The American Pot calling the Russian Kettle Black

Speaking to Pacific island leaders, Reuters reported President Joe Biden said “Russia’s assault on Ukraine in pursuit of imperial ambitions is a flagrant, flagrant violation of the UN Charter, and the basic principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.” The world should know that this is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, which is an idiom that means a person should not criticize another person for a fault they themselves have.

Like Ukraine, the Hawaiian Kingdom was an internationally recognized independent State. Where Ukraine got its independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Hawaiian Kingdom achieved its independence when Great Britain and France jointly proclaimed that both countries recognized the Hawaiian Islands as an independent State in 1843. The United States explicitly acknowledged Hawaiian independence on July 6, 1844.

One of the fundamental principles of international law is the sovereignty, which is supreme authority, and territorial integrity of an independent State. Independent States have exclusive authority over its territory that is subject to its own laws and not the laws of any other State.

In 1997, a treaty of friendship, cooperation, and partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation was signed that came into force on April 1, 2000. Article 2 of the treaty states that “the High Contracting Parties shall respect each other’s territorial integrity and reaffirm the inviolability of the borders existing between them.”

In 1849, a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States was signed that came into force on November 9, 1850. Territorial integrity is acknowledged in article 8 of the treaty that states “each of the two contracting parties engages that the citizens or subjects of the other residing in their respective states, shall enjoy their property and personal security, or the subjects or citizens of the most favored nation, but subject always to the laws and statutes of the two countries respectively.”

Both Ukraine and the Hawaiian Kingdom established diplomatic relations with their treaty partners. While Ukraine maintained an embassy in Moscow, and Russia maintained an embassy in Kiev, the Hawaiian Kingdom maintained an embassy in Washington, D.C., and the United States maintained an embassy in Honolulu.

Like Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the United States invaded the Hawaiian Kingdom on January 16, 1893. In a presidential investigation, U.S. President Grover Cleveland acknowledged that the U.S. “military demonstration upon the soil of Honolulu was itself an act of war,” which led to the overthrow of the Hawaiian government the following day. The purpose of the invasion and overthrow was to secure Pearl Harbor as a naval base of operations to protect the west coast of the United States from invasion by Japan. The Russian invasion of Ukraine was to buffer an invasion by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO, which the United States is a member of.

On January 31, 1893, U.S. Captain Alfred Mahan from the Naval War College wrote a letter to the Editor of the New York Times where he advocated seizing the Hawaiian Islands. In his letter, Captain Mahan recognized the Hawaiian Islands, “with their geographical and military importance [to be] unrivaled 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 wrote, “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?”

Although President Cleveland apologized for the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government and entered into a treaty with Queen Lili‘uokalani on December 18, 1893, to restore her to the Hawaiian throne as a constitutional executive monarch, he was prevented from doing so because of the war hawks in the Congress that wanted Pearl Harbor. This consequently placed the Hawaiian Islands in civil unrest under the control of insurgents that received support from Americans in the United States. They were pretending to be a government by calling themselves the provisional government. The reason for the pretending is because President Cleveland’s investigation already concluded “that the provisional government owes its existence to an armed invasion by the United States.” In other words, the insurgents were a puppet of the U.S.

Five years would lapse, and the Cleveland administration was replaced by President William McKinley. U.S. Secretary of the Navy John Young was an advocate for annexing the Hawaiian Islands. Secretary Long was influenced by Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt, who would later become President in 1901. On May 3, 1897, Roosevelt wrote a letter to Captain Mahan. He stated, “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.” Roosevelt also stated 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 Long shares our 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.”

The opportunity for the United States to seize the Hawaiian Islands occurred at the height of the Spanish-American War. On July 6, 1898, the war hawks in the Congress passed a joint resolution declaring that the Hawaiian Islands had been annexed and President McKinley signed it into law the following day.

