Geneology of suicide bombing
Usually, the history of suicide bombing draws a straight line between kamikazes and Palestinians with bombs strapped to their belt. What this skips is the defense postures of the U.S. and the U.S.S.R in the pre-intercontinental period. Watching Fail Safe last week, it struck me that the whole posture depended on delivering bombs from aircraft manned by soldiers who accepted the fact that bomb delivery would be equivalent to suicide. In other words, suicide bombers.
These were the avant garde. After the development of long range missiles, they were replaced by suicide populations. One assumes that the posture died – but it is amazing what can be carried forward, all unconsciously – history is, after all, in Marx’s image, and Kafka’s, and Bataille’s, the great burrowing mole, operating under our feet. The commitment to suicide was tied by a thousand economic incentives to the commitment to prosperity. Live longer through suicide – the motto of the twentieth century.