By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
“Mother Earth has been abused, the powers have been abused, and this cannot go on forever. No theory can alter that simple fact. Mother Earth will retaliate, the whole environment will retaliate, and the abusers will be eliminated. Things come full circle, back to where they started. That’s revolution.”
“Never cease to act because you fear you may fail. The true secret is to know your own worth. It will carry you through many dangers.”
It’s been weeks since hell came to Maui, but the fire is still smoldering. The sights from paradise are almost too horrific to believe. One of the most beautiful places on God’s once green earth has been reduced to an ashen death heap straight out of a Hieronymus Bosch nightmare. The word ‘wildfire’ doesn’t even feel appropriate. What befell the people of that island is something more akin to the kind of genocidal weather terrorism performed by General Curtis LeMay during the Second World War. The kind of cannibal firestorm that devoured the people of Frankfurt and Tokyo. Something too wicked to come from Satan. The cruel hand of man was clearly at play here.
As of the writing of this dispatch the official death toll stands at 115 but by the time you read this that number will likely have doubled. There are still hundreds missing. Most of them children and most of them will likely never be identified because there is nothing left to identify. Ground zero of the Maui wildfires was the ancient city of Lahaina and a disproportionate number of its victims were working class kids sent home from school while their parents toiled for meager wages at nearby resorts. There is plenty of blame to go around for this atrocity, from climate change to inept government malfeasance, but very few people seem willing to address the giant flaming elephant in the room. Hawaii’s answer to the firebombing of Frankfurt is the direct result of nearly two centuries of colonialism and Uncle Sam was the sadistic, cigar-chomping, general who led the siege.
The wildfires on Maui occurred due to a deadly combination of unprecedented drought and high winds from Hurricane Dora. Those winds appear to have brought down several powerlines but the only reason the inferno those downed powerlines conjured was even able to crash into the city of Lahaina with such turbulent speed was because western invaders had built it the perfect highway out of fields of abandoned plantations infested with nonnative guinea grass.
This tinder had been introduced to the island in the 19th century by American government backed conglomerates like the Dole Pineapple Company who forcibly shifted the land away from ancient indigenous resource management practices to massive factory farms. When those gangsters moved on to rape greener pastures in the 90s, greedy developers and land speculators swooped in, raising the price of the unused land too high for any subsistence farmer to afford, leaving these vast grasslands to sit unmanaged until the wildfires came. And the war on Hawaii’s native poor burns on without mercy.
Modern Hawaii is a neocolonial playground of golf courses and gated communities that cater to the whims of elitist outsiders over the islands’ indigenous community. The fires of Lahaina simply painted this hideous picture clearly by the light of the embers. A picture of an economic apartheid state in which a spiraling housing crisis has led to the median price of a single-family home to top $1 million dollars triggering a net population loss that sees more native Hawaiians forced to find a living off their own homeland than within it.
And many of the survivors of Lahaina are likely join this picture as more than half of Maui county’s population lives on an income of less than $100,000 dollars a year per family, making the price of simply rebuilding too expensive for natives who have lived humbly on their own tiny slice of paradise for generations but not too expensive for the poachers of the American oligarchy.
While Maui is home to some of the hardest working poor in the state, their neighbors include billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Oprah Winfrey who may be all too happy to be photographed handing out scraps to the lowly native proles but aren’t about to be caught offering one square inch of their thousand acre plantations to the dispossessed who can’t even afford the ashes they camp on because of the very gentrification those bleeding heart colonialist’s wrought for a vacation home.
The only thing more despicably Dickensian than the schilling slinging charity of Hawaii’s howlie Scrooge class is the stone-cold indifference of their puppet regime back in Washington. It took nearly a week for President Biden to cut his Rehoboth Beach vacation short to so much as comment on the massacre in Lahaina, with that increasingly senile old Meiser simply grumbling “no comment” from his boardwalk recumbent bicycle before he could be dragged before a podium to hurl $700 dollars to people who have nothing while he spends that much money per second on scatter bombs for Ukraine.
Is it really any wonder that when this bastard finally managed to schlepp his geriatric carcass to the scene of the crime with his slovenly coterie of DNC apparatchiks that this shallow photo-op was met by a raucous sea of fuck you’s and middle fingers from the locals? That’s because Joe Biden is not those people’s president and Hawaii is not American soil. It is a sovereign nation that has been illegally occupied by the American Empire since its monarchy was violently overthrown in a military coup 130 years ago.
Categories: Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy