Justice or Peace?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot today, especially after reading this news article. Do we want justice, or do we want peace?

I can hear the answer already… we want both. Right? Of course we want both. We deserve both! You can’t have one without the other. Etc.

But what is justice? Sometimes it’s easy enough to spot the just answer. A person steals your car they should replace your car. A person defaces your fence with spray paint? They should repaint it.

A person kills your spouse? That’s when it starts getting murky. Is justice to lock them away? Is it justice to kill them too?

In the middle east there is constant fighting and killing because one party feels wronged by another and they want JUSTICE! There can be no peace without justice.

After WWII there were a great many people who had to decide what justice was in that situation. They had peace. They signed a treaty and gave up the war. But what about payment for all the lives lost? The suffering? Who’s fault was it and who was going to pay? The German army alone contained about 10 million people. Then there was Stalin, and all the things he did to his people. And captains of the guard, and various people who just turned over the Jews. Who was to blame? The person who started it? Those who went along with it? The ones who made the orders and threatened to kill them if they didn’t go along with it?

In the end they tried 24 men for the millions of lives lost. Was this justice? That all the others who had anything to do with the war, or killing, just went home and went back to their lives?

The alternative was worse.

Maybe there can’t be true peace without justice, but sometimes justice might not look like justice to the casual observer.

If someone starts spreading rumors about you that you are a mean and horrible person, and then you start acting like a mean and horrible person to that person because the rumors then you are proving them right. In the case of the original article, ISIS spreads the story that Jordan, and others, are terrifying people who kill their prisoners. And now Jordan did kill their prisoners. ISIS now can say “See, look, we are right. It is as we said.”

It’s a tricky thing, these politics between countries. You get into group dynamics, and herd mentalities on massive scales.

I don’t know the answer. I like to think education, and humanitarian aid would help. Teaching them to help themselves, and bringing them up out of the isolationism imposed on them into the global world. But I don’t know.

What I do know: As long as the eye for an eye mentality keeps going there can be no peace. “Justice” for the wrongs you perceive on this massive scale sometimes have to be let go of in order to go on with the process of healing.

The world is messed up!

My daughters boyfriend spent a week in jail. He was suppose to be in there for three days because he couldn’t pay a fine. He almost had to spend a month in jail. FOR A FINE! What kind of messed up country do we have that we put people in jail for being unable to pay a fine, and not only that but we keep them there for longer then we were suppose to, because we can.

It’s all about the money. Each person in a jail is money. Tax money that goes to the jail to house, cloth and feed them. Do you know what they are eating? Can’s of food marked “NOT FIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.” I was incredulous about that so looked it up. Apparently it is common practice for jails to get food that is suppose to be used for animals, or is expired, sometimes with worms in it, to save the jail money. Because money.

And this is not the first person I’ve known to have this happen to them. A friend of mine served three months on a one month sentence. After serving a month he was told “this month doesn’t count toward your service because it’s at the wrong jail.” The wrong jail? WTF! It’s a jail? How is it the WRONG JAIL!? Lets not even get into the fact that my friend was serving for a domestic abuse when in fact his ex is the one that is stalking, beating, and screaming at him. (I’ve seen her do it.) He’s homeless now and she calls up anyone willing to help him and tries to spread more lies about him being on meth (he’s on probation and being tested, so no meth) and basically making life miserable for everyone. But he goes to jail.

Screen-Shot-2012-10-15-at-10.25.43-AMWe call this a justice system? Where is the justice? And now that pot is no longer a jailable offence they are finding other excuses, because we need to keep the jails full, right? WHY? Why are we paying our tax dollars to jail 2.2 million people, and put another 4.8 million on probation. That’s SEVEN MILLION PEOPLE in the USA that are under “correctional supervision”. Why? For money. More then TRIPLE per capita of any other country.

Prison labor is the only form of slavery still allowed in the USA. Prisoners who do not perform the work they are “asked” to do can be sanctioned with less food, longer sentence, or worse treatment. Prisoners can work in call centers, making books for the blind, park benches and Victoria Secret lingerie. They often do this work for cents on the dollar, because they are prisoners not people.

We say we are “the nation of the free”. I don’t really see it anymore.

(More info here)