Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Terrorism Category
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 tell yourself what you want to believe about about it, as General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, did yesterday, when he described ISIS as “an organisation that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision.”

Whatever theological aims...

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...

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...

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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