By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, April 30, 2023
Tell me one good thing about Switzerland. Well, its flag is a plus.
No, the best thing about Switzerland is neutrality, or at least the idea of it.
The Washington Post (of course it’s the Washington Post) recently published an argument against the neutrality of Switzerland.
That neutrality has been rather blatantly phony since the mid-1990s. Switzerland is already on the map of NATO partners and U.S. weapons customers. Here’s how NATO explains it: “Swiss cooperation with NATO is based on its long-standing policy of military neutrality and areas of practical cooperation that match joint objectives. NATO fully respects Switzerland’s neutrality.”
Yeah, and my ice-cream-club membership is based on my veganism.
So what are the Washington-Post-approved arguments for fully abandoning all pretense of neutrality?
Well, first of all, there’s no more hostility in Europe. So — OF COURSE — every country should join up with a military alliance that requires joining in any wars its other members are in, and just as a war is actually waging in Europe in a nation being marked for NATO membership.
Oh wait, I get it. The author is auditioning for a job at NATO and showing off with feats of illogic.
Second, nobody wants to attack Switzerland. So the only way to get Switzerland attacked is to join up with a whole bunch of nations that collectively should be better able to get themselves all attacked. In fact, Switzerland is in danger because of its neutrality. Why? Well, because we’re capable of forgetting the idea from way back two-sentences ago that nobody wants to attack Switzerland, and because we can fantasize that the deterrent effect of the U.S. military and its NATO sidekicks would be noticeably more deterring if Switzerland joined in with a battalion of yodelers armed with fondu catapults.
Third, Switzerland used to have so many internal conflicts that it didn’t have any need for external mass-murder sprees. But now that all is peace and harmony within Switzerland, really the only place it can turn for major orgies of gory slaughter is the outside world. I think this argument is only appealing to a certain worldview that I suspect many people in Switzerland don’t actually share.
Fourth, while neutrality does give Switzerland credibility in helping work for peace in the world, the author doesn’t really care and figures it can still try being a peacemaker after losing all credibility. After all, the United States pretends to try unsuccessfully to arbitrate peace all over the place all the time.
Fifth, nobody actually thinks Switzerland is neutral anyway. Yes, well, that hardly tells us which direction Switzerland should move — toward real neutrality, or toward absolute subservience to Washington — does it?
Sixth, Swiss officials don’t feel like real men at international conferences because Switzerland doesn’t export any weapons for the rest of the world to kill huge numbers of people with. I mean, it’s embarrassing. And somebody in Switzerland could be getting rich of the blood of humanity and isn’t.
That’s it. That’s the whole case against Swiss neutrality.
But there’s also a case in favor of it. That’s well argued at this link.
The best thing about Swiss neutrality, if it could be made real, would be the example it sets. In an era of “with-us-or-with-the-enemy” someone ought to have the basic decency to stand up and say “to hell with that childish and barbaric horseshit; we’re with you and with your enemy; we’re against organized mass murder and planetary destruction; snap out of it, would you?”