Bennett Ramberg, a State Department official from the Bush 41 administration, in today's Wall Street Journal makes an interesting suggestion. Iraq, he says with no trace of ironic recognition, should write into its constitution a "no war" article. Carefully read the following quotes (no link - subscription required) and see if it doesn't tickle your irony bone just a bit:
Japan's denunciation of war in Article Nine emerged in 1947. Its origins remain obscure. ...[snip]... Whatever the origins, the provision marks a bold repudiation of war as an acceptable instrument of statecraft: "Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling disputes.I really think that these dour, pessimistic, rich, isolated, old men have lost their sense of humor, of propriety and of irony. I can hardly read this stuff without at least smirking - some of it makes me laugh out loud. And yet they pass this off as serious recommendations.
"In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."
Germany's May 1949 constitution or "Basic Law," as it was called, proved more muted. Still, it upheld the "no war" principle. Under Article 26, "Activities tending and undertaken with the intent to disturb peaceful relations between nations, especially to prepare for aggressive war, are unconstitutional."
Bold emphasis added for the irony impaired.
Not that it wouldn't be great to have such provisions in a constitution, but it would be nice if we could point to our own constitution as an example...