Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Militarism Category
Afghanistan: the Tipping Point?

Afghanistan: the Tipping Point?

  • April 16, 2012
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The audacious  attacks carried out by the Taliban in the heart of Kabul have once again exposed the increasingly glaring discrepancy between the official version of the Afghan war and the actual situation on the ground.  For the last year, US and British military commanders have painted an upbeat picture of the war in which their forces are ‘gaining momentum’, ‘disrupting Taliban activity’, ‘degrading their capabilities’ or ‘denying them control of population areas.’

Only last month, during David Cameron’s state visit to Washington, Barack Obama declared:

 “Our forces are making very real progress: dismantling al-Qaida; breaking the...

‘Unforeseen Consequences’ and the Unravelling of Libya

  • April 03, 2012
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The imperium and its cohorts are in a hurry these days.     No sitting around waiting for the wheels of diplomacy or negotiations to take their course for them.   Not when there’s a world to be put to rights, wars that need to be fought, rebels to be armed, regimes to topple.    ...

Rogue Soldiers

Rogue Soldiers

  • March 20, 2012
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Western politicians often insist that the various wars carried out under the broad rubric of the ‘war on terror’ have been fought not to advance geostrategic objectives but to defend and advance western ‘values’.

Tony Blair, the consummate snake oil salesman,  was particularly prone to such rhetorical flourishes.   In his 2004 Sedgefield speech justifying the...

Through a Stratfor darkly

Through a Stratfor darkly

  • March 09, 2012
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In western democracies the public has long become accustomed to looking at foreign policy through a rose-tinted lens, in which the actions of our governments always appear to be motivated by moral principles and humanitarianism.

We see politicians like Blair, Hague, Cameron and Sarkozy appear on television with furrowed brows to express their horror and outrage...

Telling Lies about Afghanistan

Telling Lies about Afghanistan

  • March 08, 2012
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“All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed,” wrote the great radical journalist I.F. Stone  many years ago.   Stone could have added that some governments lie more than others, and that there are also times when governments  are more prone to manipulation, dishonesty and deceit than usual.

War has always...

Statesmen

  • March 07, 2012
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In these troubled times, with the Western world lurching toward a catastrophic war with Iran with all the vision and foresight of a stag party in the last stages of a pub crawl, we are fortunate to have leaders with the integrity and foresight to steer us away from the brink.

Thus we saw Benjamin Netanyahu...

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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