Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Terrorwar Category

Bin Laden Day

  • May 02, 2012
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It’s exactly one year since the president of the world’s most powerful democracy sent a team of Navy Seals to kill the world’s most wanted man in his pyjamas in a rundown house compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.   Who can forget that historic  moment which a photographer captured for posterity, when the Commander-in-Chief sat hunched in his leather jacket in the Situation Room, the image of steely masculinity, watching the kill with his key officials?

In case anyone was inclined to forget it, the Peace Laureate has rarely missed  an...

The lost men of Guantanamo

  • April 23, 2012
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Last week’s announcement  that El Salvador has resettled  two Uighur detainees from  Guantanamo Bay is another development in the grindingly slow attempt to bring one of  the most shameful episodes in US history to a close.

The Uighurs are the first prisoner releases from Guantanamo since January 2011.   They constitute a category...

Telling Lies about Afghanistan

Telling Lies about Afghanistan

  • March 08, 2012
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“All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed,” wrote the great radical journalist I.F. Stone  many years ago.   Stone could have added that some governments lie more than others, and that there are also times when governments  are more prone to manipulation, dishonesty and deceit than usual.

War has always...

Joseph Heller in Afghanistan

  • February 29, 2012
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You don”t need to be an expert on counterinsurgency to conclude that burning Korans is probably not the most efficacious method of winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan population.     And the fact that US soldiers have done this after more a decade in Afghanistan  is symptomatic of  a conflict that...

Cameron’s awfully big Somali adventure

  • February 24, 2012
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Yesterday’s International Conference on Somalia was billed by the UK government as a turning point in the history of one of the most impoverished and war-torn nations on earth.   In his opening address to the conference David Cameron explained the purpose of the conference in the following terms:

‘In a country where there is...

If You All Love Special Forces Clap Your Hands

If You All Love Special Forces Clap Your Hands

  • February 14, 2012
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The New York Times had  an interesting piece yesterday  which reveals a great deal about how the world works, or rather how the U.S. military believes the world should work.  The subject of the article was a proposal from Admiral William H. McRaven ( Joseph Heller eat your heart out for that name), the head...

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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