Social Question

Val123's avatar

How does Switzerland manage to stay such a peaceful nation?

Asked by Val123 (12679points) February 25th, 2010

Do no other nations want it, therefore don’t try to invade it and take it over, or what?

Inspired by:
http://www.fluther.com/disc/75140/does-a-free-country-have-to-be-at-war-constantly-in/

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

55 Answers

noyesa's avatar

By not dropping bombs on other countries for material gain. Probably.

davidbetterman's avatar

They have everbody’s money.

Thammuz's avatar

They don’t fuck with others and actually care to stay peaceful enough to make sacrifices for it (SHOCKER!).

ucme's avatar

Chocolate,cuckoo clocks,cheese,Roger Federer,bank accounts. What’s not to love.Besides their army only carry small knives with scissors & can openers on, bless.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Nazi war gold keeps ‘em happy. Was that out loud…?

Val123's avatar

But…why do they never find themselves in a position of having to defend themselves? Why didn’t Japan bomb them instead of us in WWII?

davidbetterman's avatar

Why didn’t Japan bomb them instead of us in WWII?

The Swiss weren’t threatening the Japanese way of life by cutting off their fuel oil and scrap steel we were sending them up until the war…

noyesa's avatar

@Val123 Because we were the ones who were, for our own interests, threatening Japan’s ability to sustain its wealth. Japan thrives on imports, and especially during WWII, when we were on opposing sides of the fence, we were essentially shutting off Japan’s supply of lifeblood.

Not to mention, Switzerland was a wee bit different during that time. (See: history of Switzerland).

janbb's avatar

Hey,

If you were looking for a country to bomb who would you choose? Us or the cheese eating surrender monkeys?

Sarcasm's avatar

@Val123Why didn’t Japan bomb them instead of us in WWII?” Because even though Switzerland’s citizens are all technically military personnel (last I heard, at least), they aren’t the kind of huge country that can mobilize and fuck up Japan.
Plus the fact that between Switzerland and Japan remains the little territory called “Asia”. The area between Japan and Pearl Harbor is just ocean.

fireside's avatar

Lots of mountains, little land mass and a lack of natural resources.
Plus, they’re nice to others.

ucme's avatar

Japan didn’t bomb Britain! Unless you mean the US.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

They stay peaceful because they are not interferring with every other nations business, when we start trying to get into an other nations affairs we often get a more negative responce than we do a positive.

noyesa's avatar

@Sarcasm Plus, among other things, Switzerland made a lot of forfeits to the Germans to remain uninvaded/occupied.

Val123's avatar

Great answers guys….thanks.

noyesa's avatar

@ucme Japan didn’t need to. Their cohorts did. A lot.

ucme's avatar

@ noyesa Yeah they blew Grandads shop to pieces, the bastards.

gailcalled's avatar

The Swiss (like the Dutch) are too busy learning four languages fluently.

ChaosCross's avatar

Their trenches around the country, makes land invasion next to impossible.

CMaz's avatar

By appreciating a good reach around.

Neutrality has its advantages.

hearkat's avatar

@ucme and @noyesa: My mother was born in Switzerland shortly before WWII – I’m glad Japan didn’t bomb them… (but she clearly remembers when the Allies bombed Zurich!! – it was us, not the Axis)

Switzerland chooses to remain politically neutral – not to get involved in other peoples’ business. It has stayed out of the European Union to preserve its own fiscal identity.
Being so small and land-locked I guess makes it undesirable in terms of attempted conquest.
I think there is a certain degree of respect for the neutrality which is why the United Nations and other international organizations have their headquarters there.

marinelife's avatar

They stay neutral by the recognition of other countries of neutrality as a principle.

