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  #81  
Old 24.11.2011, 12:48
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Re: Brutal killing sparks army gun debate

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Thank you, I appreciate that.



While there are 40,000 road deaths in a year in the US, the number of accidental deaths due to firearms numbers only in the hundreds annually; meanwhile there are many more firearms in the US than automobiles. Like I said, the average person in the US is much more likely to die from many other things than from a firearm.

Introducing homicides, in general (intentional as well as accidental) changes the numbers somewhat, but you do not differentiate between justifiable homicide (self-defense, legal police action) and illegal homicide. I was discussing firearms accidents only, because, IMO, if someone wants to kill someone, either by premeditation or impulse, they'll find something to use, whether or not a gun is available, so homicide rate is no indicator of the safety of firearms nor an argument against them.

The 'Wild West' is a poor comparison. Guns are heavily regulated, and Americans do not walk around with six-shooters on their hips, waiting to have a shootout at high noon. The origins of the 'Wild West' cowboy was from the general lack of law enforcement presence at that time. Many towns had only a one-person police department; some had no police department. If one wanted to protect one's life, property, and freedom, one had to do it oneself. This is no different than in any other country in the history of the world- the US just did it in an age of guns.

As I said earlier, past history is not an indication of future performance. I could live 99% of my life without ever encountering a situation where I might need to protect myself, but I would choose to be prepared for the 1% incident that could make that 99% a much shorter time on Earth than I choose.

Yes, it is the police's job, but the police are not always outside my door (nor do I want them there), but more likely some distance and time away. When someone invades my home and threatens my family, I need to defend myself now, not when the police arrive. By then, I could be dead.

I actually believe I was speaking in admiration of these tribesmen. Most have no formal education, much less proper military training. I agree with your premise that living one's life in a constantly warring environment hardens oneself, and the survivors learn quickly from the mistakes of the dead, but I agree with others who have said that you discount the value of people defending their homeland. Additionally, you overlooked the geographic advantages the Swiss have in defending their country. The Alps create a huge strategic barrier to invading armies and smaller groups of less-well-trained conscripts could hold off a larger professional army in the mountain passes for quite some time, possibly enough time for another country to come to Switzerland's aid.

Would the West have gotten involved if the insurgents hadn't chosen to oppose Qadaffi's regime? My brother was 'over there' and involved in the US action against Qadaffi forces; if there hadn't been some belief in the viability of these forces, we wouldn't have supported them. I agree with you, however, in that they needed Western help to complete the job sooner, but I think they would've done it eventually.


I don't watch CNN. At all.
Excellent, I tried, but there's only so many times you can listen to the ophrase "Go beyond borders" before you want to throw something hard at the TV

My brother was also over there my old fruit, and they would NEVER have completed the job without western help, regardless of how long it took. Without the no fly zone the rebels would have been crushed within about a month.

I HAVE to ask where you get your figures from? The papers I have read put the figure of gun murders, no suicides or accidents, at 16,000 a year in the US.

Your point about someone will find a way to kill someone if they want to is absolutely spot on, however, how many of all murders are "crimes of passion," murder comitted in the heat of the moment? My guess is most, very few murders are premeditated. How many of those muders would have been avoided if the perpetrator had no access to a gun?

Geographically, you are 100% correct, you can draw huge paralells between Switzerland and Afghan actually. I would suggest that, and not any weapons that any invading force might be up against, would be the biggest deciding factor.

You, and other pro-gun friends I debate with, constantly use the line "To protect my family." From what and who? Have you ever heard of a situation where a family have all been killed in a burglary or robbery? Honest question, I've not heard of any, maybe you have.
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  #82  
Old 24.11.2011, 12:52
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Re: Brutal killing sparks army gun debate

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No, Hitler said "I want Switzerland, but I've got bigger fish to fry- Britain and Russia." Fortunately, the Allies turned the tide, and Hitler never got his chance. Do you think that he would've left Switzerland alone if he had had the opportunity to consolidate his ill-gotten gains?

