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August 2, 2007 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Russians plant flag on North Pole Sea bed. Russia has attempted to assert it's sovereignty over the North Pole by planting a Russian flag 4,200 metres under the ice. Norwegians, Danes react with amusement.
posted by ClanvidHorse (67 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Norwegians, Danes react with amusement.

Amuse all you want. Russia has nukes.
posted by eriko at 8:47 AM on August 2, 2007




couldn't they just attach it to something heavy and sink it?
posted by monkeyJuice at 8:52 AM on August 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


They're not going to nuke Scandanavia.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:52 AM on August 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


The irony, of course, is that all those 'untapped resources' are now trappable because... wait for it... all the ice is melting due to global warming.
posted by delmoi at 8:55 AM on August 2, 2007


This seems silly, and it is. But there will be a lot more competition over resources (real or imagined) in the years to come. This is just the warmup.
posted by SaintCynr at 8:55 AM on August 2, 2007


mare liberum, bitches
posted by bshort at 8:56 AM on August 2, 2007


I had a similar idea. I was going to put little Astro Zombie flags on all the clouds in the world, and then claim all the rainwater as mine. Unfortunately, this plan proved impractical, as, for reasons that I still haven't quite figured out, the flags simply refused to remain planted in the clouds.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:57 AM on August 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Flag it and move on.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:58 AM on August 2, 2007 [18 favorites]


yes, but we own the moon. nyahh!
posted by bruce at 8:59 AM on August 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


The irony, of course, is that all those 'untapped resources' are now trappable because... wait for it... all the ice is melting due to global warming.

Isn't the only resource at the North Pole that very ice? Now if this were the South Pole.
posted by DU at 9:03 AM on August 2, 2007


Clearly we should have nuked them when we had the chance.
posted by hermitosis at 9:03 AM on August 2, 2007


So, yeah. There was a lot of that, and we built up empires - we stole countries! That's what you do, that's how you build an empire. We stole countries with the cunning use of flags! Yeah, just sail around the world and stick a flag in.

"I claim India for Britain!"

They go, "You can't claim us, we live here! 500 million of us!"

"Do you have a flag?"

"We don't need a bloody flag! It's our country, you bastards!"

"No flag, no country, you can't have one! That's the rules that I've just made up, and I'm backing it up with this gun that was lent from the National Rifle Association."

That was it, you know?
- Eddie Izzard.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 9:04 AM on August 2, 2007 [6 favorites]


@soundofsuburbia: here's the video.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:06 AM on August 2, 2007


But have any of you been to the North Pole this time of year?

My sister was there in 2001 and from her stories the place sounded like a fucking carnival. The Russians were there with a nuclear breaker filled with drunken sailors and tourists taking swims at the pole. The Americans were not much better in their totally gray painted icebreaker filled with control freaks and just general insanity.

The north pole attracts crazies from all over the world so someone taking a sub down to the bottom is no surprise.
posted by uandt at 9:12 AM on August 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


So we can expect next years Burning Man to be relocated up yonder, in the quasinetherregions of international fog?
posted by prostyle at 9:15 AM on August 2, 2007


yes, but we own the moon. nyahh!

Nope, the Soviets got their little pennant-scattering probes their first, so IT'S THEIRS TOO.
posted by brownpau at 9:17 AM on August 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Foci for Analysis: Excellent! The way he sticks out his tongue kills me every time!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 9:18 AM on August 2, 2007


Flags, schmags. To claim a country you've got to give birth to the first citizen. The first birth in Antarctica was in 1978, when a baby named Arturo Palma was born to the wife of a naval officer from Argentina. Try that at the North Pole.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:18 AM on August 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hone Heke knew how to deal with this shit. "Let us fight for the flagpole alone!"
posted by junkbox at 9:25 AM on August 2, 2007


Further to soundsofsuburbia's comment:

Do you have a flag?
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 9:36 AM on August 2, 2007


The first birth in Antarctica was in 1978, when a baby named Arturo Palma was born to the wife of a naval officer from Argentina. Try that at the North Pole.

The first birth on the North Pole was in 6500 BC, when a baby named Mangokpok was born to the wife of sled operator/seal skinner Massalerauvok from Igloo 12, snow drift number three (since melted off Barrow, Alaska).
posted by Pollomacho at 9:37 AM on August 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


yes, but we own the moon. nyahh!

Don't you have to still be able to get to it in order own it?
posted by srboisvert at 9:39 AM on August 2, 2007


I have the sudden urge to design my own flag and start claiming shit for myself, starting with all the lunches in the office fridge.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:41 AM on August 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm betting the 4200m dive was an accident and they were just trying to make the best of a bad situation while waiting for someone with jumper cables to come by.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:41 AM on August 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


How does Denmark get to make any Arctic Circle claim?
They're Sweden's Mexico
posted by kickback at 9:44 AM on August 2, 2007


How does Denmark get to make any Arctic Circle claim?

