Dr. Chuck Overby; Article 9 Society
7815 Angel Ridge Road; Athens Oh, 45701
21 April 2007
A Reflection on Article 9 on Japanfs Constitution Day, May 3, 2007
TO: My Dear Japanese Article 9 Loving Friends, (979 English words)
As I begin to write this note to you in Japan on this 60th anniversary of
the adoption of your beautiful Article 9 wisdom -- I am so very sorry, sad,
and angry to learn of the assassination of your great peace-loving Nagasaki
mayor, Iccho Itoh. What a senseless tragedy – somewhat comparable to the
equally senseless tragedy in America at almost exactly the same time – the
killing of 32 students and faculty at the Virginia Tech (VT) University
campus in Blacksburg, Virginia.
When I first heard the news of Mayor Itohfs death I thought that possibly
some right-wing radical had done this because of Mayor Itohfs profound and
dedicated efforts to create a nuclear free Planet Earth. I know that the
mayor was a major critic of the USA for its complete lack of leadership in
implementing Article VI of the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT.)
How absurd that this foul deed seems to have been carried out by a simple-minded
deranged and disgruntled Japanese gangster. Sadly, such is sometimes the
paradoxical nature of our being.
My dear friends, the Virginia Tech killings are complexly related to the
Second Amendment to the US Constitution which reads as follows –
hA well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.h
Even though this 2nd Amendment refers to ga Militiah (a group) – it is what
the National Rifle Association (NRA), a very powerful lobby group in America,
uses to assure that weapons of all kinds are freely and unrestrainedly available
to any individual person who wishes to have one or more. Thus we have --
Guns -- Guns – and more Guns – everywhere in America – helping to make us
the most violence prone nation on Planet Earth.
As I prepare to write this tribute to your beautiful Article 9, I am provoked
to think that we in the United States of America profoundly need a new amendment
to our US Constitution modeled after your Article 9. Article 9 implies that
non-violent and non-military conflict resolution along with violence and
war prevention means be used to help us cope with conflicts that are a part
of the human condition. US arrogant and preemptive military responses to
problems in the world for which there are no military solutions are linked
in complex ways to Americafs propensity for violence mentioned above. A
few of us in America are slowly working on an Article 9 kind of an amendment
for our US Constitution. Perhaps more on this soon.
I am also writing this before I know the outcome of your Prime Minister Abefs
wish to kill Article 9 – his proposal for constitutional revision – thehNational
Referendum Bill.h I hope you can stop this awful nonsense.
This was supposed to be a message of hope to you, my dear Japanese friends
on this May 3, 2007 60th anniversary of the adoption of your new constitution.
My message ends with a challenge for you in Japan, and a challenge for us
I understand your constitutionfs war-renouncing Article 9 (gRule-Of-Lawh)
as a passionate cry from almost all humanity on Planet Earth -- for an end
to this dominantly masculine obscenity called war. Article 9 is not just
Japanfs treasure. Article 9 belongs to all humanity. I long for Article
9fs wisdom to become a part of all nationfs constitutions – so that we as
a species might begin to resolve our conflicts and settle our differences
under grules of lawh rather than with the age-old heinous grules of war.h
Unfortunately, at this moment in time, you in Japan and we in America
are afflicted with leadership that seems to lust for grules of warh rather
than grules of law.h President Bush and your new Prime Minister, Abe are
what I think of as gwar experientially ignoranth persons. That is, neither
of them have the vaguest idea (a personal understanding) as to the awful
essence of war. Our current President Bush, with the help of his powerful
father, avoided having to serve in the Vietnam War. As a veteran of two US
wars, WW-II and Korea, I along with millions of my fellow citizens call President
Bush a gchicken hawkh – one who loves war for others but not for himself
personally. Your new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe was born after WW-II so he
has no personal understanding as to what it means to have a nation and all
its major cities -- flattened – two of them evaporated in nuclear clouds.
Thus it seems that both of our countryfs leaders are afflicted with the
same kind of disease – namely an ideologically based gfaithh that military
force is a way to resolve problems. Unfortunately there are no military
solutions for the kinds of problems that we as a species face, ranging from
– gnuclear proliferation,h – to profligate gresource consumptionh (oil to
name but one) -- to gglobal warmingh -- to citizen gdrug addictionsh etc.
etc. etc. Root causes of these problems are rarely ever explored, and greasonh
rather than gfaithh and gideologyh are seldom used to find meaningful solutions
that treat persons with dignity rather than as collateral damage.
My dear Japanese Article 9 loving friends – I started with ghopeh and
I end by leaving you with a supreme gchallenge. Your challenge is to find
non-violent ways, in these terrible times, to keep your and my governments
from killing your wonderful war-renouncing Article 9.
We in America are faced with our own supreme challenge. We must non-violently
change the course of our governmentfs arrogant, neo-con, militarist, unilateralist
behavior on Planet Earth -- to one of creatively cooperative thoughtful and
non-violent interaction around the globe. United States governmental pressure
on Japan to kill Article 9 so as to free up the SDF for use in US wars around
the world -- is one of the most tragic obscenities of our time.
Chuck Overby, 1991 Founder A9S