Sunday, June 3, 2007

Vision of inanity

An outfit calling itself "Vision of Humanity" has published a so-called Global Peace Index -- a colour-coded map of the world purporting to show the relative levels of peacefulness around the world. Canada gets top honours, predictably enough. But guess who's down near the bottom, beneath China, Libya and Egypt? Why, it's the good old USA.

The criteria for selection given are extremely woolly, but it is claimed that "peacefulness... within nations" is as important as peace between nations -- so presumably civil disorder and crime are being considered as of paramount importance. I have never noticed, in crossing the border between Canada and the US, that the latter was an anarchistic or violent country. There is certainly more urban decay in Detroit than in Windsor, or in Buffalo than in Toronto, but not so much that you'd feel you'd stumbled into a war zone. And most of the United States is not like Detroit or Buffalo in any case. Vast swathes of Middle and rural Americans live much the same way as their counterparts in Canada, and are also fortunate enough to be spared forced abortions, the torture of homosexuals, and prisons for rape victims -- institutions to be found in more "peaceful" countries such as China, Egypt, and Libya respectively.

This "index" is, then, obviously nothing more the latest NGO attempt to give Yankee-bashing a cover of legitimacy.

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