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Weekend Edition: Battle For Hans Island Spreads from Google to Blogosphere: CRISIS in the ARCTIC!

(Also see our updates:

300Px-Hans Island 001 The crisis started out as they always do, a minor territorial dispute largely unnoticed by the population of either country — let alone the world at large. Then one government does something symbolic (say, a visit to the disputed territory) to which the other government feels it must respond, and there it goes.

Independent Sources’ A Senior Administration Official noted “Hans Island, if unchecked, could be the next Gibraltar, Kurile Islands, or Falklands.”

Canadian? Or Danish?

Hopes that it wouldn’t escalate beyond Google keywords have been dashed as bloggers in both countries have taken up the cause. The Hans Island Crisis (or as the CNN graphic will presumably read, “CRISIS in the ARCTIC“) has already become a hot war on the Internet. … and both sides have unleashed sarcasm, disdain, and insults.

To get the pulse of this rapidly-evolving story, Independent Sources has compiled the following links from Canadian and Danish bloggers. At first glance, Canadian bloggers are far more prepared for the conflict than their Viking rivals.

Blogs Representing Canada

Angry in the White North thinks the Canadian government needs a Minister of Cheesing People Off and feels sorry for the Danes. Dawn of a New Day reports that Canadians are readying their emergency provisions, (beer, back bacon, Tim Hortons coffee), building their igloos with reinforced snow walls, and psyching up for the coming conflict with Denmark.

Muon Proof makes several smart observations about a fight between Canada and their eternal enemies, Denmark, including the cool arctic battles that would ensue as well as the likely banning of all Hans Christian Andersen stories in Canada. Most importantly, he recommends changing the term “Danish Pastry” to “Victory Pastry”. Ni Howdy has been using the famous Axis and Allies board game to simulate how a Danish/Canadian war might play out.

Dissonance and Disrespect sums up what many Canadians are thinking: “Hans Island may be a worthless barren rock, but it’s our worthless barren rock.” Blindingly Boring thinks its really a geographical political joke.

Counter Factual says: “If tiny little Denmark can take our land, everyone else can.” Along those same lines, Toronto Tory says “it’s pathetic when we’re getting pushed around by Denmark” and hopes it is a call to arms of his countrymen. Responsible Government League said “Qui est ton père?!?!?” and I have no friggin’ idea what the heck it means but based on some of the other things he said (in English, thank you!) I’d say he isn’t too excited about the preparedness of Canadian’s armed forces.

Tall Dark and Mysterious has the best response to the Danish statement of “Danish name, Danish Island” with the retort: “What the hell does a homogeneous nation know about these things? Galiano Island has an Italian name, but unless it migrates out of the Georgia Strait, it’s ours for keeps.” Unconscious Country simply calls them “herring-chokers.”

Eitherorr reports this could be the beginning of the war of 2007. Similarly, Dinner Table Don’ts notes that Hans Island could become Canada’s Iraq.
The Cosmic Blogger has a some productive suggestions including renaming it Gretzky Island or populating it with beavers and other animals not found in Denmark. Their best suggestion is to start a radio station there that only plays Canadian content (the “New Ha”).

Some Canadian bloggers had ideas for resolving the spat peacefully. Dawg’s Blawg supports the concept of a partition. Gen X at 40 suggests trading it for Legoland. Vote Saskatoon recommends just letting Google decide. (Not a bad idea since Google is nearly as big and certainly as strong as either country. ¿En cual parte del mundo esta Martin? suggested a unique resolution to the Dano-Canadian conflict involving Tuborg and Molson beer.

Random Existence accuses the Danes of also claiming ownership of the newly discovered 10th planet based on Danish claims that it was first discovered by Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe in 1574.

Accidental Deliberations points out that the United States is challenging Canadian sovereignty in six other areas of the Arctic, including the Northwest Passage. Finally, Spenser’s Blog had a great photo they with the caption “new-found respect for the Danes.” (We concur).

Blogs Representing Denmark

Daenmark points out that the Danes are also locked in a similar fight with the British over a strategic rock called Rockall. The Danes are not backing down on that one despite a 4 to 0 British advantage in ballistic nuclear submarines and a 200 to 0 British advantage in operationally available nuclear warheads.

