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Thursday, June 04, 2009


 

Dangerous countries of the world


An article in Ha'aretz informs us about a study which claims "Israel is the world's fourth most dangerous country." And the top (or bottom) three? Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Gee, let's see if we can divine the connection between these four. Two of them invaded by the United States, one of them invaded by Ethiopia as a proxy for the United States, and one of them engaged in continuous wars with its neighbors (Gaza, Lebanon, the West Bank) with U.S. weapons and economic and political support (and also in some respects as a proxy for the United States).

The U.S. itself is ranked 83 out of 144 (the higher numbers are the "most dangerous"). Evidently being the cause of danger in the other countries isn't taken account in this study. Actually taking a look at the study reveals its rather bizarre nature. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 the most "peaceful", here are the first two categories for the United States:

1) Number of external and internal conflicts fought, 2002-2007: 1.5

Huh? The U.S. is fighting two major wars and also involved with bombing Pakistan. That's only worth a 1.5? Are you kidding me?

2) Estimated number of deaths from organised conflict (external): 3

What on earth would get you a "5" in this category? Dropping an atomic bomb on your enemies? 1 million+ Iraqis only rates a 3?

And I got a kick out of comparing the rating of the U.S. and Cuba in some of the categories. "Importance of religion in national life?" Cuba 5, U.S. 3? Excuse me? "Willingness to fight? (under "Culture") Cuba 5, U.S. 2? Whaaa? What is this based on, the Cuban boxing team? (By the way, Iraq got a "1" on the "willingness to fight" scale). "Corruption perception? (with 10="highly clean" and 0="corrupt") Cuba 4.3, U.S. 7.3? Balderdash. People have a variety of criticisms of Cuba, but "corruption" isn't even remotely one of them.

So the "study" is pretty much nonsense as far as I can tell. Still, the result of the "four most dangerous" is still rather telling.


Why stop here? There's more...

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