‘The negotiated acquisition of sovereignty is a longstanding and perfectly legitimate tool of statecraft…’
(Dan E. Way, Liberty Headlines) Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who knows a little something about the geographic and historical illiteracy of Americans, supports President Donald Trump’s interest in buying Greenland.
“The media would do well to chill with mocking President Trump and instead learn some U.S. history. Our country’s desire to purchase Greenland predates the purchase of Alaska,” Palin wrote in a column for Breitbart News.
Palin reminded that in 1867 Secretary of State William Seward, first appointed by President Abraham Lincoln, attempted to buy Greenland.
Then, as now, Denmark refused to sell.
That same year Seward brokered the deal to purchase Alaska from the Russians. His critics initially sneered at what they called “Seward’s Folly.”
The $7.2 million deal is now regarded as one of the greatest land purchase bargains in history. Alaska is flush with oil and other natural resources, and has a $50 billion annual economy. It provides the U.S. with a strategic national security buffer against Russia.
Palin said Greenland presents a fitting parallel. Though mostly frozen wilderness, it has abundant natural resources, including fisheries, precious metals, and potential oil and gas reserves. It also has rare earth elements used in the high-tech and defense industries. Its location near Russia would provide another national security asset. China recognizes that, and is making its own overtures to acquire Greenland.
She’s not the only conservative supporting President Trump’s interest in Greenland.
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wrote a column in the New York Times saying he proposed such a deal last year. And President Harry Truman unsuccessfully offered $100 million to Denmark for Greenland in 1946.
One reason Cotton wants to buy Greenland is for national defense. Thule Air Base, which supports U.S. ballistic missile and space missions, is in western Greenland.
“Despite the historical ignorance of the president’s critics, the negotiated acquisition of sovereignty is a longstanding and perfectly legitimate tool of statecraft, particularly in the American tradition,” Cotton wrote. “More than one-third of America’s territory was purchased from Spain (Florida), France (the Louisiana Purchase), Mexico (the Gadsden Purchase) and Russia (Alaska).”
Comedian Tina Fey lampooned Palin in a Saturday Night Live skit impersonating the 2008 vice presidential candidate with the infamous but fictional line “I can see Russia from my house!” The Christian Science Monitor ranks the expression as one of the top 10 political misquotes of all time.
Still, Palin was forever tarred by the fabrication intended to make her appear featherbrained, even though, as she again pointed out in her column, Russia is visible across the Bering Sea from some parts of Alaska.