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Old 12.01.2007, 15:31
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Swiss Neutrality

What do people feel about Swiss Neutrality?

How about this as a hypothesis to test:

A rare luxury afforded to a small country with too few natural resources and too full of mountains to be worth invading. A situation conveniently exploited by the Swiss to enjoy democracy and peace paid for by the blood and money of larger powers all whilst making money being bankers to the worlds despots and keeping out all the troublesome bits of capitalist world (competition/labour migration etc).

Of course it makes for a nice clean wealthy but a bit of a boring place to live... so I dont lose too much sleep over this, but it can make for a pretty lively debate.

Daniel
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Old 12.01.2007, 17:41
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

What are we debating? Switzerland is flat?
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Old 12.01.2007, 18:02
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

Quote:
What do people feel about Swiss Neutrality?

How about this as a hypothesis to test:

A rare luxury afforded to a small country with too few natural resources and too full of mountains to be worth invading. A situation conveniently exploited by the Swiss to enjoy democracy and peace paid for by the blood and money of larger powers all whilst making money being bankers to the worlds despots and keeping out all the troublesome bits of capitalist world (competition/labour migration etc).

Of course it makes for a nice clean wealthy but a bit of a boring place to live... so I dont lose too much sleep over this, but it can make for a pretty lively debate.

Daniel
How about pointing us to the part of the Swiss Constitution where neutrality is mentioned?
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Old 12.01.2007, 19:03
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

I am no historian but a strategy of military neutrality is a long standing feature of Swiss foreign policy. Switzerland did not join the UN until 2002 because of this etc. Being neutral was Switzerlands "excuse" for not sending troups to Iraq etc (not being pro war here, but it was the convenient way of not expressing an opinion)

Here is an extract from the Swiss Federal archive website http://virtor.bar.admin.ch/en/rec/the/ueb/neu.aspx

"There is no such thing as "the" policy of neutrality, nor is there a Department that has exclusive responsibility for such matters. However, neutrality as a policy is expressed primarily in foreign policy and in military security policy. Records of importance to neutrality policy can be found first of all in the archive record groups of the Foreign Affairs Department (formerly the Federal Political Department (FPD, today the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, DFA) as well as in those of the Defence Department (formerly known as the Federal Military Department, FMD, today the Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport, DDPS)."

If you read on you will find that CH now has "differential neutrality" ie being neutral when it suits them... get the best of both worlds a bit like the EU bilateral stuff

And heres a link to a very detailed 24 page guide from the government on the topic http://www.vbs.admin.ch/internet/vbs...ralitaet_e.pdf
so I wasnt dreaming after all... you had me wondering for a second.

Daniel

Last edited by dannyt986; 12.01.2007 at 19:15.
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Old 12.01.2007, 19:05
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

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What are we debating? Switzerland is flat?
May as well be this ski season so far..
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Old 12.01.2007, 21:25
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

neutrality is a good way to not expose opinions (merchants do not express opinions in order not to offend potential customers) and to cash from left and right. you can see this at all levels in switzerland.
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Old 12.01.2007, 21:47
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

A recent study by SWISS historians has declared CH extended WWII by as much at 2 years, imagine all those that died in the last two years of that war. Neutral, riiiiiiight. Or are we to believe the mighty swiss Army fended off a Nazi invasion, or please tell me it was geography, the mountains saved CH. No wonder we've there are so many churches, thank God for the mountains. All I know is you attack your bankers last, when your tab is due.

Another though, as the rest of Europe struggles to afford high levels of socialism, the Swiss have offered a 'neutral' hand in hiding the filthy rich's money. Who knows how many billions in due tax revenue the swiss have hidden.

peace/jg
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Old 12.01.2007, 22:42
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

Australia, the USA, the United Kingdom, and the countries surrounding Switzerland have, and still do, exercise worse activities than Switzerland. But if Switzerland disgusts you so much, then please, feel free to hand your residence permit at the border/airport as you leave.
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Old 12.01.2007, 22:54
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

Haha, criticisms are always hard to accept. Trust me, as an American I am subject to much criticism, but also as an American we are more critical of ourselves then anyone else. We are internally in constant debate on most of our policies, domestic and foreign.

It’s not a contest to see who's doing the worse. Introverted is at times a good perspective, perhaps you would do good by trying it.