Switzerland was fortunate, but eventually luck runs out. And then you need to defend your country...
You can't have it both ways, you suggested that that one of the reasons Switzerland avoided the wars was due to the fact it's inhabitants had guns. Now it was because he had other fish to fry.

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  #83  
Old 24.11.2011, 12:54
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Yeah, just look at Israel's abysmal record, for example.
I should have phrased that better, thanks for pointing it out.

Israel have been in a state of war for pretty much its whole existence, and have not yet been invaded. ;-)
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  #84  
Old 24.11.2011, 12:56
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Re: Brutal killing sparks army gun debate

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I was dead wrong, thanks for pointing it out...
Fixed that for you.
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  #85  
Old 24.11.2011, 12:59
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Re: Brutal killing sparks army gun debate

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Geographically, you are 100% correct, you can draw huge paralells between Switzerland and Afghan actually. I would suggest that, and not any weapons that any invading force might be up against, would be the biggest deciding factor.
I will disagree with that, again. Geography is only one part, the other is resources. Israel has a terrible geographical location, actually its really bad - if they could move their country, they would . Yet they're access to resources overcomes that, even from a stand point of number of men vs resources. They have proven that decisively time and again.

The fact that Switzerland can combine geography with resources was a reason to put it at the end of the list in WW2 IMO.
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Old 24.11.2011, 13:03
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Yeah, just look at Israel's abysmal record, for example.



Just maybe you're not sure what to say because you don't know what you're talking about. What the Nazis thought about Switzerland has been adequately documented here and here. Try pretending to be incredulous after reading those books.

And they weren't "people at home with rifles" — some 20% of the population was continuously under arms and mobilized through the war.
No, I am poorly informed on the Swiss neutrality during the war, this I will admit.

However, do you think that this case for weapons at home still stands?
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  #87  
Old 24.11.2011, 13:04
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You can't have it both ways, you suggested that that one of the reasons Switzerland avoided the wars was due to the fact it's inhabitants had guns. Now it was because he had other fish to fry.

Actually, you know well that there were a handful of factors - not least an ongoing war on several fronts or the fact that there were some Swiss sympathies on their side as well, which resulted in trades during WWII which have tarnished any kind of Swiss reputation well into present days..

Other than that, I quite enjoy following this discussion.. keep it going..
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  #88  
Old 24.11.2011, 13:18
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Re: Brutal killing sparks army gun debate

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Actually, you know well that there were a handful of factors - not least an ongoing war on several fronts or the fact that there were some Swiss sympathies on their side as well, which resulted in trades during WWII which have tarnished any kind of Swiss reputation well into present days..

Other than that, I quite enjoy following this discussion.. keep it going..
You are spot on here. But remember that neutrality means that you CONTINUE to trade with all parties the same as always. The Swiss did that, and this does sadly go down very badly with many people. But that is what neutrality is. If the Swiss stopped trading with one side then that obviously is no longer a neutral position. This is why I dont like when people always pull out that the Swiss traded with Germany - they had little choice if one was to remain neutral - and the consideration of swiss citizens was whats at stake - government first and foremost has a duty to its own citizens.

I take my hat off to the Swiss because they were in an extremely cra%^y situation. They decided to put their political ideologies to one side (even though there were some nazi sympathizers here as well as the polar opposite) and instead concentrate on what was best for their citizens regardless. While doing so they did not say, 'we are neutral, therefore we wont be invaded'. They instead prepared for Nazi invasion, accepting ALL possibilities of what could happen.
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  #89  
Old 24.11.2011, 15:24
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Re: Brutal killing sparks army gun debate

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You are spot on here. But remember that neutrality means that you CONTINUE to trade with all parties the same as always. The Swiss did that, and this does sadly go down very badly with many people. But that is what neutrality is. If the Swiss stopped trading with one side then that obviously is no longer a neutral position. This is why I dont like when people always pull out that the Swiss traded with Germany - they had little choice if one was to remain neutral - and the consideration of swiss citizens was whats at stake - government first and foremost has a duty to its own citizens.

