Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Terrorwar Category

Why Has the Ministry of Defence Tried to Ban Its Own Book?

  • April 13, 2014
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Attempts by democratic governments to ban books rarely work out well.   If the book is banned on grounds of public morality (Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Tropic of Cancer), then the writer nearly always wins in the end and the government that tried to suppress their work is likely to end up looking puritanical, cloven-footed and often pig-ignorant.

If,   like Peter Wright’s Spycatcher, the book is banned on ‘political’ or national security grounds then it is immediately going to attract a great deal more media interest than it might otherwise have done, so that if...

Dan Hodges Wins the Afghan War

  • March 18, 2014
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Proving once again that laziness, ignorance, and sloppy, half-baked analysis will never be an obstacle to churning 1,000-word copy, the Telegraph‘s Dan Hodges has offered his readers some spectacularly dumb thoughts about the British contribution to the Afghan war.

It would probably be more accurate to describe   Hodges’s column as a collection of words thrown...

What is Moazzam Begg Doing in Jail?

  • February 27, 2014
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A lot of people will be quietly nodding with satisfaction at the news that the director of Cageprisoners Moazzam Begg has been arrested on suspicion of facilitating terrorism overseas. Begg has not actually been charged with anything so far, but West Midlands police are apparently investigating the possibility that he may have attended a ‘jihadist...

A Very British Cover-Up

  • December 21, 2013
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It’s the festive season and folks probably don’t want to hear about the complicity of the British government’s involvement in illegally kidnapping terrorist suspects and flying them around the world to be tortured by dictators.

Such things leave a bad taste in the mouth, and make the moral high ground suddenly slippery and precarious, especially for...

Afghanistan: Let’s Play Football!

  • December 19, 2013
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War is a lot like football isn’t it?     Well General Sir Nicholas Houghton, Chief of the British Defence Staff seems to think so.     Yesterday he told the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) that the British Armed Forces were experiencing a manpower shortage that may end up excluding us from ‘ the...

Robert Greenwald’s ‘Unmanned’: Essential Public Service Journalism

  • November 02, 2013
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After various attempts, the CIA appears to have finally killed Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Tehrik-I-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in a drone strike in North Waziristan.   The United States has not confirmed the hit yet, though a White House spokeswoman has declared that if these reports are true, they would represent a ‘serious loss...

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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