We have people like you in the US as well, love it or leave it, right?

Doesn't leave much room to grow from your mistakes. Or am I not allowed to be critical of your policies and history as well?
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Old 12.01.2007, 23:00
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

I didn't notice this earlier "surrounding Switzerland".

I'm no geographer but last map I checked Australia, US, nor the UK surround CH.

Suggestion, start with geography and work your way to history.

Quote:
Australia, the USA, the United Kingdom, and the countries surrounding Switzerland have, and still do, exercise worse activities than Switzerland. But if Switzerland disgusts you so much, then please, feel free to hand your residence permit at the border/airport as you leave.
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Old 12.01.2007, 23:30
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

Quote:
I didn't notice this earlier "surrounding Switzerland".

I'm no geographer but last map I checked Australia, US, nor the UK surround CH.

Suggestion, start with geography and work your way to history.
Last time I checked my sentence that you partially quoted, I didn't claim that these three countries surrounded Switzerland. So I suggest you start with English.

Are you living and earning money here? If so, your stance is somewhat hypocrytical.
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Old 13.01.2007, 00:19
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

You're right, I digress, I did misquote you.

Hypocritical, how so? To earn money, pay taxes, then to criticize the system for its flaws? I paid plenty of tax in the US and there wasn't a day where I didn't have something to criticize.

It is beyond naive to believe there is no place for criticisms here.

The CH for years have not required at minimum a NAME to open an account. One could, many did, open accounts to hide illicitly gained funds circumventing legal systems to help control these criminal activities. It would be an exceedingly long conversation to discuss the details of what these funds supported with regards to drug trafficking, global conflicts, terrorism, as well as simply paying due taxes in neighboring countries.

You've to love a place where the super rich can negotiate their own tax rates.

Another criticism for you, I also find it intensely intolerant here. Upon moving here I was asked to change my name as my birth name would offend some. I've heard already too many times, from the nice Swiss speaking in English, that I am NOT American because I'm the son of immigrants, instead I'm my parents nationality. Though I appreciate my heritage, I do not understand what people think Americans are but immigrant’s children. We added 200,000,000 in the last 100 years, who’s not an immigrant's son/daughter. I'm actually part Apache and could not be more American then the descendants of the European butchers that came to my country a few hundred years ago.
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Old 13.01.2007, 08:04
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

Quote:
A recent study by SWISS historians has declared CH extended WWII by as much at 2 years, imagine all those that died in the last two years of that war.
A link or two to substantiate this statement might give it some weight.

Quote:
<snip>The CH for years have not required at minimum a NAME to open an account. One could, many did, open accounts to hide illicitly gained funds circumventing legal systems to help control these criminal activities.
Has anyone managed to open a bank account without a name? Try it without full ID and proof of residency here and you'll be shown the door.

Quote:
<snip>
You've to love a place where the super rich can negotiate their own tax rates.
So when you are super-rich, you'll be happy to pay as much tax as possible?

Quote:
Another criticism for you, I also find it intensely intolerant here. Upon moving here I was asked to change my name as my birth name would offend some. I've heard already too many times, from the nice Swiss speaking in English, that I am NOT American because I'm the son of immigrants, instead I'm my parents nationality. Though I appreciate my heritage, I do not understand what people think Americans are but immigrant’s children. We added 200,000,000 in the last 100 years, who’s not an immigrant's son/daughter. I'm actually part Apache and could not be more American then the descendants of the European butchers that came to my country a few hundred years ago.
This at least explains the chips on you shoulder. BTW what was the name that caused such offence?

Last edited by AbFab; 13.01.2007 at 09:21.
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Old 13.01.2007, 08:54
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

Quote:
The CH for years have not required at minimum a NAME to open an account. One could, many did, open accounts to hide illicitly gained funds circumventing legal systems to help control these criminal activities. It would be an exceedingly long conversation to discuss the details of what these funds supported with regards to drug trafficking, global conflicts, terrorism, as well as simply paying due taxes in neighboring countries.
This is a myth. Swiss law does not allow for it. There are accounts where the holders name is known only to restricted people, but the anonymous hording of billions in ill-gotten-gains under the Paradeplatz is quite frankly bollocks

Quote:
Upon moving here I was asked to change my name as my birth name would offend some.


