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Now what we have here is failure to communicate
--Captain, in the film, Cool Hand Luke
The heart of peacemaking will never change, the core principle is love the enemy and consequently one will not have an enemy. Of course one will have a conflict, but not an enemy. This is the core of conflict resolution, which strives to distinguish the parties in the conflict from their positions and focus instead on their interests and the issues at stake. This, in turn, allows us to work out each other's differences with minimal destruction. Obviously this does not always work, and we sometimes have to restrain the conflicting parties so that the violence does not escalate. Thus we see the importance of peacekeeping, which is the central theme of this issue (i.e., policing social and/or political conflict). The violence will continue until parties begin to forgive and take responsibility or be accountable for their actions, which is a key goal of peace building.
The predominant form of justice in the West is based on adversarial processes and punitive sentencing. Pursuing justice within this framework encourages participants to close communication channels and focus their actions on offence and defence. This model places retribution over restoration, and thus perpetuates victimization. Rather than transforming criminals and healing victims, this regressive increase in punishment is far from being correctional or rehabilitative. A case that truly puts into question how the United States deals with conflict is the recent execution of the co-founder of the well-known gang the Crips, Stanley Tookie Williams. He was convicted of a number of murders, then in prison turned his life around and dedicated himself to articulating the pitfalls of gangs and violence. He published a number of children books, for which he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature. (1) For this remarkable personal transformation Williams was not honoured in California, but rather was put to …