U.S. did not instigate overthrow of kingdom
"In his letter to the editor (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 10), George Kahumoku Flores deplores the assumed fact that America illegally overthrew the Hawaiian nation in 1893.
Historical documents clearly indicate that the overthrow was instigated by a 13-member group of Hawaiian subjects referred to as the Committee of Safety, not by an official edict of the U.S. government.
Washington received word of the overthrow weeks after its occurrence. The U.S. Congress expressed strong objections and President Cleveland favored reinstalling the queen. The only implications involving the United States were the actions of its minister to Hawaii, John Stevens. He indicated to the Committee of Safety that he likely would approve a post-revolutionary government but would play no role in the overthrow. Acting on his own with no orders from his superiors, he asked Captain G. C. Wiltse of the USS Boston to send some troops ashore to protect Americans. Whether this intimidated the queen is open to question.
To assume that Stevens, acting without orders from Washington, may have inadvertently bolstered the Committee of Safety may be reasonable, but unproven. But the belief that the U.S. government instigated the overthrow is without merit."
Then in the other major newspaper in Hawai'i there was an article titled, "Inouye pursues goal of basing carrier here." Gee... that says it all:
WASHINGTON — Sen. Dan Inouye estimated that bringing an aircraft carrier to Hawai'i probably would cost at least $1 billion over 10 years to upgrade an airfield and build new military housing, but said he is determined to help make it happen.
"The Pacific Asian region is a place to be concerned with," Inouye said.
"It makes better sense to be in Hawai'i than in San Diego. That's just geography."
Inouye, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee, who has helped appropriate billions of dollars for the military, said one of his priorities is to convince Senate colleagues and military officials that Hawai'i should serve as the base for the carrier in the Pacific.
Guam, thousands of miles closer to Asia, also is lobbying for an aircraft carrier, but Hawai'i has a much better infrastructure.
A key issue to be resolved is where to base a carrier's 70 to 80 aircraft. Inouye has said he prefers the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station.
Inouye noted that nuclear powers India and Pakistan have recently been at the brink of war, North Korea has developed nuclear missiles, tensions are building between Taiwan and China, and Indonesia and the Philippines are terrorist hot spots. "The cloud of terrorism is just as heavy in the Pacific as it is in Europe," he said.
Inouye also said Japan depends on U.S. military protection.
"I'm comfortable the Japanese have demonstrated they are pretty wise," he said. "They know their strength and stability depends a lot upon their relationship with the United States. It makes it possible for them to carry on their lives without maintaining a heavy defense budget."
But he warned that if Japan feels compelled to spend more on defense, "this would be the beginning of the world's most massive arms race" in Asia.
In a wide-ranging interview last week, Inouye also said he likely will endorse presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts as the Democratic contender best positioned to take the White House away from President Bush. More liberal candidates, including former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, would not do as well against Bush in the general election, Inouye said.
"If you analyze the nominating system, as it relates to the Democrats, the delegates attending the convention more often than not are members of the liberal community in the party," he said. "And when the candidate is nominated, he finds that the real world is not made up of liberals."
Inouye said that if the national election were held today, Bush would win handily, "but this is January."
"I always look at papa Bush," Inouye said of Bush's father. "At this stage in his election, he had a 92 percent approval rating. That's pretty good, you know."
Bush's father lost his bid for re-election, and Bush also is vulnerable, Inouye said. The U.S. economy is undergoing an "uncertain, shaky recovery at best," he said.
"When you speak of employment, I think the numbers are dangerous," he said. "They don't give a clear picture. If you are working for McDonald's, you are employed. But can you tell me from your heart of hearts that you are employed?"
Inouye, third in seniority in the Senate, has served in Congress for 45 years — he was elected to the House in 1959 and began his Senate career in 1962. A World War II hero and Medal of Honor winner, Inouye will turn 80 in September but said he plans to seek re-election to an eighth term in November.
Inouye then rattled off his vital signs: Blood pressure 130 over 70, cholesterol 166, and a heart rate under 130 beats per minute on a treadmill.
"For me to say I'm retiring to go into another career, it's rather absurd," Inouye said. "If I'm physically fit, I should present myself as a candidate and put it up to the people."
Seen at http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jan/14/ln/ln03a.html