This post first appeared on Russia Insider
America, like Russia, has always been interested in expansion. Through the Louisiana Purchase, the conquest of the American West and the incorporation of Alaska, the US became the world power it is today. In this vein it is only natural that President Trump wants to buy Greenland from Denmark. As global temperatures rise, Greenland and the Arctic will become more valuable.
But has American power already peaked? Will American power soon become over-extended?
Karen Shakhnazarov, film director, People's Artist of Russia:
- I'm listening and thinking that people don't change. We'll finish our old earth together. Global warming is coming. They promise that almost half of the world will be underwater by the middle of the century. Politicians and soldiers are talking about the same - where they'll be able to build a military base in the end. The world is the same. In this sense, Trump is a pragmatic person indeed. Borders were, are, and will be changed. I reiterate that there was the Helsinki Accords, which provided that all of the borders in European are inviolable. Where are those Helsinki Accords? Everything has changed in Europe since then. And nobody cares about it.
What to say about Greenland... You see, on the one hand, Mr. Trump says a lot of things, which will be forgotten, but there's some American logic in his words. If I were an American, I wouldn't refuse to take Greenland. Especially since it isn't that hard for them, in my opinion. Of course, I think that they could have done it earlier, under Truman. I think that they could have done it quite easily after WWII or WWI. Apparently, they weren't interested in it back then. It was a territory covered with ice. The Arctic was also practically closed then. There weren't any serious prospects. So, I think that they didn't work on it seriously. They might be interested in it now. Moreover, with certain efforts, I think that they can achieve it. Although, by and large, they now feel at home in Greenland. Obviously, it's a matter of the Arctic. The fact that Russia managed…
In some report, I saw a funny plot. There was a Congress meeting where an American admiral was asked about the icebreaker fleet's condition and it turned out that the Americans have only one working icebreaker, which regularly breaks down. The congressman, who asked him that, was terrified. As of now, Russia has outpaced the United States in Arctic exploration by a lot. In conditions of global warming, if the Northern Sea Route will be opened, the Suez Canal will become practically unnecessary. It'll make that long route through the Suez Canal unnecessary. It'll provide Russia and China with colossal advantages.
- The difference is 30 days.
- The difference in the time of delivery is 30 days. It'll change the entire structure of world trade, economy, geopolitics. I think that the Americans are analyzing it and reporting on it to Trump for sure. It isn't an accident but his idea. How capable are the Americans of implementing that plan now? That's another question. You see, it requires huge amounts of financing. This isn't only about purchasing it, but investing in that territory. Still, we see that the United States is in predicament, with its huge debt, given the crisis in the country.
I'd like to draw your attention to the Jeffrey Epstein case, which, in my view, will have a serious influence on the political situation in the United States and, consequently, everything happening in the world. I think that it's a very serious crisis. Therefore, it's unclear to what extent it's possible. But we should remember that the United States has traditionally grown by expansion, territorial expansion. This isn't just about Alaska, California, and Texas.
I reiterate that the United States initially was a few European settlements in New York. They were a few hundred Dutchmen and Britons who arrived there. Later, this expansion seized all of the Indians' land up to the Pacific Ocean. They don't recall it now, but actually…
- It all began with the big purchase of the territory of Louisiana from France in 1800.
- But before that, they covered the entire Midwest, driving the Indians away. Lots of Indians were killed. They now discuss it, how they drove out the Cherokee, when 70% of the tribe was simply killed. So, they're experienced in this. In this sense, the internal American tradition isn't inconsistent with territorial expansion at all. And it's possible. It's possible that they could seriously take it up.
In this sense, Denmark... Probably, few people know or pay attention to it. I've been to Denmark. It's a good and interesting country, of course. But it's also peculiar because, among the Scandinavian countries, its attitude toward Russia is the most unfriendly. Yes, they treat Russia a much worse than the Swedish, and even worse than the Norwegians. I don't even know the reason for that. But that's true. In fact, Denmark holds very pro-American and very pro-NATO views. Actually, if they put pressure on them, I think that the Americans will be able to find some compromise.
I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that all global empires, which the United States belongs to for sure, emerge, develop, and fall according to almost the same scenario. Historians, scientists, and philosophers always find thousands of reasons, but honestly, this is still a mystery that nobody can explain. Why did the village of Ancient Rome become the basis for a giant empire, the largest one the contemporary world could know? How did England, a low population area, a small country on the outskirts of Europe, suddenly turn into a global empire, where they said the sun never set?
They were everywhere. Tens of thousands of Spaniards were necessary to create that giant empire in South America and not only in South America, by the way, in Asia, in the Philippines. How did it happen? Take Moscow [as an example]. Why did that small village, where several thousand people lived, become the source, from which the gigantic, Eurasian empire emerged? First, it was the Russian Empire, then the Soviet empire, now it's Russia. What was it? How could it happen? Note that it required very little effort. Actually, Moscow, Britain, and others required very little effort. It's like an internal passionarity. I don't know what it was. It's a mystery. The same is true for the United States.
- Go on! You approached it so gradually, that I thought the world's biggest mystery would be solved right now! And you don't know that.
- I can talk about it for a long time. But in my view, nobody can find all of the real reasons that this happened. Why did the United States emerge out of a few Dutch and English settlements in the east of the country, and that led to this giant empire, which has been controlling the world for at least for the last 30 years? And how did it happen? And it's now in decline. In my view, it's obvious. The reasons why empires collapse are also clear. At some point, they become excessive. They're excessive, their expansion is excessive. They take what they shouldn't take. The English, Spanish did that. By the way, we used to make those mistakes when we went to China and the Russian Empire was involved in the Russo-Japanese War. Take the Soviet Union, when it was beyond its capabilities, when it was in Latin America and Africa.
Now, it's happening to the Americans. They're excessive. Their efforts are too big for their capabilities. They're unable to control all of it. They're in decline. So, whether they have Greenland or not won't change anything, in my view. This process can't be stopped. This could be inexplicable.Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!
But it's obvious that it always follows the same pattern. Every global empire will inevitably come to a crisis and collapses. Something else will appear in its place. The question is: who will it be? Who is next? Will it be China? Will it be a union of China and Russia or something else? Unfortunately, God is such a great play-writer that we never can fully understand it. It's obvious to me that this process is taking place, irrespective of the Greenland issue. Most importantly, it's taking place inside the United States because such empires are subject to a deep crisis, a crisis of ideas and ideologies. This is what is taking place in the USA.
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