There are countries on this planet that could get away with the political equivalent of murder, and then there are others that, very simply, must tip-toe through the daisies with the international community for fear of irking someone’s ire.
Take the Swiss, for instance. Known by most Americans as nothing more than watch-making, chocolate-eating, money launderers, their military service is compulsory, and members of their special forces even protect the Pope. This, combined with their ability to avoid war like an ex avoids civility, makes them the pinnacle of purity when it comes to politics.
Oh, but wait – didn’t they accidentally invade Lichtenstein? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Swiss accidentally invaded Lichtenstein. On March 1st, 2007, about 170 Swiss infantry soldiers armed with assault rifles just wandered across their border. Now, despite my repeated efforts to try and convince ROTC members to restage the faux-invasion from “Canadian Bacon,” this is slightly more than hilarious. Wonder why?
Okay, look at it this way – the Swiss, not exactly the most aggressively militaristic culture, yet one in which almost every adult male keeps a gun in the house, can wander into a border country, and there’s no worry. What if the Germans had accidentally wandered into, say, any country they border? Set aside the fact that anyone in a German officer’s uniform still looks like a stunt double from the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and just think of what a random person in a neighboring country would think if a couple hundred German soldiers just came prancing across their national border and into town.
I’m finding it hard to think that anyone would be able to come up with anything other than, “Not again!”
Remember though, it was the Swiss – it isn’t like a country who is involved with a war and is our greatest ally is accidentally invading people…oh wait, the British did it, too.
Are you kidding me? In February of 2002, a platoon of British Marines attempted to storm the beaches of Gibraltar – you know, the island with the 1,400 foot rock on it – but instead ended up invading a Spanish fishing village called “La Linea.” Now, besides the fact that it is clearly stated in the rules of war that it is cheating for the British to invade a country without first running around in silly red coats, such a level of incompetence could be worrying for another reason: These are all NATO countries.
No wonder Russia felt it could go in and trounce the Georgian military without worrying about consequences. Even if Georgia were a member, NATO might invade Turkey trying to get to Tbilisi.
At least the U.S. gave up trying to invade our beer-swilling, hockey-playing, concussed neighbors to the north after try number two. Russia will keep on trying to play the part of international bully while laughing at the NATO countries that have never heard of GPS.
It’s after Halloween, so Merry Christmas, Ukraine – hope you like having the gas turned off at Uncle Putin’s whim.