The Friendliest of All Wars


I am happy to report that the most ridiculous war of all time is finally over, after about 50 years of wrangling. And to think they were battling over an absolutely useless uninhabited island without minerals or anything of value.


The war—well diplomatic dispute is really a better world—over an island half way between Canada’s Ellesmere Island and Denmark’s Greenland was waged over Hans Island. The name says it all. Who would fight for control over Hans Island?  Canada and Denmark that’s who.


The dispute engaged 26 previous Canadian foreign ministers who had nothing better to do. And they fought at our expense. Canadian and Danish taxpayers paid for the diplomats to tussle.


Now Canada and Denmark took great pride that they settled the border dispute without war. And they bragged that this is what Russia should do too.  All of that makes some sense—at least until you look at the facts. The fact is that Hans Island has no value whatsoever. That is why it is named after me. No one wants it or cares about it. Except the Inuit.


In fact both Canada and Denmark are illegitimate colonial powers who have no rightful claim to it. The only people who actually ever used it were Inuit hunters who used Hans Island as a staging platform for hunting. No one lives there. No one else actually uses it.


Over the decades, Denmark and Canada left each other whiskey bottles as a joke after they visited it. Some called it the “friendliest of all wars.”  It could just as well have been called the stupidest of all wars.


Thank goodness it’s over. It should be named Tarupaluk, because that is what the Inuit call. They should have it. Neither Canada nor Denmark deserves. It. I renounce my right to have it called Hans Island. It shows only how two colonial powers can  settle an absolutely trivial dispute after 50 years of negotiations and threats of legal action. That is an example for the world? Give me a break.


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