On August 16th, the WSJ reported that US President Donald Trump was “eyeing” a new “real-estate deal” – Greenland.
Initially, the report was simply anonymous claims by various unnamed individuals who said that Trump mentioned that the US could buy Greenland from Denmark at various dinners and meetings.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow initially confirmed that the purchase was considered, because Greenland was a strategic place and that US President Harry Truman had looked into purchasing it from Denmark, “and it’s an ally.” Notably, Larry Kudlow appears barely staying conscious while speaking.
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) August 18, 2019
On August 18th, US President Donald Trump confirmed that it had come up in some discussions, but it wasn’t “first on the burner.” He questioned how the story came out.
“It’s just something we’ve talked about,” he said. “Denmark essentially owns it. We’re very good allies with Denmark. We’ve protected Denmark like we protect large portions of the world, so the concept came up.”
“Strategically, it’s interesting. And, we’d be interested. We’ll talk to them a little bit,” the president said. He added, “It’s not No. 1 on the burner, I can tell you that.”
Trump, later on, promised not to to “this” to Greenland – posting a picture of a Greenland village, with a Trump tower in its middle.
I promise not to do this to Greenland! pic.twitter.com/03DdyVU6HA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
US acquisition of Greenland is not at all a strange or ‘fresh’ idea.
In 1867, Secretary of State William Seward (under US President Andrew Johnson) expressed a public interest in acquiring from Denmark and Iceland and Greenland. Parallel with the Russian Empire deal for Alaska.
Interestingly, he also claimed the islands of St. Thomas and St. John, currently one of the Virgin Islands. As a result, they were acquired much later, in 1917 for $25 million (at the exchange rate of 2018 that would mean $575 million).
Following Denmark’s fall to Nazi Germany in 1940, American forces defended Greenland. The roots of American-Greenland comradeship are thus old and formal. In 1946, one Harry S. Truman even attempted to purchase Greenland for $100 million.
In 1950, NATO entered both Greenland and Iceland. First, in the form of an agreement on the organization of an air base, and then the large-scale construction of civilian infrastructure.
The powering stations of the notorious NORAD were also located there.
In 2009, Denmark did actually plan to leave Greenland fend for itself, but that decision was reversed. And still, Greenland receives an annual grant of approximately $600 million.
Since 2011, infrastructure support around NATO military facilities that are assigned to the United States has not been maintained.
From 2015 to 2017, the People’s Republic of China wanted to acquire Greenland several times. Formally, it looked like a concession for 99 years with the construction of a giant port. The deal was blocked by Denmark, but negotiations were not terminated.
Currently some of the benefits that the US would get from “owning” Greenland include mostly militarizing it.
There are several common claims in US media:
- There is one US Air Force base at Thule, Greenland offering “critical intelligence capabilities to conduct satellite operations and to detect possible over-the-North-Pole nuclear missile launches from China or Russia.”
- Thule’s deep-water port and long runway, the base provides a logistics hub for operations in the Arctic. And it gives the U.S. military the means to deter and defeat prospective aggression.
- Purchasing it would strengthen the national security and allow more infrastructure to be introduced.
Greenland is quite rich in resources, and the US that under the current Trump Administration refuses to acknowledge climate change exists, it’s all there for the taking by any means possible. It has fishing waters abound.
According to the Washington Examiner, it’s not a one-sided deal – Greenland population of approximately 56,000 people would gain a lot of from an influx of US investment.
Denmark and Greenland appear to be giving the US “the cold shoulder,” rejecting any such possibility.
Denmark’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, who was on a visit to Greenland on August 18th, responded to Trump’s remarks by saying emphatically that “Greenland is not for sale.”
“Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland,” Frederiksen said, according to the newspaper Sermitsiaq.
Former Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said of the idea, “It must be an April Fools’ Day joke.”
It must be an April Fool’s Day joke … but totally out of sesson! https://t.co/ev5DDVZc5f
— Lars Løkke Rasmussen (@larsloekke) August 15, 2019
In a sarcastic article, published by the New Yorker, author Andy Borowitz published “Denmark’s response.”
HINT: Nothing underneath this is true.
Instead of selling Greenland, Denmark offered to purchase the United States.
“As we have stated, Greenland is not for sale,” a spokesperson for the Danish government said. “We have noted, however, that during the Trump regime pretty much everything in the United States, including its government, has most definitely been for sale.”
“Denmark would be interested in purchasing the United States in its entirety, with the exception of its government,” the spokesperson added.
Trump would then possibly be relocated to “Russia or North Korea.”
And if the offer was accepted, Denmark has big plans.
“We believe that, by giving the U.S. an educational system and national health care, it could be transformed from a vast land mass into a great nation,” the spokesperson said.
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