Qaddafi's Swiss Dream
By Mike Bennighof, Ph.D.
“Freedom of expression is the right of every natural person, even if a person chooses to behave irrationally to express his or her insanity.”
- Moammar al-Qaddafi
The Green Book
Moammar al-Qaddafi hated Switzerland.
The late colonel had a number of interesting ideas. Professional sports teams are “rapacious social instruments,” wrote Qaddafi, who owned 7.5 percent of the Italian soccer dynasty Juventus. Pre-school for toddlers is a form of tyranny, while wages for workers are a form of slavery.
The colonel's daughter, Aisha.
As a 27-year-old captain, Qaddafi overthrew King Idris of Libya in 1969 while the king was receiving medical treatment in Turkey. Qaddafi promoted himself to colonel, and after a brief stint as prime minister held no official position in Libya. Officially, Qaddafi was “Leader of the Revolution,” expressing the will of the entire Libyan people who govern themselves free of any restraint (as long as they’re not Jews, Italians or Berbers).
During his four decades of non-rule, Qaddafi usually was seen as an evil figure, sponsoring terrorists and invading neighboring countries. In more recent years he cozied up to the United States and Europe, earning praise and friendly embraces from a number of Western leaders who later pretended not to have ever had his number on speed dial. He also became a figure of comic relief for his invention of the rocket car, the gibberish that is his Green Book, and his Amazonian Guard of somewhere between 30 and 300 (the numbers vary) machine-gun-toting young virgin women.
And then there are the Swiss. In July 2008 Swiss police arrested Qaddafi’s fourth son Hannibal, accusing him of beating two of his servants while staying in a Geneva hotel. Hannibal quickly made bail and fled the country, and the Swiss prosecutors eventually dropped the charges. Qaddafi’s son continued his trek across Europe’s five-star hotels, punching out his ex-model wife at least twice and paying singer Beyonce $2 million for a private New Year’s Eve performance in 2010.
The colonel apparently had no problem with Hannibal’s lifestyle, reserving his rage for the Swiss. Libya confiscated Swiss assets in Libya, expelled Swiss citizens and seized and tortured two Swiss businessmen apparently picked at random. Libyan oil deliveries to Switzerland ceased, and Libya withdrew $6.6 billion from Swiss banks.
Qaddafi's Amazon Bodyguards
In response, Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz crawled to Tripoli in August 2009 to make a craven apology for “the unjust arrest of Libyan diplomats by Geneva police.” That was not enough for the Leader of the Revolution, who addressed the United Nations a month later, demanding the abolition of Switzerland. The Alpine nation should be divided along linguistic lines, he thundered, with France, Germany and Italy each receiving a slice. Qaddafi made no allowances for Austria and Liechtenstein, nor for the Romansh speakers of the Grey Leagues. Finding the proposal contrary to the U.N. Charter, the group refused to act on his demand.
Two years later Qaddafi would be sodomized to death in a drainage ditch, as the Western leaders who had enabled him only months before abandoned him to back an ill-defined rebel movement. Judging by the Green Book quote that leads off this piece, Qaddafi would have felt right at home on wargaming’s internet discussion forums - and there’s no proof he was not a regular participant. So we can explore Moammar’s world, a world without Switzerland, through the agency of our Third Reich game.
In Third Reich, Switzerland is no more. Treat hexes 1420 and 1421 as part of France for all game purposes, hex 1520 as part of Germany for all game purposes, and hex 1521 as part of Italy for all game purposes. Inflict the BRP base penalties of rule 24.8 on every Major Power at the start of the game. Place a fortress in hex 1420, and add the Swiss mountain unit from Rumors of War to German At Start forces (treat this as a German unit for all game purposes). Increase the French and Italian BRP base by one BRP each, and the German BRP base by three.
Order Third Reich while you still can, and wipe Switzerland off the map!