Dr. Chuck Overby; Article 9 Society
7815 Angel Ridge Road; Athens Oh, 45701
overbycm@hotmail.com; www.article9society.org
21 April 2007

A Reflection on Article 9 on Japanfs 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 Itohfs death I thought that possibly some right-wing radical had done this because of Mayor Itohfs 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 Militiah (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 Americafs 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 Abefs wish to kill Article 9 – his proposal for constitutional revision – thehNational 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 in America.

I understand your constitutionfs war-renouncing Article 9 (gRule-Of-Lawh) 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 Japanfs treasure. Article 9 belongs to all humanity.  I long for Article 9fs wisdom to become a part of all nationfs constitutions – so that we as a species might begin to resolve our conflicts and settle our differences under grules of lawh 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 warh rather than grules of law.h President Bush and your new Prime Minister, Abe are what I think of as gwar experientially ignoranth 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 hawkh – 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 countryfs leaders are afflicted with the same kind of disease – namely an ideologically based gfaithh 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 consumptionh (oil to name but one) -- to gglobal warmingh -- to citizen gdrug addictionsh etc. etc. etc.  Root causes of these problems are rarely ever explored, and greasonh rather than gfaithh and gideologyh 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 ghopeh 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 governmentfs 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