He was serious?


Our president has cancelled a meeting with the Prime Minister of Denmark…because she wouldn’t consider selling Greenland to him.

This is absurd.

Why.

Do.

We.

Tolerate.

This.

Degree.

Of.

Incompetence?

Comments

  1. quotetheunquote says

    umm… because you live in an oligarchy masquerading as a democracy?

    Up until now, I had been just assuming that all the nonsense about “buying” Greenland had just been a few random remarks by the toddler-in-chief taken up by the late-night TV hosts and blown out of proportion (what does that even mean now?) for comic effect. But it appears I am wrong, it’s actually there in black-and-white, the senile git is really thinking about it.

    Is it enough to distract him from the “space force”? if so, maybe not a bad idea.(/sn)

  2. rpjohnston says

    Trumpist don’t just tolerate it, they love it, because they have no feelings except burn-it-all-down spite for libs who tell them that there are “rules” like their parents used to.

    Republicans tolerate it because they’re rich aristocrats and nothing matters except getting the wealth and power highscore.

    White centrist Dems tolerate it because they see “caution” as synonymous with “strategic” and since the system is set up in their favor, any action taken feels radical.

    Everyone else doesn’t have enough power.

  3. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I can’t stop thinking of this [greenland thing] as a form of gaslighting to distract us from his more sinister reasons for not wanting to have her visit. Simplest is he can’t stand being confronted by a world leader not of his gender. His misogyny struggled against Angela Merkel and it now lashes out whenever possible.
    He’d rather us see him as an petulant child upset not being allowed to buy something not for sale, than as the hateful bigoted misogynous asshole he is. IE lesser of two evils he reasons irrationally

  4. drmarcushill says

    It’s not that crazy an idea. After all, I’m sure a world leader and master negotiator like Trump knows that Greenland has a high degree of autonomy from Denmark, so the decision would really be in the hands of the people of Greenland. People who have excellent socialised healthcare, free education in schools that have no need to do “active shooter drills”, great maternity and childcare benefits and a well functioning welfare system. Surely those people would be itching to join the USA, especially under its current enlightened government.

  5. drmarcushill says

    … alternatively, he could just be looking for excuses not to go to Denmark since Obama is due to visit in a few weeks, and the comparisons between the Danish people’s reception of the two might just be to the Orange Skull’s detriment.

  6. cartomancer says

    I think a better plan would be to sell the USA to Denmark. Or, rather, given the appalling condition it is now in, pay Denmark to take it over. Once Scandinavian-style socialism has turned it into a country worth living in, I doubt anyone will mind.

  7. Reginald Selkirk says

    What this is about:
    Donald Trump would rather have you talking about his stupid plan to buy Greenland than about the way his incompetent trade war fumblings are threatening to tank the economy of the USA – and the world.

  8. says

    as non-US person I wouldn’t be able to stop laughing at least unless I realise that when US sneezes, rest of the world catches influenza….

    also it reminds me when my country was in “friendly cooperation” with soviet union, when popular joke was that we should declare war on US and 30 seconds later capitulate

  9. PaulBC says

    Probably the most disturbing element is the extent to which “serious” people went so far down the rabbit hole with Trump instead of dismissing it as obviously delusion. The normally reasonable Matt Yglesias is a good example.

    Trump believes his own kayfabe of master deal-maker, a story that was invented by a ghostwriter who is now ashamed he did it. Yglesias concedes it’s a “silly” idea before going off into smarty-pants contrarian land where he will explain how it could actually be reasonable. That’s fine, but the big story here is that we have a delusional old man in the Oval Office who wants to revisit some fantasy of settling new frontier.

  10. consciousness razor says

    Reginald Selkirk:

    Donald Trump would rather have you talking about his stupid plan to buy Greenland than about the way his incompetent trade war fumblings are threatening to tank the economy of the USA – and the world.

    But there hasn’t been a single day in his presidency (or his campaign, or his entire adult life) when he wasn’t being terrible and/or stupid.

  11. raven says

    I’m wondering how soon the right wingnuts will call for a military invasion of Greenland.
    There are only 58,000 Greenlanders and Denmark doesn’t have much of a military.
    They couldn’t stop us or even slow us down.
    The US has a history of that, having seized territory from Mexico (Texas, Southwest and California), and Spain (the Philippines).

    I have a feeling in Greenland and Denmark right now, the thoughts are, “They couldn’t be that crazy, could they?” followed by “Well, who knows, maybe they are.”

  12. raven says

    Trump failed to learn the first lesson of kindergarten.
    Be nice to your friends, or you won’t have any.

    He has insulted and started fights with NATO, the EU, Africa, Mexico, Canada, Central America, Iran, Yemen, China, Japan, Korea, Turkey, the UN, and now Greenland/Denmark.

