The events of the first Easter invite illuminating parallels and contrasts with the shock and terror of contemporary state violence.
The increasing use of drone warfare under the Obama administration represents an attempt to maintain the concept of “unlawful combatant” while avoiding the publicity associated with Bush-era policies. This policy is a failed attempt to hide the modern state’s inability to adequately deal with global terrorism.
Drone warfare also continues the attitude towards technology that has marked the history of aerial warfare, the attitude that we need just one more technical fix to make it work the way we think it should. The history of warfare in the twentieth century is replete with advantages gained with a new technology but these advantages did not last long. Should we assume that nowhere in the world is there a group of bright engineers trying to design and produce a counter to the drone? We do so at our peril.