Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Terrorism Category

On Heretics and Thought-Crimes

  • December 10, 2015
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Bear with me readers, if I return to ‘InternationalBrigadegate’ one more time, because what I want to say is not really about me: it’s about us.  A lot of the writing I’ve done over the years, in books, articles, and blogposts, has been concerned with the subject of persecution.  I’ve always been concerned with the ease with which powerful societies can transform themselves into what the medieval historian R.I.  Moore once called ‘persecuting societies’.

These concerns have been present in all my books, from my history of terrorism to my novel The...

Hellhounds on my Trail

  • December 08, 2015
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I wasn’t going to write about the Stop the War/International Brigades fiasco again.  In fact I had hoped that it was all beginning to quieten down and I could return to normal and write about something else.  For  the time being at least, normality is no longer possible, and so I feel I...

Apologies

  • December 07, 2015
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Some last thoughts – from me anyway – on the International Brigades debacle.  As I have tried to make clear since I wrote my piece about Hilary Benn last Thursday, I never meant to suggest any moral equivalence whatsoever between Daesh and the International Brigades.  I continue to believe that the overall context...

Open Letter to Tristram Hunt

  • December 06, 2015
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Dear Tristram Hunt MP,

You have probably never heard of me, and there is no reason why you should.  But I felt moved to write to you because a  rather freakish and unusual series of events has brought our names into the same orbit.   Today, while driving home, I heard on the radio...

We Bomb Therefore We Are

  • November 23, 2015
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Many people who have never read a word of military history or strategy will have come across the Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz’s famous dictum that ‘war is politics (policy) by other means.’    If wars are fought in pursuit of political goals, then it follows that governments will know what these goals...

Pitiless War

  • November 18, 2015
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The Narodnik revolutionary Vera Figner once described terrorism as a ‘very sombre form struggle.’  Figner spent twenty years in prison for her part in the assassination of Tsar Alexander II – the most high-profile assassination of the nineteenth century and an act that contained many of the essential features of revolutionary terrorism, so she...

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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