Apache Helicopter:  Spreading Democracy

Haiti is intriguing because the U.S. has little or no national interest there, save stemming possible tides of refugees.  International law, however, does not contain exceptions for good or misguided intentions.

There is no new legal principle to demonstrate here.  President Clinton's 1994 invasion to 'restore democracy' merely echoes the tired and erroneous refrain that intervention is lawful if in pursuit of democratic governance.  Cedras, the military man who ousted the freely elected Aristide, had broken his promise to get out of the way and allow Aristide to return to power.  This may very well have constituted a violation of treaty obligations, but such violations do not allow the slighted party to use military force in response (see Panama entry and GA Res 3314).

CIA Factbook on Haiti

The Cato Institute provides a libertarian analysis

The Heritage Foundation provides a conservative critique of Clinton's invasion

Foreign Policy In Focus lays out a liberal view of policy towards Haiti