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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Border Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Swiss

Just the other day I was thinking about threats to international peace and security. (It’s a pastime; I'll get over it.)

I pondered the chances of America going to war with Iran. Or the odds of North Korea invading South Korea. Perhaps the world would use force in Sudan to try to end the suffering in Darfur.

But my focus was clearly on the wrong threat. Because while we were distracted by Iraq, Afghanistan, and so on, we missed the actual danger.

While nobody was watching last week, Switzerland accidentally invaded Liechtenstein.

I’m serious.

The Swiss would have us believe that a regular training exercise went awry. That nearly two hundred soldiers lost their way in the darkness and didn’t notice the border. That they didn’t mean to enter tiny Liechtenstein—a country of 34,000 people but no army—carrying assault rifles.

Let’s look at this with a dose of Amulet wisdom.

Switzerland has been the laughingstock of Europe, even the world, for centuries. Neighbors see the country as a soft land of watch-making chocolatiers, weaklings who can’t rouse themselves to get involved in any of the cataclysmic wars surrounding them.

(Well, except to keep the belligerents’ money safe. They’re good at that.)

Perhaps they’ve heard enough “Swiss miss” jokes. I can imagine they got sick of getting asked why their trademark cheese has so many holes. Or maybe one too many tourists walked through the streets of Geneva yelling “Ricola!”

Whatever the reason, the Swiss are mad as hell, and they aren’t going to take it anymore.

It’s a good thing all of Switzerland’s other neighbors are all so much more populous than Liechtenstein, with strong militaries and a tradition of successful defense. Nobody needs to worry about having to turn on their heels in a panic, to fall over themselves trying to surrender, and to be overrun by the small Swiss militia.

None of these countries need to fear the Swiss army.

Except you, France.

20 Comments:

At March 10, 2007 8:32 PM, Blogger Trundling Grunt replied to my musings ...

They actually invaded and over-ran France years ago, but no-one could be bothered to notice.

Is there a nation the French haven't surrendered to?

 
At March 11, 2007 12:59 AM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

I always thought the French modeled their defense after swiss cheese, full of holes. And Lichtenstein, what are they known for again? I sense a tourism publicity ploy, here. "We'll have you walk into our country, and we'll all downplay it and make headlines the world over!!! Without ammo, how can it be labeled anything but a mistake? And to think we've been wasting all those euros advertising..."

 
At March 11, 2007 2:12 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

Aren't they suppose to be neutral??

They do have the best male tennis player in the world though! :)

 
At March 12, 2007 6:02 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

TG: You're right--that wouldn't really make the news. I believe the French have yet to invade France becuase they are too nice, eh?

Mike: Tiny nations do have a hard time with publicity. I mean look at that Vatican place ... I heard there's some guy called the Pope who rules it, claiming some special relationship with some god. Crazy, isn't it?

Phats: Good point--I had forgotten that Federer was Swiss, or I would have tried to work that in. And CONGRATS on the Boilermakers' bid! They played themselves in with their good finish. I still was not convinced the committee would pick Purdue over Syracuse or Drexel, but it did.

-- david

 
At March 12, 2007 9:24 AM, Blogger On My Watch replied to my musings ...

you should never underestimate the power of those little knives...they can do some serious damage. ;)

 
At March 12, 2007 10:27 AM, Blogger Godwhacker replied to my musings ...

The French have a secrete defense. No, I'm not talking about "the bomb" or the Maginot Line. I'm talking about cheese. One hint of invasion and all France needs to do is unwrap some of their more odoriferous varieties to send the Swiss running home to their mama's.

And here we thought the "surrender monkeys" only ate cheese.

 
At March 12, 2007 11:21 AM, Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen replied to my musings ...

Ooo...excellent parting shot there! ;)

And honestly, if I lived in a land of cheese and chocolate, I'd be pretty laid back too. ;)

 
At March 12, 2007 5:52 PM, Anonymous LisaBinDaCity replied to my musings ...

Regarding Switzerland, let's put it this way. If I was going to hide massive amounts of money, it would not be there. More likely the Caymans ;-)

 
At March 12, 2007 9:13 PM, Blogger Grafs replied to my musings ...

Sadly the Swiss army will never be too dangerous due to their ingenious but harmless weapon of choice: The 21 tool swiss army knife, complete with bottle opener.

 
At March 13, 2007 8:28 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

OMW, Grafs: Don't sell the Swiss army knife short. After all, France hasn't invaded its neighbor in more than 200 years--maybe there's a connection.

GW: Cheese and arrogance will block almost any attack.

PQ: Don't get me wrong, France is a nice place ... it's just those French PEOPLE ...

Lisa: Maybe we'll start seeing Swiss spam.

-- david

 
At March 13, 2007 11:41 AM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

But they do make a handy camping knife.

 
At March 15, 2007 12:51 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

Brackets up on the blog, good luck and thanks for playing!!

GO DUKE (boy that hurts to say! but I did promise)

 
At March 15, 2007 6:09 PM, Blogger goldennib replied to my musings ...

Those Swish, I mean Swiss, are dangerous. They act all like, "We got lost and we have no bullets," but really they're like on spy missions to see who has more fashionable uniforms and better breakfast pastries. Don't believe their lies.

 
At March 15, 2007 10:31 PM, Blogger Jeff replied to my musings ...

While the Swiss may be the butt of all jokes they do have a mean mixed doubles team in tennis with Federer and Martina Hingis.

 
At March 16, 2007 7:08 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Fuzz: Gotta give 'em credit for that.

Phats: Grrrrr. People forget that this was Duke's youngest team in 60 years, with four out of five starters freshmen or sophomores, but it still hurts to lose in the first round. Go Purdue!

GN:I never thought of the pastries angle. Dangerous indeed!

Jeff: In tennis, Switzerland is up there with the best. In military might, not so much.

-- david

 
At March 16, 2007 12:39 PM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

Here's aquestion, do they use the knives to make the holes in the sheese?

 
At March 19, 2007 11:05 AM, Blogger Gyrobo replied to my musings ...

At least their attacks will be punctual.

 
At March 19, 2007 11:30 AM, Blogger missy replied to my musings ...

...punctual and full of chocolate goodness!

I might move to Switzerland in a few years' time.

 
At March 19, 2007 12:20 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Mike: I suppose they do. While luging.

Gyrobo: I have to give it to the Swiss--they make some damn fine watches. I certainly enjoyed the Swatch back in the day.

Missy: Welcome back! If you do move there, please be wary of Liechtenstein; they may be seeking revenge.

-- david

 
At March 19, 2007 2:32 PM, Blogger Paige Burns replied to my musings ...

Grrr, those Swiss, they must have hacked into your blog and deleted my first comment!

 

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