President Trump stirred up a hornet’s nest recently as he proposed that the U.S. try to buy Greenland. Many political observers rolled their eyes. Buy another country?
Has the President thrown out another wacky suggestion and is this really a good idea? Actually, yes. America has been acquiring land from other nations for centuries. And often, Louisiana has been right in the mix.
Most Americans do not know that Greenland is owned by Denmark and the U.S. has operated the Thule Air Base there since 1941. The base is America’s northern most defense site located less than 900 miles from the Arctic Circle. It is considered critical for America’s defense giving it a ballistic missile early warning system. So if Denmark is willing to sell, it would be in the strategic interest of America to acquire Greenland.
The Bayou State was right in the mix of the greatest land acquisition in the nation’s history back in 1803 when President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison, without the authority of congress, cut one heck of a deal with Napoleon. For a penance of $15 million, the size of America was doubled as the new Louisiana territory stretched from New Orleans to Canada and west to the Rocky Mountains, taking in over 828,000 square miles and all or part of what would later become 15 different states.
The Louisiana Democratic Party considers Jefferson persona non grata because he owned slaves. But without his vison and foresight, the Bayou State would be spending euros and kissing each other on both cheeks.
A few years later, General Andrew Jackson won the Battle of New Orleans saving Louisiana from becoming snobby British and having to drink and eat tea and crumpets, rather than Beignets & Café Au Lait. Jackson was certainly Louisiana’s greatest hero leading the fight to starve off the yoke of the British, but he too has been ostracized by the Louisiana Democratic Party. Go figure.
After freeing up the Bayou State, Jackson marched into Florida, then controlled by the Spanish and the British, and seized the Spanish forts at Pensacola. He put the Spanish governor on a boat to Cuba, fought off the Seminole Indians, and scared the Spanish into ceding parts of Florida and Georgia to the U.S.
Sam Houston fought under Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, the went on to combat and win the fight of San Jacinto, that forced General Santa Anna to recognize the independence of a new Lone Star Republic. The U.S. continued to pick away at Mexican land, eventually acquiring the American Southwest, plus California.
And would you believe that Mexico even went so far as to beg the U.S. to buy Baja, California for $10 million but we declined? You can bet congress would jump on such an opportunity today.
Our land grab continued right after the Civil War, as Secretary of State William Seward bought Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. Another one heck of a deal. America went on to acquire Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines, spreading our influence worldwide. So is it that far out of the norm for President Trump to want to buy a strategic nation like Greenland? Actually, President Harry Truman tried to buy Greenland, back in 1946, and offered Denmark $100 million. Denmark said no, but they did sell us the Virgin Islands.
There is realignment taking place all over the world. Strategic relationships and landscapes are shifting. It’s not been all that long ago that Russia ruptured into 15 different nations.Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. Since the 1990s some 35 countries have fragmented, merged or have been sold.
So why not try to acquire Greenland? It has bountiful natural resources and is tactically located with a vital proximity to both Russia and Europe. Don’t sell the President short. He’s on the mark in attempting to acquire Greenland.
Jim Brown is a former Commissioner of Insurance, Secretary of State and state senator from Ferriday. His past columns can be read at www.jimbrownusa.com. Brown’s nationally syndicated radio show airs each Sunday morning from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at www.jimbrownusa.com.