The Honolulu Advertiser
Letter to the Editor
Monday, November 14, 2005

Thurston Twigg-Smith continues his own revisionist history in his Nov. 3 letter, claiming that "Any student of Hawaiian history knows the revolution was instigated and carried out by a group of subjects of the kingdom, not the United States."

Twigg-Smith is actually correct in pointing out that there are factual errors with the 1993 Apology resolution, but these have to do not with the U.S. role but with the apology being made exclusively to Native Hawaiians, when in fact the entire multiracial citizenry of the Hawaiian kingdom was affected by the United States' unlawful intervention in their country.

Twigg-Smith has the temerity to cite President Cleveland to support his claim, but let's look at what Cleveland actually said, in his Dec. 18, 1893, address to Congress, calling for the restoration of the legitimate government of Hawai'i:

"The lawful government of Hawai'i was overthrown without the drawing of a sword or the firing of a shot by a process every step of which, it may be safely asserted, is directly traceable to and dependent for its success upon the agency of the United States acting through its diplomatic and naval representatives.

"But for the notorious predilections of the United States minister for annexation, the Committee of Safety, which should be called the Committee of Annexation, would never have existed.

"But for the landing of the United States forces upon false pretexts respecting the danger to life and property, the committee would never have exposed themselves to the pains and penalties of treason by undertaking the subversion of the queen's government.

"But for the presence of the United States forces in the immediate vicinity and in position to afford all needed protection and support, the committee would not have proclaimed the provisional government from the steps of the government building.

"And finally, but for the lawless occupation of Honolulu under false pretexts by the United States forces, and but for Minister Stevens' recognition of the provisional government when the United States forces were its sole support and constituted its only military strength, the queen and her government would never have yielded to the provisional government, even for a time and for the sole purpose of submitting her case to the enlightened justice of the United States.


"By an act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress, the government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people has been overthrown. A substantial wrong has thus been done which a due regard for our national character as well as the rights of the injured people requires we should endeavor to repair."

Scott Crawford
Hana, Maui

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