    So who trusts the US these days?
    No one who has ever thought about it.
    I live here and I don’t trust the USA any more.

    If we ever need any help or cooperation from the rest of the world, it isn’t going to be there.

  13. raven says

    Thule Air Base Wikipedia

    Thule Air Base, or Thule Air Base/Pituffik Airport (IATA: THU, ICAO: BGTL), is the United States Air Force’s northernmost base, located 1,207 km (750 mi) north of the Arctic Circle and 1,524 km (947 mi) from the North Pole on the northwest coast of the island of Greenland.

    Thule Air Base is home to the 21st Space Wing’s global network of sensors providing missile warning, space surveillance and space control to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Air Force Space Command (AFSPC).

    Strangely enough, we actually have a major Air Force Base in Greenland, Thule.
    It’s part of our nuclear missile warning systems directed mainly against the Russians.

    About now, I’m sure Denmark and Greenland are wondering just why they bothered cooperating with the USA to the extent of letting them set up a major US base.
    It isn’t like they are getting anything out of it these days.

  14. blf says

    ‘A narcissistic fool’: Danes hit out at Donald Trump over cancelled visit:

    […]
    Politicians from across the spectrum were united in their condemnation. “There are already many good reasons to think that the man is a fool, and now he has given another good reason,” Eva Flyvholm, the foreign policy chair for Denmark’s Red-Green Alliance, told Danish media.

    The former prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt tweeted:

    So the POTUS has cancelled his visit to Denmark because there was no interest in discussing selling Greenland […] Is this some sort of joke? Deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark.

    Villy Søvndal, a former foreign minister, said the decision “confirms that Donald Trump is a narcissistic fool”.

    […]

    Søvndal told the Danish newspaper Berlingske that Trump’s decision showed he was unaware of the basic rules of diplomacy. “If he had been a clown in a circus, you could probably say that there is considerable entertainment value. The problem is that he is the president of the most powerful nation in the world,” he said.

  15. Owlmirror says

    How the heck did the Orange Skull even get the idea in the first place? Was there a teevee special about Greenland recently?

    We know that Trumpsterfire can get terribly fascinated by things he sees, like how Stormy Daniels (yet another scandal he shrugged off!) described his interest in Shark Week. Say, wasn’t it Shark Week recently for this year? Did they talk about sharks off the coast of Greenland?

  16. PaulBC says

    How the heck did the Orange Skull even get the idea in the first place? Was there a teevee special about Greenland recently?

    The only other thing I recall reading about Greenland recently is that global warming is exposing a lot of valuable sand, which is apparently in high demand. So if there was any logic, that could be part of it. It is very strange to be talking about Greenland.

  17. mmason0071 says

    Poor Trump. He was just trying to implement what he thought was the “Green New Deal”.

  18. says

    Look, it’s all very simple if you can bring yourself down to Trump’s thought level for a moment:

    “It’s GREEN-LAND. Green is a COLOR and it’s a LAND. So it’s a ‘Land of Color’. If we buy it, maybe we can get all of the ‘people of color’ to move there.”

    At least that’s the way I imagine that Stephen Miller explained it to him.

  19. says

    No, it’s not incompetence, it’s racism. It’s not just racism, it’s 19th century colonial racism, where European or European descended powers buy and sell indigenous land with indigenous populations without even thinking they’d need to consult with those people, because to them they’re not people. They#re things to be sold and bought together with the land.

    +++

    There are only 58,000 Greenlanders and Denmark doesn’t have much of a military.
    They couldn’t stop us or even slow us down.

    While I don’t know how far they’d be willing to go (remember that the so called free nations were happy to let the fascists have Spain, Austria, Czechoslovakia..) , Denmark is a member of the EU and while Trump is happy to bully his “friends” and “allies”, there would probably be consequences for invading one of their countries.

  20. says

    About now, I’m sure Denmark and Greenland are wondering just why they bothered cooperating with the USA to the extent of letting them set up a major US base.

    We’re well aware. There was the crash of a nuclear-armed plane back in 1968, several law suits by the clean-up crew, who had increased cancer rates after the job, and revelations that the Danish government had allowed the use of the base for nuclear weapons, in violation of the official non-nuclear policy and without telling anyone they had done so.

    If you mention the Thule base in Denmark, that’s what people will remember. I doubt anyone feels good about it.

  21. pacal says

    Oh My Fucking God!!! I thought Trump was just doing a stupid bit of trolling. He actually meant it for real!. Absolutely stunning!

  22. blf says

    jimf@20, My initial reaction was he was taken in by Eric the Red’s name for the place, Greenland, and “thought” golf courses!

