Washington DC – November 29, 2009 (Farid Ghadry Blog) — Vision for Humanity has just published its Global Peace Index for 2009 in which it highlights the various GPI rankings it follows for 144 countries.
On its own website, VFH states: “Peace is the prerequisite for the survival of society as we know it in the 21st century. It lies at the centre of being able to manage humanity’s many and varied challenges, simply because peace creates the optimum environment in which the other activities that contribute to human growth can take place.” It also makes this interesting claim: “But the structure, causes and value of peace need to be better understood.”
After reading their index, it is obvious that the structure, causes, and value of peace is misunderstood by VFH.
For example, GPI ranks Syria as the 92nd country out of 144 and Iraq as the 144th country. Iraq is at the bottom of the heap. In its first line item analysis, GPI claims that Syria has fought ONLY ONE conflict between 2002-2007 in which 25 people or more died.
We do not know whether they mean the number of deaths by the Syrian proxy called Hezbollah who sparked a war in 2006 or Hamas, another Syrian proxy, who sparked yet another war in 2008. Or maybe the Syrian regime itself, which started acts of terror against Iraq in 2003 — killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis — and continue to this day unabated. Or maybe the mysterious hundreds of killings in Lebanon at the hands of the Syrian regime itself.
There are four conflicts we know of, yet GPI lists only ONE. Most of the other line items were similarly distortive.
Syria, under the Assad regime, is very much involved in Iraq’s destruction and Iraq, under a democratically elected government, is at the receiving end of terrorists crossing from Syria and the terror masters in Iran. For an institution feeding off the respected Economist Intelligence, the ranking is upside down.
Syria, with Assad ruling, should be at the bottom because it is destabilizing the whole Levant region and beyond. Any good researcher would be able to see the pattern followed by the ruling Alawite minority in Damascus as a tactic for surviving to govern brutally 22 million hapless Syrians.
The GPI index has Syria with a better ranking than Jamaica, South Africa, India, and the victimized Lebanon at the hands of Assad.
I do not recall India terrorizing its Bloggers by imprisoning them under an austere set of emergency laws instituted since 1963. Where is the line item in the GPI to account for this peaceful Syrian act?
The GPI index has Iran with a better ranking than Mexico, the Philippines, and Thailand.
The Philippines government, to the best of my knowledge, has not deliberately shot its own people demonstrating peacefully in the streets of Manila. Or is this event inconsequential to GPI since it was not shown on Iranian television?
Syria is ranked better than Israel, whose people have been suffering long before Germany elected a new chancellor in 1933 and Europe, where the Economist Intelligence resides, was unable to appease his appetite for terror and war.
We, Syrians, if not for the poverty and the oppression, would sleep far better than any Israeli could ever do, who is harassed and terrorized by violent Middle East dictators, UN dormant officials, and western policy makers with deeply rooted dislike for success.
There is really something awfully wrong when institutions, supported by respected publications, parade indexes aimed more at projecting a policy than informing the public. We believe that Syria, because of the Assad regime of terror, deserves to be called for what it is and Iraq ought to be given the respect it deserves for standing-up to authoritarianism by holding its own politicians accountable and by seeking peace when its neighbors seek its destruction.
Maybe Fox News, or any of the programs it hosts, can create a new index for all indexes. Call it the Index of Gullibility or the Index of Flakiness in which all organizations, like the Vision of Humanity, are scrutinized and held accountable for their glaring aberration intended more to issue politicizied statements rather than the publication of respected research.