Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category
Lone Wolves on the Prowl

Lone Wolves on the Prowl

  • March 24, 2012
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Mohammed Merah’s  act of suicide-by-cop has been followed by a further shift in the already confusing and conflicting narratives that have accompanied the Toulouse/Montauban murder spree.   When the siege first began, it was reported that Merah belonged to  al-Qaeda and that he had been trained on the Pakistan-Afghan border in Waziristan.  Then it was reported that he had fought with the Taliban and escaped from Kandahar prison in 2008, before a message on the Twitter account of the Kandahar Media Office claimed that ” Security forces in Kandahar have never detained a French citizen...

Migrants In Calais (Part 1)

  • March 23, 2012
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CALAIS, France, Mar 22, 2012 (IPS) – It”s more than two years since French police demolished the migrant squatter camp in Calais known as the Jungle in September 2009. At the time the widely-publicised demolition was hailed by the French and British authorities as a major blow to the smugglers or passeurs who facilitated illegal...

Murder in Toulouse

Murder in Toulouse

  • March 22, 2012
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Yesterday evening I was leaving the swimming pool when a young girl came running past me in the corridor.  She looked not much older than Myriam Monsenego, the young girl executed by Mohammed Merah in Toulouse on Monday, apparently because he wanted ‘revenge for Palestinian children.’

Anyone who would extinguish a child’s life in this way...

Sarkozy: la France c’est moi

Sarkozy: la France c’est moi

  • March 12, 2012
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What do you do when you are the president of France and you are facing a crushing  defeat at the hands of the centre-left in forthcoming elections next month,  and a substantial swathe of the electorate thinks that you are the worst French leader since World War II?

If you are Nicolas Sarkozy, this question has...

Himmler, Breivik and the ‘invention of tradition’

  • February 22, 2012
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I’ve just read Heather Pringle’s magisterial The Master Plan: Himmler’s Scholars and the Holocaust.  It’s an astonishing and ground-breaking feat of scholarship which traces the obscure history of the Ahnenerbe, the elite ‘study society for Intellectual Ancient History’ created by Himmler to investigate the SS chief’s historical fantasies and quack theories about Aryan racial...

We are all Greeks!

  • February 20, 2012
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The ghost of Percy Bysshe Shelley danced across the world on Saturday, draped in a Greek flag,   as demonstrations took place in more than 20 cities  in an international day of action in solidarity with Greece and in opposition to the savage austerity measures that are reducing large swathes of the Greek population to...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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