Reaction to “Act of War” Hawaiian Film

“Love of country is deep-seated in the breast of every Hawaiian, whatever his station.” -Queen Lili’uokalani


“If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.”

– Ernesto “Che” Guevara


Throughout my two summer courses this year, this course alongside an English literature class surveying “Indigenous Science Fiction”, the adjectives I choose to describe myself have evolved.  I would now describe myself as a humanist and probable Marxist.  Ernesto Guevara is famous around the world for his life as a guerilla fighter and revolutionary, and his world view seems to align very closely with my own.  I have always been sensitive to every injustice I observe or otherwise become aware of, and have felt that I must intervene, whenever possible, on behalf of the thing against which an injustice has been done.  I am, then, very truly a comrade of Ernesto Guevara.

The movie Act of War stirred many emotions within my soul.  I have no problem with declaring that I am opposed to the U.S. government in its current form.  Countless FBI agents have tracked me down at home, at work, at domestic airports, and even in middle of Mexico City.  The encounters are different each time, but the overarching theme has always been intelligence gathering.  Because I have been very outspoken since at least 2005, when I was 21 years old, federal agents tell me to “explain” myself when they’ve come around with generally cordial attitudes.  When they’ve come with aggressive attitudes, they proceed to insult me and threaten me with extended prison terms, without trial, using the so-called Patriot Act to make such an action legal.  They are not honorable people, and I doubt that the FBI has ever had an honorable agent in their ranks.  They have, over the years, made it exceedingly clear that they consider me to be their enemy.  It would, therefore, seem all the more natural for me to side with Hawaiian revolutionaries if there ever is an armed revolution by Hawaiians against the U.S. federal government.

“The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe.  You have to make it fall.”

– Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.  Looking back on the events of January 1893 in Honolulu, Kingdom of Hawai’i, I believe that Queen Lili’uokalani should have reacted to the unauthorized landing of foreign troops on her lands as most monarchs would – by ordering her armies to engage and repel the invasion.  The organizers of the coup d’état should have been ordered arrested or, if they resisted arrest, killed.  Six of the organizers were Hawaiian nationals, according to the film, and they were therefore committing treason against their own monarch when they proclaimed their “Committee of Safety” and later their “Republic of Hawai’i”.  Of course now it is of little use, in the quest to see justice reign supreme, to merely talk about what could have been done differently during King Kalākaua’s reign or in January 1893.  It is August 2016 and the United States is very firmly in control of the Hawaiian Kingdom.  Act of War is an angry film, filled with indignant speeches by inspirational personalities, and at the end there seems to be a call to arms.  Well, where are Hawai’i’s patriotic sons and daughters?  Where is the revolution that is long overdue?  Since I am here in the occupied Kingdom of Hawai’i, and I would like to stay here, I would volunteer for the armed guerilla fighters of Hawai’i if such a group comes into existence any time soon.  Not only would I be absolutely sure that I am fighting on the side of justice, but I would have a pretty good chance of a restored monarch granting me full Hawaiian citizenship and nationality in recognition of my honorable service.  Fighting on the side of the Hawaiian revolutionary guerillas would also most assuredly greatly increase my odds of winning the heart of a beautiful Hawaiian puupaa wahine (who of course sympathizes with the revolutionaries and supports the revolution either secretly or openly).

“We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it.”

– Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Patriotic Hawaiians would die in a revolution against the United States federal government.  There is no doubt that the very same USN and USMC featured in the film would be used to suppress the revolution and the revolutionaries.  Of course the Hawaiian Kingdom would not have been able to withstand an armed assault by U.S. Armed Forces for more than a few days in 1893, something which Queen Lili’uokalani recognized, and today the situation is even more lopsided.  Hawaiian patriots would need to be trained in guerilla warfare tactics, presumably outside the (presently occupied) Hawaiian Kingdom, perhaps in China or Vietnam.  Open war by a uniformed Hawaiian Navy and Army would stand no chance of success and an almost 100% chance of martyrdom for everyone involved.

“He who controls the sea, controls everything.” – Themistocles

A newly liberated Hawaiian Kingdom would face many challenges, and experience much intense internal strife as her people adjust to their new reality.  With U.S. Armed Forces no longer in the islands, a huge military power vacuum would exist.  The Hawaiian Kingdom, being an archipelago, would need to focus on building a strong Navy and Coast Guard in order to ensure its continued independence and uncompromised sovereignty.  The prospect of gaining hegemony over the islands would be very alluring to western nations with large navies such as China.  A formidable Navy is the only way to discourage an annexation attempt by other nations.

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