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Originally posted by interesting at 2008-8-23 17:47
I'm not stretching the truth at all. I laid down the facts: Republicans couldn't get the majority required and finally got the annexation by bending the rules. The Anti-Imperialist League lobbied very successfully and anti-annexationists were not some uncommon feature of the US political landscape. I fail to see where the truth is being stretched. I think it is you who stretches the truth, or at least attempts an undue simplification of it. In any event, I suspect you were educated in the US because you seem to have the standard leftist history talking points down pat. Now, if only any actual historians agreed.....
It's stretching the truth because it wasn't that the Spanish-American War suddenly led to them deciding to annex Hawaii, they were working on it since the overthrow happened and began negotiating it when McKinley came into office. The reason Republicans couldn't get it past is because they needed 2/3 and they only had enough for a simple majority hence why they "bent the rules" as you put it. Also the Anti-Imperialist League wasn't really formed in time to oppose Hawaiian annexation, they were in fact formed to push against the annexation of the Phillipines. They failed. That's because at that time the Republican party dominated and that was the party of imperialism in the time.
As far as the nonsense about leftist history, I'll have you know I didn't learn this stuff through the education system. I learned it independently by looking at the facts of the situation.
The domestic revolt in Hawaii involved American, British and Native Hawaiians. More importantly, these were duly elected and appointed members of the Hawaiian government and the revolt only occurred because Liliuokalani wanted to create a new constitution, in an attempt to restore the authority of the monarchy lost under Kalakaua.
Lost in another revolution by white business elites primarily intended to increase the power of those same elites. They had elections before that actually let native Hawaiians have much more say, but the white business establishment wasn't too happy about that.
This was a battle of American hegemony against Hawaiian independence. The primary instigators of the overthrow were Americans and people descendant from Americans who also maintained strong ties with the U.S. The U.S. itself dominated the market in Hawaii and the power of American business elites insured this hegemony continued. When that hegemony was threatened by the monarchy, it was overthrown, replaced, and the country was then annexed, keeping it from ever happening again. You can argue that the business interests there were actually the ones who started it and it wasn't connected to the U.S. government, but that's really just naivety. They worked in collusion with elements of the U.S. government and they weren't about to let some silly legislative opposition get in the way of expanding America's borders.
The most important reason for revolutionaries to desire annexation wasn't US imperial ambitions but US trade protectionism: in order to have markets for the most important Hawaiian goods, trade with the US would need to occur unimpeded. There were significant business motives and I remind you that this same group had supported Kalakaua's attempt to start a Pacific Federation just decades before, one which would have contained US power.
How is maintaining American domination of trade with Hawaii not the same as imperialist ambition? In fact, most imperial actions are all about maintaining domination of the trade with a specific country. That was the entire reason for the British Empire's dominance of India.
As to patting on the back: I'm not seeing those links and I'm not seeing back-patting.
Of course, that's because you're woefully unaware of your own bias. Really, it's not too hard to see where the back-patting is. I guess you assume as long as you avoid saying the U.S. was right you can always argue for its actions being justified without making it clear where your support lies.
So far this thread has unfolded like every other time I argue against anti-Americans: I lay down an airtight historical or logical case without any actual moral judgments.
It just so happens your "airtight" argument always reflects favorably on American aggression. No unbiased look would come off so nice towards the U.S.