Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Militarism Category
Why Has the Ministry of Defence Tried to Ban Its Own Book?

Why Has the Ministry of Defence Tried to Ban Its Own Book?

  • April 13, 2014
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When democratic governments attempt to ban books it rarely work out well for the government.   When the Thatcher government tried to ban Spycatcher under the Official Secrets it ended up looking ridiculous and impotent when the book was published abroad – even in Scotland – for three years before the ban was lifted, so that anyone who wanted to know what was in it could find out.

Rather than silencing books, such efforts tend to generate more curiosity about them.  And attempts at censorship and prohibition are almost guaranteed to attract attention when a...

Turkey’s False Flag

Turkey’s False Flag

  • March 30, 2014
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No matter how many countries are shattered, no matter how many times the consequences of ‘humanitarian interventions’ fail to live up to their expectations, nothing seems to shake the fairytale version of Western foreign policy that is retold again and again by politicians and the media.

This week for example, the centre-left New Statesman has a...

The Crimea Votes for Russia

The Crimea Votes for Russia

  • March 19, 2014
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The US and the EU have huffed and puffed and waxed indignant, but the population of the Crimea has voted massively in favor of union with Russia.     According to the referendum statistics, 95.5 percent of the population voted for secession in a referendum with an 83 percent turnout.

These figures may have been exaggerated,...

Dan Hodges Wins the Afghan War

Dan Hodges Wins the Afghan War

  • March 18, 2014
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The Telegraph‘s Dan Hodges has offered his readers some spectacularly dumb reflections on  the British contribution to the Afghan war.  It would be more accurate to describe   Hodges’s column as a collection of words thrown together and arranged into sentences rather than thoughts, since there is little evidence of thinking at all in this...

Miliband in Khaki

Miliband in Khaki

  • March 10, 2014
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Last week Ed Miliband visited Afghanistan and promised that a future Labour government would make it illegal to ‘abuse’ and ‘discriminate’ against members of the British armed forces.

The origins of this proposal go back to the 2008 National Recognition of the Armed Forces report commissioned by Gordon Brown and drawn up by Tory defector Quentin...

Russia: Under Western Eyes

  • March 05, 2014
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Just to be clear:   I regard Russia’s quasi-occupation of the Crimea as a dangerous gambit,  and a violation of international law that opens the possibility for a range of potentially dire outcomes.     That said, I can’t see how any state in Russia’s position would allow such a vital economic and strategic asset...

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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