Aura Vox notes the difference between Canada and Denmark in dealing with the dispute. Denmark sends a warship and Canada responds by flying in a politician.

Independent Sources is certain that there were many other Danish bloggers but we don’t speak Danish so to me all the Danish blogs read like:

blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, HANS ISLAND blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, CANADA, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, …

…so we skipped them. (H/T: The Far Side).

Danish speakers might want to check out Bubbling Minds and possibly let us know what they are saying.

Independent Sources Tagline Hat Tip: The Gods of the Copybook Headings for Tora, Tora, Tora, Eh?

unrelated, but funny, roundup: Independent Sources’ Ebonics roundup here.

Update: Welcome Mudville readers.

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50 Responses to “Weekend Edition: Battle For Hans Island Spreads from Google to Blogosphere: CRISIS in the ARCTIC!”

  1. 1
    Andy Dabydeen Says:

    I couldn’t help weighing in on this little fight. Hans Island is Canadian. Just because, damnit. Now if only we could get some military spending up a little, we could actually raise our voice when we make that claim. Then there is the noise the Americans and Russians are making at the Bering Strait …

  2. 2
    Andy Dabydeen Says:

    Oh … and what’s next? A claim on Newfoundland? Because the Vikings were here first?

  3. 3
    Insider Says:

    Time to tighten up your notoriously porous borders. It’s not just Islamic Extremists anymore, you’ve got to watch for armed Danes too!

  4. 4
    The Phnom Penh Says:

    As I wrote on my blog:

    There was an episode in the original Star Trek series which portrayed a society where war was waged in the virtual realm (although the victims died in the real world).

    In yet another example of life imitating art, Canada and Denmark are tussling over a small island, located 680 miles from the North Pole. In which realm is this conflict taking place? Google ads.

  5. 5
    MorningSun Says:

    Hahahaha , don’t they know the Island is just going to disappear because of the USA , Gas guzzling SUV’s and global warming?

    Nothing to fight over folks move along , it will be a sandbar some day according to all their other reports. (aka pushing Kyoto off on us constantly)

    It’s odd , there isn’t really enough land here to own is there? You couldn’t even raise on cow on that Island. Esp when cow methane adds to global warming . cow w/ sign… Eat more Chicken.

    God I need more coffee .

  6. 6
    Bubbling Minds » Special Service for Readers of Says:

    [...] return true; } }

    1-8-2005

    Special Service for Readers of

    Canadian Biased Sources Battle For Hans Island Spreads from Google to Blogospher [...]

  7. 7
    mojo Says:

    I understand the Danes are big candy eaters – like 29.5 lb/yr for each man, woman and brat. That’s some serious sweet tooth.

    Maybe the Canuks can bribe ‘em with Maple syrup…

  8. 8
    Mark A. Rayner Says:

    You missed the story about the protesters demanding the return of Brian “Captain Canada” Tobin:
    http://www.markarayner.com/blog/archived/79/

  9. 9
    Dissonance And Disrespect Says:

    Independent Sources

  10. 10
    kwandongBrian Says:

    Possibly for this, but for so many other good reasons, Canada has to improve it’s military (preferably while I’m still out of the country so I don’t bear the tax burden). Improving our military would be a good cause but for a bad reason; why the Danes? They seem like nice people (fighting off urge to use a Hamlet joke – the only thing I know about Denmark).

    As a Canadian, I’m undecided about the island. This seems more like a conflict for cartographers and surveyors.

    For a bit of self-promotion and to round-out your round-up:

    http://gangwon.blogspot.com/2005/08/more-on-hans-island-canadas-dokdo.html

  11. 11
    Dar Tost Says:

    Thanks for linking to The Cosmic Blogger’s “A Frozen Rock in a very Hard Place.”

    My “Hans Island: An Arctic Rock’s Lonely Lament” posting a day later is better, and getting raves, but it’s a spoof on a famous Canadian beer TV ad, so unless you remember the “I am Canadian” ad, most won’t get it.

