Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Militarism Category
2014: Gaza’s Year of Mayhem

2014: Gaza’s Year of Mayhem

  • January 01, 2015
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There are some years when Gramsci’s adage about pessimism of the mind and optimism of the will seems more appropriate than others, and 2014 was a year filled with some pretty awful events, whether it was kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria or a summer in which more migrants drowned in the Mediterranean than ever.

In Ukraine the test of strength between Russia and NATO triggered a vicious new conflict with the potential to turn into something even bigger and nastier.   In Syria there is no end in sight to a war that clearly cannot be won...

Money for Torture: the endless gravy train of the ‘war on terror’

  • December 13, 2014
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One of the most striking revelations in the Senate Select Committee’s scathing condemnation of the CIA’s torture program has been the role of the two psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen in the Agency’s interrogations.

Both men had worked for the US military for many years before they retired shortly after 9/11 and set up their...

The CIA’s Torture Gardens

  • December 11, 2014
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America, perhaps more than any other country, has a striking ability to turn even the grimmest evidence of moral failure into a testament to its exalted moral status, and the response to the Senate Intelligence Select Committee Report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program is no exception.

As heavily-redacted as it is,  ...

A Plague of Violent Cops

A Plague of Violent Cops

  • December 05, 2014
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Policemen have long been a indispensable feature of popular entertainment.   Today, cops and detectives pour through our cinemas and tv screens in an endless stream, and tv cop dramas and police procedurals routinely take their viewer into  dark and dangerous places that other dramas cannot reach.

The stories they tell are not pretty, and cop shows...

Remembering Sherman’s ‘March to the Sea’

  • December 01, 2014
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It has passed virtually unnoticed in the UK, but this year is the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of one of the most famous military campaigns in history:   William Tecumseh Sherman’s ‘March to the Sea’ from Atlanta to Savannah.     I have a particular interest in this anniversary, having written a book on...

National Security: a concept in search of a meaning?

  • November 26, 2014
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It’s National Counter Terrorism Awareness week, and the government and police forces across the country are doing their best to remind the public of the gravity of the threats we face from terrorism, radicalization and extremism.     The UK ‘terror threat’ has been raised to ‘ severe’ and the prime minister has gone so...

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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