Tuesday 2 May 2006

The Coalition of the Unviable

An appallingly truthful report
“We are pleased to present…” they said, I am utterly appalled I thought as I read the BBC headlines.
I have just been reading the Failed States Index 2006 produced by US Foreign Policy magazine and the US-based Fund for Peace think-tank, it does make interesting reading as it rates states or nations according to their viability.
Weep for the Rotten Criteria
Twelve criteria feature in this index as follows:
1.      Mounting demographic pressures
2.      Massive movement of refugees and internally displaced peoples
3.      Legacy of vengeance - seeking group grievance
4.      Chronic and sustained human flight
5.      Uneven economic development along group lines
6.      Sharp and/or severe economic decline
7.      Criminalisation and delegitimisation of the state
8.      Progressive deterioration of public services
9.      Widespread violation of human rights
10.  Security apparatus as "state within a state"
11.  Rise of factionalised elites
12.  Intervention of other states or external actors
United in mischief and more
The United States is ensconced in 128th position being less viable than France, The United Kingdom and even Chile.
They reckon this must be due to the fact that there are mounting demographic pressures; probably the politics, the oil, the environment and all that is between creates significant discord.
Hurricane Katrina has definitely dealt a blow in this matter, since they score a 6 with regards to the massive movement or it was the massive immobility of internally displaced people who probably would never return to New Orleans sadly.
In our era of great American efficiencies and globalisation that is being force-fed to anyone who has an ear, the American Dream is turning into an nightmare for those caught on the negative side of uneven economic development.
It excludes people from opportunity, good health, rigorous justice and the enforcement of their constitutional rights.
Then the widespread violation of human rights where a score of 5 might include the abuse of the executive prerogative in the surveillance of Americans and the presence of the Guantanamo Aberration.
The Coalition of the Unviable
Besides these American failings, strong American allies or piles of mess feature in the Top 10 with Iraq (4), Afghanistan (9) and Nuclear Pakistan (10), barely Nuclear Iran comes in at 53 excelling by not being in sharp or severe economic decline.
I would contend if there were way of measuring viability also in relation to the havoc the primary country wreaks elsewhere, America should feature closer to its allies in the coalition of the unviable.
Nigeria as the most populous African country is where the debate about an at-present unconstitutional third term quest by the President flies in at number 22.
Having paid off most of their debt, they are host to many issues in the criteria that the government has done little to ameliorate.
Players, not Doers
As it were, many are big international players and poor internal doers.
It is however poignant to note that only 10 states do not have the influence of some intervention of other states or actors – Welcome to Earth – Chaos Reigns where people fail.

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