  23. robro says

    What are the odds that Dumbo’s attempt to buy Greenland has something to do with the oil reserves around Greenland. Greenland has been slow to sell exploration rights. Denmark has some say in the matter.

  24. blf says

    robro@25, Well, this is hair furor, so who knows. (That includes hair furor himself, who probably does not know, and will lie about it no matter what.) The glitch — of sorts — is Greenland has NO proven oil reserves (Greenland crude oil reserves by year). Having said that, it is thought “by some geologists to have some of the world’s largest remaining oil resources” (Ye Pfffft! of All Knowledge).

  25. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I initially heard there was barroom banter during a cabinet meeting, where one of them joked about Greenland being for sale, hoping the Orange Skull would get it and laugh. Instead mPeach took it as a ruse as distraction to avoid meeting with the Queen of Denmark as scheduled. 45 is deadset to alienate every ally from associating with us. (all in Vlad’s plan, I suppose)

  26. whheydt says

    There are a lot of mineral resources in Greenland. More of them are becoming accessible due to the “it’s a fake Chinese plot” global warming. The strategic position of Greenland appears to be an afterthought. Trump wants the minerals.

    It’s also possible that Trump saw a Mercator Projection map of Greenland and thinks it’s bigger than it actually is, since that projection disproportionately enlarges land area at high latitudes.

  27. lumipuna says

    So now he’s talking about “saving great deal of expense”, as if the Denmark trip was planned specifically to discuss the purchase of Greenland? I distinctly remember news reports noting it was meant to be about some other issues. Besides, nobody in US administration has yet even made a request to start negotiations on Greenland, as it seems. I guess he’s either in face saving mode, or really desperate to keep distraction going on.

    And then he talks about “rescheduling” this apparently unnecessary meeting, which I guess is just is his generic attempt at sounding less blunt.

    (Speaking of blunt, I predict the next step is some early morning tweet where he puts on his cranky hat and whines along the lines of “Why can’t we have Greenland when we’re already de facto defending it with our great military and Denmark isn’t paying their NATO bills? SO UNFAIR!”)

  28. stroppy says

    Shorter Trump: “Don’t mess with me cuz I’m Kah-razee!”

    We’re ready with your straight jacket “Mr. President.”

  29. consciousness razor says

    robro:

    What are the odds that Dumbo’s attempt to buy Greenland has something to do with the oil reserves around Greenland. Greenland has been slow to sell exploration rights. Denmark has some say in the matter.

    It also offers something for the military: bases, missile silos, secret prisons, and so forth. But whether the idea is “kill” or “drill” or both, it’s all part of the same game for these assholes.

  30. jrkrideau says

    So who trusts the US these days?

    No one? The Russians seem to have a new term недоговороспособны that seems to mean not-agreement-capable.

    Ever since I read “Winning Through Intimidation ” in the 1980’s I realized that that I could never trust a US politician or business person.

  31. PaulBC says

    Whatever Trump’s motives, I think it’s incompetence to put out a trial balloon that has absolutely no chance of succeeding and makes him into a global laughing-stock (yes, yes, he was already).

    However, I like the kayfabe theory of Trumpism, a term I had never heard until it was used in a political column early in Trump’s presidency.

    In professional wrestling, kayfabe /ˈkeɪfeɪb/ (also called work or worked) is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as “real” or “true”, specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or predetermined nature of any kind.

    Who is Donald Trump? Why, he’s the richest man in America. He’s a self-made billionaire. He’s the smartest guy at the negotiating table, and he goes by the title “Deal Maker”.

    The fact that he’s an old man with a big ass and a prickly personality who made less return on his daddy’s money than he could have by sticking it in a mutual fund doesn’t change the kayfabe. And Trump actually does know pro-wrestling better than he knows other things (like the constitutional role of POTUS).

    He’s been losing the original narrative since he’s been in office, but portraying Greenland as a “huge real estate deal” (actual messaging) ties into the kayfabe almost perfectly. This may not have been the primary purpose, but it’s the one that makes the most sense.

  32. lumipuna says

    It’s also possible that Trump saw a Mercator Projection map of Greenland and thinks it’s bigger than it actually is, since that projection disproportionately enlarges land area at high latitudes.

    Besides, much of Greenland is actually “fake estate” because in many parts the bedrock is below sea level, supporting the ice sheet that’s now melting away.

  33. lumipuna says

    raven wrote:

    I’m wondering how soon the right wingnuts will call for a military invasion of Greenland.
    There are only 58,000 Greenlanders and Denmark doesn’t have much of a military.
    They couldn’t stop us or even slow us down.
    The US has a history of that, having seized territory from Mexico (Texas, Southwest and California), and Spain (the Philippines).

    I have a feeling in Greenland and Denmark right now, the thoughts are, “They couldn’t be that crazy, could they?” followed by “Well, who knows, maybe they are.”

