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Kobane: Chronicle of a Defeat Foretold

Kobane: Chronicle of a Defeat Foretold

  • October 07, 2014
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Despite heroic and desperate resistance from Kurdish Peoples Defence fighters (YPG) in Kobane, it is now looking increasingly likely that this key Syrian border town will fall to ISIS.   It that happens, Islamic State will be able to unite the territories that it already controls in northern Syria, and will undoubtedly inflict a bloody vengeance on the Kurds who have defied it for the last few months.

IS will also be able to split the three autonomous Kurdish Mountain Region or cantons established in northern Syria in January this year, and will therefore be...

Beating Galloway

  • September 06, 2014
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On Friday 29 August the British parliamentarian Adam West, Conservative MP for South Benfield, was viciously attacked by a Muslim fanatic while posing for a photograph on a London street.     Horrified onlookers watched helplessly as the MP was punched in the head and knocked to the ground during a three-minute assault in which...

An Afternoon in Belchite

  • September 04, 2014
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Lower Aragon is a very different place to the towering peaks of the Aragonese Pyrenees, where I spent most of last week.   Drive south of Zaragoza and you leave the fertile plain of the Ebro River and pass through a strikingly weird lunar landscape of chalk-white hills that would make a perfect location for...

Lost in the Fear Factory

  • August 25, 2014
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As anybody who has ever been exposed to a dangerous or life-threatening situation knows, fear is not a particularly useful emotion.   At an individual level, it can paralyse the resolve and confidence that you need to survive or go forward, undermine the mental clarity required to take essential decisions, and reduce you to a...

Ferguson: The Future in the Present?

Ferguson: The Future in the Present?

  • August 16, 2014
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The response of  the police of Ferguson, Missouri in response to protests at the apparent extrajudicial execution of black teenager Michael Brown has once again drawn attention to what the Economist has called the ‘hyper-military culture’ of the US police.

This culture has drawn the attention of civil liberties campaigners for some time,   in over-the-top...

Israel and Gaza: Sexy Cool Genocide

  • August 03, 2014
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In 1955 the dovish Israeli prime minister Moshe Sharett wrote in his diary that his countrymen had transformed revenge into a ‘sacred principle’ and worried that such tendencies ‘ must make the State appear in the eyes of the world as a savage state that does not recognize the principles of justice as they have...

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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