“Hmm, you are saying that I – Donald Trump – can’t buy Greenland?
Photo collage by Jan Oberg 2019
August 21, 2019
This morning the Danes could wake up to a Twitter message from US President Trump that he was anyhow not going to Denmark on September 2-3 – in spite of the fact that it had been confirmed and that, formally at least, he had been invited by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II herself.
Here is his tweet
Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, a few days ago visited Greenland and let it be known that the Arctic region was a very important security issue: “We can already say that to get the Americans even more closely involved in what happens in our part of the Arctic – the Unity of the Realm – is essential. And an even stronger strategic cooperation between our countries is important for both Greenland and Denmark.” (My translation of her statement to the Danish Broadcasting (Danmarks Radio) quoted here).
Danmarks Radio also reported that she finds such a much stronger cooperation with the US “unavoidable” and she herself ends her statement with this: “And there is no doubt that it is the US that is our closest ally, not everybody else. So when it comes to military presence, we have to keep pace with the development.” This means more, not less, US military presence in Greenland.
It was during this visit she also said in a comment to Trump that Greenland was not for sale.
It’s hardly surprising that Danish politicians across the political spectrum (not very broad) express their surprise at Trump’s rather arrogant and anti-diplomatic turnaround. They are all very upset and focus on him and his personality – urge him to show more respect, call him mad, undiplomatic, a fool, an elephant in a porcelain shop, a man with a colonial thinking and one who has created a diplomatic farce. (Much of it being surprisingly – at least to me – undiplomatic and unable to see it as a political rather than psychological issue).
Their frustration is boiling over – perhaps understandably.
Self-pity for the first time feeling harassed
But – really – what’s the fuss?
The fuss of course is that Denmark – one of the most blindly loyal US allies for decades – gets to taste a bit of what it means to be treated by the US Empire.
During the last 20 years, Denmark has been at the forefront fighting wars on US demand: Yugoslavia (1999), Afghanistan, co-occupying power in Iraq 2003-2007, a main bombing nation at the destruction of Libya, bombing again in Iraq and Syria and politically always – without exception – being uncritically on the side of the US – so too in its suffocating-through-sanctions and war-mongering policies vis-a-vis Iran.
Former Danish prime minister – an un-convicted war criminal by the name of Anders Fogh-Rasmussen – was rewarded for his dragging Denmark into the invasion and occupation of Iraq from 2003 to 2007 – the country’s biggest foreign policy blunder since 1945 – by being catapulted into the seat of NATO Secretary-General and, in that role, spearheaded the destruction of Libya way outside the UN mandate given.
The Danish political establishment and mainstream media have had no qualms about these policies, not to speak of sympathy for the victims of these US wars – except in the quite limited sense of feeling sorrow for the Danish young men who have fallen in these futile, international law-breaking wars.
It’s been self-pity in inverse proportion to empathy with real victims’ real suffering thanks to the US Danish-supported wars.
It’s not about Trump and his psychology
In the reactions by every leading politician in Denmark seem to be an underlying – idyllic, illusory – assumption that it is all about a man and his personality – an assumption Trump of course would adore.
However, that is misplaced. It’s about a system, a political culture and an Empire of which he is the elected leader.
It’s about a US that is not only a society, or republic, but an empire – and which is not a world leader with a MIMAC – Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex – but is a MIMAC.
The expiry date before which the US could have prevented itself from becoming such a complex – that President Eisenhower warned us all against – has passed long ago. Like a drug addict, it lives on violence in general and military means in particular.
It’s about an actor who has repeatedly scolded its allies – however, never Denmark, there was no reason – and on a daily basis bullied the world.
The US Empire in a nutshell
What is Trump’s decision to not visit little Denmark in reality about? Think this way:
In a nutshell, it’s about US global Empire-policy, militarism, bullying and believing in its own fundamental exceptionalism – standing over and above the Rest.
OK, these are words you still cannot use in Denmark without being blacklisted from the so-free called media, I know. But so be it. One day, everybody will use them – that is, when the US Empire has fallen and the US becomes a pleasant and interesting Republic to visit again. Everybody also distanced themselves from the Soviet Union too late – when it had fallen.
The main means of the US Empire (repat not the Republic) are these – and they are in quite another category than a diplomatically arrogant “I don’t bother to visit your little unimportant country and couldn’t care less about Her Majesty, Tivoli and the Little Mermaid” kinda thing:
Intimidation, political threats, sanctions (against close to 30 countries), demonisation, fake and omission, self-promotion through cultural and media penetration, exceptionalism, lies and propaganda, 600 bases in 130 countries, CIA in even more, special forces in God only know how many, threats of war as well as de facto interventions, occupations and wars – almost every day somewhere since 1945; regime change (almost 50 between 1943 and 2003 alone), a systematic violations of international laws and deliberate undermining of the United Nations and its Charter.
