Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Middle East Category

Save a Refugee – Bomb ’em all to Hell

  • September 09, 2015
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In less than a week, the British government has frantically changed its line on Europe’s refugee crisis like a twitchy gambler shuffling cards in the hope that the right one comes up.  First  David Cameron  rejected the notion that accepting more refugees was a ‘solution’ to the crisis, as if anybody had ever said it was.  Then, wrongfooted by an unlikely eruption of humanitarian fervour from the British tabloids, he agreed to take in a quota of 20,000 ‘vulnerable’ Syrian refugees over the next five years – though Syrian and other refugees...

Turkey’s ‘terrorist’ journalists

  • September 01, 2015
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I’ve got a lot of respect for Vice News.  Its reporting is sharp, courageous, and provocative. It is fresh and youthful, hip without being gormlessly cool, with a no-bullshit-accepted attitude towards authority reminiscent of the best of the  60s and 70s underground press.   But even if I had no respect for it...

Al Qaeda: Our New Enemy in the War on Terror

  • June 18, 2015
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There was a time, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, when the world suddenly seemed simple and easy to understand, when the falling towers blew away any remaining clouds of ambiguity, nuance or complexity.   In those grim but bracing days,   everything seemed black and white and bathed in the luminous glow of ‘moral...

Islamic State’s ‘radicalized’ British volunteers: a useful threat?

  • June 17, 2015
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I feel sorry for the Bradford husbands and other British Muslim families whose children and relatives have absconded to join Islamic State’s savage utopia, but I don’t feel any sympathy at all for the ‘radicalized’ volunteers themselves who have gone to Syria.   It isn’t as if you have to look very far to know...

The ISIS Caliphate: Salafism as a strategic asset?

  • May 22, 2015
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I have yet to see any reference in the mainstream media to Monday’s publication by   the conservative foundation Judicial Watch of previously classified US intelligence documents obtained as the result of a freedom of information lawsuit   This inattention is alarming, because one of these documents provides some disturbing background behind the nightmarish...

Letter from Palmyra

  • May 21, 2015
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Hey brother,

Greetings from Palmyra!   I’m telling you bro, this has been a good week for the Caliphate, because we are LIVING THE DREAM!       First we took Ramadi and you should have seen the Iraqi army run away from us!   Afterwards we killed the ones we caught and anyone else who...

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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