Geo is a weekly publication of the Bertelsmann group published in German, Spanish, French and Russian. It offers well illustrated reports of travels.

Leaving aside trite remarks, the French edition of September recommends a dossier whose headline seems more related to theology than to tourist brochures: “The peace we believe in”.

Between two photos of the Dalai Lama, it offers a “Record of Peace in the World in 2005”. In association with a Belgian Institute of Political Sciences, the GRIP, points are granted to each country. Iceland appears in first place, Germany is in the 12th position and the United States in the 33rd spot, way ahead of China (95), Israel (114) and Russia (130). The point attribution method consists of adding the amount of money given for UN operations, assistance for development, the ratification of the Convention for Children’s Rights, freedom of the press and the fight against corruption, as well as the creation of natural reserves, all intelligently weighted through coefficients. In sum, carrots and leeks are mixed in an effort to obtain a ratatouille.

The way in which criteria are selected, without an explanation for the reader, but whose details are available in the GRIP’s internet website, leads to the result. For example, in the area of security, a country gets points for signing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons forgetting that the big powers do not implement it; in the area of human rights, points are granted for signing several conventions but not those UN accords on human rights that the United States refuses to ratify; freedom of press is assessed based on the works of Reporters without Borders and the corruption level is measured based on Transparency International, two organizations supported by the State Department, etc. Not a single word is said about the violation of international law, wars, colonialism, social justice, access to education, repression or torture. None of those aspects are taken into account.