Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hans Island Military Free Zone

This image was originally posted at inuitarteskimoart.com

It all started when I was three.

Canada and Denmark were drawing up the Arctic borders in 1973 and were unable to resolve the question of Hans Island, a small, barren, seal-infested island located between Greenland and Ellesmere Island.

In 1984 the Danish escalated,

Tom Hoeyem, Denmark's Minister of Greenland Affairs, placed a Danish flag on the island and a bottle of brandy with a note saying "Welcome to the Danish island."

This image was originally posted at The Marmot Hole


Shortly afterwards, a group of pissed-up Newfoundland fishermen are said to have landed on the island, drank the brandy, and done some fairly rude things to the Danish flag, which they assumed was Russian, and pee'd "Welcome to the Canadian Island, eh." into the snow in front of the desecrated flagpole.

Well the Danes have sent their navy there a few times over the years and it looks like Canada has taken another step into the fray. Last month we sent our navy there to put up a Canadian flag (to show how tough we are) and an Inuit-style rock pile (to show how sensitive we are towards native aesthetics.)

Once our military had softened the place up we put it up one more notch, sending our Defense Minister Bill Graham, (not the evangelist,) there to walk around and say that he had always felt that Hans Island was an integral part of Canada.

Of course he had to do this in the summer because our navy can't actually get to Hans Island in the winter. We don't have the kind of icebreakers needed to get there in the winter; Denmark has four. Sneaky little boy scouts.

Years ago, I would have shouted blindly for war with the Danes and their Inuit cronies. I would have called for our boys to hit Hans and hit it hard. Barely pausing for a rye and coke, and to watch some of Don Cherry's hockey fight videos; I would have supported using Hans as a base from which to take Greenland and then Denmark itself; show those snivelling, little Leif Erikson's what we were made of and make the Russians themselves quake in their once-commie boots.

Then I remembered the Falklands. Despite the best intentions of the British back in 1984, there were a number of goats that were needlessly slaughtered when the Royal Navy went in to secure the peace on the farthest shores of its empire. Those goats would still be here if cooler heads than mine had prevailed.

This image was originally posted at www.liberation-mag.org.uk


Now I am thinking about the seals. Those poor Hans Island seals will be the true victims when the empires of Canada and Denmark clash, just like the sheep that got in the way of the Royal Navy so many years ago.

It is in the name of those seals, and in memory of those goats, that I propose immediate Canada-Denmark peace talks, a de-escalation of rhetoric and meaningless gestures, and the establishment of a Hans Island Military Free Zone.

I only hope its not too late.

This image was originally posted at bonjour quebec

4 comments:

BigEll said...

Bastard! I was going to write something about this. Now I have to think of something new. Damn you Gentle Rant and Red A from Ni Howdy.

Karl said...

Mmm. Seals. The other white meat.

Greased Dolphin spinning Fire said...

HMM what to say ...read the mail

SixtusNicolai said...

Det er en yndig land.