Why Denmark should sell Greenland to Donald Trump
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Why Denmark should sell Greenland to Donald Trump
Why Denmark should sell Greenland to Donald Trump

Thomas Vann Altheimer

Why is it considered better that we liberal Danes run Greenland rather than the Americans? Is liberalism more effective at countering Russian and Chinese expansionist ambitions?

Gullible Danes, who are now smugly laughing off Trump’s offer, find Chinese commercial investment innocent because it does not make territorial claims explicit. And our pacifist vision for the territory is to let well-intentioned scientists dig for ice-core samples to figure out how the climate looked in the Jurassic age and mine the vast frozen island for stories about melting ice to frighten the world.

Handing Greenland to the United States is Denmark’s only chance to counter Russian arctic domination and Chinese ambitions. With Global warming opening up major sea lanes in the north, that will considerably reduce time and costs for commercial shipping as well as unleash a bonanza of untapped oil and rare metals riches. The addition of Greenland to US territory will enhance Denmark’s security and guarantee that Greenland’s resources are tapped to our benefit and not to that of China, who has been showing an increasing and keen interest in Greenland’s geological riches.

Greenland is a territory of enormous strategic importance. Truman acknowledged this when he sought to acquire the territory in 1946 for £80m ($100m) and Trump has only made explicit what US foreign policy experts have been advocating for decades. When the West’s Middle East ambitions imploded after the disaster in Iraq, many think-tankers began to explore the Arctic question. It is clear from the many papers written on this that it is a generation-defining issue.

Russia has already claimed ownership in the Arctic and strengthened its military presence greatly. It demands that freighters ask permission to use the Northern sea route and demands that Russian pilots are allowed on board. This is exactly what the Danish king used to do at Elsinore where tolls would be wrested from merchant vessels by training cannons at traffic on the sound. This extorted money funded the Danish empire.

As for the Greenlanders, among its 50,000 inhabitants, there has been a strong and growing independence movement fed by resentment of Danish colonial policies. The Greenlander union boss, Jess G. Berthelsen, famously said that he would rather shit in a bucket than take the yearly £400m lump sum from the Danish government. There is no doubt that there would be a majority for a US acquisition, if the price was right.

Even though we have jesters for kings now, the basic security structure remains the same. Putin and Xi are wolves let loose among the liberal sheep of the Arctic (Norway, Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland). I would much rather entrust the security of my family to the capable force of the American military than to a rag-tag bunch of smug Danish liberals.

Thomas Vann Altheimer is a filmmaker from Copenhagen


Calculations behind US offer to buy Greenland from Denmark
By Wu Jingwei

The US President Donald Trump recently expressed his interest in buying the world’s largest island, Greenland, several times, reported The Wall Street Journal, saying the president told reporters on August 18 that he had debriefed the White House advisor on Greenland’s important strategic position and abundant natural resources. This caused uproar in the international community.

US: the deal is possible

Though located in the northeast of North America, Greenland, being annexed territory of Denmark, is closely connected with Europe in culture and politics, with a population of about 56,000 and enjoying autonomy.

The Russia Today website reported that Greenland was under America’s escrow when Denmark was occupied by Germany (1940-1945) during WWII, and Trump wasn’t the first American president to have set his eyes on the island.

After Greenland was returned to Denmark in 1945, the then American president Truman considered buying this island that measured more than 2.1 million square kilometers with 80% of its land covered by ice, said White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow, who believed that it was possible that Denmark would sell the island to the US because “it’s an American ally”.

Furthermore, the two countries had the precedent of island sale before. In 1917, Denmark sold the West Indies to the US for 25 million US dollars, and the buyer then renamed it the United States Virgin Islands.

Originally a real estate businessman, Trump, from an economic point of view, thought selling Greenland to the US was a “lucrative deal” for Denmark as the annual budget of USD700 million allocated to the island was a heavy burden on the Danish government.

But he also said buying the island was just “one of the things discussed” but not a “top priority” for Washington, which might discuss with Denmark about the feasibility of the deal next.

Denmark: “Are you kidding me?”

The Danes were astonished by the sudden “offer of purchase” and their first response was “are you kidding me?”

Lars Rasmussen, Denmark's former prime minister, tweeted about his surprise at the offer: "It must be an April Fool's Day joke . . . out of season!"

Later the foreign affairs spokesman for the Danish People’s Party told a local broadcaster that "The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous!"

“We are talking about real people and sovereign territory. The colonial age is over. You cannot talk about selling a sovereign land like the colonial state in the past,” said Denmark’s former foreign minister Martin Lindegaard.

Meanwhile, both the Denmark and Greenland governments made it clear that “Greenland not for sale”.

International community: US to “buy influence” again

Reuters commented that Trump didn’t have a strong strategic intention of buying Greenland. According to an agreement between the two countries, the US military has the Thule air base on Greenland, which is its only military base in the Arctic Circle where advanced early warning radar is deployed and a space early warning squadron is stationed, and there are officers on duty for missile early warning and space monitoring all year long.

The air base on Greenland is an important component of America’s missile defense system and space monitoring system. Besides, the air base has the northernmost deep-water port and airport of the US military, which “are sufficient to maintain America’s deterrence in the North Pole”.

Against such a background, Trump’s revelation of his wish to purchase Greenland made the international community worried. The Russia Today website held that Washington has always been skillful at expanding its sphere of influence with “gold bullets”, and Germany News TV station wondered whether the US was taking the opportunity of the Greenland purchase to “buy influence” again.

“The attempt at purchasing Greenland not only speaks for the island’s strategic significance, but also gives a warning to Denmark and other European countries to be vigilant against the greenbacks wielded by the Americans,” said Germany News.


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2019 Aug 23 21:55

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