The Washington Times reports on the release of data by a group called The Institute for Economics & Peace. Before you look at the list, take a gander at the people behind the curtain:
The index is primarily based on 2008 data from the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the World Bank, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and United Nations sources.
That gives you a good idea where this “data” is coming from and where it’s going to terminate.
Their methodology consists of the application of twenty-three “indicators” to each country. It goes without saying that when one considers the indicators themselves to be questionable, in this case by hewing to a strong leftist mentality, the findings will be equally suspect. Garbage in, garbage out.
The grand prize for peace, love and understanding goes to New Zealand. If you click on the news article at The Times and go to the comments, you will see that not all kiwis agree with The Institute for Economics & Peace. The Samoans among them appear to be a bellicose bunch. Some Australian commenters harumph that New Zealand won only because the sheep can’t talk. Naughty Aussies.
You can view the whole listing here.
The world is broken down into regions and nations are ranked within each region:
- Asia and Australia
- Central and Eastern Europe
- Central and South America
- Middle East and North Africa
- North America
- Western Europe
The definition of peace used by the Institute?
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According to these people, peace is “the absence of violence”. By that logic, every cemetery in the world is more peaceful than any given country could ever be. Theirs is the peace of the dead, the peace of hand-wringing “why-can’t-we-all-just-get-along” Birkenstockers, the kind who like to throw bricks through the windows of Starbucks to demonstrate their intense desire for world peace.
Oh, and if you believe that China deserves its ranking (#74), then I have a bridge you might like to buy. Honestly, you really need this fine bridge, and I could use the money for my favorite charity.
Here are the first twenty-five or so in the list. Some countries are tied, in which case they skip the following number. Thus, Germany is tied with Qatar at #16 so there is no #17 in the rankings:
Hmm… don’t you wonder how Norway feels about being yoked to Denmark for second place? In most cases those polite Norwegians would be too civilized to say anything, but in this case I’ll bet they’d make an exception for having to bear the indignity of sharing their space with those raucous Danes. Why, it would be akin to putting Minnesota and Texas in the same room.
Cuba is well ahead of the U.S.; according to the careful calculations of the Institute, we are #s 68 and 83 respectively. So Cubans are willing to risk death at sea while clinging to a leaky inner tube headed for America, and yet their native island is a haven of tranquility compared to Miami?
As I said, this group measures the serenity of the cemetery.