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Forget Annexing Greenland, Start Breaking up America

August 22, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

President Donald Trump wants to purchase Greenland, a
self-governing territory of Denmark. “Strategically,
it’s interesting,” he observed, though “it is not
number one on the burner.”

Alas, the Danes aren’t impressed. “Greenland is not
for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to
Greenland,” said Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette

Greenlanders were a bit blunter. Inuit Maya Sialuk told the
Wall Street Journal: “We are still trying to recover
from a colonization period of almost 300 years. Then there is this
white dude in the States who’s talking about purchasing

Our nation’s problems are
caused not by a lack of territory but increasingly disjointed
cultural identities. There’s only one solution.

Trump, always in character, called the Prime Minister’s
response “nasty” on Wednesday and abruptly canceled a bi-lateral meeting with her
government planned for next month.

In 1867, Secretary of State William Seward, who orchestrated the
acquisition of Alaska, proposed buying Greenland. In 1946, the
Truman administration did likewise. Both times, the Danes said

Greenland is not just a place; it is a territory of 56,000
people who largely govern themselves—with a parliament and
prime minister—other than in international affairs, which
Copenhagen manages, though in consultation with the locals. In
fact, internationally Greenlanders are viewed as an independent
people. The original residents were Inuits. Vikings showed up in
the 10th century, and the territory eventually became part of
Norway, and then Denmark.

Greenland is obviously strategic—it is close to America
and hosts Thule Air Base. However, one should not oversell its
value to American interests. The Washington Examiner
grandly declared that Thule “gives the U.S. military the
means to deter and defeat prospective aggression.” Aggression
by whom? A sneak attack by the Russkies or Chinese launched from
the Arctic seems, well, unlikely.

Anyway, no one expects NATO member Denmark to hand over the
island to a hostile power. Last year, Washington opposed Chinese
financing of three airports, and Denmark’s government found
other funders. Canada and Mexico are even more strategic and the
U.S. isn’t trying to buy them. (Although Americans once
unsuccessfully attempted to conquer Canada and considered annexing
all of Mexico, instead of the half that Washington seized after
winning the Mexican-American War.)

Most everyone is making the issue about America; at least the
Examiner remembered that the U.S. would be, er, buying
people. But, it explained, don’t worry, “this
isn’t just about American interests. Greenland’s small
population also has everything to gain from a massive influx of
American investment. The surge in tourism alone would surely offer
a vast untapped potential.”

It’s not clear why U.S. firms would suddenly invest in a
largely icebound territory that lies mostly north of the Arctic
Circle. And what …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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