Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Militarism Category

Destroying and Degrading: the War Machine Grinds On

  • September 11, 2014
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It’s often difficult to determine whether the seemingly endless wars and interventions that followed the atrocities of 9/11 are directed by incompetents or by cunning and devious knaves.

For thirteen years now, the US and its allies have left a trail of violence across the world, which has left the shells of broken eggs everywhere but no sign of an omelette.   In fact, there isn’t a single case in which Western military interventions have produced anything more than the formal trappings of parliamentary democracy.

The overwhelming and terrifying legacy of these wars has been death...

An Afternoon in Belchite

  • September 04, 2014
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Lower Aragon is a very different place to the towering peaks of the Aragonese Pyrenees, where I spent most of last week.   Drive south of Zaragoza and you leave the fertile plain of the Ebro River and pass through a strikingly weird lunar landscape of chalk-white hills that would make a perfect location for...

Ferguson: The Future in the Present?

Ferguson: The Future in the Present?

  • August 16, 2014
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The response of  the police of Ferguson, Missouri in response to protests at the apparent extrajudicial execution of black teenager Michael Brown has once again drawn attention to what the Economist has called the ‘hyper-military culture’ of the US police.

This culture has drawn the attention of civil liberties campaigners for some time,   in over-the-top...

The Night the Lights Went Out

The Night the Lights Went Out

  • August 06, 2014
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I didn’t join in the Lights Out remembrance on Monday night, though I’m told that our town looked pretty with the single lights or candles glowing in the darkness.

Photographs show that the nation also looked beautiful throughout the hour-long ‘gesture of remembrance’, as David Cameron called it.   Obviously I’m not going to do anything...

Flight MH17: A Pretext for War?

  • July 18, 2014
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It is too early to know what happened to Flight MH17.

It may indeed have been shot down by Russian separatists, as the Ukraine government and its Western allies are claiming.   Or it may have been shot down by forces linked to the Ukraine government.    If separatists were responsible, it is likely to have...


  • July 16, 2014
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As our governments never cease to remind us, the world is a dangerous and unstable place where catastrophe is always waiting just around the corner, and where the evil ones are always seeking to do us harm.     Luckily, here in Britain, we are fortunate to have leaders with the vision, foresight and determination...

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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