The opportunity for Russia to seize a portion of Ukrainian territory came after sham referendums where the people of the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia voted to be Russian and not remain Ukrainian. On September 30, 2022, Reuters reported that “Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia had ‘four new regions’ in a speech in the Kremliin on Friday in which he outlined Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions that Moscow’s forces have partially seized during a seven-month conflict with Ukraine.”

Despite the American annexation of the Hawaiian Islands and the Russian annexation of the four Ukrainian regions, they remain illegal under international law. Because it is illegal it did not alter the territorial integrity of both the Hawaiian Kingdom and Ukraine as independent States. As Professor Malcolm Shaws wrote, “It is, however, clear today that the acquisition of territory by force alone is illegal under international law.” And according to The Handbook of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts (1995):

The international law of belligerent occupation must therefore be understood as meaning that the occupying power is not sovereign, but exercises provisional and temporary control over foreign territory. The legal situation of the territory can be altered only through a peace treaty. International law does not permit annexation of territory of another State.

The return of unlawfully annexed territory occurs when there are changes in the physical power of the usurping State. Since the usurping State has no lawful authority over annexed territory, its possession is based purely on power and not law. Similarly, the abductor of a kidnapped child, being an act prohibited by law, does not become the parent of the child by force despite the length of the kidnapping. And when the child is eventually rescued and the power of the abductor eliminated and taken into custody, the child can then return to the family.

Unlike Ukraine, there was no Reuters news agency in the 1890s informing the world of the illegal activities of the United States against the Hawaiian Kingdom and the illegal annexation of the Hawaiian Islands for military purposes during the Spanish-American War. While there is a difference in time, the Russian actions bear a striking resemblance to the United States actions in seizing the entire territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom. While both the American and Russian actions are unlawful, the Hawaiian Kingdom, like Ukraine, remain independent States under international law together with their territorial integrity intact despite the unlawful annexations.

In the case of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom, acknowledged the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a “State” under international law in 1999, which includes its territorial integrity. In the case of Ukraine, everyone in the world already knows that Ukraine is a “State” under international law.

This is a classic case of the American pot calling the Russian kettle black.

For more information on the belligerent occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the United States and the unilateral annexation of Hawaiian territory, read Dr. Keanu Sai’s law article Backstory – Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (1999-2001).

18 thoughts on “The American Pot calling the Russian Kettle Black

  1. Start calling congressional members for a restoration and reparations bill. The Hawaiian people have an opportunity to use this situation to lobby Congress to restore Hawaiian Independence and territorial integrity. Hawaiians need care more about the maintenance of international peace and security in their region and how that might impact a new international and world order. Imua ea!

  2. I’ve been um… angering 🫠… a lot of “Muricans” by saying this exact thing, America is being a hypocrite (yet again) by condemning others who have done exactly what America HAS CONTINUED TO DO for 129 years and counting.

  3. Lopaka, why do we need to play their idiotic game? Congress are MA’A with ” A’OLE PU’UWAI. just Greed of who they really are…..We are not “Puppeteers” or “IDIOTS”…. WE, the “native tenants” have gained Wisdom, Integrity, Truth and Justice through extensive Education of our Lahui with detailed Historical Events and eventually…..WE were made AWARE of WHO WE ARE?, WHERE DO WE COME FROM? and WHERE ARE WE GOING? BE STEADFAST!!! ALOHA PUMEHANA, Cece Kupau

    • Why are Hawaiians playing their idiotic games? Have not our ancestors protested to Congress from which US jurisdiction stems? Why are Hawaiians pledging themselves for Federal citizenship privileges and benefits then complaining of their right to nationality? How come Hawaiians taking shares of the plunder as residents of the successors of usurpers? Hawaiians are puppets and made to look like idiots and suffer by their own lack of, and will to seek, knowledge. I know, I am one. But there is a way out of their commercial matrix.

