Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Militarism Category

Once More Into the Abyss, Chaps

  • June 26, 2013
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Whenever the Quartet”s “Peace Envoy” Tony Blair makes any pronouncement on the great issues in the Middle East, you can always guarantee that the missile silos are being readied for action.  Last week Blair took time out from his unctuous tribute to Shimon Peres to call for the establishment of no-fly zones over Syria in order to avoid “catastrophic consequences.”

This urgency was based on the “confirmation” by British and US intelligence services of the use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad, which according to Blair, means that “we” must now act immediately to prevent...

Telling Lies About Syria

  • June 15, 2013
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Galvanised by the reversals inflicted on the Syrian rebels in recent weeks, their foreign supporters have decided to lay the groundwork for further madness and folly.   Two weeks ago Britain and France, the old colonial powers, managed to browbeat the European Union into abrogating its weapons embargo on Syria.

This, Hague informed the public with...

Fearful Symmetries

  • May 27, 2013
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At the end of a sad and horrible week, in which the brutal murder of a British soldier in Woolwich has unleashed dark forces that are more likely than ever to place all British Muslims under a state of siege,   The Guardian‘s Jonathan Freedland chose to berate Ken Livingstone and ‘the left’ for suggesting...

Red Lines

  • April 27, 2013
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Western wars and ‘interventions’ in the age of ‘humanitarian warfare’ tend to rely on two essential propaganda tropes to prepare domestic and international public opinion for such events.  Firstly, there is an appeal to humanitarianism/guilt through ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) rhetoric which confers a selective moral obligation to bomb or invade countries of geopolitical interest...

The Happy Warrior

The Happy Warrior

  • February 19, 2013
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War, as Britain’s last surviving WWI veteran Harry Patch once told a glassy-eyed Tony Blair, is “organized murder,   and nothing else.”   In the course of history, different societies have evolved various mechanisms to make this activity possible – and acceptable.  Some have glorified it.  Roman histories and chronicles such as Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars unapologetically...

Punching Above Our Weight

Punching Above Our Weight

  • January 31, 2013
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After a mild drop in the military budget over the last two years,   the government has announced that it plans to spend £160 billion over the next ten years on new weapons systems that include Trident missile submarines, aircraft carriers and drones as part of the MoD’s ‘Force 2020’ program.

Given the state of the...

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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