    This recently occurred to me, too. However, now I’m actually getting concerned that, if the economy goes down the toilet over the next 15 months, Trump will increasingly start picking up wars with random countries for distraction.

  34. Elladan says

    Trump failed to learn the first lesson of kindergarten.
    Be nice to your friends, or you won’t have any.

    I mean, he has lots of friends. Blood-gargling Nazis, dictators, billionaire oligarchs, Jeffrey Epstein… too soon?

    You’re assuming that anything he does is as an honest agent of the American people. It is not.

    This Greenland bullshit keeps him in the news which is otherwise full of talk about how right wing neoliberal democrats are the only hope against Bernie. It distracts from his innumerable failed policies, corruption, and looting. It creates an intensely stupid rivalry between him and a woman in a country his followers have never heard of. Or maybe it just that he’s an idiot and was thinking about it on the toilet, who knows.

  35. says

    Trump cancelled the trip to Denmark because his feelings were hurt.

    […] Trump made it abundantly clear that he cancelled his trip to Denmark because the “nasty” prime minister wasn’t very nice in response to his offer to purchase Greenland.

    “Denmark, I looked forward to going, but I thought that the prime minister’s statement that it was ‘absurd,’ that it was an ‘absurd idea,’ was nasty. I thought it was an inappropriate statement,” he said. “All she had to do is say, ‘no, we wouldn’t be interested.’ We can’t treat the United States of America the way they treated us under President Obama. I thought it was a very not nice way of saying something. They could have told me no.”

    Several Danish officials have spoken out against President Trump’s apparent interest in purchasing Greenland, but he seems to be particularly bothered by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s response, that the idea of purchasing the country was “absurd,” a word Trump later called “terrible” and “not a nice statement.”

    “She’s blowing off the United States,” he said.

    Link

    Keep in mind that Trump equates himself with the United States. He even said today, in public and to the press, “I am the chosen one.”

    So, yes, narcissistic as noted in other comments above, and a petulant child, and a small-minded man-child who does not understand diplomacy.

  36. blf says

    Greenland highlights Trump’s willingness to offend close US allies:

    By cancelling his state visit to Denmark, the US president [sic] has again showed his thin skin

    Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to cancel his state visit to Denmark after it rejected his unsolicited offer to buy Greenland at a knockdown price took most people by surprise, not least his own ambassador.

    “Denmark is ready … Partner, ally, friend”, tweeted Carla Sands, the neophyte US envoy to Copenhagen who was previously an actor and chiropractor. Hours later, it was off.

    The embarrassment of Sands, a loyal Trump campaign fundraiser best known until now for her starring role in the 1988 film Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell, elicited scant sympathy from Danes apparently relieved the US president [sic] was not coming.

    “Hahaha, well maybe your boss should update you about what is going on in his mind […]” one Twitter user wrote. […]

    Greenland’s unsought role in this new Nordic saga, wacky even by Trump’s eccentric standards, has again raised questions about his mental state and a chaotic decision-making process in Washington that often leaves partners and allies out in the cold.

    Trump recently secretly ordered military strikes on Iran, then called them off with 10 minutes to go. He caused more Scandinavian amazement and amusement last month when he sent a hostage negotiator to Sweden after the American rapper A$AP Rocky was arrested for common assault.

    […] The Greenland episode has also highlighted Trump’s personal rudeness and undiplomatic willingness to offend close US allies. The visit next month was at the invitation of Queen Margrethe II, who, unlike Prince Hamlet, was apparently prepared to tolerate something rotten in the state of Denmark, at least for a couple of days. She will not be amused.

    […]

    “Thankfully, the time where you buy and sell other countries and populations is over. Let’s leave it there,” [Danish prime minister Mette] Frederiksen said […]. The attempt to buy it was “absurd”. It is this blunt response that seems to have provoked the thin-skinned Trump to put his trip on ice.

    […]

    Greenland is also disproportionately affected by the climate crisis and global heating. According to a CNN report from Kulusuk this week, scientists say 12.5bn tonnes of ice melted on one day this month — the biggest single-day loss ever recorded. That’s no joke — and it is a problem Trump stubbornly refuses to address.

  37. mailliw says

    I think Donald thinks it’s called Greenland because it is completely covered in golf courses.

    I was thinking of trying to crowdfund buying a US state. Which one would anyone recommend?

  38. blf says

    lumipuna@29, Re your prediction… Yep, hair furor is now lashing out about Nato (from the Grauniad’s current live States blog):

    Donald Trump, apparently not satisfied with describing the Danish prime minister as nasty 45 minutes ago, has resumed attacking Denmark.

    Tweeting from Air Force One […] the president [sic] has apparently looked up some information on a favorite hobbyhorse of his: other countries’ contributions to Nato.

