Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Swiss Bicycle ANTI TANK UNIT...

I'm all Helvetophilic today. But there are some serious philosophical points in this article.

  • "We can be sitting in a room and if the call comes for action we can get to anything within 50 km before the tank boys have even got their vehicles ready,"

  • But year after year, as they wait for this action, the same thing happens, and it is beginning to sap the strength of even the hardiest of them - nobody invades Switzerland.

    If nobody invades you, you won.

    It is a pattern seen right across Swiss society, a dissatisfaction building up with neutrality and isolationism - both of which seemed wise in the past but do not meet the needs of modern life.

    Nobody complained about isolationism and neutrality in, say, 1942. Or 1917.

    But it also comes from soldiers who want to practise their craft keeping the peace in the world's hotspots, not sit around at home peering over the mountains in mock fear of the threat they know does not exist.

    1. Experts like to work, that's where the ego points are. KEEP THE GENERALS ON A SHORT LEAD. When your tool is a hammer...

    2. The threat exists. Just because the old bear died doesn't mean there will never be another bear. See lack of threat in 1872, 1919, 1945...

    The soldiers - part of a militia army designed purely to defend Swiss doorsteps - feel particularly excluded from global opportunities and challenges.

    Five centuries ago the Swiss were the terror of Europe. There's a reason those long ago warriors passed on the empire opportunity. If it works, don't fix it!

    Soon perhaps the Swiss will be in the UN and the EU and their bicycle troops will be reduced to ceremonial duties.

    I hope not, Brussels is fouling up enough places!

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