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Essay and Opinion


Losing Article 9 would be a Disaster for the entire Human Race

JULY 16,2007

Dr. Charles Overby
Ohio University Emeritus Professor, founder of The Article 9 Society (U.S.A.)

-----What do you think about the move to revise the Japanese constitution?

(Dr. Overby)
Article 9 is not just Japan's. It is our human species' cry for an end to this gross, obscene, and dominantly masculine game called war.

Most all human beings on planet Earth would like to see an end to war. But our governments like to have military fists. To lose Article 9 would be a profound tragedy for the whole planet, not just Japan.

The Abe government would like to change Article 9, and the United States is pushing for that, because it would like to use Japan's Self-defense Forces for fighting and killing in the wars that it chooses around the world. To allow this to happen would be a disaster for all people on Planet Earth. We as a species must prevent this from happening.

-----What is your impression of the movement among Japanese people to protect Article 9?

(Dr. Overby)
I have visited Japan several times in these past 15 years. When I first started coming to Japan in support of Article 9, several years ago -- there seemed to be stronger public opinion against changing the constitution. Today, it seems that more people have a kind of nationalistic feeling ? especially the young. They tend to think that the constitution was imposed on them. They foolishly think that Japan ought to be a "normal nation" which can do military things as the US does. Young Japanese people who have no experience of war might be persuaded by their government that it is better to get rid of Article 9. This is a very sad phenomenon, and I am not quite sure as to how to deal with that.

In 1998 I wrote a paper for a Ritsumeikan Peace Museum Conference in Kyoto on this "youthful war experiential ignorance problem." My paper dealt with the urgency of finding ways to create what I call a "Generational Learning Function" that might enable youth to learn from prior generations the brutal obscenity that is war ? with out their having to learn this reality the hard way first hand for themselves. In this paper I focused on "art" in all its beautiful and creative forms ? as one possible means to help with this urgent, "generational learning function." This paper is on my web-site www.article9society.org ? with a title there of -- "Kyoto98".

We are faced with a huge challenge to change public opinion in Japan and all around the world with respect to Article 9. We need to educate young Japanese people, and people across the planet, about how wonderful Japan's constitution is, and about the multitudes of meaningful and positive things Japan could, do for peace and justice on Planet Earth -- if it were to embrace Article 9 as its badge of honor and proceed to do them. In our book, A Call For Peace: The Implications of Japan's War-Renouncing Constitution -- I have a list, with discussion, of positive non-violent and non-military things that Japan could do for peace and justice on Planet Earth.

(quote from "A Call for Peace")

1. To experiment with and to practice preventive diplomacy and other forms of war prevention.
2. To reduce population growth.
3. To assist sustainable social and economic development.
4. To overcome world hunger and poverty.
5. To cope with massive refugee problems.
6. To reduce human rights violations.
7. To reduce nuclear arsenals to zero.
8. To stop international trade in conventional weapons.
9. To educate for non-violent action and conflict resolution.
10. To defend themselves with Civilian Based Defense (CBO) as outlined by Gene Sharp in his book, Civilian-Based Defense: A Post-Military Weapons System.
11. To Preserve and conserve natural resources, reduce environmental degradation, design manufacture and market "green technology by design."(ends quote)

In summary, I think that we have a major public relations problem. On this trip to Japan I talked about raising a billion US dollars to invest in public relations so as to educate Japanese young people and importantly also --people all around the world about Article 9. [1] Most people on our planet have never heard of Article 9, and [2] most of them do not know what Japanese and United States governments are trying to do to kill Article 9, and finally [3] most people on earth, Japan included, have not thought about and considered the multitudes of creative positive and hopeful, non-military, non-violent things that Japan could do for peace and justice on our beautiful planet ? if she can be persuaded to do these things, rather than try to kill Article 9.

I am interested in Article 9 because I see it as an instrument for helping us keep from ending all life on our beautiful planet in one of two ways, or a mix of the two -- from [1] high tech wars of mass destruction, or [2] from mindless over consumption of Earth's bountiful resources -- each leaving us with a Planet Earth as dead as Planet Mars.

Recognizing that most problems we face on Planet Earth have no military solutions, we should strive to keep Article 9 alive and thriving as a model for the entire planet, with Japan demonstrating non-violent, non-military solutions to these multitudes of problems. Doing this offers us the possibility of slowing and ultimately ending the ever increasing spiral of ever more lethal high-tech weapons of mass destruction as we increasingly fight "resource wars" whether they be over "oil" as is the present war in Iraq or over "water" or other resources etc.