    For the record, Denmark is only at 1.35% of GDP for NATO spending. They are a wealthy country and should be at 2%. We protect Europe and yet, only 8 of the 28 NATO countries are at the 2% mark. […] Because of me, these countries have agreed to pay ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS more — but still way short of what they should pay for the incredible military protection provided. Sorry!

  39. lumipuna says

    Holy fuck I’m too prescient.

    As for the general topic, a great summary by PaulBC:

    It is very strange to be talking about Greenland.

  40. PaulBC says

    stroppy@43

    “The President is a raving lunatic. He is not well.”

    True enough, but the part that scares me is that absolutely nothing causes his approval rating to budge. A frightening number of Americans have gone all in on this lunatic.

  41. says

    If they really wanted Greenland, they’d have had the CIA building a nationalist independence movement, starting a bloody coup, then begging to become a protectorate of the US. I.e.: the same playbook they have worked over and over again. Trump’s just impatient.

  42. ORigel says

    I think the Greenland story was to distract from the possible looming recession. I think he thought, “I’ll buy Greenland and the media will forget all about the likely recession in the near future.”

  43. says

    Why do we tolerate this level of incompetence? Because if we stopped tolerating incompetence, all the major figures of both parties would be thrown out on their ears. Iraq, by itself, should have ended the careers of pretty much the entire Republican Party. But at the same time, the Democrats refuse categorically to hold candidates responsible for the disasters they’ve supported and/or voted for — Joe Biden’s record includes support for both Iraq wars (as recently as 2016 he was saying that the 2003 invasion was a good idea, and I have been unable to find any statements where he reversed on the question; he has merely stopped talking about it, the same way he has stopped talking about being against abortion), Reagan’s union-destroying NAFTA, the invasion of Libya (which, if Iraq means Bush and Cheney and Powell should be facing war crimes trials, should put Obama and Biden and Clinton up there with them), boots on the ground in Syria, the right-wing wet dream which was the TPP (it’s amazing how none of its supporters ever seem to be aware that it would have permitted corporations to have laws declared null and void on the basis of making it too hard to turn a profit)… if Democrats held their candidates responsible for incompetence, the votes for the Iraq invasion and the creation of ICE in 2002 would have pretty much stripped the party of Clinton-era names. And that would clearly be unacceptable, so incompetence just was made part of the norm for both parties and they’re really hoping nobody will talk too much about it.

  44. robro says

    blf @ #26 — “Proven” perhaps, but as you point out, there’s speculation and evidence about the extent of oil reserves around Greenland. Getting control of Greenland would be a strategic step toward exploration and exploitation of oil as well as other minerals available there.

  45. jefrir says

    stroppy, could we skip on the ableism? It won’t hurt Trump, but it does hurt people with mental illnesses.

  46. says

    Because of me, these countries have agreed to pay ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS more

    Is anyone else hearing this in the voice of Dr. Evil? I mean, it’s not even a stretch.

  47. TGAP Dad says

    I suspect strongly that the #OrangeIdiot wanted the Trump organization to purchase it, rather than the U.S.

  48. stroppy says

    @ 50

    “..could we skip on the ableism?…”

    Trump is toxic and harmful, quite possibly in a clinical sense, and he doesn’t belong in a position of power. If you find that idea problematic, read this again:
    https://billmoyers.com/story/dangerous-case-donald-trump-robert-jay-lifton-bill-moyers-duty-warn/

    Re my comment @ 30, it’s referring to Republican prison yard type political strategy, IOW deliberately using craziness (colloquial) as a way to confuse and intimidate… and in the case of Trump, to also justify his behavior.

    Two different things, neither of which has anything to do with ableism.

    Just out of curiosity, are you offended by the title of the Richard Prior movie “Stir Crazy” or the lyrics to the Miranda Lambert song “Mama’s Broken Heart:” (“Go and fix your make up girl it’s, just a break up run an’/Hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady…) etc.?

  49. blf says

    (Cross-posted from poopyhead’s current Political Madness All the Time thread.)

    I am the Chosen One: with boasts and insults, Trump sets new benchmark for incoherence:

    […]
    Donald Trump started off precisely on-message.

    [… T]he president [sic] began speaking while still walking toward a crowd of waiting reporters. So the economy is doing very, very well, he said.

    With fears of a recession stirring and public confidence in the health of the economy dropping for the first time in Trump’s presidency [sic], it was a sound message to project to a skittish nation. But that was as good as it got.

    What followed might have swept away all previous Trumpian benchmarks for incoherence, self-aggrandizement, prevarication and rancor in a presidency [sic] that has seemed before to veer loosely along the rails of reason but may never have come quite so close to spectacularly jumping the tracks.

