military actions. Suicides by prisoners, as with Bobby Sands and the other IRA politicals and with Guantanamo detainees is asymmetrical war in one sense, but it is better seen as an act that takes the conflict to a level beyond war. It moves the struggle, for just treatment in both cases, into the purely political realm nullifying the massive military power of the incarcerators. When the political situation is favorable, as with the US war against the hated (by the Afghans most of all) Taliban or the degraded and disgraced regime of Saddam Hussein, easy victories are possible for high tech militaries. But the same opponent, in a different situation, can be deadly. Or one’s opponents can morph, from anti-Shah students into Islamist mullahs in Iran or from Bathists to Iraqi nationalists. War is never simple and it never stays still – to forget this lesson is to court disaster.
State Control Support for Technological War Apparatus Encourages the Information State to Enhance its Mechanisms of Control Lucas Walsh and Julien Barbara , Institute for Citizenship & Globalization, Deakin University, Melbourne, “Speed, International Security, and ‘‘NewWar’’ Coverage in Cyberspace,” Journal of Computer-Media Communication, Spring 2006 (JSTOR) Virilio argues that the kind of politics to emerge from a reliance on technology amounts to a cathodic democracy, in which there is a shift of representation to the ‘‘virtual theatricalization of the real world’’ (Virilio, 1995a, p. 33). Virilio warns of ‘‘de- realization’’ involving a generalized breakdown of individual and social relationships to time, space, and movement (Wilson, 1994) . Technologies promoting instantaneous transmission, such as satellites, may actually restrict mobility by recasting the scale of human environment and human perception of reality itself. The consequence, Virilio argues, is a ‘‘catastrophic sense of incarceration now that humanity is literally deprived of horizon’’ (Virilio, 1997, p. 41). What emerges is a ‘‘montage of temporalities which are the product not only of the powers that be but of the technologies that organize time.’’ (Virilio, cited in Wark, 1988) . Elsewhere, Virilio writes that ‘‘[w]here the polis once inaugurated a political theater, with the agora and the forum, today there remains nothing but the cathode ray screen, with its shadows and specters of a community in the process of disappearing’’ (Virilio, 1987, p. 23). Warning of a ‘‘loss of orientation in matters political,’’ Virilio (1999) suggests that this shift has vast implications for the way that we relate to our environments and each other. Recent developments in telecommunications and other technological breakthroughs thus impose simultaneity, immediacy, and ubiquity upon everyone in a way that Virilio likens to an ‘‘information bomb, just about to explode’’ (Oliveira, 1996).
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