FORMER President George Bush said it is time for a significant shift in US policy toward Haiti, including abandoning support for ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the Houston Chronicle said on May 3.
Mr. Bush also said in an interview with the Chronicle that it would be ``a tremendous mistake'' to use US ground forces in Haiti and that such an option should be ruled out.
``Aristide has proved to be totally unable to help facilitate his own return. He has been unwilling to compromise, and in attacking President Clinton's policies he is attacking those who have been trying hard to help him,'' Bush said.
He was quoted as acknowledging that his call for a new approach to Haiti would also change the policy he followed as president of support for the democratically elected Aristide.
``We must never waver in our support for democracy,'' he said. ``As president I felt that the way to support democracy in Haiti was to insist on the return of Aristide to power. Given recent events and Aristide's demonstrated instability, the time has come to break the linkage.''
The United States must separate ``backing democracy'' from ``backing Aristide,'' Bush was quoted as adding. In Washington, Clinton administration officials on May 2 reiterated the longstanding position of refusing to close the door on use of military force. ``I will say only that we don't find it useful to rule out any option,'' said White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers.
But congressional backing for a military initiative has been increasing, and the Washington Post reported in its May 3 editions that the administration is considering a plan to send armed military trainers to Haiti.
The Post also reported that the former special envoy to Haiti, Lawrence Pezzullo, wrote Secretary of State Warren Christopher several days before he stepped down, warning of the deteriorating situation with Haiti. Chicago postal shake-up
IN Chicago, it takes a rocket scientist to get the mail delivered.
In a shake-up on May 2, Postmaster General Marvin Runyon named former NASA engineer William J. Good the new director of customer service and sales for Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.
The Chicago postmaster-district manager was also removed, as was the manager of the Chicago processing and distribution center.
Inspectors have found nearly 70,000 pieces of undelivered mail in the Chicago area this year, including 2,000 pieces sitting behind the home of a fired letter carrier and about 3,000 hidden in the trunk of another carrier's car. Some of the mail was seven years old. US adds to force in Macedonia
THE US Army will add 37 soldiers and three helicopters to its observer force in Macedonia, the former Yugoslav republic bordering Serbia, the Pentagon announced on May 2.
On May 4, the soldiers will join the nearly 500 Army personnel already deployed along the mountainous border in Operation Able Sentry.
Macedonia is the only former Yugoslav republic to gain its independence without going to war. The Clinton administration last year decided to send ground troops to the United Nations observer mission there as a warning to Serbia that aggression against Macedonia would not be tolerated.
The mission consists of about 1,000 troops, including the Americans.
The Pentagon said the 37 soldiers are from the 7th battalion, stationed at Katterbach, Germany. It said the three UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters will now enable the forces to carry out more efficient troop rotations at several observation posts along the border.
So far the border has been quiet, and there have been no incidents involving the Americans.