Israel's Armed Quadcopters in Gaza Mark a Dangerous New Era in Drone Warfare (Director's Cut)

But first! Sara Century and I have an extended dialogue on grown-up love, Fleetwood Mac, and a 37-year old issue of X-Factor 

Israel's Armed Quadcopters in Gaza Mark a Dangerous New Era in Drone Warfare (Director's Cut)
A DJI drone in Haifa, Israel. By Oronbb via Wikimedia Commons, used under CC-BY-SA 4.0

Edited by Zeteo with Sam Thielman

I'M PLEASED TO SAY that FOREVER WARS subscribers will get my pieces for Zeteo, Mehdi Hasan's new and quite impressive media outlet, a day after I publish there, similar to how you get my Nation columns here, too. After the paywall, you'll get my first one for them, which is my idea of a 2024-era Danger Room piece. Smash that subscription button and it's yours. Smash it for them, too. 

But first. 

When I spoke at Hampshire College a few weeks ago, the book I was reading was a cinder block, and I didn't want to carry it on an Amtrak for a one-day trip. Instead I reached for Elif Shafak's novel The Forty Rules of Love. By the time I was back at Penn Station and boarding the 2 train home, I was doing mental parkour, planning how to meet my parenting and residual-work responsibilities while finishing this irresistible book. It’s about the love between the legendary poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, an exasperating and full-hearted Sufi wanderer, and its resonance over the centuries, before the weekend ended. Then I tore my bag apart on the train like a madman before accepting that I’d left my book on the Amtrak. 

After a few weeks—and, reader? April weeks have lasted months—I got The Forty Rules of Love from the library and finished an exquisite and effortlessly literary disquisition on love, devotion and sacrifice. You rarely find me, a chronicler of human misery, discussing love in public. But, for my brilliant friend Sara Century's new Best Issue Ever podcast, I recorded more than two hours of discussion about love—specifically, love and aging, transitioning from young love into the love of long-term companionship—inspired by Shafak. (Even if that specific subject was not a preoccupation of the novel.) 

And not only by Shafak. Sara and I assembled to talk about a comic book from 1987, X-Factor #18, an X-Men spinoff book starring the original five X-Men, in which Cyclops and his beloved Jean Grey fight. As Sara and I discuss at length, this issue is the Fleetwood Mac Rumours of comics. Among what I mean by that is: X-Factor #18, a comic book about a (functionally) married couple fighting, was written by Louise Simonson and drawn by her husband Walt. We salute the Simonsons and dwell on the emotional intimacy required to make this comic. I hope you'll check out the episode, despite/because of the fact that it's pretty different from what I normally do, support Sara's endeavors, and read Shafak's novel.  

Quickly, before the paywall and subsequent article: Read Saliha Bayrak in The Nation about the Freedom Flotilla sailing from Istanbul to Gaza—since stalled—to break the siege, despite the dangers of the Israelis firing on their ships. Read Patrick Wintour and my friend Julian Borger's piece in The Guardian about the U.S. and the Euros pulling out all the stops at the International Criminal Court to forestall a war crimes indictment for Benjamin Netanyahu—an indictment not over the current assault on Gaza, but over events from 2014 to 2021. Read this report of mine from 2013 about drones over Yemen and then think about what the Houthis' third Reaper shoot-down since they joined the war must mean psychologically for Yemenis.

And read Humeyra Pamuk's Reuters report from the State Department about internal disagreement over the credibility of the recently-provided Israeli assurances that U.S. weapons aren't being used to commit violations of international humanitarian law. I've been poking around on similar subjects recently, and all I'll say is this is a development worth following. 

Finally, as we're finishing this edition, the anti-genocide students at Columbia have occupied an administrative building. Prayers, strength and solidarity with them. And save some prayers for the ceasefire-and-hostage-release negotiations in Cairo, which—once again—are said to be at a critical stage. Although Reuters reports: "An incursion into Rafah will happen 'with a deal or without a deal,' Netanyahu said on Tuesday, adding that ending the war before reaching its objectives was 'out of the question.'"

OK, subscribe to FOREVER WARS—enjoy our extensive backlog of reporting and essays—or we'll be going our separate ways after the oncoming paywall. Here's my Zeteo piece.