Palin's foreign policy cred - illustrated
So we've been listening to the McCain campaign insist that their VP is well aware of foreign policy concerns because after all, Alaska shares a border with Russia. In fact, as Palin herself cheerily volunteered in her interview with Gibson, you can actually see Russia from Alaska. So I'm thinking, you know, maybe she has a point here. I mean if you can see Russia, that's got to be a little scary, knowing the big bad Bear is lurking right on your doorstep. I figured why not, through the magic of the intertubes, have a look at this junction myself.
Russia's Big Diomede Island and Alaska's Little Diomede Island, are indeed less than 3 miles apart and on a clear day you can see Russia from lovely downtown Little Diomede. Here it is.
The village is located on the western shore of the island, 2.5 miles from the Russian island Big Diomede, and 1.25 miles from the International Dateline. The island is home to about 200 native Alaskans, 2 Arctic fox and thousands of sea birds. Seals, whales, walrus and polar bears frequent the surrounding water and sea ice. There is a school, ice cream machine, washeteria and bingo three times a week for fun!
It's quite a hot spot. Check out the travelogues here, here and here. Why even Michael Palin has been there. He tells us:
They may not have fridge-freezers (they bury food in the permafrost instead) but they do have satellite television and it's not long before word gets around that one of the actors from Monty Python and the Holy Grail is on the island. The last thing I have to do before leaving one of the most remote corners of the world is to sign autographs.
And it's true you could walk to Russia in the winter when the ice forms, assuming it does anymore, but it hardly seems worth the effort, since Big Diomede is unihabited. According to this doctor, who made made a medical trip there, the Russians moved the people off that island years ago. Or you could save yourself the travel expenses and simply view the Big D via this handy live webcam -- with operable controls on the camera. Hours of fascinating viewing there, I'll tell you. I put it on the sidebar at my place just in case you want to help out Sarah in keeping an eye out for an impending Russian invasion. As you can see, the threat is imminent.
Note that is not Sarah Palin. But I'm sure Sarah visits it regularly, just to keep an eye out for Putin.
(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)