    Count me in as a regular visitor to YOUR site. I might even link to you in future.

    Thanks again, friend…

  12. 12
    Tall, Dark, and Mysterious Says:

    sheepish on Biting the hand that helps me feed myself: ‘Hypergeometric Functions for Dummies’… Declan on Biting the hand that helps me feed myself: I was in the bookstore today and I noted… Independent Sources on

  13. 13
    Canadian Musings Says:

    this became an issue for the Danes, and he was said to be job-hunting a year or more later when it became an issue for Canadians. There are even better suggestions over at the Canadian Expatriates blog. Update: There’s a further assessment over at Independent Sources , although I don’t know about the comparison to the Falklands: it might not take as long to evacuate the local population as it did in that battle. That, and I don’t know if the Canadian Navy has been allowed to purchase any ships which are

  14. 14
    Unconscious Country Says:

    Independent Sources

  15. 15
    Erik Says:

    Maybe this should be called the Battle of the Island of ‘Who Cares Anyway?’ I’m danish and I think that it’s a bit amazing that this issue has become such a big deal in Canada. The dispute has been going on since 1973, but only during the last year or so has anyone in the general public in Canada and Denmark noticed it. Here in DK most people STILL haven’t noticed it and even if they had, I’m sure that 99% of them wouldn’t care if Hans Island becomes (undisputedly) Canadian – I mean we are talking about an uninhabited island that isn’t much bigger than a McDonalds franchise or something like that! Maybe we are boring people here in DK, but this ‘crisis’ as it’s called with a farcical exaggeration, really can’t make my blood boil over with rage.

    For me an all out war with Canada sounds like science ficion, not a real possibility. DK is a civilized country and so is Canada, so I don’t understand this need to create an (in my view) artificial crisis over this matter.

    My guess is that some Canadian politicians/mediapeople have decided to play tough in from of their own people for domestic reasons. Why? Well you know that better than me, I can just see that this thing has been blown completely out of proportion, I mean Canada is the second largest country in the world, you can’t tell me that adding such a tiny little island as Hans Island to your territory is going to make much of a difference. It is already so small that it doesn’t appear on most maps.

  16. 16
    Dane Says:

    Hey Eric, don’t let the overcompensating, inferiority complex struck Canadians think that we can be reasonable people.

    I think the whole “We’re six times your population, but our armed forces are just as sucky as yours” is getting to them.

    I øvrigt så kan de jo ikke røre os med en ildtang, hvad skulle de kunne gøre? Et Dansk skib ankommer til øen i slutningen af august, så skal du bare se hvordan de begynder at hyle.

  17. 17
    Erik Says:

    Hey fellow dane, I’m not afraid of the Canadians, just a bit surprised that it has come to this. Apparantly the Canadian government believes that it can bully us into submission! Too bad for them that the danish military is better equipped for war than theirs. We have ice-strenghtened warships, they don’t. We have a big military airbase in northeastern Greenland, the Thule Airbase, so we can also use our F-16’s in the area, the canadians don’t have such a facility in the region. In other words, we can make our presence felt in a way that the canadians can’t. Maybe they feel humiliated by the fact the a small country like DK has regional superiority in relation to them?

    De får BØLLEBANK, HÆ HÆ!!

  18. 18
    Dane Says:

    I think humiliation is exactly the point, an inferiority complex towards a small Euro nation.
    I do think that it is silly, but I won’t let them slap us in the face with insults on various blogs and just say nothing. But perhaps that is, in fact, the only kind of response they’re capable of sending, they can’t enforce their northern borders properly, we however can, and it’s so very frustrating for them that petty insults and ridicule is the only weapon the really have.

    Husk, den slags typer vi har med at gøre her er folk, som stadig tror, at Vikinger have hjelme med horn. Tsk tsk.

