I learned about the continuing existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom in a roundabout way through an interest in nuclear disarmament and the protests against U.S. military bases in Okinawa.
Hawai'i's history and its unresolved status as an occupied nation reveal a deeply ironic contradiction in America's imperial project. The numerous American bases located around the Pacific Rim were permitted through treaties and Status of Forces agreements with foreign countries, but the hub of all these outposts is the Pacific Command in Hawai'i—the one place where the American presence has no basis in international law because the islands were unilaterally annexed and there has never been a proper treaty that would allow the foreign military presence.
Hawai'i's problematic status forces Americans to face some fundamental questions about their government’s attitude toward international law. What will be the consequences of having so often ignored international law from an