Neutrality has been a big thing for decades and decades for three little known countries: the Suomen tasavalta, the Konungariket Sverige, and the Confoederatio Helvetica.
Or maybe not so “little-known.” Read on.
Apparently, Finland has informed its neighbor and quasi-ally Sweden that the Suomi nation plans to formally request membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) within days. This heralds a major change in European politics.
There are also reports that the Konungariket Sverige (Sweden) itself will also seek to join NATO. And other people point out that the Confoederatio Helvetica (Switzerland) has essentially given up its neutrality by not just condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but joining the sanctions against the Russian Federation, intended to destroy the Russian economy.
For Switzerland, that is the event of the millennium: Helvetica has been an armed, neutral nation since 1648. And officially neutral since 1815, with the collapse of Napoleon’s empire. Indeed, the Swiss have not fought a war since then: more than TWO centuries.
Sverige’s neutrality is also quite lengthy: since 1812 (again, for reasons associated with Napoleon and France’s war with Russia, which among other things resulted in Finland’s century-long occupation by Imperial Russia). However, its neutrality was significantly degraded in 2009 when it signed defense pacts with both the European Union and other Nordic nations (Norway and Denmark). This included official neutrality throughout the Second World War and the Cold War. However, Sweden clearly favored the West and had many ties with NATO, the UK, the other Scandinavian nations, and the USA. The Soviets, and then the Russians, were and are viewed as the major potential enemy. Today, supposedly most Swedes support joining NATO.
But Finland has an incredible story. Long a part of Sweden, when Russia defeated Napoleon’s invasion (with Sweden as an ally of France), it invaded and took what is today Finland. Finland was under Russia’s thumb until the Germans defeated Russia in the First World War, and the October Revolution seized power in Saint Petersburg and Moscow. But its independence was precarious, and the Soviets tried to seize the territory again in the Winter War of 1939-1940. And failed. But the Continuation War began in June 1941 with the German attack on the Soviets. Finland was allied with Germany, but fared much better than its ally, and remained at least nominally independent and technically neutral in 1945. (Though it had to host a Soviet naval base.) When that base closed in 1955, Suomi was finally able to be fully neutral.
But now they all fear, again and for many reasons, Russia. Much of this, I believe, demonstrates the success of American and Brussel-based propaganda which has been demonizing Moscow for years. And which has ramped up massively since February.
What is left in Europe or nearby? Only Ireland. (You can’t really count Lichtenstein, closely tied with Helvetica. And Andorra, the Vatican, San Marino, and Monaco are all firmly in the EU camp.) And honestly, Ireland’s neutrality has been a joke since their independence from the United Kingdom: they don’t furnish armies to anyone, but they DO provide soldiers: lots and lots of them, and as far as we know, all to the West: anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet. And will no doubt continue to do so.
So what does this mean to liberty?
Less of it worldwide, as more and more the world again becomes a bipolar planet – even more so than in the Cold War era. And with NATO’s fresh expansion (once more violating the solemn promises made back in the early 1990s when the Soviets collapsed and Russia and the rest of the Soviet Communist world became a lot freer), the danger of war increases. Why? Fear of the Russians about the European Union’s (and the FedGov’s) long-term designs. Fear justified in their minds by the behavior since 1990 or so, and especially in the last two months.
Increasingly on one side we have the FedGov, the EU, the rest of NATO, the British Commonwealth (especially the UK, Canada, Australia and even New Zealand), and probably Japan, Korea, Taiwan. And possibly Israel. On the other side? Russian Federation, Communist China, probably India, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Yemen. And possibly Turkey. In between, we have the usual “Third World” – particularly of concern: the Saudis, other Sunni Islamic states, and much of the rest of South Asia, Africa, and Latin America. With big question marks for such places as Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the little Pacific nations. But a far more polarized world than even in the 1970s and 1980s.
And according to some folks, even Israel is on the fence.
None of this is good for the sake of liberty. What do you think?
Those countries have chosen to go their own way and to avoid the messy entanglements of the West/Nato/EU. Putin/Russia went with winner-take-all, so the rules have changed.
Neither country has wanted the intrusive annoyances of Europe, the U.S., the U.K. but that is preferable to the invasion/domination by the Muscovites. If they get in now, they will have a team, of sorts. Solo, they face the Bear alone and will eventually be crushed. They are just playing the odds in a lethal game.