  19. 19
    Erik Says:

    Yes, empty barrels make a lot of noise, as they say. The VERBAL bravery of the canadians is truly impressive. But where are the canadian forces in Iraq? DK has shown a lot more non-verbal balls than the canadians in the gulf region. So while danish soldiers are risking their lives on a daily basis in Iraq, the canadian bravehearts are fooling around in the arctic – only making landings on Hans Island when they know for sure that no danish warships are in the vicinity. When DK makes landings on the island they announce it in advance – so that the canadians know where they are NOT supposed to be on a particular day, if they don’t wan’t to get theselves killed. We don’t sneak in unannounced, like a thief at night, the way the canadian defence minister did.

    Du har ret, de har yderst uvidende og primitive forestillinger om os.

  20. 20
    A Senior Administration Official Says:

    Annika’s Journal linked here!

  21. 21
    Dane Says:

    Indeed, we ought to send the Crownprince up there with the next warship and make our claims, he’s an experienced Sirius patrolman and navy seal, lets see if the Canadians can top that off.

  22. 22
    RM Says:

    Just for the record, Danish folks, most Canadians don’t give rodent’s rectum about that stupid little island. Also, your sabre-rattling is kind of cute.

  23. 23
    Dane Says:

    There wouldn’t be any discussion or ’sabre rattling’ at all if your contrymen merely had kept their whining pie holes shut, instead of ridiculing and insulting us.
    It’s all a sign of frustration on your behalf, because despite your much larger population, there’s not a thing you can do to stop us.

  24. 24
    RM Says:

    Oh, and Erik, Canada has had troops in Afghanistan virtually since the beginning. We didn’t join the war in Iraq because Iraq didn’t do anything to us. If you have any doubts about Canadian resolve, you should read up on the history of the two world wars. We fight when we must. So what say we tone down the rhetoric here. I’ve never seen so many angry words over such a stupid argument.

  25. 25
    RM Says:

    Dane, I can honestly say, I’ve never heard anyone in Canada say one negative thing about Denmark in my entire life.

  26. 26
    annika's journal Says:

    Hans Island Fight i think you all know who’s side i’m taking in this controversy .

  27. 27
    Dane Says:

    Well I’m sorry for generalizing then, I know it’s bad, but I just read these insults and ridicule all over the blogs, and it just sounds like frustration to me.
    For instance: “Danish pastry eating bla bla bla” the stupid thing is, we don’t even know why you call those things “Danish” it’s got nothing to do with us, we call them Viennabread.

  28. 28
    Annemie Says:

    I agree with my Danish brothers on this one. If Canada had the facts on their side there wouldn’t be any of this mud-slinging or cloak-and-dagger politics… Who cares who’s the bigger country, the discussion is about Hans Isl. or, it would be if the Canadian govt could come out of hiding and discuss this case with the Danish govt who, by the way, has openly expressed a desire to do so!

  29. 29
    Syncategorematic Says:

    It doesn’t get much better than this. Two nations. Dozens of outdated stereotypes. Hundreds of blogs. The battle for Hans Island continues. Independent Sources has a roundup of the action so for .

  30. 30
    RM Says:

    I don’t think most of us even know what the facts are. The whole thing should just be handed over to some UN tribunal and forgo all the theatrics. I’m sorry for any insult my countrymen may have caused, people sometimes lose perspective.

  31. 31
    As I Please Says:

    Via Annika, I learn that a “war” is brewing between Canada and Denmark over a piece of rock somewhere in the Arctic. Lacking a military capable of fighting (much less winning) a war, Canada is apparently letting its subjects fight the battle out on the Web. Denmark has 496 troops tied up in that

  32. 32
    Riverboater Says:

    I think that ownership of island is really dependent on where the magnetic north pole may drift to in the future, as it will pull Hans Island along. I think that the predicted path of the magnetic pole is into Russian territory within the next 100 years. May be a bottle of vodka on the island may be better choice!

  33. 33
    Dane Says:

    I know, I too lose perspective at times, especially when my nation gets ridiculed. It angers me terribly.

  34. 34
    BlogSpy.NET Says:

    CRISIS in the ARCTIC: DK vs. CAN

    We found this blog entry very interesting so we’ve added a Trackback to it on our site.

  35. 35
    Goldfish don't bounce Says:

    Let’s just populate it with beavers and Tim Hortons and get it over with!

