Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Terrorism 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...

Why ISIS Eyes are Smiling

Why ISIS Eyes are Smiling

  • August 22, 2014
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You can loathe the Islamic State (IS) all you like, and an organization that beheads prisoners and posts videos boasting about it, rapes women, crucifies Christians and uses its primitive interpretation of Islam as a justification to murder anyone with impunity, deserves all the loathing and disgust that it receives.

But that doesn’t mean you should...

ISIS: Made in Washington?

  • June 23, 2014
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As a result of its continuing offensives in Iraq, the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIS) has become the latest Islamist threat to civilisation.   If the rightwing Internet website World Net Daily is to be believed however,  the US government may have inadvertently played a direct role in ISIS’s creation, through a...

Negotiating With Boko Haram?

Negotiating With Boko Haram?

  • May 15, 2014
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Is Nigeria intending to negotiate the release of the 276 kidnapped schoolgirls or it preparing to attack Boko Haram?    Throughout the crisis the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has hinted at some kind of behind-the-scenes dialogue with the kidnappers.

The content of these negotiations, if they have taken place, is not known.   But reports...

Hashtags, Militarism and the ‘Konyisation’ of Boko Haram

  • May 10, 2014
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In the last week the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram have become the object of the same kind of international crusading zeal that was once directed at Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army.   Hashtag twitter campaigns, celebrity condemnation, political outrage, and now Michelle Obama holding up a placard calling for the release of our girls...

Complexities: Boko Haram

  • April 24, 2014
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I was in London today, participating in a radio discussion for the Voice of Russia about Boko Haram.     I was probably the most anomalous presence there, given that I’m not – to say the least – an expert on either Nigeria or Boko Haram, so it was a really interesting and thought-provoking experience...

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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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