Val123's avatar

We were trying to stay neutral after WWI. We stayed out of WWII for the first two years of the war, trying to stay neutral. Then we got bombed.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Val123 since you asked rhetorically why Japan didn’t bomb the Swiss instead of the US to begin what we in the US refer to as “the Pacific Theater” of WW2 (which had been fully ongoing for some years already in Chinese eyes) was that the Swiss didn’t try to prevent or slow down continued Japanese aggression in China and Manchuria. The Swiss didn’t embargo shipments of war materials (primarily petroleum and rubber) to Japan in mid-1941.

And this answers most of the question of “how does Switzerland remain neutral?” ... because they choose not to be a “world power”, and can do business with Nazis and communists as well as they can with any other government, including the most ruthless dictatorships and all democracies. If Massachusetts or Connecticut were sovereign nations, I have no doubt that they’d attempt the same kind of neutrality.

Lightlyseared's avatar

As Orson Wells says in The Third Man “In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

Parrappa's avatar

Jonas Hiller. He keeps them in check.

ekans's avatar

I don’t know why everyone always says that Switzerland is neutral, because in recent years, the swiss have become very aggressive toward Liechtenstein.
In 1985, the swiss army actually fired rockets into Liechtenstein, setting fire to a forest, causing several million Swiss francs in damages.
In fact, in 2007, The Swiss infantry actually invaded Liechtenstein, taking over a large portion of the country.

I think that it is time that we stop seeing Switzerland as such a peaceful nation and realize how aggressive they really are. ~

CMaz's avatar

It is funny when people bring up Countries like Switzerland to boast how well non violent neutrality can work.

Don’t get me wrong. The Swiss are wonderful people. God bless them all. But..

We build the walls that allow these countries to stay safe. And switzerland is not as “neutral” as you might think.
The country is is full of cannons. Secretly hidden within common looking buildings. Just in case their “neutrality” is infringed apon.

The Swiss, if provoked, will kick ass. They just do not have to. And, not because of their own merits.

hearkat's avatar

@ekans: ;-)

@ChazMaz: “Neutral” does not mean naïve or passive! Being ready, willing and able to defend themselves shows that while they will not infringe upon other countries’ rights to conduct their business as they choose, the will not allow another country to infringe upon their own right to do the same.

CMaz's avatar

And, they do not have to worry about other countries infringing upon their own right.

When there are bigger countries to protect that right for them.

But you are right on.

h2osprey's avatar

When you hold a substantial sum of everyone’s money in your vaults, it usually provides quite a bit of disincentive to people looking to bomb you.

Of course you can argue that this is caused by the very fact that people trust Switzerland to protect their money well, which begins to beg the very question in the first place…

…but that’s another matter altogether.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

They’re very good at respecting their immediate neighbors and not pissing everyone off.
They’re also small enough to be able to pull that off.
In World War II the USA maintained a neutral status but they were too powerful not to become a target.

davidbetterman's avatar

The only truly Neutral Country in the world is The Duchy of Grand Fenwick!

noyesa's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy Very true. WWII had been going on for nearly a decade by the time the US was involved.

Val123's avatar

@noyesa Uh….there may have been political tensions for a decade, but the actual war began in 1939

noyesa's avatar

@Val123 Okay, half a decade.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Val123, @noyesa was right the first time. The war in China had been going on since the early 1930s, and Hitler was violating the terms of the Versailles Treaty for about the same length of time, including his annexing of neighboring countries other than Poland. Only the formal declaration of war was missing.

Val123's avatar

@noyesa 2½ years does not half a decade make! OK, OK! Half a half a decade. :)

Val123's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Yes, but all of Europe didn’t get involved until 1939…it wasn’t a World War until then…..meh. I feel research coming on.

candide's avatar

because it’s so small and people have to climb mountains to fight and the altitude wears them out before they get there

stevenelliottjr's avatar

Plain and simple—they are not sticking their nose in everyones business. They just happily hold all their money.

candide's avatar

@stevenelliottjr They are not? Indeed they are – have you missed the Swiss insurance, food, etc. conglomerates?!?

mattbrowne's avatar

Because they let others do the tough work, like closing the terror camps in Afghanistan. Switzerland contributed a maximum of four staff officers to ISAF which was approved by the Swiss Parliament. Same for showing solidarity with poor Eastern European countries. It’s transfer money from Germany, UK and France that helps Romania and Bulgaria.

