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Sled dogs on water-covered sea ice, Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut

According to the Wall Street Journal, Donald Trump is maybe kinda-sorta interested in buying Greenland. Or at least he has, "with varying degrees of seriousness, repeatedly expressed interest in buying the ice-covered autonomous Danish territory," according to some of those folks who are "familiar with the discussion." The WSJ piece published yesterday is yet another in a long list of stories portraying the "president" of the United States of America as Ralph Wiggum with the nuclear codes:

In meetings, at dinners and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, listened with interest when they discuss its abundant resources and geopolitical importance and, according to two of the people, has asked his White House counsel to look into the idea.

We have no doubt this will eventually be traced back to some lunatic shit on Fox News, or an aide's printout of a story from Wingnut crazypants media, or perhaps a chance comment Mike Pompeo made back in May when he cancelled a planned trip to Europe to help prepare for war with Iran. That trip was supposed to include a stop in Greenland, where he could have seen evidence of global warming, even though it's only a Chinese hoax. Maybe Pompeo told Trump his pet theory that the disappearance of Arctic sea ice is the greatest thing ever, because new trade routes.


In any case, Trump has apparently added Greenland to the rotation of dumb shit he likes to talk about, leaving aides a bit baffled. The Washington Post found some people familiar with the bullshit, and offers its own President Wiggum details:

As with many of Trump's internal musings, aides are waiting for more direction before they decide how seriously they should look into it.

Among the things that have been discussed is whether it is even legal, what the process would be for acquiring an island that has its own government and population, and where any money to purchase a giant landmass would originate.

Trump probably has other questions, too: Is the land actually green? Does that mean it's mint-flavored? I don't want any mint ice cream, give me vanilla.

Why would Trump be talking about buying a great big island? The place actually has a human population of around 56,000 people, who might want a say in the matter. But it's the "president," so journamalists are obliged to pretend there might be reasons behind Trumpian whims. The Journal dutifully reports Greenland comes with a serious geopolitical context, as if Trump might stay awake long enough for an entire paragraph on the topic:

U.S. officials view Greenland as important to American national-security interests. A decades-old defense treaty between Denmark and the U.S. gives the U.S. military virtually unlimited rights in Greenland at America's northernmost base, Thule Air Base. Located 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle, it includes a radar station that is part of a U.S. ballistic missile early-warning system. The base is also used by the U.S. Air Force Space Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

There are also natural resources and shit, plus the likely competition with Russia and China for Arctic oil reserves so we can more thoroughly fuck the polar region. We can see that appealing to Trump, maybe. The Post even went to the bother of talking to serious European policy people about what Trump might want in Greenland, which again, seems like trying to make sense of the plot in a Michael Bay movie.

On the whole, though, the Wiggum Narrative strikes us the most likely explanation:

People outside the White House have described purchasing Greenland as an Alaska-type acquisition for Mr. Trump's legacy, advisers said.

The few current and former White House officials who had heard of the notion, described it with a mix of anticipation and apprehension because it remains unknown how far the president might push the idea.

First there was "Seward's Folly," and now we have "Trump's Fuckup." Historians will have to number those, however. It's probably all just mental masturbation. But if so, someone should check for hair on Trump's tiny palms, since he's apparently been on this for months now:

At a dinner with associates last spring, Mr. Trump said someone had told him at a roundtable that Denmark was having financial trouble over its assistance to Greenland, and suggested that he should consider buying the island, according to one of the people. "What do you guys think about that?" he asked the room, the person said. "Do you think it would work?"

The person described the question less as a serious inquiry than as a joke meant to indicate "I'm so powerful I could buy a country," noting that since Mr. Trump hadn't floated the idea at a campaign rally yet, he probably wasn't seriously considering it.

It's a shiny idea that occurred to him. It's pretty and sparkly, and like a bird, he feels compelled to peck at it some. Let's not go acting like he needs "reasons" for it.

Greenland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, possibly recognizing some advantage to being in the news for something other than record melting of its glaciers and sea ice, was quick to pounce on the publicity, emphasizing that Greenland is a great place that is also not for sale:

Donald Trump won't be "buying" Greenland, and instead, like his weird fixations on aircraft carrier catapults and taking all the oil from Iraq, this probably won't result in any concrete actions. Just to be sure, aides will be scrambling to get lots of photo-heavy briefings ready, only to have them ignored. Besides, someone may point out to him that he really doesn't want to give two Senate seats and three electoral votes to a place full of socialists who would vote against him. This could all be nothing more than this week's Shiny Distraction.

Then again, since this particular impulsive toddler actually gets to direct foreign policy, don't be too surprised if in six months Sean Hannity is suddenly very enthusiastic about the need to invade Greenland.

[WSJ / WaPo / WaPo / Forbes]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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