The last king of Switzerland
Like many previous columns, I’m going to preface this by saying that this really is true. Over the past weekend, in a little-covered military operation the “neutral” power of Switzerland successfully invaded the neighboring principality of Liechtenstein. After the event unfolded, the Swiss are downplaying its significance, but a few things became clear after this astounding military event.
First, it’s obvious the Swiss are planning a significant change in their foreign policy stance. For years, Switzerland has remained a neutral non-player in international affairs. The Swiss have prided themselves on remaining out of conflicts and focusing on international banking, chocolate and army knives. They have also successfully integrated skiing as their other major industry. With this covert operation, though, the Swiss seem to have taken a page from the playbooks of major international military players, and it appears the Swiss have the muscle to back up their new objectives.
How can I tell? In the rhetoric following the invasion, a Swiss spokesmen indicated Switzerland expects no repercussions following the invasion. He went on to boast that the invasion was not a big deal. This is the kind of chest-puffing and posturing we expect from our own government or other, more traditionally militant, governments, not the Swiss. They’re turning over a new leaf, though, and appear ready to begin playing with the big boys.
For their part, the government of Liechtenstein, which has been the subject of many potential land grabs in the past, has done their best to downplay the event. A spokesman for Liechtenstein indicated that nobody in the country had even noticed the invasion. Again we see how clever the Swiss are. Through a shrewd PR blitz following the invasion they have been able to gather some important information about their chosen foe. They know that the defenses of Liechtenstein have grown so lackadaisical during the decades, that not only is an invasion possible, the people in Liechtenstein won’t even notice.
Take further note of the Swiss method of invasion. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses, the Swiss infantry invaded with unloaded rifles. They realize their strength lies not in the rifle, but in the army knife. Obviously, the rifles were carried as simple decoys to distract the defending forces as the Swiss soldiers quickly opened a bottle of wine, fixed their eyeglasses and filed their nails. The Swiss, you see, plan to take over countries by distraction and sleight of hand. The enemy solders will be so focused on the rifles, they won’t notice the wine and eyeglasses until it’s too late. The upside is that nobody will die, as the invaded people will be so sold on the knives they won’t even think to fight back, and the Swiss will eventually win them over with all that chocolate.
Now, some of you might be thinking I’m looking a little too deeply into what was really a simple mistake by the Swiss Army. They “accidentally” wandered more than a mile into Liechtenstein. Sure, I believe that. I’ll tell you one thing, though. I’ve made many mistakes (this column perhaps being one of them), but I have never accidentally invaded Liechtenstein. This leaves us with two possible explanations.
One, the Swiss government isn’t that inept and is really planning something a little more sinister. I’m hoping that this isn’t the case, but there’s no real way to know. The Swiss government’s boastful attitude and seemingly presumptuous tactics certainly indicate that they have less than noble intentions. They have plenty of resources in their banks and could quickly and covertly (under the cover of chocolate) assemble a large, knife-wielding war machine prepared to ski in and engage in a global conquest. I would expect them to look for mountainous regions, especially those with fresh, deep powder for their early invasions. Next, they would be looking for a source of metal and red plastic. Finally, any cocoa-producing regions would be targeted.
Two, the Swiss government is prone to making more mistakes than I am. If this is the case, the Swiss are in trouble. They’ve managed to assemble a government that is less responsible than a 25-year-old American law student. This is bad for the Swiss. Soon they’ll be faced with trouble finding a job and looming student loan payments. If this is the case, if the Swiss really did inadvertently invade a foreign country, they only have one reasonable choice. They should replace their government with a more efficient one. I suggest a single person would be the best way to go, and I just happen to know of a person who has proven to be more effective than their current government and who needs a job. Give me a call, Switzerland. We can talk salary.
Reed Luthanen is law student at the UA. His column appears every other Wednesday.