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Web Letter

The idea that the annexation of Hawai'i into the United States forecloses Hawai'i again becoming independent, because the United States Constitution does not permit secession, ignores the nature of the annexation.

The annexation derived from the illegal overthrow of a foreign government. The United States recognized and had a treaty of friendship with the Kingdom. The seizure of the Kingdom cannot be transformed by reference to the constitution of the aggressor to justify keeping the fruits of aggression.

Try this. Should Saddam Hussein have been entitled to keep Kuwait after he invaded, if the constitution of Iraq prohibited secessions?

Under intenational law, the Kingdom of Hawai'i is an occupied nation. The Apology Resolution answered all questions regarding the illegality of the United States actions. You are invited to read the Apology Resolution in its entirety at www.KingdomofHawaii.org.

You are also invited to go to the web site of the Hawai'i Supreme Court, click on opinions, click on January 2008, and read the opinion of that Court dated January 31, 2008, in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs case. In a very eloquent opinion, the court stated that the Apology Resolution is the law, that the Hawaiian people never relinquished their sovereignty and that the lands of the Kingdom were taken from the Hawaiian people without their permission or compensation.

As the Hawaiian people move toward reclaiming their nation, the support and understanding of people throughout the world and especially the United States will be necessary. Knowing that the islands are the forward base for the planned war with China on the current US agenda, the movement to restore the nation will face significant opposition from that sector of the United States. The support of those who value justice above empire will be essential.

Lanny Sinkin

Hilo, Hawai'i

Apr 15 2008 - 9:15pm

Web Letter

Any references to American history and law coming out of the Bush Administration are propaganda devices that have no basis in fact. Our presence in Western Europe and South Korea for so many years has more to do with fear of the Soviet Union in the former case and of China, along with North Korea, in the latter case. Of course, North Korea invaded South Korea during the Korean War. There is no precedents there for occupying Iraq. We have not been asked by the Iraqi people to stay in Iraq and protect them from invasion.

Taking territories from Spain was outright imperialism, but neither Cuba or the Philippines were considered US territories. The Philippines, somewhat delayed by WWII, became independent in 1946. Cuban sovereignty was abridged through treaties, economic (imperialistic) control, and Guantánamo Bay was leased as a naval base. Any territories that were acquired now have the option of independence if they desire it. Puerto Rico could become a state or independent, but has not yet exercised these options.

Hawaii, while not connected with the Spanish-American War, was an imperial adventure, but it became a territory and a state. As a state, it has no option of independence under the Constitution. With particular reference to Texas, the acquisition of our southwestern states from Mexico was somewhat similar to the acquisition of Hawaii, except the other states that resulted from the war with Mexico, in "defense" of Texas. As states, they cannot be separated from the United States under the law.

There was some debate in Congress after the Mexican War over whether we should take all of Mexico. However, it was thought that the Mexican people, as a whole, would not fit into our "democratic" traditions, and taking over the whole country was rejected. On reading about these considerations, I thought and wrote at the time that a weird blend of democracy and racism prevented a total conquest of Mexico. However, Congress aside, I came to think that Mexico had a definite national identity and culture it they had fought for against Spain and would not have been an easy conquest. Cinco de mayo might have been a celebration of our defeat rather than the French.

In the twentieth century. there have been various incursions into Central America and the Caribbean, but overt imperialism is rather expensive, and economic imperialism saw increased use. As a major economic powerhouse, we could dominate the market of any underdeveloped nation, and they remained underdeveloped. The use of coups to produce governments friendly to US business interests is not unknown. It is particularly ironic that, through "free trade," the outsourcing of jobs and industries, along with the in-sourcing of cheap labor, the United States is now in the same position as underdeveloped states. We are the dumping ground for Chinese goods. In all these examples, the closest analogy between Iraq and any other war, is that with the Philippines. A very savage insurgency followed the Spanish American war there, which made Wilson reject the idea of any mandates in the Middle East after World War I. This is more a cautionary tale than an analogy.

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Apr 12 2008 - 3:32pm

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