    Over an ensuing half-hour rant, Trump trucked in antisemitic tropes, insulted the Danish prime minister, insisted he wasn’t racist, bragged about the performance of his former Apprentice reality show, denied starting a trade war with China, praised Vladimir Putin and told reporters that he, Trump, was the chosen one — all within hours of referring to himself as the King of Israel and tweeting in all caps: WHERE IS THE FEDERAL RESERVE?

    Leaving aside those who were left merely gape-jawed, the performance inspired reactions from new expressions of doubt about Trump’s fitness for office to evocations of “the last president I know of who compared himself to the Messiah”.

    (That turns out, according to Brookings Institution fellow Benjamin Wittes, to be Andrew Johnson (1865–9), whose articles of impeachment cited his “intemperate, inflammatory and scandalous harangues”.)

    […]

    Trump ignored a shouted question about whether Jews in the United States have a right to be simply American — but Trump denied he was employing an antisemitic trope.

    I haven’t heard anybody say that, just the opposite. Trump said.

    Trump then embarked on an increasingly breakneck tour through the hills and valleys of a personal political landscape whose map, if it existed, was private to him, although his route was provisionally signposted by questions shouted by the media.

    We wiped out the Caliphate, 100%, I did it in record time, he said of the fight against Isis [daesh].

    I note that insults most Muslims, who do not regard the daesh-controlled territory a caliphate.

    I am the least racist person ever to serve in office, OK? I am the least racist person, he opined.

    And, of course, his journey included a visit to his old favorite stomping ground: reality TV.

    I made a lot of money for NBC with the Apprentice, and I used to like them, but they are so biased, he said. You are so obviously biased and that’s why the public doesn’t believe you.

    His dislike for the media was on familiar display.

    The fake news, of which many of you are members, are trying to convince the public to have a recession, he said. ‘Let’s have a recession!’

    But then — as he discussed his trade war with China — came a new twist as Trump bestowed himself with a new title certain to launch a million Twitter memes.

    This is a trade war that should have taken place years ago… somebody had to do it. I am the Chosen One.

    […]

  50. magistramarla says

    At #15, Raven wrote this:
    Thule Air Base Wikipedia
    Thule Air Base, or Thule Air Base/Pituffik Airport (IATA: THU, ICAO: BGTL), is the United States Air Force’s northernmost base, located 1,207 km (750 mi) north of the Arctic Circle and 1,524 km (947 mi) from the North Pole on the northwest coast of the island of Greenland.
    Thule Air Base is home to the 21st Space Wing’s global network of sensors providing missile warning, space surveillance and space control to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Air Force Space Command (AFSPC).

    It keeps crossing my mind that this base could be at a very strategic point when it comes to observing or stopping things that Russia might be doing. Could it be that Putin put him up to this? If he could get his moronic orange puppet to either take over Greenland (lol), or as is more likely, piss off the citizens of both Denmark and Greenland so much that Thule gets closed down, it might be something that would benefit Putin. Imagine the US not having that base there to keep an eye on Russia’s doings!

  51. blf says

    magistramarla@55, A somewhat similar opinion column in the Grauniad, Trump wanting to buy Greenland is yet another sign of Putin’s puppetry:

    Greenland didn’t just bubble into Trump’s mind randomly — it’s very much on Russia’s radar for its unknown supply of oil, gas and rare metals

    [… A]fter two and half years of this corrosive nonsense, it’s time to admit some unpleasant truths. The madness of Donald Trump is getting worse, not better. The presidency has not normalized him, it has only normalized our numbed reaction to his excesses. We cannot see through the fog of disinformation and distraction how much of the world’s instability is directly linked to his abject failure as a president.

    […]

    Sadly, the days of buying and selling other countries are far from over because Trump himself seems to be easily bought by his Russian and Saudi friends. He’s so cheap you only have to dangle the idea of a Trump Tower in Moscow to win his undying support for lifting sanctions imposed after Russia invaded and annexed part of Ukraine.

    Greenland doesn’t just bubble into Trump’s mind randomly, unless Fox News is airing obscure weekend segments on arctic politics. But it is very much on Russia’s radar. Earlier this year, Russia revamped its arctic circle military base on the tiny Kotelny Island, which sits close to the shipping routes that are opening up as the polar region warms catastrophically.

    There are unknown quantities of oil, gas and rare earth metals in the arctic, and the region’s powers — Denmark among them — can either green light a global free-for-all or restrain the usual human plunder of one of the last pristine frontiers on the planet. You can guess where Russia sits on this spectrum of environmental concerns in the middle of our climate crisis.

    It is one of the sickest Trump jokes that his half-baked idea of buying Greenland should be seen as American machismo when it is yet another sign of Putin’s puppet American presidency at work.