As an engineer, I know how we engineers and scientists can so easily create orders of magnitude more lethal ways to kill one another. An Article 9 Without Borders ? an Article 9 in every constitution on Planet Earth would help put an end to this obscene upward spiral of evermore violent killing systems.

Also as an engineer with experience in government and in relating technology and public policy, I know that engineers and scientists in all technologically advanced cultures, if they are seriously asked by their cultures -- can create orders of magnitude more -- resource conserving, resource war preventing, ecosphere pollution preventing and global-warming preventing technologies and systems. These kinds of systems, I call, "GTBD" ? "Green Technology By Design." The reality is that we in the technologically advanced culture have almost completely failed to ask this of our scientists and engineers. This failure is especially true for the USA.

In summary, we do not have to fight resource wars, we to not have to pollute the environment, and we do not need to cause global warming. We do need to begin to practice GTBD. Please see our book, A Call For Peace: .. for much discussion on these matters and possibilities.

Thirty years ago, I worked in a United States Congressional office called the Office of Technology Assessment. My professional engineering job was to study some of the enormity of the United States' resource consumption, our profligate wastefulness and the pollution we cause ? and to make some public policy suggestions for improvement.

My ideas for GTBD were born out of this Washington experience in synergistic flux with things I learned from my 1981 Japan, Chubu University ? Ohio University visiting professorship -- about how Japanese engineers and scientist's ability to do "quality and reliability by design" almost drove the USA automobile industry into bankruptcy in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

A Japan that embraces Article 9 as its badge of honor and, with its scientists and engineers, demonstrating to the entire world the practice of GTBD -- can significantly and magnificently contribute to the prevention of "resource wars," "ecosphere pollution," and "global warming" ? as one of Japan's contribution for world peace and justice

-----How well do people in the USA know about the move to change Japan's constitution? If they know something about it, what is their opinion?

(Dr. Overby)
Almost all Americans are completely ignorant about Article 9 and everything related to its existence. Let me illustrate the gross ignorance of most US citizens with respect to Japanese?US matters with a little story of the difficulty I had in trying to get information on your Prime Minister Abe's recently passed, "referendum bill." At the same time I will show how US media across the entire media spectrum, completely failed to inform US citizens on these most urgently important matters concerning US-Japan relations.

When Japan's "referendum bill" came up, I tried unsuccessfully for some time to find an English language translation of this bill so that I could understand more clearly what it proposed. I then asked Ohio University library's government document section for some help. Our Ohio University librarian professionals also came up with a zero result. No English language translation of this "bill" on this very important Japanese ? USA matter could be found. In their search, our librarians even contacted the US Secretary of State and the Department of Defense. Unfortunately, no English language translation of the "referendum bill" could be found in America.

Finally, knowing that Prime Minister Abe was to meet in late April 2007 for two days with President Bush -- I carefully read three US weekly news magazines Time, U.S. News and World Report, and Newsweek. -- and The New York Times newspaper ? hoping to find some reports on Bush-Abe discussions on US-Japan relations including Abe's proposed "referendum bill." I read these major US "news--materials" covering a period from the week before Abe's arrival to two weeks after he had been here. Guess what? Two of the US weekly news magazines never even reported that Abe was coming to or had been in America. The one weekly US news magazine and that august New York Times newspaper that did report something on Abe's visit dealt with only one topic ? Japan's World War II use of "comfort women."

This illustrates why most Americans know nothing about Japan, or Article 9, or about US-Japanese attempts to kill Article 9. In two days of discussions between the world's two most powerful economically and militarily linked economies ? the only thing that two out of four major US news information sources discussed about Abe's visit, was Japan's tragic and obscene "comfort women" matter in which the Japanese military forcefully conscripted East Asian women to satisfy the sexual needs of its soldiers. This "comfort women" issue illustrates the criminal debauchery to which governments can stoop in times of war ? and all nations, excluding none, have these debauchery genes in their genetic codes -- and must be restrained in these matters by their citizens. But is this, over 60 year old war-crime, more important than letting people know a little about what is going on in matters that relate to future species life and death on Planet Earth ? Abe's referendum bill that would enable the USA to use Japanese soldiers in wars of US choosing around the world? I think not.

-----We, Japan Institute of Constitutional Law, have started a web, in English language too, to send information regarding Japan's constitution. May we have your suggestion on how we should manage and utilize the web?

