In a move that should be extraordinarily embarrassing to white people everywhere, a US man has claimed part of Sudan as a kingdom for himself so that his daughter can be a Princess. No I’m not joking.
Heaton was journeying through the desolate southern stretches of Egypt and into an unclaimed 2000-square-kilometre patch of arid desert. There, on June 16 – Emily’s seventh birthday – he planted a blue flag with four stars and a crown on a rocky hill. The area, a sandy expanse sitting along the Sudanese border, morphed from what locals call Bir Tawil into what Mr Heaton and his family call the “Kingdom of North Sudan”.
There, Mr Heaton is the self-proclaimed king and Emily is his princess.
Mr Heaton, who ran for Congress out of Virginia’s 9th District in 2012 and lost, plans to reach out to the African Union for assistance in formally establishing the Kingdom of North Sudan and said that he is confident they will welcome him. Representatives from the Egyptian and Sudanese embassies in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.
Mr Heaton says his claim over Bir Tawil is legitimate. He argues that planting the flag – which his children designed – is exactly how several other countries, including what became the United States, were historically claimed. The key difference, Mr Heaton said, is that those historical cases of imperialism were acts of war while his was an act of love.
“I founded the nation in love for my daughter,” Heaton said.
I can’t even. I hope this one really is a hoax.
I just read this article on the Guardian Australia page: don’t care much for the author’s idea that geeks are ruining everything, but the Soylent thing really go to me. You know all those immoral, unhealthy poor people? Let’s just force feed them like chickens instead of allowing them to have any autonomy over their lives. *vomit*
Mindy, if we can look past the racism for a second, I don’t think he’s doing anything much different from the Sealand people. I actually like that idea because to have any chance of succeeding he really has to take his family and go live there. More clueless morons in uninhabitable deserts, I say!
Soylent strikes me as a great idea, but that’s because I have food allergies and a choice. Forcing it on poor people as a punishment would be utterly inhuman (which means it’s probably on the agenda for Abbott’s next term).
A hoax? Are you kidding me? This is hilarious. I hope it comes to a war, which would be equally hilarious because no-one would side with this idiot and it would basically end up with a “Put down the water pistol, Mr Heaton, and step slowly away from the sand dune” type moment.
Just watch out for the Soylent Green…
The root of the Bir Tawil issue is this: Egypt and Sudan do not agree where the border between them lies. Egypt argues the border is such that Sudan includes Bir Tawil, and Egypt includes the Hala’ib Triangle. (Which is a larger and far more valuable chunk of land.) Sudan argues the border is such that Bir Tawil is part of Egypt and the Hala’ib Triangle is part of Sudan. Hence, Bir Tawil is not “unclaimed” as such; everyone of importance agrees it’s part of Egypt and/or Sudan. Details available at Wikipedia: Bir Tawil. (11:53 video about border weirdnesses in general: The Most Complex International Borders in the World.)
As far as I can tell, the story is not a “hoax”, at least in this sense: Mr. Heaton really did take a trip to the region, and he stuck a flag into the ground. However, in his sound bites, he evinces no understanding of either colonialism or the process by which sovereign states take and hold territory. This might be the nature of sound bites– complicated things can’t be explained in a sentence, and a sentence isolated from a complicated explanation of a complicated thing can look clueless. My money’s on genuine cluelessness, though. He seems to believe the African Union will receive him– but of course, it has no more reason to receive a random goofball from the other side of the planet than, say, NATO has reason to receive me to talk about my claim that Polish sovereign territory extends to the interior of my pants. (Remember, folks: practice safe intercontinental ballistic missile defense.)
On the general topic of border weirdness, this article from the Speccy is great.