It’s the only country which in its 18th year conducts a self-righteous but counterproductive – global war on terror instead of caring about its own complicity in terror – and having through that only created much more terror, including ISIS, a result of its irresponsible, ignorant policies as administrator of Iraq.
And while we are at it: its nuclear megalomania.
The US is the only country in the world that has used nuclear weapons (for no good reason, Japan was finished) and also not having apologised for it. The only country which has a military doctrine that includes the first use of nuclear weapons also against conventional attacks and cyber attacks and, finally, the only country that has official reports about the possible de facto use of nuclear weapons to win a war in the future.
Yes, there are wonderful sides to the US. But these dark sides – all facts, no fake – need to be taken seriously, particularly in all things security.
A lover rejected – more submissiveness
That sort of thing has never upset the Danish foreign policy establishment – and if it has, it’s been kept secret in politics, research and media.
It was necessary to be submissive and loyal to the point of giving up all Danish/Nordic identity – socio-cultural values, international solidarity, empathy and decency – to be close to the US. To really show how much it loved the US (and hated Russia) has been Priority No 1.
And thus, Denmark has become a super active rogue bombing state – however, sadly, while most of the Danes drink latte and couldn’t care less about what their government does in Libya or Syria or what is problematic about the collective punishment of the Iranian people called sanctions.
And now – having done all that – being rejected, humiliated by the object of one’s blind respect/fear and even love?! Yes, it is hard – as can be seen from today’s statement: This is how you treat us in spite of all we’ve done for you!
And that’s why the subconscious thought, or hope, is that this is only an interlude, a parenthesis called Trump. After him, with a more “normal” president, the good old relationship with the beloved good old US will re-emerge.
Sorry, it won’t. Don’t be delusional. There’s been enough self-blindfolding!
This is the real character of your loved one – and you’ve only experienced the mildest version of it. Don’t keep believing there are only good sides because he will beat you up again if you commit the same crime again of saying no to the US!
It is perhaps the first time since 1945 Denmark is exposed to US foreign policy in its confrontational mode. Instead of self-pity, Denmark should take it as a wake-up call. Look around and reduce its total dependence just a little.
In terms of foreign policy, little warrior Denmark has never been anything but a pawn in the Empire’s game and the NATO sub-game. And, thus it is utterly unprepared for a crisis such as this.
Trump’s cancellation is a fine opportunity
See President Trump’s dropping of the visit as a wake-up call, as a wonderful opportunity to begin thinking – Denmark hasn’t been thinking independently before – of new ways to navigate and strategize and find partners with a vision whom you can cooperate with the next 50 years. It is not the US.
Because the future of the world – if there is going to be one – must be about cooperation and civil tools, not confrontation and military tools. It must be about mutual respect and benefits. Not exploitation and exceptionalism by any. A world in which there will be no new empire trying to rule the world – the Chinese are not that stupid, so feel good!
Denmark, it’s time to drop your dependency and self-pity. Instead, try a little new thinking for the first time since you became a member of NATO: Keep your friendship with the US society – the Republic – but distance yourself from the militarist – and declining – US Empire – and build new cooperative relations with the rest of the world.
Walk on two legs.
A wise person doesn’t put all her eggs in one basket. Neither does a small country that wants peace for itself and the world.
Post Script 1
This afternoon at a press conference, prime minister Mette Frederiksen said repeatedly that the cancellation of the visit will/should have no consequences for the otherwise good relations between the countries. And that the invitation to the US about closer security political cooperation still stands “completely untouched”.
So, one must see this whole story a serious diplomatic crisis in more than one sense. Just imagine that she had accepted an invitation to visit President Trump and cancelled it with a similar excuse – for instance, that she could not buy Trump Tower or Hawaii. Oh no – We’ll obey you forever, no matter how you treat us!
And, so, Donald Trump will put on one of his self-satisfied winner smiles and say to people around him – “there you see, I get away with everything.” And he and his country will do much worse things tomorrow. All Empires do.
Until they fall.
Donald Trump elaborated on why he cancelled his visit. Here you can see him say that the Danish prime minister’s word “absurd” was “a terrible word” and not a way to talk to the US which “treats countries with respect”. He also says that it was not “a nice way she blew me off – because she is blowing off the United States and we’ve done a lot for Denmark.” (My italics).
The President is clearly personally offended and masters prime minister Frederiksen about how to speak with respect… something I would also call absurd. And in line with the Empire’s standard operation mode.
Judging from the prime minister’s statement in tonight’s prime time news hour, it is pretty clear that it is Denmark – the (small) victim of US policies – that is trying damage limitation while the US President continues playing personally offended and teaching lessons even after his remarkable, unorthodox diplomatic blunder.