(Dr. Overby)
Four years ago, I met Mr. Makoto Ito. I was very impressed with his perception and attitude on the constitutional issues. I think it is great that you are doing this English language web site. This is a beautiful effort.

I also have a feeble web site. But these web sites, perhaps yours and definitely mine, are still very small, compared to the need to educate people in Japan, in the USA and around the world on the matters we have discussed earlier in this interview. In view of the vast ignorance here in Japan and across the entire planet about these very important matters on war and peace -- our tiny efforts are still overwhelmed by the Japanese and US governments' lies and propaganda in favor of Japan once again becoming a so-called "normal nation." The American people were also overwhelmed by their government's lies and propaganda as to its need to preemptively invade Iraq.

With governments so powerful in these information matters, and with the media in our nations so easily compliant to governmental interests -- I conclude in my 2007 Japan "paper-in?progress" that we somehow must find ways to acquire large sums of money in order to hire appropriately competent and skilled public relations firms to assist us in even beginning to educate Planet Earth's people about Japan's beautiful Article 9 and related constitutional Preamble material.

I am not a web-site designer, or one who knows much about these matters. However I make this final comment on the designing, planning, and managing of your English language web site. ?I have some confidence in the youth of Japan, America and elsewhere around the planet ? in their ability to use their computer systems expertise in creative, energetic ways to [1] overcome and transcend governments' propaganda power -- and [2] to unleash some artistically new and strikingly original means to capture Planet Earth's people with creative ideas for "Imagining The Magic of An Article 9 Without Borders."

Our challenge also lies in how to find and enlist the energies of these youthful talents for our important cause ? namely that of having Planet Earth become one on which Article 9 lives in all nations ? that is a world of "Article 9 Without Borders." Perhaps we need to locate these "youthful talents" by our invention of some kind of an inexpensive contest for "Youthful Internet Creativity" that would tap into the idealism and "exuberance gene" of bright and "idea fertile" youth so as to elicit their proposals for ways to accomplish items [1] and [2] that I just mentioned above.

A Brief Charles Overby Bio - "a road less traveled by." [PDF]


*Related information

Mini-Topic

Chuck Overby 2007 Japan Trip

Imagine The Magic of an Article 9 -- Without Borders

[1] Hello my dear Japanese Article 9 loving friends. As the famous 19th Century British author, Charles Dickens, said at the beginning of his novel on the French Revolution, The Tale of Two Cities, --

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair c"

[2] Today as your Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lusts to destroy our "all humanity's treasure," Article 9, with President Bush and his neo "con-men" enthusiastically encouraging him to hurry up and get it done - it is difficult for me to see "the best of times", "the age of reason," "the season of light, or "the spring of hope." I sense that we are in - "the worst of times," "the age of foolishness," "the season of darkness,' and "the winter of despair" -- on a multitude of dimensions, including prospects for Article 9's longevity.

[3] But, a sense of "bad times," "foolishness," "darkness," and "despair" - and the anger and anguish that these feelings generate within us - might also be the "womb of hope" out of which dreams and creativity can lead us to non-violently overcome our anguish and despair. After a brief elaboration on a few dimensions of our "state of hopelessness" - I will share a couple of kernels of hope and possibility with you - [1] a proposed US "Veterans for Peace" (VFP) amendment to the United States Constitution modeled after your Article 9, and [2] some of my dreams for a Japan that demonstrates world-class leadership, with Article 9 as its badge of honor in non-violent, non-military solutions of multitudes of contemporary species and Planet Earth problems (most all of which have no military solutions what-so-ever).

[4] First, let me tell you how I was led by one of my favorite literary artist's, US novelist Kurt Vonnegut -- to the Charles Dickens quote with which I began this presentation. Vonnegut cited Dickens "the best and worst of times" in a speech that he wrote in February, 2007. Sadly he died on April 11th, before he could present it. His son, Mark Vonnegut, read his speech for him at a memorial program honoring this creative iconoclastic United States literary artist. Here is a short excerpt from Vonnegut's last speech that pithily says much on our US culture - and perhaps more broadly for cultures across the planet who now increasingly seem inclined to worship at the shrine of an unfettered so-called, "free-market" god. Here it is.

"There is good news and bad news tonight. This is the best of times and the worst of times. So what else is new? The bad news is that the Martians have landed in Manhattan and have checked in at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The good news is they only eat homeless people of all colors, and they pee gasoline."