Really? Was this someone's statement in an official capacity? :shocked:




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Old 13.01.2007, 10:31
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

Quote:

If you read on you will find that CH now has "differential neutrality" ie being neutral when it suits them... get the best of both worlds a bit like the EU bilateral stuff
Right, whereas other countries join wars on an indiscriminate basis simply to fulfill romantic ideas of a better world.

You almost had me wondering for a minute.
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Old 13.01.2007, 10:41
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

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Another criticism for you, I also find it intensely intolerant here. Upon moving here I was asked to change my name as my birth name would offend some.
I think your attitude has been intensely intolerant, to be honest.

Quote:
I've heard already too many times, from the nice Swiss speaking in English, that I am NOT American because I'm the son of immigrants, instead I'm my parents nationality. Though I appreciate my heritage, I do not understand what people think Americans are but immigrant’s children. We added 200,000,000 in the last 100 years, who’s not an immigrant's son/daughter. I'm actually part Apache and could not be more American then the descendants of the European butchers that came to my country a few hundred years ago.
Quite frankly, I don't understand what you're trying to say here. People are telling you that you're not an American because your parents weren't immigrants? If you are only part Apache, then you are part immigrant - even if that immigrant was 200+ years ago.
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Old 13.01.2007, 10:49
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

What was your original name?
Go on, you know you want to tell us. Fotze?

Native Americans (North, South, Central) didn't live an idyllic, peaceful tree-hugging existence before nasty white guy turned up you know...
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Old 13.01.2007, 10:53
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

Quote:
Another criticism for you, I also find it intensely intolerant here. Upon moving here I was asked to change my name as my birth name would offend some. I've heard already too many times, from the nice Swiss speaking in English, that I am NOT American because I'm the son of immigrants, instead I'm my parents nationality. Though I appreciate my heritage, I do not understand what people think Americans are but immigrant’s children. We added 200,000,000 in the last 100 years, who’s not an immigrant's son/daughter. I'm actually part Apache and could not be more American then the descendants of the European butchers that came to my country a few hundred years ago.
I always find that aspect of continental Europe -- at the very least Switzerland -- strange. I was actually told about this in high school back in the states. Citizenship typically means blood. Back in the US I was always surrounded by people who had either emigrated from, or had parents from, places like Vietnam, India or Poland. What did I think of them? Americans... I even believe the same to be true of one person who doesn't want to become fully naturalized -- he's American despite the fact that he isn't a citizen. Over here that would never happen. I could stay here my entire life and I will always be American. I could have children here -- so half Swiss, half American -- and they will be known as American. However, if I had not descended from Europeans, egad, I'd be knocked down the chain even further in the eyes of many Swiss. I'm sorry you've had problems here.

I am rather used to people not being able to correctly spell or pronounce my first and/or last name back in the US, so I am rather indifferent. It was actually an asset sometimes, as I could hang up on telemarkets as soon as they attempted to address me with my name. Over here -- god knows. I, like the others, find it rather strange that an official asked you to change it.


By the way, looking into other "neutral" countries in this context is always interesting, i.e. Austria or Sweden (EFTA enlargment of the EU).
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Old 13.01.2007, 11:23
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

Quote:
Australia, the USA, the United Kingdom, and the countries surrounding Switzerland have, and still do, exercise worse activities than Switzerland. But if Switzerland disgusts you so much, then please, feel free to hand your residence permit at the border/airport as you leave.
Told you it would prompt a vigorous debate...

Nevertheless, Litespeed I find your like-it-or-lump-it attitude a tad defensive to say the least. Don't forget Switzerland has a 20% foreign population who contribute enormously to the economy and are mostly totally dis-enfranchised.

I agree with you that non-neutral countries by definition will end up doing things (eg like invade iraq) that appear/or even are "worse". History will tell re Iraq. But I think the world would be an even less savoury place than it is today if everyone had behaved a la Suisse in WWII. And it is a relevant question 60 years on because Swiss policy is still neutrality... they know someone else will make the stance and they can benefit when it goes right and be the goodies/told you so if it goes wrong

Daniel
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Old 13.01.2007, 11:36
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Re: Swiss Neutrality

I am kind of curious -- did you bring this up because one of the SVP's policies in the upcoming election is to enshrine Swiss neutrality in the Swiss constitution?
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