Saturday, July 23, 2005

Hands Off Hans

In a stern gesture of defiance against Danish imperialist aggression, Defence Minister Bill Graham set foot on the sacred soil of Hans Island this week, vowing to fight to the death to defend our home and native land against the depredations of the Danes!

Well, no, not exactly:

I'm not unaware of the fact that, obviously, this island is the subject matter of discussions,” said Mr. Graham, who was accompanied by a helicopter crew and a few other officials. Mr. Graham said he was in the Far North touring Canadian installations and doing other work when he decided to stop off.

“[But] I don't see it as a kind of big statement in terms of Canada-Danish relationships. I see it as part of the fact that we've always said this is Canada and it was perfectly normal for me being in the region to go by and see what the troops had done when they'd been there the week before.

“Our position has consistently been that it's Canadian.”


....

The two nations failed to settle the ownership of the island when borders were drawn between Canada and Greenland, a part of Denmark, in 1973. Mr. Graham explained that the island lies near what would be the boundary between the two nations. The island and about 1,000 metres around it are in dispute. The waters could include important fish stocks and have been the subject of dispute between native peoples from Canada and Greenland.Canada's claims to sovereignty were put into some question in 2003 after crew members from a Danish frigate landed on the island and placed a Danish flag there.

The Danes who visited had planted other flags on the island in previous years, while Canadian geologists flew to it four years ago.

Canadian energy companies have also made surveys on and around the island.


Hans Island may be a worthless barren rock, but it's our worthless barren rock. The first duty of our armed forces is to defend the sovereignty of our territory, not to be social workers with guns in some third-world hellhole. We should be able to station a handful of soldiers up there to assert our rightful sovereignty over Hans Island and keep them provisioned.

If we can't do that for Hans Island, then what can we do to protect ourselves against real threats to our sovereignty and national security?

Source: The Globe and Mail

Background: The Return of the Vikings by Dr. Rob Huebert

Inspiration: Danegeld by Rudyard Kipling

2 comments:

jesper said...

Hands off yourself!

Funny how Canada can claim Hans Island but calls it by the Danish name!

Independent Sources said...

Wanted you to know that we included you in the Independent Sources roundup of CRISIS in the ARCTIC!

Hope you enjoy it and get some traffic from it.If you like it please feel free to do a post about it so other Canadian bloggers can see it.

http://independentsources.com/2005/07/31/hans-island-spat-roundup/