Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category

Iraq Implodes

  • June 15, 2014
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The startling advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Iraq are the most dramatic and visible success that the transnational jihad movement has achieved since its intitial emergence in the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the early 80s.     Since the end of that war, one of the key aspirations of al-Qaeda and the various franchises and networks that share its ideology has always been to carve out a political space or series of political spaces that would become stepping stones towards the creation of...

Cecily McMillan and the Rise of the Soldier-Cop

Cecily McMillan and the Rise of the Soldier-Cop

  • May 07, 2014
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On Monday a New York jury found Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan guilty of felony assault on police officer Grantley Bovell, during a protest in New York’s Zucotti park on March 17, 2012.    McMillan was convicted of deliberately elbowing Bovell in the face, during a violent police assault on a protest to mark...

Whatever Happened to the Future?

Whatever Happened to the Future?

  • April 17, 2014
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There was a time when the future seemed like something you could rely on, at least if you were lucky enough to live in the ‘developed’ world; when you could look at your life twenty or thirty years down the line and know that you would have a job, and that if you worked for...

Richard Levin’s Awfully Big Corporate Adventure

  • March 25, 2014
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One of the small mysteries that has always intrigued me about Tony Blair’s dizzying transformation into a global moneymaking machine, was his teaching role at Yale University.   In September 2008 Blair taught his first class at Yale as part of a three-year collaboration between the Yale School of Divinity and the Tony Blair Faith...

Russia: Under Western Eyes

  • March 05, 2014
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Just to be clear:   I regard Russia’s quasi-occupation of the Crimea as a dangerous gambit,  and a violation of international law that opens the possibility for a range of potentially dire outcomes.     That said, I can’t see how any state in Russia’s position would allow such a vital economic and strategic asset...

Breaking Bad and the end of the American Dream

  • December 05, 2013
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I’ve finally got to the last episode of Breaking Bad, and I feel not so much bereft as relieved that it’s over.   Not because it wasn’t good.   On the contrary, it’s actually a stunning achievement.     The performances are astonishing throughout.     The writing is sharp and skilful, with an...

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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