Wednesday, June 03, 2009

  • Wednesday, June 03, 2009
  • Elder of Ziyon

Yesterday a group called the "Economist Intelligence Unit" came out with a ranking of world countries based on how "peaceful" they are The US came in 83rd out of 144 countries, and Israel came in 141st. (Libya was #46, Egypt #54.) It was heavily covered in newspapers worldwide.

They have a very elaborate methodology, taking into account many different factors. The factors themselves seem to be the product of an interesting mindset. First they try to make it sound like it is entirely the result of rigorous statistics, but then they go into the specific indicators, which sound sort of reasonable until you dig in a little bit. They measure things like:

Number of external and internal conflicts fought: 2001-06
  • Estimated number of deaths from organised conflict (external)
  • Number of deaths from organised conflict (internal)
  • Level of organised conflict (internal)
  • Relations with neighbouring countries
  • Level of distrust in other citizens
  • Number of displaced people as a percentage of the population
  • Political instability
  • Level of disrespect for human rights (Political Terror Scale)
  • Potential for terrorist acts
  • Number of homicides per 100,000 people
  • Level of violent crime
  • Likelihood of violent demonstrations
  • Number of jailed population per 100,000 people
  • Number of internal security officers and police per 100,000 people
  • Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP
  • Number of armed services personnel per 100,000 people
  • Volume of transfers (imports) of major conventional weapons per 100,000 people
  • Volume of transfers (exports) of major conventional weapons per 100,000 people
  • UN Deployments 2007-08 (percentage of total armed forces)
  • Non-UN Deployments 2007-08 (percentage of total armed forces)
  • Aggregate number of heavy weapons per 100,000 people
  • Ease of access to small arms and light weapons
  • Military capability/sophistication

Then they weight it according to various factors.

The problem is that many of these "indicators" are purely subjective, and when subjective criteria are used to come up with objective data, the results are anything but objective.

In the case of Israel, their breakdown shows exactly where they go wrong. For example, here are some rankings where Israel did poorly according to the EIU:
Perceptions of criminality in society
Qualitative assessment of level of distrust in other citizens. Ranked 1-5 (very low-very high) by EIU analysts
Israel got a 4, on a purely subjective guess based on little knowledge.

Similarly:
Ease of access to weapons of minor destruction
Qualitative assessment of the ease of access to small arms and light weapons. Ranked 1-5 (very low-very high) by EIU analysts.
Israel got a 3 (out of 5). Unmentioned are any controls around the access to these weapons or training in their use, as Israel's handgun deaths are quite low.

Level of organised conflict (internal) - 4
Qualitative assessment of the intensity of conflicts within the country. Ranked 1-5 (very low-very high) by EIU analysts

Respect for human rights - 4
A qualitative measure of the level of political terror through an analysis of Amnesty International's Yearbook.

Potential for terriorist acts - 3.5
Qualitative assessment of the potential for terrorist acts. Ranked 1-5 (very low-very high) by EIU analysts

Political instability - 2.25
Qualitative assessment of level of political instability. Ranked 1-5 (very low-very high) by EIU analysts
Any time it says "qualitative assessment" it is using a fancy word for "guesses based on reading newspapers and Amnesty International reports."

Number of armed services personnel per 100,000 people - 5
Active armed services personnel comprises all servicemen and women on full-time duty in the army, navy, air force and joint forces (including conscripts and long-term assignments from the Reserves)

Aggregate number of heavy weapons per 100,000 people - 5
Source: Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC)

Military capability/sophistication - 5
Qualitative assessment of the grade of sophistication and the extent of military research and development (R&D) Ranked 1-5 (very low-very high) by EIU analysts
See the problem here? This august group makes an assumption that any country that has a large and sophisticated military must be, inherently, non-peaceful. The logical fallacy of these assumptions are staggering, yet escape this think-tank.

The basic thinking of this group is that armies are inherently evil. This is breathtakingly stupid.

But there is a patina of objectivity around this extraordinarily flawed, and simply wrongheaded, analysis. The media is quick to lap these sorts of things up as if they have any real value.

Even more ironically, the EIU says that one of the biggest reasons for having such an index is to help businesses decide where to set up shop:
Business benefits greatly from an environment of peace. Understanding the attributes of peace allows governments to better understand what they can do to improve the business environment This knowledge allows business to make more confident investment decisions on the basis of actual and predicted stability in a community or nation.
They are pretty clearly saying that companies that choose to do business in Israel are idiots, because of their pseudo-scientific rankings.

Now, who do you trust more to make business decisions: a group that includes Google, IBM, Motorola, Microsoft and Warren Buffet, or the EIU?

The EIU has been doing this sham for a few years now, and one would think that they would adjust their sacred methodology to account for what is obviously a ridiculous conclusion, that Israel is less peaceful than most African nations where tens of thousands die monthly. But they get lots of press, and no one calls them on their basic methodological flaws, so why not keep it going?

(This post is an update of one I wrote last year on the same topic.)

Hasbys!

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

follow me

search eoz

Loading...

Recent posts from other blogs

comments

Speaking

Follow by Email

Contact

elder -at- elderofziyon dot com

translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون
This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 23,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured fisking flotilla free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats music Muslim Brotherhood Natural gas Nazi NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UK UN unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive

subscribe via email