Tag Archives: middle east

The Drone War Is Not Happening

In the following post,1)Originally part of a research paper that I have since revised and made web-friendly. I will utilize the works of Jean Baudrillard (Baudrillard 1994; Baudrillard 1995), Nasser Hussain (Hussain 2013), and others (Dorrian 2014; Introna 2002; Meijer 2013) to make the case that the United States’ strategy of dealing with terrorists in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East via the usage of unoccupied aerial vehicles (drones)2)Drones are officially called “unmanned aerial vehicles,” but I have opted to change the gendered language and use the term “unoccupied” as opposed to “unmanned.” represents a profound shift in the way that war is, and is not conducted. Specifically, I will be arguing that the usage of drones has transformed war for all parties involved in a few ways. First, the usage of surveillance and weaponized drones has abstracted warfare far beyond what could be predicted after the First Gulf War by shifting conflict and conflict zones from the Real to the Hyperreal via the mediation of images from the drone. And second, conflict has become touted as “clean” and “surgical” while iconographies of war have been removed leading to not only a desensitization of war, but also a lack of ethical engagement with the Other (Baudrillard 1995, 32, 40, 62; Introna 2002)

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1. Originally part of a research paper that I have since revised and made web-friendly.
2. Drones are officially called “unmanned aerial vehicles,” but I have opted to change the gendered language and use the term “unoccupied” as opposed to “unmanned.”

Why I Do Criticize Israel – A Response to Sam Harris

A few weeks ago, prominent author and skeptic Sam Harris, recorded a podcast entitled “Why Don’t I Criticize Israel?” wherein Harris made a case for Israel as a state and tried to preemptively attack some claims made by modern critics of Israel.

Given the nature of this blog and my views on the subject, I figured that a response to Mr. Harris is in order. However, I thought I’d change it up a bit and record my own little podcast. Please take a listen and I ask that you forgive any cuts that are still audible – this was 20 different takes with different thoughts compressed into one version I think I like.

So, without further ado, I give you Why I Do Criticize Israel:

Here is Asmaa al-Ghoul’s piece entitled Never ask me about peace again.