The Greenland Connection

US President Donald Trump has been rightly mocked in the past week for his alleged desire to buy Greenland from Denmark. What on earth put this crazy idea into Trump’s head, people rightly asked. Fortunately, we now have an answer, courtesy of The Guardian’s US columnist Richard Wolffe – Russia put him up to it! I see that until recently Wolffe was ‘vice president and executive editor of’, which explains a lot – MSNBC having been the no. 1 cheerleader in the Russiagate scandal in the US. The Trump-Russia story long since jumped the shark, but somehow it keeps finding extra sharks to leap over. Let’s take a look at what Wolffe has to say.

Greenland doesn’t just bubble into Trump’s mind randomly … But it is very much on Russia’s radar. Earlier this year, Russia revamped its arctic circle military base on tiny Kotelny Island, which sits close to the shipping routes that are opening up as the polar region warms catastrophically.

There are unknown quantities of oil, gas and rare earth minerals in the arctic, and the region’s powers – Denmark among them – can either green light a global free-for-all or restrain the usual human plunder of one of the last pristine frontiers on the planet. You can guess where Russia sits on this spectrum of environmental concerns in the middle of our climate crisis.

It is one of the sickest Trump jokes that his half-baked idea of buying Greenland should be seen as American machismo when it is yet another sign of Putin’s puppet American presidency at work.

‘Lazy journalism’ was the response of a distinguished British guest I showed this article to at breakfast today. It was very typical British understatement. There’s no argument here, no flow of logic from facts to conclusion, just an assertion entirely disconnected from everything which has gone before. Why Russia’s Arctic interests should prompt it to persuade Trump to try to buy Greenland isn’t explained. In reality, the last thing Russia would want, in an era of US-Russian tension, is an expanded American presence in an area of great and growing important to the Russian economy. The idea that Trump wanting to buy Greenland is proof that he’s a Russian ‘puppet’ is beyond bizarre.

By now, of course, it’s no surprise that the editors at outlets like The Guardian seem to have lost all sense of responsibility when it comes to the case of Trump-Russia, and are happy to publish any type of drivel. But Wolffe’s article makes the mind boggle at the lack of intellectual competence required to gain top executive positions at MSNBC. Perhaps the only explanation for it lies in the realm of pop psychology. For according to psychological research, debunking conspiracy theories doesn’t stop people believing in them; in fact, believers who are shown that their theories are wrong  end up on average believing in them even more fervently. This article illustrates the point: the Trump-Russia connection has become an article of faith, a religious belief so absolutely true that all facts have to be bended to fit it, while all the evidence to the contrary serves only to reinforce the faith even further. Russiagate may be nonsense, but if this article is anything to go by, it has turned the brains of a large section of the political left into mulch.

22 thoughts on “The Greenland Connection”

  1. This is an example of why I believe that the whole country has gone insane–and not just the political right. That a county run by such a group of imbeciles literally holds the fate of mankind in its hand is downright scary. Almost as scary as the fact that most of the “leaders” of our European (and Canadian) allies usually march along in lockstep with whatever foolish notion pops into our heads, even if the results are tens or hundreds of thousands of needless civilian deaths.


  2. MSNBC has been top heavy with one-sided negative followup on Trump’s suggestion to have Russia back in the G7. Not that Russia should be especially looking to get back into that org.

    Last night, MSNBC host Chris Hayes gave a convoluted monologue on why Russia shouldn’t be allowed back in. Another such MSNBC instance involved a Brian Williams hosted segment with Michael McFaul and Frank Figliuzzi.

    As the valid counters continue to be muted. Related:


  3. A perfect example of this Russiagate religion is the Bill Maher show. Known for his apt criticism of religion and his logical atheism, he has adopted the Russiagate religion with blind hypocritical fervor. There are no facts, just an endless repetition of suppositions, circular logic; clickbait news does not require facts, and skips quickly to the juicier motivational analysis and profiling. If you call Putin a dictator, or Maduro, you don’t have to substantiate this; you have to just keep on repeating the mantra.


    1. Sounds like Maher has learned the lesson.

      I remember back in 2001 he said that the 9/11 terrorists weren’t cowards, as opposed to those who fight by shooting rockets from 2000 miles away.

      Immediately his show was suspended, and then cancelled.

