image There’s a saying just about as old as USENET itself – “Arguing on the Internet is about like winning the Gold in the Special Olympics. You might win, but you’re still a retard.”

I caught a story over at Inquisitr where Meieli Sawyer detailed the blogfight between Jessica Alba and TMZ (and Bill O’Reilly) wherein Jessica defended her assertion that Sweden is a neutral country:

Jessica Alba struck back at Bill O’Reilly yesterday after he made some comments about her intelligence (this was after she called him an a-hole). She took to her MySpace blog to clear up her remarks about Sweden’s neutrality (citing a Wikipedia article for further reading), and then directed us to her newest video about the inauguration.

Jessica, in her MySpace blog posting, referenced the Wikipedia entry on Sweden’s non-involvement in World War II as evidence that Sweden is a neutral country.

imageIf I, you, or anyone else mentions their “neutrality” in a metaphorical conflict, they usually term themselves Switzerland. They’ve not been involved in any war since 1815 end of the Napoleonic Wars. Jessica is technically correct that Sweden implemented a similar policy of neutrality after the very same conflict, but with some very key differences.

The Swiss have not been involved in any conflict. Not to support it, not to assist, lend diplomatic support for any particular side, nothing.

Sweden, on the other hand, has been involved in a wide variety of conflicts under the newspeak term for it – peacekeeping:

Since the time of the Napoleonic Wars, Sweden has not initiated any direct armed combat. However, Sweden’s military and government have been involved in major peacekeeping actions and other military support functions around the world.

This includes “armed neutrality” during World War II, defense of the Åland Islands in the 1930s, membership in the Scandinavian defense union, and active participation in the Cold War.

It’s likely that Jessica just made a verbal faux pas, and said Sweden when she meant Switzerland. We all misspeak. It happens. Or perhaps she thought she was being clever by naming another neutral country, and intentionally maiming a well known example of neutrality.

Meieli is right in her post, though. Perhaps Jessica should just refrain from calling people “a-holes” who likely have a better grasp of history than her.

And yes, I realize the irony.  I just won a gold medal in the Special Olympics.