I take my hat off to the Swiss because they were in an extremely cra%^y situation. They decided to put their political ideologies to one side (even though there were some nazi sympathizers here as well as the polar opposite) and instead concentrate on what was best for their citizens regardless. While doing so they did not say, 'we are neutral, therefore we wont be invaded'. They instead prepared for Nazi invasion, accepting ALL possibilities of what could happen.
Sorry, but it really cracks me up when I hear something in the "they had no choice" line. Do you actually know what happened?
- Switzerland produced ammunition and sold it to ONE side, Germany. The allies bombed the factories in Schaffhausen as a retaliation (officially the bombers lost their way to Konstanz and by pure coincidence happened to bomb a weapons factory...)
- A five digit number of "forced labour" in Germany worked for Swiss companies, for example Maggi, Nestle, Lonza. Nobody can force them to use these slaves for their factories (German companies had a hard time to say no, but any Swiss boss could simply say "sorry, we are neutral, so I cannot use them"), they actively decided to benefit from them.
- don't get me started on the entire Nazi gold story or the "lost" accounts of Jewish victims of the holocaust.

In short: Switzerland was not neutral. Maybe the average Swiss person was, but the industrial and financial leaders were anything but neutral. They worked hand in hand with the Nazis and delivered important products for the war effort. And that's exactly why nobody invaded the country.
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  #90  
Old 24.11.2011, 16:00
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Re: Brutal killing sparks army gun debate

Firstly, I have to apologise. In my naturally liberal lefty nature, I jumped into a discussion about Swiss gun laws without knowing some of the facts. Some have now been pointed out to me and some, I've gone and had a quick look on t'interweb... google's magic.

My "people at homes with guns" line was way off as I now understand it. however, the fact that Switzerland had a militarised population would really have factored little into Hitler's considerations.

"Switzerland demonstrated military readiness with the general mobilization in 1939 and border occupation by 430,000 troops (20 % of the employed persons). However, their equipment was not very up to date. Eugen Bircher, a Swiss colonel at the time, probably made a correct assessment of the situation when saying that the Germans would have been able to advance towards the Swiss capital Berne with a single tank regiment easily. (Edgar Bonjour, Neutralität, Bd. IV, 1970, p. 379 quoted afterIndependent Commission of Experts Switzerland - World War II, final report, German edition, p. 92. Note that the english edition of the final report, p. 89f does not give the important adverb "easily")
This assessment was shared (but not declared publicly) by a broad majority of leading Swiss Army officers. As a consequence Switzerland's commander in chief General Henri Guisandevelopped his famous "Reduit Concept" in summer 1940, according to which the Swiss Army would have retreated into the alps relatively soon if attacked, but would have kept up resistance based on some sort of guerilla tactics from there."

http://history-switzerland.geschicht...ld-war-ii.html

From my limited reading, please correct me if I'm wrong here, but wasn't one of the reasons Hitler didn't immediately invade was the railway line between Italy and Germany which the Germans and Italians were allowed to transpost sealed box cars through Switzerland? The swiss were able to export to these countires in return. The swiss had threatened to blow up that railway and all connecting tunnels and bridges in the event of any invasion.

Again, apologies for my lack of knowledge here.

However, as enlightening as this is, and it is, I still see no reason for this policy still existing today.
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  #91  
Old 24.11.2011, 16:04
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I HAVE to ask where you get your figures from? The papers I have read put the figure of gun murders, no suicides or accidents, at 16,000 a year in the US.
Again, I was speaking of firearms accidents- not intentional shootings, which was around 650 in the US for 2010. And like I said, factoring in intentional shootings raises the number to around 16,000 a year, which, is still less than the number of automobile-related fatalities in the same country, and there are still more guns than cars in the US. Based upon this perspective, our ire should be aimed at cars. (Sorry for the pun. )

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Your point about someone will find a way to kill someone if they want to is absolutely spot on, however, how many of all murders are "crimes of passion," murder comitted in the heat of the moment? My guess is most, very few murders are premeditated. How many of those muders would have been avoided if the perpetrator had no access to a gun?
Very few, if any. Like I said, and you agreed, someone who wants to kill will kill- a gun is just one tool, of many, from which to choose. There are numerous items in an ordinary household, used everyday, that could kill someone just as easily and effectively as a gun.

