Pakistan raises the question of self-determination for Hawaii and Alaska at the United Nations A historic first.
Is this the beginning of the dismantling of the United States? Undoubtedly not, but nevertheless the question has now been raised at the U.N. On Monday, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hawaiian Kingdom Leon Kaulaho Siu and Alaskan Ambassador Ronald Barnes were at the party.
"It's historic!" exclaimed one.
"I never thought I'd see it in my lifetime," added the other.*
Leon and Ronald are longtime associates. Each has the support of informal governments, which are illegal, but well and truly established.
As far as the Hawaiian is concerned, his kingdom has never been abolished but merely suspended. About 20 years ago, a provisional government was formed to contest American sovereignty on the island. Leon Kaulaho Siu is its chief diplomat. The Alaskan, for his part, affirms that he has been nominated by a Council of Elders. For 12 years he has lived in Geneva as the principal lobbyist for the Eskimo cause at the United Nations. Their goal: independence for the forty-ninth and fiftieth of the United States, once the annexation of these territories, which became states in 1959, has been ruled "illegal" under international law.
And on Monday, the unthinkable happened. At the Universal Periodic Review of the United States undertaken by the Human Rights Council, the Pakistani representative raised the question of the status of Hawaii and Alaska.
"This is the first time that a country has brought our file to such a high level at the U.N. and raised the question of our right to self-determination," the two men say.
The Pakistani representative interrogated the United States on the basis of a document written two years earlier by the U.N. Special Rapporteur Alfred-Maurice de Zayas. This document focused on the "promotion of a democratic and equitable international order" and mentioned the right to self-determination for a number of peoples and regions.
Leon Kaulaho Siu and Ronald Barnes are taking advantage of a strong legal argument to defend their position. In 1993, however, the United States passed a law apologizing for the illegal occupation of Hawaii in 1893. But according to Washington, the annexations of Hawaii and Alaska were validated as legitimate by two referenda. It is an internal matter.
Why has Pakistan, an ally of Washington in its fight against "terrorism,” decided to defend the cause of peoples who are in no way connected to it, and thus questioning United States’ sovereignty? Leon Kaulaho Siu and Ronald Barnes are aware of the risk that in the current political climate their fight may be used for other ends.
Ronald Barnes has noted that the Russian press has been discussing the question for several months, linking it to the contested annexation of Crimea. Leon Kaulaho Siu has pointed out that the Chinese army recently, albeit in a rhetorical fashion, raised the idea of supplying arms to Hawaii in response to the planned sale of American F-15 fighters to Taiwan. In the past, Saddam Hussein used the "weapon" of Hawaii at the time of the invasion of Kuwait, just as Margaret Thatcher did when she intervened in the Falklands.
The Pakistani mission to the U.N. in Geneva was not available to clarify its reasons at the end of the week. As for Ronald and Leon, they turn the question around. It remains to be seen who is manipulating whom. In the absence of independence, we could be talking a lot about Hawaii and Alaska in the coming months.