Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Militarism Category
Evan Davis, Mali and the Cock-up Theory

Evan Davis, Mali and the Cock-up Theory

  • January 25, 2013
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The mainstream British media tends to view foreign policy through a very narrow lens at the best of times,   and the BBC’s worldview tends to be more circumscribed than most.     On Monday Evan Davis interviewed William Hague on the Today programme about Britain’s role in Mali.     During his gentle interrogation of the Foreign Secretary, Davis invoked a number of tropes that have become part of the political vocabulary of Western foreign policy in recent decades.

Thus he declared that “the French were trying to prevent the spread of non-government” in...

Iraq: The Invisible Dead

  • January 24, 2013
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I had a bit of an Internet disaster yesterday, when I upgraded WordPress and my entire blog disappeared,   to be replaced by the dreaded White Screen of Death.     I felt as if I’d been airbrushed from history by technological forces outside by control – and my knowledge.     I had done...

The Good Nations Club

The Good Nations Club

  • January 21, 2013
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As politicians keep telling us, the world is a dangerous and unpredictable place, and some parts of it are more dangerous and unpredictable than others.     For years a handful of virtuous nations have been toiling in the world’s peripheral places, from the mountains of Afghanistan and the Swat Valley, from the Euphrates River...

Sanctions: War that Doesn’t Speak its Name

Sanctions: War that Doesn’t Speak its Name

  • January 14, 2013
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In today’s Guardian, Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Deghan report on the impact on ordinary Iranians of sanctions imposed by the ‘international community’ to pressure the regime into abandoning its nuclear program.    The article describes how

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians with serious illnesses have been put at imminent risk by the unintended consequences of...

Borgen Goes to War

Borgen Goes to War

  • January 06, 2013
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Last night I watched the first episode of the new series of the Danish political soap opera  Borgen.    I enjoyed the first series, especially the earlier episodes, with their sharp and well-observed depiction of the political wheeling and dealing in which Birgitte Nyborg’s engaging PM finds herself engaged, and the overlap of media and...

Praise God and Pass the Ammunition

Praise God and Pass the Ammunition

  • December 22, 2012
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It’s the season of goodwill, and the great and the good and the not-so-good have deigned to share their thoughts with the nation.

These include the Crown Prince of Sandringham,  who has taken time out to deliver a lecture to the medical profession on the need to become more compassionate and develop ‘healing empathy’ with patients.

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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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