In the meantime conservative Swiss politicians tell the Germans it’s our government’s fault wealthy Germans hide their money in Switzerland because German taxes are so high. Go figure.

mattbrowne's avatar

One more thing: Libya declared Holy War Against Switzerland yesterday.

‘In a rambling address on Thursday, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi called for holy war against Switzerland. The bizarre pronouncement belongs to a running feud between the two nations, but the Swiss Foreign Ministry declined to comment. “Let us wage jihad against Switzerland, Zionism and foreign aggression,” Gadhafi suggested at a meeting in Libya to mark the birth of the prophet Muhammad. “Any Muslim in any part of the world who works with Switzerland is an apostate, is against Muhammad, God and the Koran.” The Swiss and Libyan governments have been at odds since 2008, when Swiss police arrested Ghadafi’s son Hannibal and Hannibal’s wife, the model Aline Skaf. The couple was charged with abusing servants in a luxury hotel.’

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,680525,00.html

gailcalled's avatar

@mattbrowne: Let’s hope that Gadhafi has not trained the Libyan Camel Battalian to ski over tall mountains.

If that speech weren’t so terrifying, I’d laugh.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@gailcalled let’s not forget that the original Hannibal (and Carthage itself) came from what we now call Libya. So the tall mountain thing is not just a funny joke, even if it seems so right now. History does tend to repeat, after all. That is, we make history repeat.

CMaz's avatar

I repeat every night.

hearkat's avatar

That Lubyan thing is a personal vendetta, for the most part. But it is scary. There are MANY Muslims who call Switzerland home, though.

Thammuz's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Hannibal managed to get to the alps only because there was basically shit between where he was and the alps themselves. Carthage was a really powerful city, much moreso than libya is a powerful nation. Let’s not get carried away with “history repeats itself”, hannibal had no qualms with the people that lived where he had to pass to get to rome, and even if he did they were a minor nuisance to his army, now however we’re talking about pretty much all of Europe on the path between Libya and Switzerland (If not geographically, politically) and an army that is not quite that dangerous, expecially considered how pretty much all of Switzerland’s male population has recieved military training.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Thammuz I understand what you’re saying, and you’re right, but history has a pretty wide sweep, too. Who’s to say that in the next hundred, two hundred, or thousand or ten thousand years there won’t be similar conditions?

The way Europeans enjoy debating and diplomatically pussyfooting around every act of aggression against other European nations (and not even debating those outside of Europe), Hannibal wouldn’t have much trouble these days, either. Rome isn’t even the Rome that it was when the Vandals sacked it.

Thammuz's avatar

@CyanoticWasp For spineless that our governments my be i doubt they’d not react to an outright aggression, with soldiers and missiles and whatnot. I mean, onething is washing your hands of threats and the like, and another is idly standing there when people are whupping your ass…

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Thammuz I have no doubt that they’d react, but consider a possible scenario:

A Libyan attack force (50 guys, 40 rifles and a couple of boats) lands on the French Riviera just after dawn. A diner at a seaside cafe notices the hubbub and calls the local gendarme, who phones in to his superiors, who don’t believe him. An hour or so later three more policemen arrive on the scene to find no one around, and the street deserted. The alert is called off.

How long before the Army is called and has time to check the train schedules?

I’m assuming that the Libyans wouldn’t attack with much greater force. If it had been 500 men, then the call to the gendarme wouldn’t have been made in the first place.

Val123's avatar

This turned into a great thread, thanks to you guys! :)

Thammuz's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Sounds a lot like the movie “The mouse that roared”

mattbrowne's avatar

Moammar Gadhafi clearly suffers from mental incapacity. I’m surprised the Libyan people are not worried about this.

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