Finally, a Constitutional Amendment Worth Supporting

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Bennett Ramberg (Wall Street Journal, March 4, subscription required) wants the new Iraq to have a “No-War Constitution”:

“Germany and Japan provide constitutional precedents, which the U.S. — as occupying power after World War II — was instrumental in promoting.

“Japan’s denunciation of war in Article Nine emerged in 1947. Its origins remain obscure…. 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.

“‘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.’”

Why can’t the U.S. Constitution include provisions like these?

3:02 pm on March 5, 2004