  36. 36
    Daily Lunch Says:

    Even more quick hits Karol and Dawn are victimized by a software bug. Shaister commemorates a year of his encyclopedic “Miscellaneous Pop Culture Entries” by presenting an organized list of all previous entries.   War brewing between Denmark and Canada! Over “Hans Island”, an uninhabited island in the Atlantic. Well, maybe not a war, but a some angry words. Canada seems to have the better claim, but Denmark has the bigger military, so you can guess which one my money’s on.

  37. 37
    Canadian-by-choice Says:

    Hi everyone, especially you Danskerne,

    I have lived in Denmark for 3 years, now I live in Canada. Both are awesome, civilized, open-minded and peaceful countries wih great peoples. Anyone who lets themselves down to insult people of the other nation on this absolutely ridiculous matter is just plain narrow minded and nationalist, and would probably fit better into the times of the second world war (or in the American midwest!). The stakes for Canada are not about Hans Island alone. Canada has this vast virtually undefended territory in the north, and its supremacy over it is challenged by various other nations including the US (Northwest passage). The Cdn. government feels it needs to be firm in the Hans Island issue to send a signal to those other nations that Canada is not willing to give up control over its territory and will defended it if necessary.

    And bringing up the war in Iraq is just totally wrong. Most people in Canada think this war is illegal, and so do most European nations (France, Germany, Russia, ..). I am surprized Denmark is supporting it – it seems to contradict the usual Danish values. Hardly anything to be proud of!

    Finally, knowing both cultures, I can tell you ‘Dane’ that Canadians have a great sense of humour and like to make fun of people, and in fact don’t mind being made fun of in return. It’s nothing but a verbal play fight, not directed at Denmark in particular, and you really should not take it personal.

    About Hans – I were in charge, I would act is if the damn rock was not there in the first place, only the existing sea boundary right in the middle of the strait between Ellesmere Island and Groenland. Meaning effectively, I would divide it in two – Canada gets the Western half, Groenland the Eastern half. It’s right on top of the boundary line anyway, so it won’t change the current political map. It’s uninhabited and there are no border checks in the Arctic so it would not matter (and one could even make it a tourist attraction by marketing it as the only place in the world where there’s a land border between a European and an American nation).

  38. 38
    Canadian-by-choice Says:

    To answer the Danish sabre-rattling: sending more warships and putting up more flags is not going to solve the issue or make the Island more Danish (or Canadian), it’s just going to make both governments look even more riduculous.

    The Canadian polulation is beginning to become more aware of the Northern issue, its government about to increase the defense spending related to the North. It’s very surprizing (to me and anyone who has some understanding of the matter) that an Arctic country like Canada possesses no warships with ice-breaking capabilities like Denmark has, and I believe it’s just a matter of a few years until it will have them. There is no way one side can enforce its claim over the rock (fortunately!), and neither would want to. We’re all friends. :-)

  39. 39
    Erik Says:

    RM said:

    Oh, and Erik, Canada has had troops in Afghanistan virtually since the beginning. We didn’t join the war in Iraq because Iraq didn’t do anything to us. If you have any doubts about Canadian resolve, you should read up on the history of the two world wars. We fight when we must. So what say we tone down the rhetoric here. I’ve never seen so many angry words over such a stupid argument.

    Hi RM, I agree with you on most points, let me just say that I have nothing against Canada as a country and nothing against canadians as a people. I actually have family in Canada, a family member of mine emigrated to the area around Calgary in 1920. I don’t have any contact with them personally, but I know that there is still some descendants of him over there, they keep in touch with some other parts of my family here.