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You, and other pro-gun friends I debate with, constantly use the line "To protect my family." From what and who? Have you ever heard of a situation where a family have all been killed in a burglary or robbery? Honest question, I've not heard of any, maybe you have.
I've responded to this multiple times, on this thread alone. I would protect my family from battery, murder, robbery, rape, and whatever other mayhem a criminal (the who) may try to commit against us or our property. Yes, I've heard of numerous situations where families have been killed in the process of a burglary or robbery. Unfortunately, in the US, it happens on a weekly, if not daily basis, that an innocent person is killed in the commission of a crime. I am envious that you live somewhere so safe as that you've never even heard of something like that. For most of the world, its a potential hazard.

If and when you drive a car, do you put on your seat belt? Do you know anyone who has been injured or killed in a car accident that could've been saved had they worn their seat belt? Seat belts can kill people, if used improperly, also. My point here, however, was to prove that I can change the term 'gun' or 'firearm' to something more innocuous like 'seat belt' and you're probably thinking that the line of questioning now is a bit nonsensical- "Of course we wear seat belts! Its for safety!"

Lastly, nobody is forcing you to own a gun, hold a gun, use a gun, etc. If you don't want one, that's your choice, and I believe in freedom of choice. The other side of the freedom of choice piece is that I don't want you or anyone else telling me I can't have a gun, if I choose.
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Old 24.11.2011, 16:09
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You can't have it both ways, you suggested that that one of the reasons Switzerland avoided the wars was due to the fact it's inhabitants had guns. Now it was because he had other fish to fry.


As other posters have pointed out, you should be aware that there are numerous factors that go into making a decision like invading a country. Stating one was a factor does not mean that another was not also a factor.
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Old 24.11.2011, 16:15
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Again, I was speaking of firearms accidents- not intentional shootings, which was around 650 in the US for 2010. And like I said, factoring in intentional shootings raises the number to around 16,000 a year, which, is still less than the number of automobile-related fatalities in the same country, and there are still more guns than cars in the US. Based upon this perspective, our ire should be aimed at cars. (Sorry for the pun. )

Very few, if any. Like I said, and you agreed, someone who wants to kill will kill- a gun is just one tool, of many, from which to choose. There are numerous items in an ordinary household, used everyday, that could kill someone just as easily and effectively as a gun.

I've responded to this multiple times, on this thread alone. I would protect my family from battery, murder, robbery, rape, and whatever other mayhem a criminal (the who) may try to commit against us or our property. Yes, I've heard of numerous situations where families have been killed in the process of a burglary or robbery. Unfortunately, in the US, it happens on a weekly, if not daily basis, that an innocent person is killed in the commission of a crime. I am envious that you live somewhere so safe as that you've never even heard of something like that. For most of the world, its a potential hazard.

If and when you drive a car, do you put on your seat belt? Do you know anyone who has been injured or killed in a car accident that could've been saved had they worn their seat belt? Seat belts can kill people, if used improperly, also. My point here, however, was to prove that I can change the term 'gun' or 'firearm' to something more innocuous like 'seat belt' and you're probably thinking that the line of questioning now is a bit nonsensical- "Of course we wear seat belts! Its for safety!"

Lastly, nobody is forcing you to own a gun, hold a gun, use a gun, etc. If you don't want one, that's your choice, and I believe in freedom of choice. The other side of the freedom of choice piece is that I don't want you or anyone else telling me I can't have a gun, if I choose.
I can understand most of where you are coming from... I am British, so my perspective will be a little different.

Cars really aren't the best argument here. Not many people intentionally run someone over or crash.....in much the same way, as your stat so helpfully pointed out, not many people accidentally shoot someone. Gun related deaths are nearly always intentional.

IF guns were made illegal in America and those laws properly enforced, do you think you would need one to protect yourself from people who would no longer be armed? Or is your stance that you want one only because everyone else does? i completely understand you wnating to protect your family, if I were under that threat, I may think about doing the same.