[5] The insanity of present times can be illustrated with multitudes of examples, in addition to the one that mainly concerns us here -- Japanese and US governmental attempts to destroy Article 9 - and the mind-boggling consequences in Asia and around the world if Article 9 is emasculated.

[6] Let me start with some of the unhappy things happening in Japan and then add a few other unhappy things about my culture that I have absorbed from 81 years of "being" as an American citizen and veteran of two of America's wars - World War II and Korea (B-29 combat pilot in Korea.). Then I will emerge from this ["foolishness"-- "darkness" -- and "despair"] milieu of "bad times" -- with my dream and hope for what Article 9 might mean for all of us on Planet Earth - if we as a species can keep your Japanese and my US governments from Article 9 homicide. Along the way I will share some references with you where you might go to read more. Unfortunately, all my references are in the English language.

Some Abe Bad News
[7] Prime Minister Abe's passion to change Article 9 and his current efforts to pass a "referendum bill" to so as to pave the way for this eventuality - leaves me as a gaijin, confused, fearful, and angry.

[8] I am confused because I have found it almost impossible to find, in America, any information through our media, and even through our library systems - on this "referendum
bill." I have been scanning newspapers, weekly news magazines, and through Ohio University Alden Library for some time trying to find an English language version of the bill - so that I could read and try to understand what it is all about. I have been able to read some of the pro and con commentary in the English language edition of The Japan Times, but unfortunately the bits and pieces that I have read leave me still being confused. I have tried through some Japanese friends, both academic and non-academic ones and have received "bits and pieces" from some of them - but they also have not been able to produce an English language copy of this bill.

[9] Thus, my dear Japanese Article 9 loving friends I am poorly informed about this latest step on the way to Article 9's destruction - Abe's "referendum bill" and also about other of his chauvinistic passions, for example - to dictate "patriotism" with the December 2006 revision of Japan's "Fundamental Law of Education." Therefore, I plead with you to help educate me on these very important matters here when I am with you in Japan. For more information on my and America's ignorance in these matters, please see my endnotes .

[10] I am fearful and angry because of the massive destabilization and resurgence of an arms race in Asia and, elsewhere in the world too, that will occur if and when Japan emasculates its promise to all those countries that it invaded and occupied in World War II to "renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation. That promise was Article 9.

More Bad News - US Brand
[11] The US government is presently pushing the Japanese government, directly and indirectly, to kill A9 so that we can use Japanese soldiers to do our killing in wars in that region of the world, and elsewhere too. Japan's new conservative Prime Minister, Abe, is war-experientially ignorant. He was born after WW-II so he has no experiential understanding of what it means to have all of Japan's major cities flattened with fire bombing and of course - Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclearly vaporized. Abe is presently lusting to emasculate Article 9 so that Japan can more freely join the USA in using its military fist around the world - sadly in situations that almost always have no military solutions.

[12] Of course - we (the USA) stupidly assume that we will perpetually be supervising things for Japan's wars. Meanwhile all of Asia - is becoming profoundly concerned about what is going on, and making preparations to increase military spending so as to counter Japan's potential destruction of Article 9. In many ways, as scholars like Chalmers Johnson have said, and with which I agree, Article 9 was Japan's hugely significant apology to all if its neighbors - and to all humanity on Planet Earth for its war behavior in WW-II. This Article 9 apology, something that no other powerful nation has ever done for so long -- has been a significant contributor to stability in the region.

[13] Japan's wish to kill Article 9, and the resultant new arms race in Asia -- makes it financially wise to invest in US weapon's manufacturer's stock. We have already enriched US companies like Raytheon who is significantly benefiting from the Bush administration's arrogant unilateral militarist international behavior with North Korea. The USA has recently (summer of 2006) offered to provide Japan with 80 more of Raytheon's Patriot interceptor missiles for Japan's so-called ballistic missile shield -- and Japan has apparently agreed to buy them. Raytheon stockholders smile all the way to the bank.

More US Bad News -Oil-Resource Wars
[14] The United States is currently engaged in a preemptive (and dominantly oil resource) high technology "Shock and Awe" war on Iraq, enabled with the aid of Goebbelsian like governmental lies and propaganda. This "oil-resource-war" behavior" arrogantly fails to address the real problem - America's and the world's immensely wasteful and poorly designed resource consuming, ecosphere polluting, and global warming technology systems. We fail by not seriously and strongly promoting -- research, development, production, and export of massively improved technology systems, including clean alternative energy sources - like solar with all its wonderful possibilities. Much of that which we fail to do - I refer to as GTBD (Green Technology by Design.) I also have another brief "Mini-Topic" paper with me on this trip, titled -- "Article 9 and Resource War and Global Warming Prevention" -- that touches on GTBD.

