They Didn’t Attack Switzerland
by Bill Walker
Switzerland has not been in a
foreign war of any kind since 1815. This would be astounding, even miraculous,
for any nation. But Switzerland borders Germany. And France. And Italy. And
Austria. And Liechtenstein. Now Liechtenstein has rarely lashed out in
Blitzkrieg in a desperate bid to reign über alles, but ALL of Switzerland's
other neighbors have spent their entire histories invading other countries.
In addition to the encircling foreign marauders, Switzerland itself is
composed of four different ethnic groups (German, French, Italian, Romansh) that
get along as well as, e.g., Germans and French. They don’t even speak the same
Yet the Swiss peace prevails through the centuries. The Kaiser
didn’t attack the Swiss. Hitler didn’t attack the Swiss (though he thought about
it a lot). Stalin started to pursue some refugees into Liechtenstein at the end
of WWII, but retreated rather than face the Swiss-Liechtenstein alliance.
Terrorists don’t attack the Swiss.
Nobody attacks the Swiss. Not even the
Swiss attack the Swiss; their crime rate is minuscule.
The features of the
Swiss system for keeping the peace are simple. They have a president with no
power to declare war (of course ours can’t either, but no one has told HIM).
They have a very small professional army, even small per capita. And they have
very strict gun control. By which they mean that every Swiss male must have a
gun, except for those who also have to carry a missile launcher or a mortar.
Swiss women are not subject to compulsory military service, but many of them
frequent the rifle ranges anyway. In the event of any attack on Switzerland, the
whole Swiss population becomes the army.
As an additional deterrent against
megalomania, the Swiss have rigged the tunnel vaults of their banks for
demolition. Any dictator attacking Switzerland will find the gold in his
numbered bank account buried in rubble hundreds of meters under mountains
swarming with snipers and missile launchers. It is known that Hitler had a
numbered account... maybe that was in the back of his mind when he chickened
Switzerland has also provided for defense of the lives of its civilian
population against nuclear terrorism. Realizing during the Cold War that nuclear
weapons in the hands of power-mad politicians posed a potential public health
threat, the Swiss started a nationwide shelter-building program in 1960. By
1991, there were enough shelter spaces in Switzerland to protect everyone in
their home or apartment, and also at their workplaces and schools. A Swiss
citizen is never more than a few minutes from a fallout shelter with an air
The entire Swiss shelter program was accomplished for somewhere on
the order of 35 dollars (1990 dollars) per year per capita. The US spends vastly
more every year to support a military capable only of intervening in Third World
nations that do not have WMDs.
The huge US war machine could not even
intercept civilian airliners on 9-11, let alone credibly stop nuclear-tipped
cruise and ballistic missiles from a major power. Nor are there bunkers with
filtered air supplies under our glass cities or particle-board suburbs. The only
civil defense in the US is for the President and the backup supply of
bureaucrats under Iron Mountain. Everyone else is nuclear fodder, except for
those provident few (such as the Mormons) who build their own shelters to
protect their families.
Switzerland does not send troops to intervene in
other nations. Switzerland does not spend tens of billions of dollars yearly to
fund dictators around the world, nor did Switzerland donate hundreds of billions
of dollars to the Warsaw Pact through bank "loans." Switzerland does not send
billions of dollars worth of weaponry every year to the warring tribes in the
Middle East. Switzerland has no enemies. Yet the Swiss are armed to the teeth
and dug into every hill and under every building.
The US intervenes
everywhere, spies on everyone, supports every faction in every fight. We have as
many enemies as there are hate-filled people in the world. We have a vastly
expensive conventional army (though the best units are marching back and forth
in Middle Eastern deserts, Afghanistan, Korea, and other "strategic" places). We
have vast numbers of offensive nuclear weapons for murdering the civilian
populations of cities (but against whom will we retaliate in the event of an
anonymous nuclear terrorist attack?).
But we have no civil defenses for our
children, no shelters, no thought-out plan for recovery from attack. In fact,
when we suffered a few thousand dead on 9-11, we panicked and did ten times more
economic damage to ourselves than the terrorists had. We also let ourselves be
suckered into joining a Middle Eastern tribal war without end, on transparently
Worse, our fears have destroyed much of our own
Constitutional freedom. Would we be braver now, if a few anonymous smuggled
nuclear bombs killed millions? Or would we just descend tamely into dictatorship
without a struggle?
Our Founding Fathers studied the Swiss when they
designed our system of government. Maybe it would pay us to study the long Swiss
peace again... before it's too late.
July 14, 2008
Bill Walker [send him mail] a research technologist.
He lives with his wife and four dogs in Grafton NH, where they are active in the
Free State Project.
Copyright © 2008 LewRockwell.com
Sunday, July 13, 2008
They Didn’t Attack Switzerland