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Editor's Desk // Letters
Don Chapman

Letters to the Editor – 4/2/14

Sovereign still!

In his column “Eyeing The Sovereignty Struggle,” Bob Jones notes that “The state Supreme Court has said: ‘To date, no sovereign native Hawaiian entity has been recognized by the United States and the state of Hawaii.’”

For the record, Hawaii signed a Treaty of Sovereignty with the United States, Great Britain, France and Belgium in 1842-1843, which allowed Hawaii to be recognized as a sovereign and independent nation worldwide. Essentially, Hawaii and the U.S. were equals under international law. Furthermore, President John Tyler (1841-1845) implemented the Tyler

Doctrine (December 1842) as an extension of the Monroe Doctrine (December 1823) to declare to the rest of the world to leave Hawaii alone or incur the wrath of the United States. Then, in 1849, the U.S. signed a Treaty of Friendship with Hawaii, guaranteeing the integrity of the Hawaiian monarchy!

For the record, 50 years later, two annexation treaties submitted by President Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) and President William McKinley (1897-1901) failed during due process. Accordingly, the U.S. used two domestic documents to acquire Hawaii – namely, the 1898 Newlands Joint Resolution to annex Hawaii and the 1900 Organic Act to implement the territorial government. Domestic documents, however, “define a country’s jurisdiction within its physical boundaries.” Since Hawaii is 2,300 miles from the nearest continent (North America) and 800 miles from the nearest island (Johnston Island), the domestic documents implemented by the U.S. upon Hawaii are not valid.

According to International Law, annexation between two nations can only occur by conquest or mutual agreement. Since neither took place between the U.S. and Hawaii, it can be concluded, then, that Hawaiian sovereignty was never extinguished!

Wayne Hinano Brumaghim
Mililani

Offensive words

Bob Jones’ column about the Hawaiian sovereignty struggle is one of the most blatantly offensive and pointlessly insensitive pieces in recent print. In the past, Jones has been known for his ongoing defense of GMO corporations, but this piece makes his full approval of American imperialism and its disenfranchising repercussions resoundingly clear.

While he claims to mean “no disrespect to Native Hawaiians,” he finds aspects of the struggle to be “hilarious,” and uses those as strawmen to imply the undeniable legitimacy of the government that illegally overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom. In saying, “the reality is that you can’t turn back the clock,” Jones miraculously forgets every instance of decolonization in the Pacific and around the world.

Travis Hancock
Sunset Beach

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