Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Terrorism Category
President Kill

President Kill

  • June 05, 2012
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Last week’s New York Times piece  on Barack Obama’s personal involvement in approving the ‘kill list’ of targets for drone strikes has generated a lot of discussion and attention, and with good reason.

The article shines a grim light on Obama’s fervent commitment to a ‘war on terror’ that appears to have  no strategic logic and no clear objectives beyond the accumulation of body counts, killing for the sake of killing – and enhancing his own election prospects through a demonstration of presidential ‘toughness’.

The decision-making process described by the Times reveals a world in which...

The Ambiguous Terrorist

The Ambiguous Terrorist

  • May 14, 2012
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US intelligence agencies and national security analysts are reportedly furious at the leaked revelations about the latest Al Qaeda “underwear bomb” plot, and some have laid the blame on the Obama administration for supposedly seeking to gain political advantage from it.

These allegations may well be true,   and the current US government would certainly not...

Lone Wolves on the Prowl

Lone Wolves on the Prowl

  • March 24, 2012
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Mohammed Merah’s  act of suicide-by-cop has been followed by a further shift in the already confusing and conflicting narratives that have accompanied the Toulouse/Montauban murder spree.   When the siege first began, it was reported that Merah belonged to  al-Qaeda and that he had been trained on the Pakistan-Afghan border in Waziristan.  Then it was reported...

Murder in Toulouse

Murder in Toulouse

  • March 22, 2012
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Yesterday evening I was leaving the swimming pool when a young girl came running past me in the corridor.  She looked not much older than Myriam Monsenego, the young girl executed by Mohammed Merah in Toulouse on Monday, apparently because he wanted ‘revenge for Palestinian children.’

Anyone who would extinguish a child’s life in this way...

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...

The Echo Chamber: News International and Police ‘terror briefings’

The Echo Chamber: News International and Police ‘terror briefings’

  • March 02, 2012
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As the seemingly endless tide of sleaze and corruption continues to ooze out of News International like sewage from a bust pipe, there was  interesting testimony  yesterday from Peter Clarke, the former deputy commissioner of Scotland Yard and head of the antiterrorist branch S013,  on his department’s relationships with the British media and the...

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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