From the Left



The U.S. must take Greenland by force!

Dana Milbank on

WASHINGTON -- In the Trump era, no moment of tranquility can be taken for granted.

I went to the beach for what I thought would be a quiet August break. I returned to find President Trump plotting to annex Greenland.

On Sunday, Trump confirmed that he would be interested in buying the territory from Denmark and that "we'll talk to them" about it. "Essentially, it's a large real estate deal," Trump explained, reasoning that Denmark might be willing to part with the huge land mass because "they carry it at a great loss."

The great Danes reacted indignantly. "Greenland is not for sale," Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen proclaimed on a defensive visit to the island Sunday, calling the idea "an absurd discussion" and saying "I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously."

Fighting words! There is only one proper response to such intransigence: The United States must take Greenland by force.

Greenland has no regular military, so we should be able to occupy every Nuuk and cranny of the place without much struggle. It's possible, of course, that this attack on Danish territory would prompt a response by NATO under the alliance's mutual-defense pact, but Trump has already defanged that alliance.


Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, foresaw such a moment, saying in 2016 during the GOP presidential nominating battle that "we're liable to wake up one morning and Donald, if he were president, would have nuked Denmark."

Trump has demonstrated little familiarity with the kingdom -- his White House once spelled it "Denmakr" -- which is why I speculated that he might bumble into a misplaced (and misspelled) assault on that country ("You may be shoked by my military attak on the Kingdom of Denmakr ..."). After that prediction, an anxious man in Copenhagen emailed me with a plea that I cease giving Trump such ideas.

But a U.S. attack on Greenland would meet the definition of a just war. It would be an act of self-defense against a violent people: Erik the Red, who founded the first European settlement in Greenland, was exiled from Iceland for his murderous ways.

Besides, Greenland attacked us first. It was 1,019 years ago, give or take -- and they still celebrate it: In the town of Qassiarsuk, according to the website, stands a bronze statue of Leif Eriksson -- one of Erik the Red's sons -- on the site from which the Viking departed to invade North American shores.


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