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Israeli and American Rankings on Violence and Corruption
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Although America ranks low at 85 (above the 94 average), it deserves a bottom position for imperial wars. In addition, numerous countries score low because of American and/or Israeli direct or indirect meddling.
Launched in May 2007, the Global Peace Index (GPI) ranks nations according to peacefulness. Its 2010 report includes 149 countries, graded on the basis of "ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society and militarisation...." [An earlier article discussed GPI's 2008 survey. Also Wikipedia has this entry.]
This year's index includes 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators, "which combine internal and external factors ranging from a nation's level of military expenditure to its relations with neighboring countries and the level of respect for human rights."
According to GPI's founder, Australian entrepreneur Steve Killelea, indicators were chosen by an international panel of academics, business people, philanthropists, and peace organization members.
As a result, although America ranks low at 85 (above the 94 average) behind Rwanda, Indonesia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Egypt, it deserves a bottom position for imperial wars. In addition, numerous countries score low because of American and/or Israeli direct or indirect meddling. They might be relatively peaceful without it.
Breakdown of America's GPI Score
On a 1 - 5 scale (1 best), America should score 5 on number of external and internal conflicts fought directly and/or indirectly. Instead, it got 2.5.
It scored 2 on the estimated number of deaths from external conflicts. It deserves an asterisked 5, meaning its global barbarity is unmatched.
For over four decades, Gideon Polya's body count analysis is perhaps the most reliable measure available. He states:
As of October 7, 2010, he estimates 4.9 million violent and non-violent avoidable Afghan deaths since October 2001. Under age five children number 2.6 million. Another 3.2 million are refugees. Daily the body count rises because of America's invasion and occupation.
In mid-September 2010, he cited UNICEF data indicating that "every 3 days, more Occupied Afghans die avoidably (3,700) than the estimated 3,000 on 9/11.
In March 2009, he cited 2.3 million post-March 2003 Iraqi deaths. Combined, he currently estimates 8 million Iraqi and Afghan deaths, dual genocides by any measure, unmentioned in GPI's index.
Except for its highest in the world prison population and military capability, America's GPI rankings understate reality. For example, it scores 3 for potential terrorist acts when, in fact, it's the leading global state-terrorism exponent by far, exceeding most other countries combined. It's the principle imperial warlord, responsible directly or indirectly for most global deaths, displacement, torture, poverty, and overall human misery.
It scores 3 on disrespect for human rights when, in fact, it flouts them abroad and at home. It got 2 for perceived criminality in society when its level of corruption, lawlessness, and other forms of malfeasance are unmatched. More on that below.
It scored 2 for military expenditures as a percent of GDP. Doing so obscures the fact that it spends more than all other nations combined.
It got 2.5 as an exporter of major conventional weapons when, in fact, it's the world's leading arms provider.
GPI couldn't hide America's record, but did its best to soften it, coming down harder on nations with no power to object.
Breakdown of Israel's GPI Score
Justifiably, Israel ranked 144, besting only Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iraq in descending order, Iraq ranking last, but Afghanistan is just as bad or worse.
On individual categories, it's another story. Israel got 2.5 on number of external and internal conflicts fought when, in fact, it wages daily war against Palestine, occasional ones against neighbors, and more than ever persecutes its 20% Arab population, including violently. That rates 5 by any standard.
On number of displaced people as a percent of population, ignored are 9.8 million Palestinian refugees, what the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights (BRC) calls "the largest and longest-standing case of forced displacement in the world today." An earlier article discussed life in Palestinian refugee camps, just click here.
On potential for terrorist acts, Israel scored 3 when, in fact, it commits daily state terrorism throughout Occupied Palestine, more against Israeli Arabs, and occasionally against neighboring countries. That warrants no less than a 5 ranking.
Most others more accurately represent Israel's penchant for violence and disdain for peace, why earlier it was a regional menace. Now it's a global one.
Israel and America Score Low Compared to Other OECD Countries on Corruption
In its 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), Transparency International (TI) said "nearly three quarters of the 178 countries (surveyed) score(d) below five, on a scale from 0 (meaning highly corrupt) to 10 (relatively little), indicating a serious corruption problem." However, it's downplayed in the West, including for America and Israel, culturally though not regionally Western.
Israel ranked 30, America 22, while poor, less developed, and in some cases violent countries scored lowest, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Somalia bottom-listed.
Scoring 6.1 out of 10, TI ranked Israel among the most corrupt Western countries, the CPI measuring public sector perception, omitting unmatched corporate levels throughout the West, America in the lead, but Israel a noted offender for its size.
Commenting, TI Israel's CEO, Galia Sagi, said:
For the first time, America (scoring 7.5) lost its top 20 position it never deserved, its combined public/private corruption level unmatched anywhere, but don't expect TI to reveal it. By its own admission, it relies mostly on two sources:
Saying its independence depends on multiple sources masks the deep-pocketed ones that contribute, expecting softened host country harsh treatment in return.
TI gets evaluations from the:
Three other sources "reflect the evaluations by resident business leaders of their own country - IMD (International Institute for Management Development), Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, and the World Economic Forum," best known for convening the world's top business and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland annually.
The above groups soften American and Israeli rankings, ones so poor they can't mask everything, especially for violence, too visible to ignore, but way understated.
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Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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