Friday, March 11, 2005

The Swiss treatment for Syria?

THIS IS A REALLY MEAN AND OFFENSIVE Op-Ed piece by Douglas M. Bloomfield in the Washington Jewish Week. He is a US syndicated columnist. I strongly object to the sentence "The Swiss ... were the ones who did the most to fuel the Nazi war machine". The USA could not have gone to war with Switzerland: The Swiss helped the allies at least as much as they helped the Nazis. But to compare Syria and Switzerland and the rebels in Iraq with Nazi Germany is pretty strong...

"As it considers how to deal with Syria, the Bush administration should look at the example of Switzerland more than half a century ago.

During World War II, "neutral" Switzerland provided such critical strategic and financial support to the Third Reich that the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff considered bombing its "financial facilities, bunkers and in-transit facilities," according to declassified documents.

A postwar State Department study determined the Swiss prolonged the war by replacing the production of bombed-out German factories. The Swiss -- providing everything from banking to precision instruments to hydroelectricity -- were the ones who did the most to fuel the Nazi war machine.

So the allies sent their air forces to try to persuade the Swiss to change their errant ways. They bombed Switzerland nearly 50 times, insisting every attack was accidental, according to testimony by James Hutson of the Library of Congress. Targets included a firm manufacturing U-boat engines.

The purpose of those Allied bombings was to save American lives by denying critical help to the enemy.

I raise this because it has a lesson for the current U.S. war against international terror. Syria, a major state sponsor of terrorism, poses threats on several fronts. It is an "outpost of tyranny" that is on the ropes, and this is a good time to tighten the proverbial screws.


Copyright: Douglas M. Bloomfield, Washington Jewish Week


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