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The Irish Peace Process: a Destroyer of World Peace?

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“Brits back to what they do best. Murder.”

A December tweet from Frances Molloy, Sinn Féin MP for Mid-Ulster

Did you hear the one about the Irish Peace Process? One side is in a permanent state of war. And the other side is in a permanent state of delusion. Unfortunately this is not an Irish joke but an Irish reality. And it is a reality that has gone global. When it comes to “peace”, “conflict resolution” and that other liberal shibboleth “truth and reconciliation”, the whole world has gone Irish. In other words what’s called “peace” in this world is illogical. And it is not a coincidence that a large part of this paradox stems from Irish America and two of its champions, Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The Irish Peace Process involves the Irish state (acting on behalf of Irish nationalism) and the British state (acting on behalf of British Imperialism). The Good Friday Agreement of April 10, 1998 is the basis of this process. And it is understood that this agreement wouldn’t have been possible without the blessing of the then US president, Bill Clinton. At the time, the 1990s, the Irish Peace Process was in tune with Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history” thesis. After centuries the Irish and British had finally discovered peace. And big brother Bill took the plaudits. At the end of 1995 the Clintons triumphantly toured Ireland heralding an era of peace and prosperity (the Celtic Tiger was part of the package).  The only problem was that a never ending war of conquest in the East was just around the corner. The end of the Irish Troubles didn’t mean an end to British aggression but only its redirection. A redirection which hit Syria overtly on December 3, 2015.

Since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement the British state has bombed, invaded or wiped off the face of the planet Yugoslavia (1999), Sierra Leone (2000), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Libya (2011) and Syria (2015). All this destruction, mayhem and genocide apparently has not contravened the agreement signed with the Irish. At no stage has this state-terror endangered the Irish Peace Process. However what did bring the Good Friday Agreement to the point of collapse was the shooting dead of two people (with IRA connections) in Belfast earlier this year. The killings of Gerard Davison in May, and Kevin McGuigan in August, made peace lovers in Dublin and London sincerely question the peaceful intentions of Irish nationalism. In contrast British imperialism since 1998 has not once been questioned within the celebrated Irish Peace Process. In short then, an “Irish Peace” is one sided. One side (the weak side) sticks to a ceasefire that is scrupulously monitored and checked. While the other side (the strong side) never stops firing and never stops getting away with it.

This leads us to that other thorny element in Anglo-Irish relations: racism. Who is in the line of British fire? The Irish Peace Process depends on British firepower being directed away from Ireland. Once Ireland is not being hit by Britain’s bullets and bombs the message is that all is well in the Peace Process. The fact that Britain’s bullets and bombs are hitting people around the clock elsewhere in the world is apparently beside the point. Once Ireland is peaceful no one cares about the rest of the world, least of all the Irish. The fact that Britain in recent times has never been so warlike doesn’t seem to bother Britain’s partner in peace: Ireland.

Why? The answer can only be: racism. The Irish have chosen to close their hearts and minds while others (primarily the Arabs) are being massacred by the British. The fact is that the Irish side in the Peace Process has adopted British racism and it’s will to conquer the East. In a word the price for Irish Peace is Arab annihilation. To go to war in the East the British need peace on its Western flank. An “Irish Peace” in other words means the co-option of “the Irish” in the Project of Empire. So the traditional victims of British racism (the Irish) are at peace with Britain as long as the British victimise another people – in this case the Arabs.

As we have implied this “Irish Peace” is essentially an American Peace. Because the Project of Empire that the Irish have joined for the sake of peace is American rather than British. More to the point it is Irish America that has persuaded the Irish to join. And it is the Irish Americans to a large extent who have imposed this “Irish Peace” upon the world.

The US war of conquest in the Arab lands took shape in the 1990s during Bill Clinton’s Presidency. And no doubt it will continue with a vengeance if the butcher of Libya, Hillary Clinton, is elected President next year. Of course Britain is a strategic force behind all this butchery – hence the need for an “Irish Peace “. But another strategic key for the Americans is Israel. And so it follows that during the 1990s Bill Clinton engineered an “Irish Peace” in Palestine (the Oslo Accords) – a peace where the victim adopts the logic of the aggressor. Just as the genocide in Iraq was beginning the Palestinian nationalists, like the Irish nationalists, had to be co-opted. In fact the whole of the Third World, or as much as possible, had to be co-opted so we witnessed yet another strategic “Irish Peace” in the 1990s, in Mandela’s South Africa. Bill Clinton’s greatest achievement therefore, in the Project of Empire, was to silence the classic victims of Empire – the British Empire. All in preparation for the 21st century American Empire and its Arabic Holocaust.

The Irish Peace Process, in short, is a model for the Western World and its military wing – NATO. And as such it will be on the table whenever NATO wants “peace”. Already we have seen one of the key Americans in the Irish Peace Process, George Mitchell, in Syria trying “to bring the two sides together”. And lets not forget that other key player in the Irish Peace Process, Tony Blair, and his attempts to bring “peace” to the Middle East. Wherever Western aggression is at play Ireland will be held up as an example to follow. No doubt the turn of Eastern Ukraine will come for it too to be treated like Northern Ireland. And its anti-imperialists will be expected to accept the logic of the aggressor.

The question remains however: what will happen when Sinn Féin wins power in Ireland (possibly next year)? Will they (the quintessential Irish nationalists) have the courage to undo the Irish Peace Process and unravel the logic of Empire that sustains it? Or are they too far into the pockets of Irish America (their main sponsor) and its corporate American agenda? Is it not too late for Ireland to offer the world an alternative peace, one in which the victim – the independent anti-imperialist state – is strengthened rather than weakened?

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Aidan O’Brien lives in Dublin, Ireland.

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