Now that Mr. Clinton has failed to convince the Haitians leaders to leave, he is faced with trying to convince “we the people” that an invasion is worth our money and our blood. No one has any doubt about the initial outcome on the island of Hispaniola. The most powerful force in the world can overcome Haiti’s rag-tag army. That is a given. What is seriously in doubt is the invasion of the minds of U.S. citizens. Will Mr. Clinton be able to convince us that we have a national interest in Haiti that is serious enough to justify this action other than allowing him to escape from the corner he backed into?
Getting into Haiti is simple: getting out anytime soon with dignity is next to impossible. We dropped leaflets all over that tiny country telling its citizens that Aristide will treat them fairly. We cannot guarantee them that Aristide will not return to using the mob violence that marked the brief seven months of his presidency, unless we are willing to stay there and protect them from him if necessary. Aristide has been brutal with his enemies, and he has a history of turning on his friends. He was brought up by the Catholic church, but turned on the church. He’s turned on the people who helped get him elected, and he’s sabotaged every effort by the Clinton Administration to work out a compromise with Haiti’s military and Haiti’s democratically-elected legislative leaders.
Do the people of Haiti have a right to democracy guaranteed by the people of the United States? Then what about the other 55 countries in the world who are not free? And what about 63 other countries which are judged by the Freedom House to be “partly free”? Yes, Haiti is our neighbor; but so is Cuba!
The biggest problem facing Mr. Clinton and the leaders of the Democratic party is trying to explain why they would not allow our representatives to vote on this issue. The U.S. Constitution is clear: it grants Congress the right to declare war. The president is given the authority to make war on his own only in a time of emergency, or when there is a need for secrecy. Mr. Clinton and Democratic leaders Mitchell and Gephardt, who insisted on a vote on our effort in the Persian Gulf, are turning their backs on our constitution and thwarting the right of our representatives. They cite our efforts in Grenada and Panama which were surprise attacks, with American interests and lives at stake.
The bottom line is this: We have a president with no moral authority to send our young people into war, so he prefers to hide behind the United Nations. He asked for a vote in the U.N. Security Council, but Mr. Clinton and those cowardly Democratic leaders won’t permit a vote in Congress. Why? Because he will lose! We must make sure they lose in November. Then maybe we can restore democracy, not to Haiti, but to the United States of America.