    Denmark is a loyal ally within the organization that Russia loathes: Nato. So the downside to trashing a state visit, complete with a royal dinner, is not what it normally would be for an American president who supposedly leads the greatest global alliance in military history. He did, after all, suggest withdrawing US troops from Nato just last year.

    […]

  52. KG says

    Aside from oil, Greenland has many other mineral reserves, including “rare earth” metals in which China currently has a near-monopoloy. And as I note in the Political Madness thread, it’s a key to claims to the Arctic seabed, over which oil, gas and minerals corporations are licking their lips as the ice melts. Claims are made by 5 countries, on the basis of possessing Arctic coasts: the USA, Russia, Canada, Norway, and – through it’s sovereignty over Greenland – Denmark. Trump has just blurted out what I bet the military-industrial complex (h/t Pres. Eisenhower) has been thinking for years: wouldn’t it be nice to get our hands on Greenland.

  53. TonyJ says

    We don’t tolerate it. What are we supposed to do about it, storm the White House and forcibly evict him?

  54. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    To KG
    Protip: China produces 95% of the world’s rare earth metals, but its not because it has 95% of the world’s deposits.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-usa-rareearth-refining/china-set-to-control-rare-earth-supply-for-years-due-to-processing-dominance-idUSKCN1T004J

    Rather, current Chinese dominance over rare earth metal supply seems primarily due to the widespread radiophobia from the Greens.

    https://www.mining.com/web/us-lost-plot-rare-earths/

    It doesn’t help that it seems that mining and refining rare earth metals is an environmental catastrophe in China, and it probably costs a lot more to do it without severely polluting the nearby environment.

    https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/renewable/wind/big-winds-dirty-little-secret-rare-earth-minerals/

    Yay Greens! Causing us to offshore our rare earth metal mining, and ensuring that it will be done in a horrifically worse way by China instead of under US supervision.

  55. says

    GerrardOfTitanServer

    Rather, current Chinese dominance over rare earth metal supply seems primarily due to the widespread radiophobia from the Greens.

    And here comes Don Quixote, merrily slashing away at his imaginary demons again. Truth is, the process to extract rare earths is difficult requiring many complex steps. Countries (like China) that don’t give much of a shit about the health of its workers are ideally placed to corner the market. Elsewhere, scientists are working to simplify the process that it can be done in a sensible manner nearer the source. Example:

    https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/MRF/Areas/Resourceful-magazine/Issue-07/Rare-earth-challenge

  56. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    To Lofty
    Uhh, what? Didn’t I also mention that is one of the prominent reasons that it’s being done in China right now? I gave two reasons. Your reason is one of my two reasons. It’s like you’re trying to rebut me or something. I don’t get it.

  57. zenlike says

    @ GerrardOfTitanServer

    Most other places (which was mainly Australia at the time) besides China simply stopped mining and processing rare earths because China did it so damn cheap it wasn’t economically viable. And one of the reasons they were so cheap (but not the only reason) was that they lacked most environmental standards. To make it economically viable in (for example) Australia was to either drop the standards (a move which would indeed be opposed by those darn “Greens”, but also by most rational thinking people), but even that wouldn’t have dropped the prices enough, or to raise the price of Chinese imports by slapping on tariffs (which would probably not have been opposed by most “Greens”), which would have the effect of raising the cost of manufacturing outside of China, so that would also imply manufactured Chinese goods containing rare earth resources should have been subjected to tariffs to level the economic playing field.

    We know you have a hate-boner for those “Greens”, but this is quite reaching. The only thing regarding rare earths that can be “blamed” on the “Greens” is that they probably don’t want to drop our ecological standards to the disastrous Chinese standards.

  58. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    There are several aspects in play. However, I have heard accounts and interviews from sources that I consider to be reliable (ThorCon Alliance and associated figures) who directly cite a real mine owner in the US who say that they could mine rare earth metals in the US under current US regulations if not for the severe regulations on the disposal of thorium. Rare earth metals typically come with small amounts of thorium, and naturally occurring thorium is radioactive, but barely so.

    I very much attribute modern radiophobia to the Green movement today (but there are also other causes, such as the desire to stop nuclear weapon testing for peace purposes – that’s a whole fun story about how they probably faked evidence in order to get support for the treaty that bans open air nuclear weapon testing).

    So, with all of this thorium that they have to dispose of, which is considered to be nuclear waste, it’s such an expense that it makes mining rare earth metals too costly and difficult to do, and again I currently trust this account as probably accurate because it comes from sources that I currently trust.

  59. says

    @KG:

    the USA, Russia, Canada, Norway, and … Denmark

    Of course, 3 of those are allies, one is the US itself, and buying Greenland wouldn’t help against the claims of Russia at all.

