Sunday, August 27, 2023

The American Empire Has Been Burning Hawaii for Over One-Hundred Years

 "Mother Earth has been abused, the powers have been abused, and this cannot go on forever. No theory can alter that simple fact. Mother Earth will retaliate, the whole environment will retaliate, and the abusers will be eliminated. Things come full circle, back to where they started. That's revolution."

-Russell Means

“Never cease to act because you fear you may fail. The true secret is to know your own worth. It will carry you through many dangers.”

-Queen Liliuokalani

It's been weeks since hell came to Maui, but the fire is still smoldering. The sights from paradise are almost too horrific to believe. One of the most beautiful places on God's once green earth has been reduced to an ashen death heap straight out of a Hieronymus Bosch nightmare. The word 'wildfire' doesn't even feel appropriate. What befell the people of that island is something more akin to the kind of genocidal weather terrorism performed by General Curtis LeMay during the Second World War. The kind of cannibal firestorm that devoured the people of Frankfurt and Tokyo. Something too wicked to come from Satan. The cruel hand of man was clearly at play here.

As of the writing of this dispatch the official death toll stands at 115 but by the time you read this that number will likely have doubled. There are still hundreds missing. Most of them children and most of them will likely never be identified because there is nothing left to identify. Ground zero of the Maui wildfires was the ancient city of Lahaina and a disproportionate number of its victims were working class kids sent home from school while their parents toiled for meager wages at nearby resorts. There is plenty of blame to go around for this atrocity, from climate change to inept government malfeasance, but very few people seem willing to address the giant flaming elephant in the room. Hawaii's answer to the firebombing of Frankfurt is the direct result of nearly two centuries of colonialism and Uncle Sam was the sadistic, cigar-chomping, general who led the siege. 

The wildfires on Maui occurred due to a deadly combination of unprecedented drought and high winds from Hurricane Dora. Those winds appear to have brought down several powerlines but the only reason the inferno those downed powerlines conjured was even able to crash into the city of Lahaina with such turbulent speed was because western invaders had built it the perfect highway out of fields of abandoned plantations infested with nonnative guinea grass. 

This tinder had been introduced to the island in the 19th century by American government backed conglomerates like the Dole Pineapple Company who forcibly shifted the land away from ancient indigenous resource management practices to massive factory farms. When those gangsters moved on to rape greener pastures in the 90s, greedy developers and land speculators swooped in, raising the price of the unused land too high for any subsistence farmer to afford, leaving these vast grasslands to sit unmanaged until the wildfires came. And the war on Hawaii's native poor burns on without mercy.

Modern Hawaii is a neocolonial playground of golf courses and gated communities that cater to the whims of elitist outsiders over the islands' indigenous community. The fires of Lahaina simply painted this hideous picture clearly by the light of the embers. A picture of an economic apartheid state in which a spiraling housing crisis has led to the median price of a single-family home to top $1 million dollars triggering a net population loss that sees more native Hawaiians forced to find a living off their own homeland than within it.

And many of the survivors of Lahaina are likely join this picture as more than half of Maui county's population lives on an income of less than $100,000 dollars a year per family, making the price of simply rebuilding too expensive for natives who have lived humbly on their own tiny slice of paradise for generations but not too expensive for the poachers of the American oligarchy. 

While Maui is home to some of the hardest working poor in the state, their neighbors include billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Oprah Winfrey who may be all too happy to be photographed handing out scraps to the lowly native proles but aren't about to be caught offering one square inch of their thousand acre plantations to the dispossessed who can't even afford the ashes they camp on because of the very gentrification those bleeding heart colonialist's wrought for a vacation home.

The only thing more despicably Dickensian than the schilling slinging charity of Hawaii's howlie Scrooge class is the stone-cold indifference of their puppet regime back in Washington. It took nearly a week for President Biden to cut his Rehoboth Beach vacation short to so much as comment on the massacre in Lahaina, with that increasingly senile old Meiser simply grumbling "no comment" from his boardwalk recumbent bicycle before he could be dragged before a podium to hurl $700 dollars to people who have nothing while he spends that much money per second on scatter bombs for Ukraine.

Is it really any wonder that when this bastard finally managed to schlepp his geriatric carcass to the scene of the crime with his slovenly coterie of DNC apparatchiks that this shallow photo-op was met by a raucous sea of fuck you's and middle fingers from the locals? That's because Joe Biden is not those people's president and Hawaii is not American soil. It is a sovereign nation that has been illegally occupied by the American Empire since its monarchy was violently overthrown in a military coup 130 years ago. 