However, you allude to the view that you don't want anyone telling you that you can't have a gun, as it is your choice. This is where we differ. Most governments have made asbestos illegal as it kills, you can't "choose" to insulate your house with it. this is the role of government in some instances.... I am sure you disagree. Is the issue the US has with Guns being intertwined with your ideas of freedom maybe? Genuine question.

Fascinating hearing your views, even if we do differ.
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Old 24.11.2011, 16:29
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Re: Brutal killing sparks army gun debate

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IF guns were made illegal in America and those laws properly enforced, do you think you would need one to protect yourself from people who would no longer be armed? Or is your stance that you want one only because everyone else does? i completely understand you wnating to protect your family, if I were under that threat, I may think about doing the same.


Awesome. Pure awesome. 'Cause we know that there are no more drugs or money laundering or embezzlement or alien workers or anything else illegal.

"but-but-"
'and those laws properly enforced'


Ohhh, right. Riiiiight.
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Old 24.11.2011, 16:33
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Awesome. Pure awesome. 'Cause we know that there are no more drugs or money laundering or embezzlement or alien workers or anything else illegal.

"but-but-"
'and those laws properly enforced'


Ohhh, right. Riiiiight.
Was that what was said? Criminal elements will always find a way to carry on their activities, regardless of the gun laws.

Or are you suggesting the US is incapable of implementing something other countries the world over have managed?
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Old 24.11.2011, 16:34
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Re: Brutal killing sparks army gun debate

I think we should be arming our great army with tazer guns instead. It might save a few lives along the way & a number of police forces around the world seem to have success with them. Obviously, not a lomg range weapon, but then nothing is perfect....guns have proven that.
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Old 24.11.2011, 16:34
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Or are you suggesting the US is incapable of implementing something other countries the world over have managed?
Quite possibly. Could probably make a list. It's a pretty unique country.
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Old 24.11.2011, 20:35
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Sorry, but it really cracks me up when I hear something in the "they had no choice" line. Do you actually know what happened?
- Switzerland produced ammunition and sold it to ONE side, Germany. The allies bombed the factories in Schaffhausen as a retaliation (officially the bombers lost their way to Konstanz and by pure coincidence happened to bomb a weapons factory...)
- A five digit number of "forced labour" in Germany worked for Swiss companies, for example Maggi, Nestle, Lonza. Nobody can force them to use these slaves for their factories (German companies had a hard time to say no, but any Swiss boss could simply say "sorry, we are neutral, so I cannot use them"), they actively decided to benefit from them.
- don't get me started on the entire Nazi gold story or the "lost" accounts of Jewish victims of the holocaust.

In short: Switzerland was not neutral. Maybe the average Swiss person was, but the industrial and financial leaders were anything but neutral. They worked hand in hand with the Nazis and delivered important products for the war effort. And that's exactly why nobody invaded the country.
Of course I dont claim to know what happened, this was the 40's, but Im sure you will provide me with all the correct, no BS answers.

Yes, ive read the material myself. Lots of things were made here and sold to the Nazi's during the war, the same way as they were sold before the war. This includes precision equipment, that although could be used for a variety of purposes, was used in bomb targeting equipment. Im not naive to think that there were people who didnt directly benefit from the war. The same as there were many American companies who cant really claim a moral high ground either. Im not going to blanket the country with the fact that these things did occur. Im also not going to gobble up all the information written against Switzerland - there is also plenty of envy out there that a country could come out unscathed and successful after the war, a certain amount of negative bias does exist, so I try to tread cautiously. There were also many accidental bombings of Switzerland, including a court martial in the Zurich bombings - a court martial doesnt really suggest it was deliberate does it? But it happened and you can believe what you wish, after all it was considered 'bad weather', so I guess its all possible.

The Nazi gold was sold in Switzerland as were allied gold holdings. The origins of the Nazi gold were always in dispute - damn the bankers and money men for that. I dont defend the bankers for not verifying the origins of the gold.