[15] Rather than clean up our own act and become less arrogantly profligate - we with our "big-military-muscle" prefer to use military force to keep the oil flowing. In so doing we also create a significant "free-market" failure. The so-called "unfettered-free- market" does not reflect the huge military fist subsidy for imported oil. Engineers draw erroneous conclusion when they do their engineering-economy "calculus of pleasure and pain" (benefit/cost calculations) without including this unrecognized subsidy.

[16] It is also difficult to adequately include "externality cost" in engineering-economy calculations - that is, the negative long term, commons , and "future-generation" costs in our choices of technology systems. We "discount' the future" - using compound interest methods called "discounted cash flow, etc.

More US Bad News - RRW
[17] The US government is rightly concerned with the proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world. We currently focus on North Korea and Iran, conveniently overlooking recent "nuke" developments in Pakistan and India, and forgetting that we did not find "nuke development" in Iraq. Nukes in Iraq was one of the chief stated reasons for our current "shock and awe" preemptive war there - reasons that we increasingly learn were based on intelligence cooked to serve the ideological needs of Bush's neo-"con-men."

[18] Meanwhile the US prepares to further jeopardize international nuclear nonproliferation efforts by seeking to improve its nuclear arsenal with some things called the "Reliable Replacement Warhead" (RRW) - and "Complex 2030."

[19] RRW refers to a new Bush Administration proposed program for designing and developing replacement warheads for our current abundant stock of 10,000 nuclear warheads. "Complex 2030" refers to a long term $150 billion "upgrade" for US's nuclear weapons production system. 2030 is the proposed date of completion.

[20] As the FCNL (Friends Committee on National Legislation) says, "The U.S. cannot in good faith call on other nations to stop the production of new nuclear weapons while U.S. scientists are spending billions to develop a new generation of deadly nuclear bombs."

More US Bad News -US National Security Strategy & Rogue Statedness
[21] These US behaviors and violations of international treaties remind me of what the National Security Strategy of the United States of America (NSS) says about "rogue states"-- those who violate international treaties etc. If you have not looked at this short 31 page document, NSS, that was published on September 17, 2002 a year after the 9/11 tragedy - I encourage you to do so. It lays out the rationale for most of the Bush Administration's arrogant, preemptive, and unilateralist actions up to the present. You might find it by typing its name into your web-browser - "National Security Strategy of the United States of America."

[22] Chapter V, page 14, the NSS discusses some of the attributes of "rogue states" - those who wish to harm us. They are states who "c display no regard for international law, threaten their neighbors, and callously violate international treaties to which they are a party." My goodness, this excerpt seems to quite well define the United States itself. To understand this, let me list just a few of the USA's recent disregards of international law and treaties to which we are a party. [1] The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (the US has never ratified this treaty and is now planning to build "mini-nukes" for preemptive deep underground strikes - a destabilizing act that may well unleash a new round of nuclear testing); [2] The Mine Ban Treaty; [3] The Chemical Weapons Convention; [4] The Bioweapons Protocol; [5] The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (Bush unilaterally withdrew the US from this treaty so as to push ahead with missile defense systems); [6] The Child Soldiers Protocol; [7] The International Criminal Court; [8] The Small Arms Action Plan; [9] The Kyoto Protocol; [10] The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

More US and Japan Bad News - North Korea
[23] I know that you in Japan have some special concerns with respect to North Korea that get you excited. Let me mention just two of them -- [1] a stupid abduction of a few Japanese citizens by North Korea many years ago, and [2] nuclear bomb and missile developments in North Korea. I will come back to these two issues shortly, but first I think we need to briefly examine the nature of the instability on the Korean peninsula. I think that a significant part of the instability problem with North Korea arises out of US policy there for over a half century. Please see my web site, www.article9society.org for an elaboration in other papers on this North Korea issue - especially the papers for my 2003 and 2005 trips to Japan.