  4. Of course, the annexation of the four regions cannot be recognized by international law as proper. It’s not about being internationally proper. It’s about being nationally proper in Russia. Russia passed the annexation through is domestic process and therefore as far as Russia is concerned it is legal in Russia. Now they can alter the Special Military Operations into a partial deployment and deem any third-party providing Arms to this conflict as an enemy of Russia and directly involved in War against Russia. That is what all this is all about. They are going to deploy 300,000 more troops to the New Russia.
    “…The legal situation of the territory can be altered only through a peace treaty. International law does not permit annexation of territory of another State…..”
    Unlike the United States which has NO TREATY OF ANNEXATION for Hawaii. Russia is going to win the conflict and will obtain a TREATY OF PEACE. This is the same tactic the U.S. did with Mexico. The U.S. passed a Joint Resolution annexing Mexican territory. Then after the U.S. won the conflict the Mexican Gov’t gave up those lands mentioned in the Joint resolution via a Peace Treaty. Same thing is going to happen here because Russia is going to win and get a Peace Treaty.

    • I hear you and points well made. I however find the issues to be different but the same. Let me explain.
      The duty of government to protect it’s subjects/citizens is the legal basis for both annexations and occupations just as the Larsen case sought to address. It is the crux of the matter you might say cause indeed only on such grounds can foreign state interference/intervention be justified. We’ve seen the issue in the news from the American basketball lady in Russia to the American soldier in Japan. It is all the same principle at play.
      In the case of Ukraine, the ethnic Russian population which was being exterminated since 2014 voted by referendum to be apart of Russia under the doctrine of necessity and then annexation was proclaimed. So the 300,000 will probably come from the recently liberated Russian territories which he will arm and organize against the American backed puppet Ukrainian regime.
      In the case of the Kingdom, Americans committed treason and were criminally charged by the President and then was granted immunity by congress. Congress obstructed the Presidents foreign relations powers as representatives of the People with their war powers at first, then their trade and plenary powers to establish a Federal trust. The war powers were executed in order to annex. Trade and plenary powers were delegated and used to establish a trade union with this non federal but treasonous American entity.
      It is evidently clear that the American intervention and annexation as opposed to the Russian intervention and annexation cannot be justified and both annexations exists only by contracts in commerce.

      • I don’t think so. You forgot that Ukraine signed the Minsk Agreements which they recognized that the Donetsk and Luhansk were independent. That is a black and white contract and can be justified. Ukraine breached that contract. I don’t know what you are smoking but you better stop and do your homework and stop with the commerce bs when talking to me. You might fool the others but you ain’t fooling me.

        • Are you sure Kekoa? That doesn’t make sense because that would end the war and conflict in the region but as we can see the fighting continues. Agreeing to recognize such territories as independent would be an admission of surrender of the regional territory and a peace treaty would be signed. You make the effort of showing that countries should simply surrender. Blame Ukraine for not surrendering. The Minsk agreement which basically was a ceasefire agreement was violated by both sides. One party blaming the other.

          • Both America and Russia intervened to protect their own national interests/citizens. My thoughts are that Russia has legitimate grounds as they are actively protecting themselves against NATO expansion as well as ethnic Russian Ukrainians from Ukrainian governments denationalizing policies. US however conspired to and invaded upon fraudulent grounds as part of a military expedition. There was no active threat to the US for Schofield to be commissioned on a foreign mission to survey the lands of the kingdom.

          • Kaulana, here are the relevant items in the Minsk 2 agreements which made the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions self-governing and separate from Ukraine. Prior to this the Donetsk and Luhansk regions overthrew the Ukrainian government over their regions and elected their own government officials. They were in control of all governmental infrastructure in their respective regions. Then Russia recognized them as independent from Ukraine and entered into defense agreements with those new governments and came to the defense of them which created a cease fire leading up to the Minsk agreements 1 and 2.