    Speaking about the world wars, I do know that Canada took part in ww1 and ww2. It has always been a puzzle to me why some countries like f.ex. Canada, Australia and others, took part in these conflicts, they don’t seem to have had much to win from it, nor did they face any realistic chance of a enemy invasion (exept perhaps Australia during ww2 where the japs got close to Australia). My guess is that these countries got pushed into these wars by their former colonialpower, the UK, or perhaps the US put in some pressure in the case of Canada?

    ww2 also plays a role in danish foreign policy because there is a notion that because DK didn’t do much to resist the german invasion in 1940, and therefore had fewer casualties than virtually all other countries in the conflict, we have a ‘debt’ to pay to the countries that helped liberate us, so we must support the US in it’s foreign policy, if necessary with troops in places like Iraq. On the surface this seems like logic, but when you look at the statistics for who got killed in ww2 you will find that 20 million soviet citizens got killed and less than half a million americans died. Yet I have never heard any danish politician say that we should support the russians, if necessary with troops in places like Chechnya, because we owe them something. So this whole argument about having a debt to the americans for what they did for us during ww2 is deeply flawed because it completely ignores the contributions of other nations the the final victory – countries like f.ex. Canada!

    So maybe we should give you Hans Island as a sign of our gratitude for what you did for us during the war?

  40. 40
    Sam Says:

    This is some hot topic up here in Canada, that’s for sure. I wrote a bit on the subject as well that you might be interested in http://www.samanthaburns.com

  41. 41
    Laughing at U Cdns Says:

    Haha. Canadians are so smug with respect to the US and her pursuit for
    resources and self interest, compared to so called Canadian altruism in
    international affairs.

    Now Canada is finding itself in the same boat with Hans Island, and the benefits
    it may bring with the onset of global warming and so forth (shipping etc). You
    Canadians are not so different from Americans when it comes right down to
    it… haha what a bunch of hypocrites!

  42. 42
    Independent Sources » Blog Archive » Paris burning: L’elephante in the room Says:

    [...] cause they hit their Google Adwords spending limit for the month. (Reminds me of a certain Hans Island spat). photo sources: f***france.com technorati: france
    [...]

  43. 43
    Hans Island - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Says:

    [...] rchipelago Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago Canadian Archipelago Throughflow Study [...]

  44. 44
    Rob Says:

    ok so let me get this right…… were all mad and disrespecting each other over a island no bigger than 4 football feilds???? this is silly….. we should settle it over a game of hockey or something…. I believe the only reason for the big fuss anyway has nothing to do with canadian danish relations, but with Canadian and American relations by being strong on one topic we are able to defend ourself against the americans and russians trying to intrude on our territory in the west… as for the make calling and military strategizing going on here i think both of our nations needs to grow up. I personally cant help but laugh when i read some of the stuff about this. Or even better why not just share it? split it down the center this is your half this is ours like twins sharing a room ill bring my chalk stick and draw the line,

  45. 45
    Xbox Live - GamertagPics Shadowpolish Profile Says:

    [...] Virgin Islands to the US. Can we have it please? Interesting sites regarding the blog war: http://independentsources.com/2005/07/31/hans-island-spat-roundup/ [...]

  46. 46
    De dingen en ondingen des levens - web-log.nl Says:

    [...] al enkele decennia, maar recentelijk laaide het enthousiasme weer op en werd er zelfs een internetoorlog over gevochten tussen Denen en Canadezen. Ook o [...]

  47. 47
    Rasmus Says:

    Number of males in Denmark named Hans: 44.795 (source: dst.dk)
    Number of males in Denmark: 2.677.292

    Percentage of males named Hans in Denmark: 1.67%
    Percentage of males named Hans in Canada: 0.00%

    Percentage of Hans Ø owned by Denmark: 100%
    Percentage of Hans Ø owned by Canada: 0%

    Case closed

  48. 48
    Smart Mobs: Google ad,Denmark,Canada and Hans Island Says:

    [...] reference Google ad,Denmark,Canada and Hans Island: Sun, Jul 31, 2005, @ 18:06 Weekend Edition: Battle For Hans Island Spreads from Google to Blogosphere: Concern Mounting at t [...]

  49. 49
    HaloScan.com - Comments Says:

    [...] t we linked to you in our roundup of Canadian and Danish bloggers in: CRISIS in the ARCTIC!http://independentsources.com/20…d-spat-roundup/ [...]

  50. 50
    eightface // Victory Pastries Says:

    [...] and. One Response to “Victory Pastries” Insider says // August 1st, 2005 @2:22am There is [...]