[24] The USA has been threatening this "economically very poor" country, North Korea, for the past half century, including nuclear threats, while it refuses to sit down and work bilaterally with North Korea on a peace treaty to replace the July 27, 1953 truce. The USA has not been supportive of former South Korean president Kim Dae Jung's hopeful and creative so-called "Sunshine Policy" of creative engagement with the North. Nor has the US been supportive of Kim Dae Jung's successor, Roh Moo-Hyun's interest in continuing to reach out to the North in creative engagement rather than with threats of violence. With relatively few exceptions, the US's policy with North Korea has been one of threats of violence.

[25] One exception to this generally steady US policy of threats of violence came in 1994 when former President Jimmy Carter (with some displeasure from the Clinton Administration) brokered a deal with the North, called the "Agreed Framework" in which the North's nuclear ambitions would be set aside in return for several changes in US behavior. Things were slowly working their way toward some kind of a non-violent resolution of the so-called North Korean problem - then in 2000 came a new President, Bush and his neo-"con-men," and President Bush's appointment of John Bolton, a neo-con ideologue of the fiercest kind as "Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs." Almost immediately there was a change in US policy when in October 2002 the US accused the North of cheating on its obligations under the 1994 "Agreed Framework." There has been much discussion on this October 2002 charge by the Bush Administration that signaled a more militant approach to North Korea -- with some feeling that it was based on shaky, perhaps ideologically driven intelligence information, similar to the flawed intelligence argument for our "Shock and Awe" attack on Iraq to get Saddam's nuclear weapons - that turned out not to be there.

The Abduction Issue
[26] The abduction issue is a sad one for those poor people who were abducted, and for their families -- and it was a stupid act by North Korea. Your press, TV, and other media, as is also true in America -- find these kinds of tragic stories helpful in selling newspapers and in attracting viewers in search of titillation to fill a bit of the void in perhaps somewhat vacuous and profligate consumption driven lives.

[27] Your government, also as in America, likes tragedies as means to keep people distracted from other truly significant and genuine societal problems and/or to keep them angry at and fearful of "an enemy" or a "potential enemy" so as to make it easier to do other things - in Japan's case, to help make a case for emasculating Article 9 and/or to spend much money on worthless missile defense systems that enrich US weapons companies like Raytheon. The August 25, 2006 Japan Times, English language edition tells that Japan is ready and willing to buy 80 more US made Patriot missiles. Raytheon stockholders love the money - they clap their hands all the way to the bank.

[28] George Orwell in his book, 1984 so aptly illustrated these kinds of media and governmental manipulations.

[29] The sad Terri Schiavo case in March 2005 - where a tragically brain-dead Florida woman who had been kept alive on a machine - became a media frenzy that sold many newspapers and glued many Americans to their TV sets. It also helped President Bush, for a little while, to distract US citizens from his disastrous Iraqi "Shock and Awe" war failure -- based on lies and ideologically "cooked-up" intelligence information.

[30] It seems to me that reasonable and rational persons might relatively easily resolve this sorry North Korea abduction issue quite easily, if there was a will to do so. One must also put this abduction matter in perspective. Surely it is not quite as serious as was Japan's 35 year colonial occupation of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945 - an occupation that was blessed by then President Theodore Roosevelt - in such a way as to have it earn him an early Nobel Peace Prize. How incongruously strange things can be.

The Missile and Nuclear Weapons Issue
[31] Korean missile and nuclear bomb developments frightens Japanese citizens so that it makes it easier for your government to emasculate Article 9 and to buy worthless missile defense systems from America. My goodness, if I were some kind of a "rogue state," as the US characterizes North Korea, or if I was just some non-national group like Al-Qaeda, who wanted to destroy a city with a nuclear bomb - I surely not be so stupid as to try and do it with a primitive North Korean missile like the one that recently flew across Japan. Rather than a missile to deliver my bomb, I think I would choose to carry it to my chosen site in a suitcase or some other unobtrusive kind of container. Perhaps we should have our US Department of Defense (DOD) ask US universities and colleges of engineering to submit research and development proposals for a "suitcase bomb defense shield" (SBDS) rather than a "missile defense system" (MDS). This could be a nice new DOD, R&D boondoggle.
Now for a tiny bit of "Good News" -- one item, and then my "Article 9 Dream."
Some Good News - A VFP Proposed US Constitutional Amendment Based on Article 9

[32] In the above "bad news" that I have above presented to you, it is difficult for me to understand how any leader of a major economic power such as Japan could see it in his or her nation's interest to align itself with the incompetent bungling, stumbling, arrogant, militarist, and unilateralist international behavior presently being demonstrated by my nation, the USA. Why, I ask myself, could Japan's leaders, wish to make themselves subservient to a "rogue state" like the USA by seeking to become a so-called "normal nation" once again. "Normal Nation" means - a nation that can go around the world using its military fist as its chief means to get its way. I do not have an answer to my question. Perhaps you can tell me why.

