Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Middle East Category

The UK and Syrian Refugees: from political pawns to political tokenism

  • January 29, 2014
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After weeks of vacillation, the UK government has finally agreed to resettle 500 of the ‘most vulnerable’ Syrian refugees.   Lord Snooty appears to have overruled Theresa May, who was reluctant to enter an ‘open-ended commitment’ to UNHCR’s call for European governments to resettle 30,000 refugees that might have undermined the Coalition’s ‘tens of thousands’ migration pledge.

500 is not a large figure, when you are talking about more than 2.3 million people, but Nick Clegg has hailed the government’s willingness ‘ to alleviate the immense suffering in Syria’ as proof that ‘We are one...

The Gospel According to Saint Anthony Blair

  • January 26, 2014
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All hail.     For lo verily, the Prophet Anthony Blair, millionaire warmonger and late convert to Catholicism, hath descended from his spiritual retreat with Bono on Mount Davos and come amongst us,   bearing not tablets of stone, but a column in The Observer containing his proposals on how the world and the Middle...

Saudi Arabia’s Game of Thrones

  • January 05, 2014
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It was always one of the most glaring contradictions of the ‘war on terror’, that the United States declared its ‘war’ on states belonging to an ‘axis of evil’ that had nothing to do with the 9/11attacks, while continuing and even intensifying its strategic relationship with the two states that had most to do with...

Drowning Gaza

  • December 15, 2013
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At the beginning of this month a great   spoof of the Van Damme Volvo advert was posted on Youtube by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.   In it a group of Palestinians are pushing two cars that have no petrol through the Strip, while one of them talks about the lack of electricity and...

Iran and the US: Friends at Last?

Iran and the US: Friends at Last?

  • November 25, 2013
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In a period of unrelenting gloom in the Middle East, the deal reached between Iran and the 5+1 countries is a positive development for various reasons.

Firstly, it lays the basis for the diplomatic resolution of a festering and extremely dangerous confrontation that has threatened for more than a decade to turn into an all-out regional...

Francois Hollande: Sucking Up the L’argent

Francois Hollande: Sucking Up the L’argent

  • November 11, 2013
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Imagine, in a parallel universe, that you are the socialist president of France.     As you look out on a troubled world from the Elysee Palace,   you recognize that you have an opportunity to help defuse a conflict that has been dragging on for more than a decade, and which has constantly threatened...

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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