There is quite simply no way for Americans to comprehend the devastation in Lahaina without first knowing the history of colonial plunder that led to its destruction and I may be but a gonzo howlie raconteur, but I still feel compelled by spirits greater than my own to provide you with the best crash course that my sympathetic rage can deliver.

Hawaii declared its independence from the United Kingdom in 1829 and passed its constitution in 1840 but even as an independent and internationally recognized sovereign nation the islands continued to find themselves throttled by the ravages of colonialism. The first Christian missionaries came to the islands in the early 1820s and they quickly sold the native monarchy on the virtues of using monotheism to keep their subjects in line. They also brought diseases that wiped out 84% of the island's native population in less than twenty years and invited corporate hegemons who pillaged the land with cheap cattle ranches and pineapple plantations.

Then came King Kalakua who took the throne in 1879 and attempted to put a harness on this bullshit, sparking the first Hawaiian Renaissance by promoting indigenous culture and building stronger ties with rising powers in the Pacific like Imperial Japan. This bold campaign to redeclare Hawaiian independence only accelerated under the rule of Kalakua's little sister, Queen Liliuokalani and a coup was hatched against her by a junta of corporate gangsters in 1893. 

Led by the fascist pineapple baron Sanford Ballard Dole and backed by 300 US Marines who had a stake in keeping their exclusive toehold on Pearl Harbor, the Crown was overthrown and replaced by the self-styled and unelected Republic of Hawaii. Even then-President Grover Cleveland protested this act of unilateral tyranny, but he also sat on his hands while Dole redistributed the land to his cronies and banned the Hawaiian language from being taught in schools.

In spite of a petition signed by 95% of Hawaii's native population, Cleveland's arch-imperialist replacement, William McKinley formally annexed Hawaii in 1898, pompously declaring it to be American soil the same year that he ruthlessly stole the Philippines and Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War. A fine young anarchist shot that genocidal pigfucker in 1901 but not soon enough to save Hawaii from over a century of colonial violence that includes mass militarization, ecological devastation, forced repopulation, sexual slavery, over construction and the ongoing rampages of gentrification.

A Second Hawaiian Renaissance was sparked by the revolutionary third world fever of the 1960s and 70s, with Native Hawaiians taking a page from their comrades in the Vietcong and the American Indian Movement in 1976 when they launched the brazen occupation of a little island in Maui County called Kaho'olawe which Dwight Eisenhower had ethnically cleansed and gifted to the Navy for target practice in 1953. Amazingly the American government backed down to popular local support for the Protect Kaho'olawe Movement, ending the bombing and transferring control back to the state. And from this unexpected grassroots victory a movement to restore Hawaii's God given sovereignty flourished on the fringes of country club country.

I believe that this is precisely what the people of Lahaina need right now. Not corporate charity or FEMA scams but independence from the empire that has illegally occupied their paradise and turned it into the headquarters for our next world war with China. After all, Lahaina was the original capitol of the Hawaiian Kingdom and a crossroads for trade and peace between tribes across Polynesia. It seems only fitting to me that this great nation should rise again from those ashes to sabotage America's last conquest in the Pacific Rim.

My own humble tribe may be but a dozen Queer anarchists in the backwoods of rural Pennsylvania, but I speak for our one-acre autonomous zone when I call on all stateless revolutionaries to stand united with the Hawaiian nation and support an end to America's illegal occupation. Our solidarity is all we have to give but if I know anything about Hawaiian culture it's that solidarity is the only thing those proud people have ever needed from outsiders to take back what's rightfully theirs.

Peace, Love & Mahalo- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

* Declare Independence by Bjork

* Misirlou by Dick Dale

* Drown by Smashing Pumpkins

* Paper Planes by MIA

* Moon Over Marin by Dead Kennedys

* Comeback Kid by Sleigh Bells

* Surfin' Bird by the Ramones

* Holiday Song by the Pixies

* Oblivion by Grimes

* What About Us by Ministry

1 comment:

  1. Maui County has filed a lawsuit against the Hawaiian Electric company (HEI), over the fires that engulfed Lahina, stating the utility negligently failed to shut off power despite exceptionally high winds and dry conditions.

    HEI is not regulated by the Hawaiian state public utilities and if the suit is successful, HEI will receive a mere wrist slap which will be overturned eventually by appeal, because the system is rigged to favour the parasite class who actually call the shots within the system.

    HEI commenced operations in 1891 two years before Hawaii was violently stolen by the United States of Atrocities (USA) for the parasite class' greedy benefit.