[33 It is also very difficult to find examples of "good news" to share with you. Let me share just one thing with which I have personally been involved -- my 16 year effort to get a new constitutional amendment introduced in our US Congress, modeled after your great Article 9 Wisdom. On May 21, 2007 -- I placed in the US Postal Mail System, 535 letters to our Congress (100 in the Senate and 435 in the US House of Representatives) asking them to introduce an Article 9 type of war-renouncing clause for debate and for reading into the Congressional Record, the official record of Congressional business. This proposal was endorsed by a US veteran's organization to which I belong - Veterans for Peace.

[34] I have prepared another "Mini-Topic' on the matter - a short four page document that I hope will be available to each of you if you wish a copy. It is titled, "VFP Constitutional Amendment Proposal," and contains [1] some discussion on how this came to be, [2] a copy of the VFP letter to Congress asking that this be done, and finally [3] a copy of the proposed amendment. I will briefly say a few things about this proposed amendment, and read the amendment itself. Please note that I do not expect anything significant to happen with this proposal to the Congress - but it is a beginning at something that all nations on Planet Earth must come to do if we are not to become as lifeless as Planet Mars. Now on to my Article 9 Dream.

More Good News -- My Dream "Imagine The Magic of an Article 9 - Without Borders."
[35] At the beginning of this paper before I unloaded much "bad news" on you I said that a sense of "bad times," "foolishness," "darkness," and "despair" - and the anger and anguish that these feelings generate within us - might also be the "womb of hope" out of which dreams and creativity can lead us to non-violently overcome our anguish and despair. Now let me share some of my dream for a kind of a Japan different from the one that Prime Minister Abe and other current Japanese political leaders seem to seek - namely that Japan become again a so-called "normal nation" - one that gets its way in international relations with military force - and one that does so under the USA's wing.

[36] I have a dream that one day Japan might rise to the magnificent opportunity that fate has tossed its way - and with Article 9 as its badge of honor creatively demonstrate, as the only major economic power on Planet Earth with this wisdom in its constitution - alternative non-violent and non-military means for coping with the multitude of problems that we as a species face - almost none of which have military solutions.

[37] I see Article 9 as not belonging to just Japan. I see it as most all humanity's cry for an end to that dominantly masculine brutal obscenity called war. I see Article 9 as an ideal that our species must grow-up to concretely and creatively embrace, so as not to eliminate ourselves and all other life on our planet - either [1] with our multitudinous engineering and scientific "weapons of mass destruction" (WMD) creations," or through [2] ecosphere pollution and global warming as we profligately and mindlessly worship at the shrine of our profligate "consumption" god.

[38] Neither of these dismal prospects need become reality, if somehow we as a species can keep Article 9 alive with Japan as a living and working demonstrator of what might be possible. What is wrong with all the other nations on our planet - allowing Japan to demonstrate non-violent, non-military solutions for most of the problems we face? What if somehow we could build a consensus around the world that we must encourage and allow one nation on that hopeful potential inherent in all that Article 9 implies.

[39] What is wrong with all the other nations on Planet Earth allowing and encouraging Japan, with Article 9 as its badge of honor, to safely demonstrate for the rest of the world what might be done non-militarily and non-violently to cope with multitudes of earth's problems. I use the words "safely demonstrate" to indicate that somehow, all other nations must collectively guarantee Japan's safety as it is allowed to show the way. If a reconstituted and more democratic United Nations can come to be, then the UN itself might be that guarantor.

[40] Until that time, as a starter -- can we imagine all or most all Asian nations collectively agreeing to guarantee that none of them will attack Japan, if Japan does not destroy Article 9, but rather embraces it and proceeds to shift resources away from its SDF and into demonstrating non-military and non-violent means to address problems on our planet? These problems range from global warming and resource war prevention -- to leading the way, as the only nation to have been assaulted with nuclear weapons, in using and enforcing Articles 6 and 7 of the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Articles 6 and 7 of the NPT read as follows -

[41] Article 6 -- "Each of the parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty of general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control"

[42] Article 7 -- -- "Nothing in this Treaty affects the right of any group of States to conclude regional treaties in order to assure the total absence of nuclear weapons in their respective territories."

