Yesterday, Russian forces invaded Ukraine from the north, east and south. Russian President Vladimir Putin justified the invasion as a response to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) coming too close to Russia’s borders. According to the U.S. State Department, NATO “was created in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.” After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has taken the mantle of the former Soviet Union and maintains a very large military force and nuclear weapons. Former Soviet States to the west of Russia became members of NATO with the exception of Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia.
Russia views the encroachment of NATO to its western border as a security threat. In a speech after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on February 7, 2022, Putin stated “Of course NATO and Russia potentials are incompatible” and warns of nuclear war if Ukraine joins NATO.
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is reminiscent of the United States aggression against the Hawaiian Kingdom during the Spanish-American War. As Russia claims NATO is a national security threat to its existence, the United States claimed Japan was an immediate threat of invasion of the United States west coast.
After the United States admitted unlawful overthrow of the Hawaiian Government, Mahan wrote a letter to the Editor of the New York Times where he advocated seizing the Hawaiian Islands. On January 31, 1893, he wrote that the Hawaiian Islands, “with their geographical and military importance, [is] unrivalled by that of any other position in the North Pacific.” Mahan used the Hawaiian situation to bolster his argument of building a large naval fleet. He warned that a maritime power could well seize the Hawaiian Islands, and that the United States should take that first step. He stated that to hold the Hawaiian Islands, “whether in the supposed case or in war with a European state, implies a great extension of our naval power. Are we ready to undertake this?” Mahan would have to wait four years to find an ally in President William McKinley’s Department of the Navy, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt.
Roosevelt sent a private and confidential letter, on May 3, 1897, to Mahan. He wrote, “I need not tell you that as regards Hawaii I take your views absolutely, as indeed I do on foreign policy generally. If I had my way we would annex those islands tomorrow.” Moreover, Roosevelt told Mahan that Cleveland’s handling of the Hawaiian situation was “a colossal crime, and we should be guilty of aiding him after the fact if we do not reverse what he did.” Roosevelt also assured Mahan “that Secretary [of the Navy] Long shares [their] views. He believes we should take the islands, and I have just been preparing some memoranda for him to use at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow.”
In a follow up letter to Mahan, on June 9, 1897, Roosevelt wrote that he “urged immediate action by the President as regards Hawaii. Entirely between ourselves, I believe he will act very shortly. If we take Hawaii now, we shall avoid trouble with Japan.” Eight days later, on June 16, 1897, the McKinley administration signed a treaty of “incorporation” with its American puppet—the Republic of Hawai‘i, in Washington, D.C. On the following day, Queen Lili‘uokalani submitted a formal protest to the U.S. State Department stating, “I declare such a treaty to be an act of wrong toward the native and part-native people of Hawaii, an invasion of the rights of the ruling chiefs, in violation of international rights both toward my people and toward friendly nations with whom they have made treaties, the perpetuation of the fraud whereby the constitutional government was overthrown, and, finally, an act of gross injustice to me.”
While the so-called treaty failed to get the required 2/3’s vote from the Senate for ratification, a joint resolution of annexation, being an internal law of the United States, was submitted to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on May 4, 1897, in its place, and pushed through both Houses of the Congress. President McKinley signed it into law on July 7, 1898. In a secret session of the Senate on May 31, 1898, whose transcripts were not opened to the public until 1969, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge acknowledged that the McKinley “Administration was compelled to violate the neutrality of those islands, that protests from foreign representatives had already been received, and complications with other powers were threatened, that the annexation or some action in regard to those islands had become a military necessity.”
The United States aggression against the Hawaiian Kingdom, a sovereign and independent State like Ukraine, gives rise to the proverbial idiom, “who’s calling the kettle black.”
Putin’s warning draws the Hawaiian Kingdom, being a neutral State, into a theater of war should the United States enter the Russia-Ukrainian conflict. According to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Base Structure Report for 2012, the U.S. military has 118 military sites that span 230,929 acres of the Hawaiian Islands, which is 6% of the total acreage of Hawaiian territory. As the headquarters for the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, being the largest unified combatant command in the world, the Hawaiian Islands are targeted for nuclear strikes by Russia, China and North Korea.
The United States prolonged and illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom is a direct violation of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s neutrality, which is specifically stated in its treaties with Germany, Spain and Sweden and Norway. Article XV of its treaty with Spain provides “Her Majesty the Queen of Spain engages to respect, in time of war the neutrality of the Hawaiian Islands, and to use her good offices with all the other powers having treaties with the same, to induce them to adopt the same policy toward the said Islands.”
Article 1 of the 1907 Hague Convention, V, provides “The territory of neutral Powers is inviolable,” and Article 2 provides “Belligerents are forbidden to move troops or convoys of either munitions of war or supplies across the territory of a neutral Power.” The United States’ violation of these Articles have placed the residents of the Hawaiian Islands into harms way when Japan attacked U.S. military installations on O‘ahu on December 7, 1941, and continue to place Hawai‘i’s residents in harms way in the event of a nuclear attack.
In 1990, the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published Risks and Hazards: A State by State Guide. One of the subjects included nuclear targets and identified 6 nuclear targets on the island of O‘ahu that coincided with the locations of military posts of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Also included as a target is the Headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith that lies in the back of a residential area in Halawa. According to FEMA, the entire Island of O‘ahu would be obliterated if a nuclear attack were to take place with few survivors and total destruction of buildings.
Americanization has desensitized Hawai‘i’s population and has made the presence of the U.S. military in the islands normal. Americanization has also erased the memory of the U.S. invasion in 1893 and portrayed the military presence as protecting the islands from an aggressor country intent on invasion, when in fact the Hawaiian Islands were seized in 1898 to serve as a defense to protect the United States west coast from invasion.
After the defeat of the Spanish Pacific Squadron in the Philippines, U.S. Congressman Francis Newlands (D-Nevada), submitted House Resolution 259 annexing the Hawaiian Islands (also known as the Newlands Resolution), to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on May 4, 1898.
Six days later, hearings were held on the Newlands Resolution, and U.S. Naval Captain Alfred Mahan’s testimony explained the military significance of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States:
“It is obvious that if we do not hold the islands ourselves we cannot expect the neutrals in the war to prevent the other belligerent from occupying them; nor can the inhabitants themselves prevent such occupation. The commercial value is not great enough to provoke neutral interposition. In short, in war we should need a larger Navy to defend the Pacific coast, because we should have not only to defend our own coast, but to prevent, by naval force, an enemy from occupying the islands; whereas, if we preoccupied them, fortifications could preserve them to us. In my opinion it is not practicable for any trans-Pacific country to invade our Pacific coast without occupying Hawai‘i as a base.”
The Hawaiian Islands was and continues to be the outpost to protect the United States and their presence in the Hawaiian Islands is in violation of international law and the laws of occupation.