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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 11, 2006

COMMENTARY
U.S. has no legal basis for Makua training

By Poka Laenui

The U.S. military has no right to train for combat on Hawaiian soil. Following U.S. aggression against Hawai'i in 1893, any "right" the U.S. holds in Hawai'i is nothing more than rhetoric masking for reality. See General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) of Dec. 14, 1974: Definition of aggression:

"Article 1 Aggression is the use of armed force by a state against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another state. ...

"Article 5 (1) No consideration of whatever nature, whether political, economic, military or otherwise, may serve as a justification for aggression. (2) A war of aggression is a crime against international peace. Aggression gives rise to international responsibility. (3) No territorial acquisition or special advantage resulting from aggression is or shall be recognized as lawful."

It follows, therefore, that Makua's "legal" lease to the U.S. government is nothing more than manipulation between the feds and the state.

I'm against U.S. military training, not only because such activity despoils the cultural, religious and environmental nature of the land. I'm against it because of the grand lies now being perpetrated in Hawai'i about the U.S. commitment to peace and its war against terrorism. Those are merely slogans tossed around as if cheerleading for a football team.

The U.S. is not committed to peace. It is instead committed to its own expansion in order to enjoy its "thriving global economy." And it hopes to accomplish this expansion through the suppression of all peoples who possess the goods or services for this economy but who oppose U.S. control.

Why should Hawai'i support a war in Iraq where it is clear the U.S. had no business attacking that nation in the first place?

War on terrorism? How was Iraq committing terrorism against the U.S.? If anything, it has been and continues to be the reverse. It is none other than the U.S. that is committing terrorism against the people of Iraq on a daily basis bombing homes and villages, killing hundreds of innocents, then pasting a label of "suspected insurgent strongholds."

The U.S. had no business going into Iraq in the first place, and that being the case, it has no business remaining there another day.

Live-fire training at Makua for duty in Iraq? Give me a break. The Iraqis fighting back are using home-made explosives and small arms. U.S. armaments are a hundred times more powerful than theirs.

What further "live-fire" training does the U.S. Army need?

Yes, the U.S. is indeed a nation at war. But it is not "global terrorism" that is the enemy. The enemies are the ghosts of U.S. past and of U.S. present. The U.S. war is nothing more than young and poor fools made into soldiers to hold onto the ill-gotten gains of corporate America.

The U.S. is finally being called upon to answer for its past and present deeds. It is being called upon to come face to face with its greed.

To win this war, the U.S. must resort to the ultimate weapon: truth. It must turn to the ultimate force: love. It must take the long path to peace: confession and beg for forgiveness.

The United States of America can no longer take the path of exceptionalism, but must accept that it, too, is bound by the rules of fair play, justice and humanity.

Meantime, leave Hawaiian lands alone.

Poka Laenui, an attorney and radio talk show host, is a Vietnam-era Air Force veteran. He addressed the United Nations' General Assembly in 1992 where he was recognized as one of five pioneers in the advancement of indigenous peoples' rights in the world. He wrote this commentary for The Advertiser.