Blindspot #026 – BodyBombs away! Taliban ‘stands up’ a Suicide Brigade

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Blindspot #026 – Body bombs Away! Taliban stands up a Suicide Brigade 

Being a commentary platform with a multiplicity of spare parts,  Blindspot #026 zooms in one story today. It is because the subject under consideration, or rather, the act under investigation, being Suicide Bombing, also tends to leave very many unidentifiable spare parts in its wake. Blindspot admits that it is indeed a rather hugely disruptive subject. 

The story is rather straight forward. In the past week reports surfaced that the Taliban government in Afghanistan announced plans to stand up a Suicide Brigade. Of course, this brigade will be deployed for operations of a very special kind. A veritable one way operational street awaits these sacrificial soldierly lambs. And no, at the end of their days, they are most definitely not silent. 

Blindspot asks: Is it bravery, is it brutality, or is it just one more odd manifestation of the morbid fascination humans have with the invention of ever more gruesome ways of whacking each other? 

In a way this is not news, but it also is. Only the Japanese had formally employed pilots committed to making uni-directional missions ending in the soldier and its plane framing themselves as one big, and dangerous integrated flying bomb. Returning to base, and motto’s such as ‘leave no-one behind,’ has no meaning for the suicide soldier. 

Now the Taliban, in the thick of the turbulent twenties of the twenty-first century are not grasping for AI big-tech dancing robotic dogs to protect the poppy harvest. No, they are going as low-tech organic as possible by turning bodies into bombs. 

Not only is this not news, but, it is also clearly not new because suicide bombing as technique in unconventional warfare has been with humans at least since the late 19th century. 

Since then, and much like tools developed by military-industrial complexes with the aim of whacking humans in ever more efficient ways, the method of suicide bombing has stayed stable in terms of delivery system. Unlike military-industrial complex weapons and unmanned weapons systems, the suicide bomber’s most trustworthy, and ultimately sought after sacrificial vehicle is the organic human body. The latter is if course especially the case when the suicide bomber’s convictions are shaped by religious and other off-worldly, post-life, aims and promises of paradise following on maiming and utterly destroying those that believe anything the suicide bomber does not. 

The types of explosives, nuts and bolts additives, methods of detonation, blast impact and radius and such have of course changed much since the late 1900s. But, the fundamental underlying delivery system remains a bi-pedal ideologically charged human hell-bent (or for Islamists, of course – ‘Heaven bent’) on deploying the body as bomb and last final personal stand against enemy, infidel, and anyone classified as ulterior ‘other’ by the ideological operating system driving the human body setting out on its first, and last mission: BANG! 

One thing is for sure, being that the human species’ technological, scientific, socio-cultural, and most certainly political evolution over the centuries has not only been influenced by, but probably led by the above, being, the human quest for zero defect in discovering ever more gruesomely efficient tools and techniques, by way of which to whack other humans. 

Be the person to be whacked a neighbour, who’s cow someone is coveting, or, when one nation goes to war against another to whack it, its people, its traditions and language and so forth into oblivion, the fact remains that in the 21st century we can look back on a very productive human history of innovation, invention, and arms races all aimed at finding bigger, badder, more precise, and lethal means by way of which to, well, whack other humans at either an individual granular- or, macro-societal statistical scale. In this regard we have ample history and technology books brimming with evidence of precision assassination tools (poisons, pills, pens, darts, long-range sniper rifles, bombs planted under beds), to the grand scale deployment of tools to carpet & napalm bomb other humans back to the stone age. 

Blindspot does not want to descend into list-making of the obvious big bang instruments of mass destruction conceived by humans on the path towards zero defect in the act of mass-scale whacking of other humans/societies/cultures/peoples and their cats and dogs and cattle in Old Testamentic biblical style.  

Lily Hamourtziadou, argues in an article in The Conversation, that: 

“In the past two decades, suicide bombings have been associated with insurgency, terrorism and irregular warfare. It’s an apocalyptic and utopian insurgency, where religious punishments and rewards form the basis for action. Now – a little like the Kamikaze before them – they are to be members of a national army, bestowed with recognition and legitimacy. It is a sort of state terrorism where the state safeguards neither civilian, nor soldier.” 

As the rest of the world is plummeting down the rabbit holes of autonomous weaponry, the Taliban is going in the opposite direction… Meat Body Bombs.

But, here is the question, now that the Taliban has stood up a Suicide Brigade, will this become a benchmark export product, and, with increasingly vicious Islamic extremist driven insurgencies in Africa, and very close to home in Mozambique and the DRC, will that export product, and more importantly the ‘idea’ thereof, make it into the doctrine of Islamic State fighting African states – including South Africa? 

It is not a question as to whether time will tell. It is a statement of fact, that time will indeed tell whether the troop contributing countries fighting Islamic State and al Qaeda off-shoot elements in Africa, will increasingly fall prey to the Suicide Soldier! 



Lily Hamourtziadou