THE SHORT ANSWER IS: no, there will be no repetition in Haiti of the quick, effective military intervention by which the United States set Grenada back on the democratic path. It's an option that has come to the minds of a lot of people, in the Caribbean and elsewhere, including many who criticized Grenada 1. Nothing else promises quick or even not-so-quick relief from the further misery and violence that hang over Haiti. But there is neither the regional treaty and appeal nor the legitimate national appeal nor the geopolitical rationale that supported the Grenada intervention. Nor is there a military force of the Haitian opposition ready to be launched into a battle of liberation.

Are the United States and everyone else then simply to wring their hands as Gen. Henri Namphy, who destroyed the promise of the December elections, goes through with his evident plan to run his own phony elections on Jan. 17? Secretary of State George Shultz said Thursday he supports the statement by Haiti's Caribbean neighbors, meeting in Barbados, that Gen. Namphy's arrangements for those elections are inadequate. But whereas some of the neighbors, responding to appeals by Haitian opposition figures, were prepared to denounce the results now expected to emerge on Jan. 17, others were not. The idea of passing collective judgment on one another's elections does not have many takers. Haiti's neighbors are left attempting to draw Gen. Namphy into the inevitable ''dialogue'' in which, theoretically, he would come under pressure to adopt their democratic ways.

This will seem to many people a remote hope and a trick upon the long-suffering people of Haiti. Something firmer is needed -- not Grenada 2 perhaps but something more than ''dialogue.'' Economic sanctions? There the possibilities of persuasion of the leadership must be measured against the extra privation that could be imposed on the population. It is this consideration that inclines Washington to limit its sanctions to the ones it has already declared against the government. These are not insubstantial: all military aid and most economic aid have been cut off, and only aid targeted directly on welfare for the poor still flows. And certainly the United States cannot consider lifting these sanctions if the elections are run in the expected Namphy style. But other states, including Caribbean neighbors, Venezuela (Haiti's oil supplier) and even Canada and France, have their own openings to get a message through to this heir to the brutal Duvalier legacy.