Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Terrorism Category

Burkini Madness

  • August 25, 2016
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Anyone who has travelled in France this summer will have found it difficult to ignore the   the ongoing state of emergency with which the French state has responded to Daesh’s savage provocations.     In Banyuls-sur-Mer, we found the main road by the beach guarded by armed soldiers, presumably mindful of a repeat of the attack on Tunisia last year.     In Chartres, we watched a band whose members were mostly in their 60s or 70s joyously celebrating the city’s summer fete in glorious French style, while a detachment of soldiers,...

The Atrocity Factory

  • July 27, 2016
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At first sight, keep calm and carry on might seem like a rather banal piece of advice, faced with the seemingly endless and unstoppable conveyor belt of atrocities that is unfolding before us on a weekly and almost daily basis..  In  Baghdad, Kabul and Istanbul, in Florida, Nice and Germany,  the most toxic...

Nice and the Spectacle of Terror

  • July 16, 2016
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Yesterday evening I was driving to play a game of tennis and listening to the radio, when I heard the sounds of of screaming people being mown down  by a truck  in Nice.  I immediately turned it off.  This isn’t because I think I have some privileged right to ignore the escalating procession...

Bombing the Grey Zone

  • March 23, 2016
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At some point in the future it would be good to imagine that our descendants may look back on our dark and savage world with sadness and horror, and regard it as a bygone tragedy that has been overcome and superseded by a more enlightened era.  Perhaps  historians will look back and seek to draw...

The Daily Mail, Cage, and the Enemy Within

  • January 09, 2016
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Terrorism has always had a special ability to act as a catalyst for McCarthyist witchhunts, whether it was the ‘scoundrelly laws’ passed by the French governments of the 1890s in response to anarchist bombings and assassinations, or the emergency laws of the West German government during the Baader-Meinhof  during the 1970s.

Over the last fifteen...

Idiot Wind: Corbyn’s Fake Refuseniks

  • January 07, 2016
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If my inadvertent involvement in last year’s media onslaught against Stop the War taught me one thing: it was the incredible mendacity,  political dishonesty and sheer venality of Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents inside the Labour Party.  It is possible – within limits – to respect one’s political opponents when they uphold genuine principles that they...

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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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