Friday, May 23, 2008

Seeing ourselves as others see us...


The Global Peace Index is out for 2007. (More on 2006 here.)

The index applies a statistical model assign a score that seeks to define its "peacefulness." This year the U.S. ranked 97th out of 140 countries in between Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

Here are some of the indicators that dragged us down (measures on which the U.S. received a score of 3 or higher where 1 is better):
  • Number of jailed population per 100,000 people [1000 per 100,000 or 2.3 million people in total];
  • Ease of access to weapons of minor destruction [the NRA at work];
  • Respect for human rights [probably Guantanamo and death penalty since this is derived from Amnesty International assessments];
  • Potential for terrorist acts [Oklahoma City; 9/11?];
  • UN Deployments 2006-07 [that would be Iraq];
  • Non-UN Deployments 2006-07 [that would include Somalia and most of those 737 overseas bases];
  • Military capability/sophistication [in this assessment a negative factor];
  • Number of external and internal conflicts fought: 2000-05 [the global war on whoever Dick Cheney doesn't like?];
and
  • Estimated number of deaths from organized conflict (external).
Result: according to the Global Peace index, the United States is less peaceful than Ghana, Madagascar, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Gabon, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Malawi, Rwanda (!), Namibia, Burkina Faso, and Cameroon, just to take the African rankings.

1 comment:

Struggle For Justice said...

There can only be peace when there is willingness on the powers that be to set aside personal considerations and seek the common good.

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