      So, now he knows: be “politically incorrect” all you want, but you better comply with the official narrative…


  4. I think Wolffe is more an example of otherwise very astute and intelligent observers giving into hysteria and not fully wanting to embrace introspection. If we acknowledged that the sources of Trump and therefore what caused his election and the horrific attitudes he has made mainstream have direct causes in the political/economic/social makeup of the West we would have to undergo very wrenching changes indeed that would be a huge blow to our perception of self. That is painful, and so many would still rather believe that there is a malign foreign influence behind it instead of our own very real failings starting with the news media peddling things such as Russiagate because it is expedient and painless for them and for others.


    1. “Blowout” … sounds like a rather fitting title for a book by Rachel Maddow, since her brain seems to be in a permanent state of blowout.


    2. J.T., if I may, I am sure that Rachel surfaced in my former blog base, negatively. Up to now I wasn’t aware of her CV. How could I judge her from over here?

      But if I may ask you a question, as outsider: It no doubt was curious to watch the (US? UK?) arguments in favor of Russiagate, … but would you be more willing to review a book that shows to what extend Russiagate has been created by a fully aware of what they are doing Democratic Party?


      1. Depends. Do you have a particular title in mind? “Russiagate” is a blacklisted topic on RR, but a specially requested book would override that restriction.


    3. Academics

      Capstone project. I will be spending the next six months in the company of eleven or more literary Putins, many of them sloppily written. I anticipate this will draw me away from writing on RR.

      The very, very best. For whatever enterprise.

      you Americans surely are a challenge with all your acronyms:


  5. This is a perfect situation for that Galaxy Brain meme format. You know the ones with pictures of brain in different stages. It would be:

    Small brain: Putin helped Trump get elected because he hated Clinton and now he’s doing foolish things like asking Denmark to buy Greenland.

    Normal brain: Putin is making Trump cause an argument between NATO allies who share the arctic, because his long game is to somehow rule the arctic, even those parts of it that are not near Russian territory.

    Super brain: Putin caused his puppet Trump to insult Denmark because right now Denmark is the only country holding back full Nordstream 2 approval. This insult will cause them to approve the building of the pipeline through their water and it will be done by Christmas.

    Galaxy brain: Putin is causing his puppet Trump to do these kinds of illogical things, that his base still support, to ultimately cause strife between Americans and deepen animosity between different groups of people. Now those who believe that Trump is a fool will think of his supporters as idiots who should not be engaged with, and vice versa. Any other diplomatic relations effects are simply a small bonus for this ultimate task of dividing the nation.


  6. Russiagate is propaganda.
    Very successful propaganda.

    It works because it feeds into long established prejudices in the USA against Russia.

    And then there are those who want to believe in this propaganda to explain Trump.
    The Russians put him there “cos America is not like that”.

    These people obviously are not American Indian /black people who were enslaved and without civil rights /or countries attacked by the US – to them America has always been like that !!!

    Not everyone is susceptible – Aaron Mate is an good example of someone with strong critical thinking and analysis of the lack of evidence for Russiagate.

    But they can all be dismissed as Putin puppets – successful propaganda has its uses.


  7. I don’t think The Guardian represents ‘the political left’ any more, if it ever did. Its current position is Blairite/Clintonite neoliberal. Like the NYT and the Amazon Shopper, it serves to disseminate whatever drivel the intelligence agencies feel like throwing our way.


    1. Mr. Cox, sir. Words fail me when I want to express fully and comprehensively the boundless joy overcoming me at the moment, coming from the knowledge that *YOU* decided to grace this particular blog with you comment. I am 100% serious when I say to you – “thank you for our happy childhood teenagedom”. Well, I watched “Repo Man” long after its original release (i.e. in early 2000s), and also before seeing “Breakfast Club” (which then coloured my whole experience with the movie. Still, I’m amazed that a real groundbreaking moviemaker ventures forward with commentary in the sphere seemingly light years removed from his primary sphere of interest.

      Two things, after checking out your blog, Mr. Cox. One – oh, I’m so amazed that you attempted to male a “Bill – Galactic Hero” movie back then! Two – you are way to harsh towards “Deadwood”. All things considered (which includes some of the modern productions by the HBO) these TV series are just a legendary paragon of “How To Do Stuff”.

      P.S. Also, I’m in total agreement with you re: The Guradian and the mainstream Western “lefitsts”.


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