Greenland is a territory of Denmark.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:54 AM on August 2, 2007


Never mind, hive mind.
F'ing Greenland is 'semi independent Danish territory', whatever that means.
posted by kickback at 9:54 AM on August 2, 2007




To claim a country you've got to give birth to the first citizen.

Actually, you need a lot of guns, and nobody with more guns than you willing to dispute your claim.
posted by signal at 9:59 AM on August 2, 2007


Denmark ... Sweden's Mexico

Not the worst analogy ever. I guess that would make Elsinore Tijuana, which sort of makes sense.
posted by AwkwardPause at 10:00 AM on August 2, 2007


Santa is going to kick the crap out of the Russians just like he did to those motherfuckin' Martians.
posted by Mister_A at 10:06 AM on August 2, 2007


I was going to write a post about this, but it looks like you beat me to it.

Basically, the UN has repeatedly rejected the idea that countries can plant a flag on and claim sovereignty over the larger equivalent of an ice cube.

On the other hand, the United States has basically made a sham out of the UN through its illegal colonial activities in the Middle East, so ironically, George W. Bush has indirectly facilitated greater control of the world's dwindling energy resources by an unfriendly, fascist country with nuclear weaponry.

One year, five months to go, and counting...
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:11 AM on August 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Blazecock, based on what I've seen in such films as Rambo, Stripes, and Spies Like Us, we have little to fear from the Russians, other than the lavish sexual appetites of their women.
posted by Mister_A at 10:19 AM on August 2, 2007 [6 favorites]


Damnit soundsofsuburbia, i just wasted prescious seconds searching for that eddie izzard bit.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:20 AM on August 2, 2007


by an unfriendly, fascist country with nuclear weaponry

The U.S.?
posted by nzero at 10:26 AM on August 2, 2007


The U.S.?

Maybe; I suppose I could derail by discussing how Umberto Eco's criteria are met, but really this is about Russia, and I think it is safe to say Russia has used its historically autocratic processes to further its realpolitiking in the region. This is, as was pointed out, just one among many opening plays in the "great game". Our unilateral actions in the Middle East have opened up a number of plays for countries with which we're not necessarily good friends.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:37 AM on August 2, 2007


Water dissolving and Water removing

Remove the water from the bottom of the ocean.

same as it ever was...
posted by djrock3k at 10:41 AM on August 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Nope, the Soviets got their little pennant-scattering probes their first, so IT'S THEIRS TOO.

The operative word there is Soviets. They no longer exist, comrade.
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:51 AM on August 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


1. Remove the water from the bottom of the ocean.

2. ????

3. Profit!!
posted by hermitosis at 10:55 AM on August 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


brownpau writes "Nope, the Soviets got their little pennant-scattering probes their first, so IT'S THEIRS TOO."

Just like the vikings don't own Canada at a minimum you've got to maintain an occupation. You can just show up for a few days in the previous millennium and expect anyone to take your claim seriously.
posted by Mitheral at 11:02 AM on August 2, 2007


DU : Isn't the only resource at the North Pole that very ice? Now if this were the South Pole.

Nah, they don't care about the ice, they want access to the riches on the ocean floor.

Which, even under the best conditions, are going to be really difficult to mine or drill.
posted by quin at 11:05 AM on August 2, 2007


I wonder what we're all going to say when we wake up one day and find a flag shaped like a hypercube planted on the top of Devil's Tower, permanently waving via its anti-gravity mechanism.
posted by maxwelton at 11:10 AM on August 2, 2007


Just curious, but what is the (economic) point of it? Potential shipping channels once global warming kicks in? Or do they think there are undersea oilfields?
posted by desiderandus at 11:10 AM on August 2, 2007




Or do they think there are undersea oilfields?
As a matter of fact, yes.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:32 AM on August 2, 2007


we have little to fear from the Russians, other than the lavish sexual appetites of their women.

Indeed...
posted by GuyZero at 11:42 AM on August 2, 2007


unfriendly, fascist country with nuclear weaponry

In before someone says "oh, you mean the United States."

Ah, fuck.

It's not like the U.S. is a fascist country.
posted by oaf at 11:54 AM on August 2, 2007


Not the worst analogy ever. Thanks. I was thinking of how Swedes go there for cheap booze
posted by kickback at 12:24 PM on August 2, 2007


This just goes to show you that the only people who believe in Peak Oil are left-coast liberals who want everyone to panic.

And, uh, Russia.
posted by adipocere at 1:22 PM on August 2, 2007


Is there any evidence that all of "Russian" history since the mid 1980s hasn't just been an elaborate KGB plot?
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 1:24 PM on August 2, 2007



"Canada to Russia: "This isn't the 15th century. You can't go around the world and just plant flags and say 'We're claiming this territory'" "
.

