Hope for Haiti

October 03, 1991

Virtually all the criteria which President Reagan used to justify his comic-opera war against Grenada in 1983 apply to Haiti today. Does that mean we are about to invade Haiti? Of course not.

On the contrary, we have great confidence that the unflinching application of international pressure on the uniformed thugs who threw out Haiti's first democratically elected president will put them out of office by week's end -- and, doubtless, in prison where they belong. No one, not even the most ruthless military dictator, can long stand the isolation that is now being imposed upon Haiti by an international community determined to restore President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to his rightful office. The only question is how many hapless Haitians will die at the hands of the upstart militarists before this goal is accomplished.

If the Haitian drama plays out in the manner we hope and expect that it will, a great lesson will be taught. First, there will be the lesson to other incipient military dictators waiting in the wings of other fledgling democracies in Latin America.

But the greater lesson will be that diplomatic and economic pressure can work if only it is given a chance, that there's no need for America to rush like an Old West gunslinger into tiny countries like Grenada and Panama, with great loss of life and destruction of the homes and workplaces of the long-suffering people being invaded.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.