    We’re not in competition with Denmark in any relevant sense. Norway is much more likely to extract fossil fuels from the Arctic Ocean basin than Denmark. My read of politics here is that Canada is probably less likely than likely Norway to to do so, while very possibly more likely than Denmark (I know little to nothing of Denmark politics, but that’s my feeling based on the sliver I do know). But Greenland isn’t Canada’s.

    I guess I could see Greenland maybe, possibly permitting extraction of rare earths or some other valuable ores from parts of the landmass itself someday, but that seems wildly unlikely for the foreseeable future, given their largely indigenous population and semi-independent government. But if they did do that, would that hurt US interests in any way? Certainly the US wouldn’t make more in royalties that it would cost to purchase the island, and if Greenland began to extract such minerals, US companies would be as able as anyone else to invest in enterprises on the island and take their share of the profits.

    Indeed the only scenario in which I can see purchasing Greenland being any use at all is if the US wanted to extract minerals and fossil fuels while the Greenland government prohibited on-land extractions and Denmark prohibited off-shore extraction. It seems to me that the US corps could simply extract from other sources at a faster rate, given the lack of competition, and make just as much money from other mines/wells. The fossil fuels, meanwhile, would lose value as the world moves more and more towards a reduced-carbon and/or carbon-free energy economy. At the same time, the massive need for desalinization to gain fresh water for human consumption, bathing, and industry combined with the potential to extract minerals from seawater (including mountains of lithium as well as REEs) virtually guarantee continued progress toward water purification technology that offers the opportunity to extract economically valuable elements as byproducts.

    In other words, elements that we might extract from the island will come closer and closer over time to a state of adequate availability with no mining necessary. The pace of that progress is not directly or precisely predictable, of course, but it’s clear that we’re going to have to put a lot of resources into water purification and it only makes sense, if we’re going to spend time and energy separating the water from the elemental sludge, to make economic use of the organic and inorganic leftovers as best we can.

    In short, there’s literally nothing that the US stands to gain. Corporations would not have access to new products. The nation wouldn’t be able to shut out a competitor. The resources gained aren’t needed during the timeframe in which they become available, and as the arctic warms to make those resources more available, it is inevitable that that very warming is further evidence to the world that action must be taken to eliminate our economic use of the most valuable resource sink: fossil fuel reserves. Mining inland on the island might be possible, but not soon, and we have no idea if those minerals will be able to be brought to market in a cost-competitive manner either before or after de-glaciation.

    It’s stupid. It’s disrespectful. It’s colonialist. It’s grandiose. It is grotesque.

    In my opinion, neither Denmark nor Greenland responded strongly enough. But the world of international diplomacy is such that, “I’m not entirely sure you really have thought this one quite all the way through,” can be interpreted as, “You’re less intelligent than a bag of doorknobs” embroidered with multiple strings of profanities. So, who knows? Maybe they did respond strongly enough.

  60. blf says

    One of the most rabid nutcases in the Senate claims he was responsible for hair furor’s delusions, Sen Cotton says he asked Danish ambassador about selling Greenland:

    Months before President Donald Trump expressed an interest in buying Greenland, US Sen Tom Cotton, R-Ark, said he suggested the idea to the President [sic] and met with the Danish ambassador to propose the sale of the large land mass to the US.

    […]

    Cotton said Greenland’s mineral reserves and its strategic location make it an ideal strategy move for the US[, … and said] Greenland’s “economic potential is untold,” and the island is “vital to our national security.”

    Anyone who can’t see that is blinded by Trump derangement, he said.

    Cotton said in 2018 the Chinese government sought to essentially bribe the local government of Greenland into allowing it to build three military bases there. But efforts by Trump administration and some in Congress convinced Denmark to weigh in at the last minute and block the deal, Cotton said.

    Revisionist history. It was to convert three(?) disused airfields into modern aeroports — a Greenlandic plan to replace the apparently rather tiny aeroport at Nuuk. A Chinese company bid to build two(?) of the aeroports, but ultimately Greenland decided on financing from Denmark, and the company withdrew their bid.

    There apparently was another incident — although again rather different to the nutter’s ravings — to convert an recently(?)-closed military base into a logistical hub for trans-Arctic shipping. Again, there was a Chinese bid; this time, Greenland decided the plan was bonkers and the facility should be reopened.

    Big China — which was been calling itself a “near-Arctic power” — is certainly interested in having a presence on Greenland, presumably similar to what they’ve been up to in S.America and Africa.

    I told the president you should buy it as well, Cotton said, adding later that He’s (Trump) heard that from me and from some other people as well.

    […]

  61. irene says

    I get weird Republican spam polls sometimes. One of them, from Thursday 22 August 2019, asked “Would you support an invasion of Greenland?”

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