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The Art of the Phony Peace Deal

Well, it only took a million years but peace has finally come to Afghanistan, sort of. Or at least so it appears. I’m not one of those hyperventilating liberal opportunists, bursting at the seems to piss on any peace parade led by a dayglo elephant. I have genuinely made an effort to put my best foot forward when Trump has made his occasional isolationist noises. Hell, I’m probably the only one to the left of Sebastian Gorka who cheered as he told the deep state to sit and spin from Helsinki with Putin at his side. But even in the wake of all the reactionary chaos of a flip-flopping Pat Buchanan wannabe, I’ve begun to notice another trend of vain opportunism which makes me feel less than easy about Orange-Man-Bad’s latest peace deal with the Taliban.

There are huge sections of this deal that remain off-limits to the eyes of American citizens, with word of annexes big enough to stow an army of corpses in. Even the stuff we know isn’t ironclad. A vague troop reduction over the next nine and a half months that can be reversed on the president’s whim, making it completely possible for Trump to run as a peace candidate and renege completely on his non-commitment just in time for the inauguration. This, coupled together with Trump’s photo-op friendly game of negotiation hokey-pokey with a still starving North Korea, makes me more than a little hesitant to pop the cork and sing “Power to the People.” Once again, the temptation here is to chock this all up to the unprecedented chaos of Trumpism, but this assumes that anything about Trump is unprecedented, a foolish schoolgirl lie that the Resistance repeats to itself in the mirror-like a mantra every night before bedtime.

The only thing unprecedented about Trump’s foreign policy is his gal, everything else is standard imperial boilerplate. America has a long and storied history of phony peace deals, though your textbooks and PBS docudramas probably frame them a little differently. When Nixon opened up the West to Chairman Mao’s China in 1972, he was really making a deal with the daughtering old sociopath to fuck over Vietnam for the next couple decades, cutting arms to Charlie while undermining his efforts by financing the racist Khmer Rouge and joining us in flogging the newly liberated Vietnam when they tried to intervene and pull the plug on the Cambodian bloodbath. This ended with the long-forgotten bizarro spectacle of both Reagan and Deng propping up Pol Pot in exile while they starved what remained of Kampuchea with sanctions.

Liberal Darling and real-life Methuselah, Jimmy Carter has long been sainted for starting the endless peace talks over Israel-Palestine with his Camp David Accords. The sick sad reality, however, is that all Jimmy really did was offer Anwar Sadat and his pissant flunkee Hosni Mubarak a shit ton of American military hardware, along with the Sinai Peninsula, if they agreed to fuck over Gaza, setting a long hideous precedent of openly anti-Semitic Arab leaders willing to sit on their hands as the Nakba continues, just as long as they got the cruise missiles necessary to protect their thrones from their own people, many of whom turned from secular Arab Nationalism to violent Wahhabism in response to such savage hypocrisy.

This trend continued with the blessed Oslo Accords, where Yasser Arafat himself agreed to segregate his nation into the twin islands of eternal desperation now known as Gaza and the West Bank, just as long as he got to play president for a few years before his old buddy Ariel Sharon poisoned his scheming ass. The result wasn’t just the diplomatic destruction of the still inevitable One State Solution, but the reduction of any hope for democracy in Palestine to a corrupt glorified apartheid state, duty-bound by “peace” treaties to oppress their own people on Israel’s behalf. Latter-day post-Zionists like Bernie like to piss and moan about the open racism of Kushner and Bibi, but Democrats like Bernie set the stage for Trump’s frankly genocidal Israel peace farce with decades of sleazy photo-ops at Camp David.

Even Barack Obama’s nearly universally celebrated nuclear peace deal with Iran was little more than a farce designed to be destroyed overnight on the whim of the executive office Barry helped fortify. Iran gave us access to everything but the Ayatollah’s colon and nothing but empty promises of sanctions reduction for their trouble. All for dismantling a nuclear weapons program that even our own CIA testified they didn’t have. And I see this same cruel prank of gangster diplomacy all over the Taliban deal. Best case scenario; we reduce our military footprint in the Hindu Kush to CIA torture chambers and black-ops death squads, and swap out the Northern Alliance for the Taliban as our new dope pushing militia of choice. Worst case scenario; nothing really changes and what few troops we actually rotated out of that carnivorous death trap are back getting their shins blown off before their kids can blow out the candles on their next birthday cake.

Look, dearest motherfuckers, I don’t like to be the killjoy here, I really don’t. But when you cut deals with an empire that runs on perpetual violence, you’re really doing little more than shaking hands with the devil, and that fucker can give you way worse woes than the coronavirus. The only deal you can make with a bully state as colossal as the one I exist in that can possibly lead to anything remotely resembling peace is the kind that says get the fuck off my lawn or your Yankee ass is grass. This kind of peace only happens when American anti-imperialists assist their comrades overseas by putting our knee on Uncle Sam’s throat like we did to get out of Nam. Anything else is just an inevitable imperial shakedown.

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Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.

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