Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category

2017: The Year of Lying Brazenly

  • December 28, 2017
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For connoisseurs of 21st century dystopian humour, there is a bleakly  amusing clip doing the rounds showing Pete Hoekstra, the US Ambassador to the Netherlands, apparently being well and truly hoist by his petard.   Hoekstra is a diplomat appointed by Trump and forged very much in the template of his master.    Asked by a Dutch journalist whether he said that there were Muslim ‘no go areas’ in the Netherlands, Hoekstra denies that he said any such thing, and accuses the interview of spreading ‘fake news.’   Said interviewer then shows said ambassador...

Trump’s Christmas Message

  • November 30, 2017
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This week the Trump non-presidency posted what may well go down in history as some of the weirdest photographs ever taken in the White House, featuring Melania Trump as the spirit of Christmas.   One of them shows the First Lady walking with a fixed grin through what looks alarmingly like a giant silver vagina,...

Trump Goes to Westphalia

  • September 20, 2017
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There is nothing entirely new under the sun when it comes to US presidents and US military power, at least since the end of World War II.  All American presidents, whatever their political inclinations, preside over a quasi-imperial system of military power that spends spends more than twice as much on the military as...

The Wars of Ralph Peters

  • September 06, 2017
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Slowly, but inexorably, the world is drifting towards the prospect of an all-out war between the United States and North Korea.  At the very least such a conflict is likely to result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, most of them Koreans.  It also raises the very real possibility of...

The Madness of King Donald

  • July 31, 2017
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Even by the wild standards of what may well be the most deranged individual ever to inhabit the White House, the man who calls himself Donald Trump has had a prolific and remarkable week.  Just to recapitulate.  In the space of five working days Trump has:

a) publicly humiliated the admittedly creepy attorney general...

Civilisation and its Malcontents

  • July 12, 2017
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In the conservative-far right lexicon, few words have the same emotive power as ‘civilisation’ – a term that usually equates with ‘Western civilisation’ or simply ‘the West.’ It’s one of those words that automatically gives depth and gravitas to the hollowest and tinniest of human mouthpieces.  Use it enough and you begin to sound...

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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