[43] I expand a little on the idea of Japan as a leader in global warming and resource war prevention in my separate, "Mini-Topic" paper titled - "Article 9 - And Resource War and Global Warming - Prevention." This paper should be available to anyone who wishes a copy of it.

[44] In our book, A Call For Peace, starting on page 137, I list and amplify on many more kinds of activities that a Japan with Article 9 as its badge of honor might do around the world as its non-violent, non-military means for bringing peace and justice to Planet Earth. Here is a partial short list of the multitudes of things that might be done in nonviolence -

[45] [1] experiment with and practice preventive diplomacy and other forms of war prevention; work to -- [2] reduce population growth; [3] assist social and economic development;[4] overcome world hunger and poverty; [5] cope with massive refugee problems; [6] reduce human rights violations; [7] reduce nuclear arsenals to zero; [8] stop international trade in conventional weapons, [9] educate for non-violent action and conflict resolution; [10] defend the nation with Civilian Based Defense (CBD) as outlined by Gene Sharp; [11] preserve and conserve natural resources, reduce environmental degradation, design, manufacture, and market "Green Technology By Design" - GTBD

[46] If we can find a way to move Japan in this direction rather than the path that Prime Minister Abe seems to wish for her - most all people on Planet Earth will rise in gracious "Wonder and Awe" at such behavior and CRY -- "THANK YOU JAPAN FOR IMPLEMENTING YOUR WONDERFUL ARTICLE 9 GIFT TO ALL HUMANITY."

[47] Unfortunately, almost no one on earth has ever heard of your wonderful Article 9 - even much less have they any idea what-so-ever as to the multitudes of non-violent, non-military things that Japan might do so as to help bring peace and justice to our planet.-with Article 9 as its badge of honor and moral guide. Also, almost nobody on Planet Earth knows about the passionate ways that Japan and the USA seek to destroy Article 9. Your government and my government and most governments are so massively addicted to that age old outmoded idea of a "national right of belligerency" -- that we are faced with a humongous challenge - to educate the planet about Article 9 and most importantly about all it might mean if only we can get many of the rest of the nations to encourage Japan to keep Article 9 alive and let it be their guide.

[48] Thus - I make a wildly magnificent proposal that we must find ways and means to create a "something" whose objective will be to raise one billion US dollars within the next two years -- to be used to educate Planet Earth about Article 9 and all the wonderful non-violent, non-military things that Japan might do for peace and justice - if she can be persuaded to take Article 9 as her badge of honor and demonstrate for all the other nations how we might put an end to our love for "rules of war" in favor of Japan's Article 9 "rules of law."

[49] A billion US dollars is what it costs for six or seven F-18 military fighter aircraft. I think if we can resolutely and seriously get our act together - we can do it. I hereby start this fund-raising with my initial offer of $5,000. All we need to do now is find another 200,000 donors with $5,000 each, or a few with nice larger gifts -- to help us spread the Article 9 message around the world and generate some strong commitments by others to keep it alive. Let us think about this.

[50] With these funds we need to hire a truly outstanding Public Relations (PR) firm and have them creatively help us educate Planet Earth on this magnificently beautiful and wonderful wisdom Article 9, and on how we as a species must generate massive world opinion and energetic actions so as to keep it from being killed by your Japanese and by my United States governments.

[51] Let me end this too long a paper with the hope that you all might read what I have to say, beginning on page 37 of the new preface for our re-issued book, A Call For Peace. Here I talk about some additional notes of optimism - [1] our need to harness the creativeness and energy of our youth in these endeavors to save Article 9, and [2] our need to reach out in an inclusive mode so as to encompass the growing numbers of new Article 9 support groups that are springing up around Japan to protest its potential destruction. I am especially interested in how we might capture and enlist the creative artistry of youth across Planet Earth, in our efforts to save Article 9. I am specifically asking for youth who are so gifted in their use of computer and Internet technology and systems -- to bring their creative minds and spirit (with feelings of exuberance) to help us inform and motivate Planet Earth to demand that the US and Japanese government stop trying to kill Article 9 - and to allow Japan to demonstrate world-class non-violent, non-military means to prevent wars, ecosphere pollution, and global warming, as its contribution to world peace and justice for this planet's family of woman and man.

It is so absolutely important that we save Article 9 -- we cannot let it die.

Peace.

Chuck Overby