, the secret operations have achieved no clear
success, officials said. One source said that the effort
"was too late to make much difference.',

Personnel strength
as of 2993 was
about 250. Aircraft
include seven Sum.
mit/cessna 02-337
AIR FORCE Sentry twin piston-
engined counter-
Insurgency aircraft,
one DC-3, six light transports and 10
training and liaison aircraft, including four
turboprop-powered SF.260 TPs.


The Coast Guard as of
1993 had 165
personnel, one patrol
craft and some boats;
all are based at Port-
Up to 20,000 poorly
armed irregulars
supported by approx-
imately 3,000 sheriffs'
and police auxiliary.

Source: The Statesman's Yearbook




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Continued from page 1.
however, many support functions for
active-duty combat forces - includ-
ing medical treatment, transportation
and military policing - have been
assigned to reserve units.
"I hope the invasion will not be
necessary," Perry said, echoing the
president's argument. "I hope that sim-

ply the preparation for this invasion
will focus the thinking of the military
regime there on what the clear alterna-
tives are."
From Clinton's standpoint, the only
avenue to a clear victory is for Cedras
and his two chief aides, Brig. Gen.
Philippe Biamby and Lt. Col. Michel-
Joseph Francois, to step down in the
face ofoverwhelming American power.
Such an outcome could restore Aristide
to power without jeopardizing Ameri-

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338 S. State

can lives.
Clinton administration officials said
the president is considering the dis-
patch of an emissary, possibly Rep.
Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) to make a
final appeal to Cedras to step down.
Richardson visited Port-au-Prince ear-
lier this year and Cedras has invited
him to return.
In building his case for U.S. mili-
tary action, Clinton relied heavily on
charges of gross human rights viola-
tions by Cedras and his supporters.
"Cedras and his armed thugs have
conducted a reign of terror," Clinton
said. "Executing children. Raping
women. Killing priests. As the dicta-
tors have grown more desperate, the
atrocities have grown ever more bru-
In addition, the president said resto-
ration of Aristide--a winner with two-
thirds of the vote in the only interna-
tionally recognized free and fair elec-
tion ever to take place in Haiti -is the
only way to prevent a flood of Haitian
refugees from trying to reach the United
States or other countries in the hemi-
"As long as Cedras rules, Haitians
will continue to seek sanctuary in our
nation," Clinton said. "Three hundred
thousand more Haitians--5 percent of
their entire population - are in hiding.
If we do not act, they will be the next
wave of refugees at our door."
If the Haitian dictators stand fast

and Clinton orders the invasion, a quick
military victory seems assured because
Haiti's ragtag army of about 7,000 men
would be hopelessly overmatched
against the allied force of at least 20,000
well-armed troops. But if there are sub-
stantial American casualties or embar-
rassing accidents caused by the fog of
war, the operation could seem to be a
defeat for the administration, even if all
military objectives are ultimately met.
At the Pentagon, Perry conceded
some U.S. losses are all but inevitable.
"I do not want to take at all lightly
the possibilities of casualties in a forced
entry," the defense secretary said.
And it did not take long for the
operation to produce an embarrassing
mishap. A Navy patrol boat, the Mon-
soon, went aground on what the Navy
said was an uncharted sandbar about
two miles off the coast of Haiti; its crew
was working Yesterday night to free
the vessel with the rising tide.
As Clinton spoke, military prepara-
tions for an invasion continued.
The force, including Special Forces
and members of the Army's airborne
corps from Fort Bragg, N.C., is slated'
to carry out an initial strike against the
island nation.
In addition, 1,800 Marines and
2,000 light infantry Army soldiers are
in place to handle post-attack duties
such as peacekeeping efforts as the
Aristide government is returned to Port-
I w- w -I r T


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