Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Militarism Category
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 had a special ability to bring these tendencies to the surface, and yesterday the lies were pouring forth at an alarming rate  in response to the deaths of six British soldiers in an IED explosion in Afghanistan.

In the early...


  • 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...

Syria and the pith helmeted bombardiers

  • February 28, 2012
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On 2 September 1898 a British expeditionary force in Sudan defeated the armies of the Caliph Abdullah al-Tashi,  the successor to the ‘Mahdi’ Muhammad Ahmad, who had overwhelmed the British garrison at Khartoum thirteen years before.    Armed with artillery, Maxim machine guns and Lee-Metford magazine rifles fitted with dum dum bullets, British...

It’s Raining Threats, Hallelujah

It’s Raining Threats, Hallelujah

  • February 23, 2012
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Is it time to start scraping the moss off  those decommissioned nuclear bunkers left over from the Cold War,  or dig my own?   Should I stockpile food with a view to staying indoors for the next twenty years?  After all it’s bad enough, as William Hague warned last week, that the UK is within...

Peter Beaumont on the Folly of Good Intentions

Peter Beaumont on the Folly of Good Intentions

  • February 19, 2012
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With the new post-Gaddafi order in Libya disintegrating into violent chaos,  Peter Beaumont examines the pitfalls of ‘humanitarian intervention’ in today’s Observer.   He quotes from an article by former State Department official Stewart Patrick in Foreign Affairs last September, which described the fall of Tripoli as “the first unambiguous military enforcement of the Responsibility...

Into the Abyss: Israel and the West Prepare the Next War

  • February 18, 2012
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In the last few weeks the prospect of a war with Iran has begun to assume a terrifying inevitability.  It is now clear that Western politicians, with the  support of the mainstream media, are preparing public opinion for the military option, using the same techniques that preceded the Iraq war.

As in Iraq, the current propaganda...

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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