segunda-feira, 11 de junho de 2007

Descentralização e defesa

"The Helvetic Republic

During the French Revolution, radical French ideology infected much of the Swiss elite, particularly in the French-speaking Western Cantons. Swiss leadership acceded to French demands in 1798 and established the Helvetic Republic. The Radicals, backed by the occupying French Army, abolished the Cantonal governments and established a centralized state. The citizenry, particularly in the Catholic Cantons, rose up and challenged the centralized state and the French military presence through both armed and passive resistance. In 1803, Napoleon introduced the Act of Mediation, which restored the Cantons and removed all French troops from Switzerland.

20th Century

In the 20th Century, Switzerland deterred invasion and forced involvement in both World Wars with its rugged terrain, a heavily-armed populace, and a policy of relative non-intervention. Prior to WWI, the German Kaiser asked in 1912 what the quarter of a million Swiss militiamen would do if invaded by a half million German soldiers. In response a man from Switzerland replied: "shoot twice and go home".

During the Nazi invasion of France, the Luftwaffe violated Swiss airspace over 200 times; the Swiss responded by forcing down Luftwaffe aircraft and even shot down 11+ Luftwaffe aircraft. The Third Reich responded by sending in saboteurs to destroy Swiss airfields, an unsuccessful endeavor. Shortly thereafter, Hitler called the Swiss "the most despicable and wretched people, mortal enemies of the new Germany" and began immediate plans for the invasion of Switzerland, known as Operation Tannenbaum.

Hitler abandoned Operation Tannenbaum after it was realized that an invasion of Switzerland was untenable, with 20% of the civilian population voluntarily mobilized to defend the country – including old men and young boys, with Swiss women manning anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) pieces and running the civil defense corps. The Third Reich also realized that there was no central government to target, nullifying the strategy of blitzkrieg; most Swiss citizens did not even recognize the authority of the Federal President, and any surrender by the Federal Government would have been ignored in the Cantons.

The Swiss also defended their sovereignty against Allied aggression as well. After US aircraft began accidentally bombing Swiss towns near the German border, the Swiss Air Force enacted a policy of forcing down single Allied aircraft and shooting at Bomber Formations (some have speculated that the bombings were not accidental and were designed to force Switzerland in the Alliance; during the war, the Swiss flaunted Allied and Axis sanctions by smuggling to the surrounding Axis powers). As accidental bombings persisted, the Swiss government declared that any further accidental bombings would be declared acts of war. Although Switzerland never declared war on the Allies, the Swiss Air Force forced down 23 aircraft in a three-day period in July of '44. In total, 1,700 US airmen were interred during the War and a few US aircraft were even shot down (this chapter of WWII history is entirely missing from US textbooks).

The "Swiss Model", American Revolutionary Principles, and Private Antiterrorism

The Founding Fathers of the American Revolution were inspired Swiss freedom. John Adams praised the Cantonal system, which prevented a despotic central government from emerging, gave citizens the right to vote in local elections, and where every citizen had an inalienable right to bear arms. Patrick Henry applauded the Swiss militia system for preserving Swiss independence with the need for a "mighty and splendid president." In fact, some argue that the Swiss militia system was the inspiration for our own Second Amendment. (...)" National Security, Swiss-Style by Nick Bradley

Sem comentários:

Enviar um comentário