Geez, when did Canada's position on asserting sovereignty change? If we are suddenly saying that, it clears the way for a rather large set of conversations on the assertion of Aboriginal title.
posted by salishsea at 1:55 PM on August 2, 2007


Is there any evidence that all of "Russian" history since the mid 1980s hasn't just been an elaborate KGB plot?

"Soviet Union? I thought you guys broke up!"

"Yes! That's what we wanted you to think!"

&lt/obligatory&gt
posted by quite unimportant at 2:16 PM on August 2, 2007


Eww. Those ampersands worked in the preview pane....
posted by quite unimportant at 2:17 PM on August 2, 2007


DALE: As you will see from this incontrovertible evidence, Sergeant, then Private, Bill Dauterive was given large doses of an experimental drug from 1982 to 1984. The Army was trying to create an elite group of Arctic commandos, stationed in Alaska and able to withstand frigid temperatures. They called it "Operation Infinite Walrus." Their mission: to repel an invasion if and when the Communists came over the polar ice cap. The drug was designed to promote accumulation of heat-retaining blubber on the torso, foster the growth of insulating body hair, and create the ability to undertake long periods of hibernation.

HANK: Bill, it was a different time. It was back when we didn't know the Russians were incompetent.
posted by starscream at 3:38 PM on August 2, 2007


This is starting to remind me of that simpsons episode where Mr. Burns stole the school's oil reserve by putting diagonal pipes from his land into the school's.

Canada, US, Norway, Russia and Denmark are probably already secretly putting in diagonal pipes from their end to siphon off oil from other guys reserve.
posted by phyrewerx at 5:18 PM on August 2, 2007


Message signed "Cthulhu" says "Thank you for the wake-up call, glad to see the ice is melting, eat you soon."
posted by hank at 6:49 PM on August 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


I read these comments just to see how quickly it would, somehow, turn into USA bashing. Thanks Mefites for not dissapointing.
posted by acetonic at 9:28 PM on August 2, 2007


Just curious, but what is the (economic) point of it?

Presumed oil and gas deposits. When the sea ice melts you'll be able to put drilling rigs there. afaik people have been tooling around down there in nuclear subs for decades, this is just the first time someone has tried to claim the seafloor.

Denmark tried to pull a similar stunt a while ago by claiming that they own the mineral rights all along an underwater ridge that is attached to Greenland.
posted by fshgrl at 9:43 PM on August 2, 2007


Message signed "Cthulhu" says "Thank you for the wake-up call, glad to see the ice is melting,

And What Do You Want for the Apocalypse?
posted by homunculus at 10:12 PM on August 2, 2007


Message signed "Cthulhu" says "Thank you for the wake-up call, glad to see the ice is melting, eat you soon."

That calls to mind the series of short stories called A Colder War by MeFi's own Charles Stross. It's a sort of "what if" scenario where the Cold War unfolds in a world where the events of "At the Mountains of Madness" actually happened.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:13 AM on August 3, 2007


hoverboards don't work: You been reading Anatoly Golitsyn?
posted by eritain at 12:45 AM on August 3, 2007


Putin: I am your king!

Bush: Well, I didn't vote for you!

Putin: You don't vote for kings!

Bush: Well how'd you become king then?

(Red Army Chorus up)

Putin: Nuclear icebreaker, her bow clad in purest shimmering samite, held aloft national flag from the bosom of the water, signifying by international custom that I, Putin, was to control North Pole. THAT is why I am your king!

Harper: Listen: Strange boats floating in icewater waving flags is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical vexillogical ceremony!

Putin: (yelling) Be quiet!

Harper: You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some frozen barge waved a rag for you!

Putin: (roughing up the Canadian ambassador) Shut UP!

Harper: I mean, if I went round, saying I was ruler of the penguins, just because some icebound scow had hoisted a banner for me, they'd put me away!

Putin: (throwing the Prime Minister around) Shut up, will you, shut up!

Harper: Aha! Now we see the violence inherent in the system!

Putin: SHUT UP!

Harper: (yelling to all the other heads of government or state) Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP, HELP, I'M BEING REPRESSED!

posted by eritain at 1:00 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Interesting Newsweek story from late 2005.
posted by ZakDaddy at 1:33 AM on August 3, 2007


wolfdog...that made me laugh so hard (i'm at work), several people looked over at me.
posted by lohmannn at 12:15 PM on August 3, 2007


Diagonal pipes to tap someone else's oil reserves? Why does that sound familiar...
posted by salishsea at 3:45 PM on August 3, 2007


This just in: According to Danish media (quoting the Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat) the footage the Russians claims proves their flag-planting is taken directly from the submarine scenes of the Titanic movie. Hilarious!

Still haven't seen it pop up on English language media, though (and as we all know, "it ain't true untill it's in English").
posted by AwkwardPause at 12:46 PM on August 9, 2007


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