Strike war at its root
The year 2005 is the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. As the 21st century started with the terrorist attacks and the war, we must make this year a starting point of a drastic turn toward an age of peace and democracy.
In our effort toward that end, the most important cornerstones are solidarity with the Iraqi Civil Resistance and the Non-Defended Localities Movement. These are not two separate movements at all. They form a joint struggle to remove flashpoints of war and to reclaim democracy right from the communities where people live.
Recall the slogans adopted at the Conference to Rebuild Civil Society in Iraq held in Baghdad last August. "Cities must be cleared of weapons and all armed forces and headquarters pulled outside cities and the working and living places of the masses." This goal definition cherishes straight-out anti-war philosophy based on a belief that "no military force can block out military forces." It has a common base with the Non-Defended Localities Movement as a Non-Defended Locality declaration can only be obtained provided that all armed forces and military actions are eliminated from the subject locality. Both are citizens' counter-actions to refuse every war-oriented move, aiming to protect themselves on their own.
The Baghdad Conference also issued a call for "Prohibition of all practices and measures, which may create or intensify nationalist, sectarian and tribal hatred." In fact, in the Al-Tadhamun (Solidarity) Neighborhood on the outskirts of Kirkuk, a community has been built where ethnic groups with Kurdish, Arab or Turkmen background live together free from ethnic conflicts.
This reminds us of one of the requirements for a locality to declare itself as non-defended. It requires that "no acts of hostility shall be committed by the authorities or by the population." In order to absolutely refuse to be a base of attacks on people of other countries now and in the future, we must make peacetime effort to build up communities that do not tolerate discrimination against foreigners or alienation of minorities. Eradication of xenophobia and expansion of democratic space as a barrier against war-oriented moves - these are also major common efforts linking the Iraqi Civil Resistance and the Non-Defended Localities Movement.
The civil front in Iraq is targeting the establishment of a democratic government based on the principle of separation of state and religion. Now, under the Constitution providing for freedom of religion, can we the Japanese declare that we are done with the challenge for separation of politics/education and religion? The prime minister pays an official visit to Yasukuni Shrine and dares to defy criticism without hesitation. At school, the Hinomaru flag (national flag) and Kimigayo, or "His Majesty's Reign," (national anthem) are used as tools to control children's mentality. This is the current state of Japan, with a bizarre unity of state and religion creeping onward.
Measures to screen out people resisting war politics and use of compelling pressures and tricky propaganda to organize the general public into formation of a warfare nation from local communities - this is one characteristic of global capitalism. Both the Iraqi Civil Resistance and the Non-Defended Localities Movement aim to demolish this war system at the community level.
Struggle against global capitalism
The scale of damage in the great tsunami disaster striking the countries around the Indian Ocean exposed the criminal negligence of obligations imposed on global capitalists as they invest tens of billions of dollars in aggression and occupation while being reluctant to fund inexpensive tsunami warning systems. Letting warmongers have their own way would lead to a catastrophic end of the human species.
In order to put an end to the age of wars insensitive to loss of human lives, let us strive through the year 2005 in solidarity with the Iraqi Civil Resistance and in the Non-Defended Localities Movement. (January 3)