            The truth of the matter is that the former President of Ukraine, Poroshenko admitted publicly that although they signed the Minsk Agreements, they were never going to comply with them. Ukraine was buying time and were sending Ukrainian military Battalions to Europe to be trained by NATO. Roughly 250 thousand to 300 thousand were NATO trained using NATO military doctrine. They were preparing to attack and retake Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea. The U.S. and its Western allies were fully aware of the plan and back it.
            When Putin saw Ukraine sending 60 thousand troops to the borders, he knew what they were going to do and used Article 51 of the UN Charter as justification to conduct a Special Military Operation for a pre emptied strike. Totaling legal under the UN Charter.
            4. On the first day after the withdrawal, to start a dialogue on the modalities of holding local elections in accordance with Ukrainian legislation and the Law of Ukraine “On the Temporary Procedure for Local Self-Government in Certain Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions”, as well as on the future regime of these areas on the basis of this law.

            Immediately, no later than 30 days from the date of signing this document, to adopt a resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine indicating the territory to which the special regime applies in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On the Temporary Procedure for Local Self-Government in Certain Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions” on the basis of the line established in the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014.
            9. Restoration of full control over the state border by the Government of Ukraine throughout the conflict zone, which should begin on the first day after the local elections and be completed after a comprehensive political settlement (local elections in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions on the basis of the Law of Ukraine and constitutional reform) by the end of 2015, subject to the implementation of paragraph 11 – in consultations and in coordination with representatives of certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk region within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group.

            11. Constitutional reform in Ukraine with the entry into force by the end of 2015 of a new constitution providing for decentralization as a key element (taking into account the specificities of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, agreed with representatives of these areas), as well as the adoption of permanent legislation on the special status of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in accordance with the measures indicated in note 1, by the end of 2015.

            12. On the basis of the Law of Ukraine “On the Temporary Procedure for Local Self-Government in Certain Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions”, issues related to local elections will be discussed and agreed with representatives of certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group. The elections will be conducted in compliance with relevant OSCE standards when monitored by the OSCE/ODIHR.

            13. Intensify the activities of the Trilateral Contact Group, including through the establishment of working groups on the implementation of relevant aspects of the Minsk agreements. They will reflect the composition of the Trilateral Contact Group.

            Note 1. Such measures in accordance with the Law “On the Special Procedure for Local Self-Government in Certain Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions” include the following:

            – exemption from punishment, persecution and discrimination of persons associated with the events that took place in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions;

            – the right to linguistic self-determination;

            – participation of local self-government bodies in the appointment of heads of prosecutor’s offices and courts in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions;

            – the possibility for central executive bodies to conclude agreements with the relevant local self-government bodies regarding the economic, social and cultural development of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions;

            – the state supports the socio-economic development of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions;

            – assistance on the part of the central authorities to cross-border cooperation in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions with the regions of the Russian Federation;

            – creation of people’s militia units by decision of local councils in order to maintain public order in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions;

            – the powers of deputies of local councils and officials elected in early elections appointed by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by this law may not be terminated ahead of schedule.

          • Kaulana, Ukraine, U.S., E.U., U.K., and NATO were never going to make peace. They were hell-bent on killing the Ethnic Russians living in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Now let them pay the price for their evil. Sadly, collateral damage will be civilians but that is the Ukrainian government’s choice. They could have chosen peace, but they instead chose war. They are willing to be the puppets for the West and sacrifice their own people. Zelenski must have gotten big money to take this position.

          • Kaulana, I’ll take it one step further. The separatists from all the regions did not need Ukraine to agree they were independent. All they needed to do was declare they were independent. That is why Russia could recognize them as independent. That is what the ICJ ruling said when Kosovo unilaterally declared itself independent from Serbia. Of course, the ICJ was doing the bidding on behalf of U.S. interest. How else could they disregard a state’s sovereignty over its own territory. If the ICJ’s ruling is good enough for the Separatists in Kosovo, then its good enough for the Separatists in Ukraine.

  5. Come out of her my people so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes!

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