‘US president cancels state visit to Denmark because it won’t sell him Greenland.’
It sounds like a headline from The Onion satirical website or The Day Today. But no. This has just actually happened.
Before all the pedants leap to their keyboards, no, it is not completely unheard of for a US president to ponder purchasing Greenland.
American leaders from President Jackson in the early nineteenth century to Truman in the 1940s have floated the idea of getting their hands on the territory and its mineral wealth.
But until the idea somehow entered President Trump’s intriguing brain mid-August, no one had proposed it for decades.
The president has now taken the extraordinary step of cancelling a state visit because his hosts had the temerity to rule out a proposal that has been dead and buried since the end of the Second World War.
Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
“… based on Prime Minister Metter Fredericksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase…” he tweeted, the state visit is off.
As if the state visit had always and only been about America buying Greenland.
The expensive preparations going back months for the presidential visit have all been for nothing. Important issues like the Arctic and global warming, will not be discussed.
And yet another Trumpian precedent has been set. Other small countries also considering the costly enterprise of hosting Donald Trump will probably be thinking again.
You may have better things to do than bother trying to work out why, but as it’s August you have time on your hands, here a few possible explanations. For what they are worth.
- The Danish prime minister called Trump’s proposal ‘absurd’. Other politicians in Denmark have gone further saying it is a sign of his madness. He does not like criticism. So in a fit of pique he calls off his visit.
- The president reportedly does not like travel. He has plenty lined up in coming weeks, so it suits him to scratch one fixture off the list.
- It is the G7 summit at the end of the week. The president likes to stir things up ahead of such gatherings to unsettle other world leaders whose company he does not seem to enjoy. This is more of the same.
- The US stock markets have been tumbling. The president needs a distraction.
- Barack Obama, Mr Trump’s arch nemesis is also going to Denmark next month a few weeks later. He is popular there unlike Mr Trump. The crowds and adulation he is likely to receive may be an awkward contrast to the protests and controversy likely to welcome Mr Trump. Obama’s trip was announced two days before Mr Trump first raised the Greenland purchase idea. Did he do so knowing it would be rejected giving him an excuse to call off his visit to Denmark?
None of the above you might conclude justifies the capricious decision to cancel the visit and the huge insult the president has just dealt yet another ally.
Source: SKY NEWS