I take issue to the lost accounts. The lost accounts were studied extensively after the war and Switzerland together with other neutral nations copped heaps and deservidly - seems a little comical for the US to play a moral high power there though doesnt it (they published a lot of the reports). There are many publication out there that talk about a smear campaign against Switzerland about assisting the Nazi's. President Truman had already presided over the initial return of accounts soon after the war. F. Lips who worked at a Swiss Jewish bank said his bank was actively searching for more such accounts in the 1960's and they found hardly anything that was considered unclaimed or unnamed. He said there were hardly any unnamed accounts - what was left was dealt with after the war. Now you can believe what he said or you dont have to, thats your perogative, but he says he was there at the time and his Jewish bosses were actively searching for these accounts but they didnt exist and his bosses accepted that. I weigh this information of his with those of Codevilla who claims similar - I wasnt there. Then of course came the 1990's where some groups chose to dig the past up again.

There are plenty of pro-israel groups that also chose to distance themselves from the late 90's campaign of getting Switzerland to pay for compensation as they themselves believed that no such claims existed. One of those was Israel themselves whose Government 'privately' said they were not part of this campaign nor did they support it.

The World Jewish Congress launched the campaign because they had significant co-operation from Bill Clinton to whom the WJC were direct donors - he gave them access to the US Justice department. You ask the victims of the holocaust who were a part of the suit how many of them actually saw any of the money that Switzerland accepted to pay on behalf of the victims???? Not much I assure you, the WJC swallowed up a lot- probably through the lawyers, who were heavily critised by other Jews for this, other lawyers on behalf of other groups swallowed up a lot too, together with some advisors to Clinton who made huge names for themselves. These arnt my accusations, they are from the material I read.

Today many prominent Swiss critisise the quick nature of the Swiss government to capitulate to US demands, seems pretty familiar to some circumstances in banking today doesnt it?? They critisised the fact that the government seemingly very quickly chose to make payments even though evidence was lacking - to them it seemed the Swiss were just plain scared of the US. UBS after their merger with another Swiss entity were seeking a banking license during this time in the State of New York, how co-incidental that they received this banking license AFTER they accepted US demands.

What proves the point even more, is that after the Swiss handed over the money, all media publications that were previously touting an anti Swiss position, all of a sudden stopped. You heard nothing more, it was over. Hardly something to forget given the seriousness of the accusations, dont you think?

There are publications here if you wish that show the position of the Swiss during this period http://www.amazon.com/Between-Alps-H.../dp/089526238X - I dont claim to know more than anyone else, I wasnt there, were you? I also cant claim to say that I would want to have been in the shoes of the political establishment at the time.

With that I think I have nothing more to contribute to this thread.

Last edited by Lex; 24.11.2011 at 20:49.
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  #99  
Old 24.11.2011, 21:09
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Re: Brutal killing sparks army gun debate

Do you actually know what happened?

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- Switzerland produced ammunition and sold it to ONE side, Germany. The allies bombed the factories in Schaffhausen as a retaliation (officially the bombers lost their way to Konstanz and by pure coincidence happened to bomb a weapons factory...)
Credible, unequivocal documentation*, please.

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- A five digit number of "forced labour" in Germany worked for Swiss companies, for example Maggi, Nestle, Lonza. Nobody can force them to use these slaves for their factories (German companies had a hard time to say no, but any Swiss boss could simply say "sorry, we are neutral, so I cannot use them"), they actively decided to benefit from them.
Credible, unequivocal documentation*, please.

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- don't get me started on the entire Nazi gold story or the "lost" accounts of Jewish victims of the holocaust.
Don't worry, I won't. I'll let the credible, unequivocal documentation* that you provide (or not) speak for itself.

* by credible, unequivocal documentation, I don't mean another internet page or sensationalist me-too 'author' parroting the same claim, but the published work of a reasonably impartial researcher along the lines of Stephen Halbrook and Philipe Braillard or eyewitness accounts by the likes of Jackson Granholm.

Last edited by Texaner; 24.11.2011 at 21:31.
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Old 24.11.2011, 21:36
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Re: Brutal killing sparks army gun debate

[QUOTE=BobbysAnorak;1416080]No, I am poorly informed on the Swiss neutrality during the war, this I will admit.

However, do you think that this case for weapons at home still stands?[/QUOTE]
The case of weapons at home was decided just a view month ago, by a vote of the swiss citizen ,may I point out
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