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On Suicide Bombing (The Wellek Library Lectures) Hardcover – May 11, 2007
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Provocative.(Jonathan Shainin Bookforum)
Asad's book is valuable because the legal distinctions he is challenging are especially vulnerable now.(Samantha Power The New York Times Book Review)
A subtle, sophisticated questioning of the current discourse surrounding terrorism, war, and the horrific phenomenon of suicide bombing.--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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What he does is uncover the disturbing truth that the double standard exists in our media and liberal democracy discussions: as soon as a modern government labels a dissident regime or country or religious group as "barbaric" or "uncivilized", it gives itself the right to kill "their" citizens or attack "their" defenses just as it has been previously attacked. Where is the line crossed?
Very deep reading. The author touches on Islamic and Christian culture and compares and contrasts what living and dying mean in each. This was one of its strongest aspects. Once the ideas of living, dying, and sacrifice are understood in terms of a particular culture, only then can its stance on suicide or bombing or terrorism be correctly understood. Do proponents of terrorism or suicide bombing abide by the tenets of their religion or is it a subversion of their teachings?Read more ›
Some highlights that struck me--Asad's point that suicide bombing is about histories and the fact that in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the history of Israeli expansion and Palestinian dispossession is always bracketed out, so that various kinds of political violence are abstracted from this political context. Another point he made is about the "West's" own "culture of death." I was very struck by his discussion of colonial and contemporary warfare waged by the West and the development of advanced weaponry designed to beat out at every turn surgical skill. Israel, prior to its departure from Lebanon last summer, left over cluster bombs AFTER the cessation of hostilities. There was no military point, no self-defense or security involved in that act. This act was aimed at a civilian population for no reason at all other than to maim and kill. The U.S. State Dept. "regrets" that Israel still hasn't turned over the maps that show where the cluster bombs were dropped, so that they can be safely disarmed.Read more ›