Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category
The Eyes of Richard Cheney

The Eyes of Richard Cheney

  • August 26, 2014
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Some years back, Faye Dunaway starred in a kinky thriller called The Eyes of Laura Mars.    Dunaway plays a glamorous fashion photographer who specializes in taking pictures of stylised violence, only to develop a second sight that enables her to see actual murders through the eyes of a real-life killer.   At first sight (forgive the expression) this doesn’t have much to do with former American vice-president Richard Bruce Cheney, but bear with me.

Cheney is a politician who has spent a great deal of the latter part of his long career peering into...

Why ISIS Eyes are Smiling

Why ISIS Eyes are Smiling

  • August 22, 2014
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You can loathe the Islamic State (IS) all you like, and an organization that beheads prisoners and posts videos boasting about it, rapes women, crucifies Christians and uses its primitive interpretation of Islam as a justification to murder anyone with impunity, deserves all the loathing and disgust that it receives.

But that doesn’t mean you should...

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...

Silencing Israel’s Critics: a new McCarthyism?

  • August 13, 2014
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Israel has always depended heavily on emotional and moral blackmail to influence public debate internationally and neutralize its critics.     Few supporters of South African apartheid ever openly defended the system itself, whatever they believed privately.     Even when governments were broadly supportive of the apartheid regime,   such as the British government...

The friends of Israel: united in blood

  • July 29, 2014
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Even by the standards we have come to expect from Israel’s powerful supporters, yesterday’s speech by the senior White House adviser Susan Rice was a sickening demonstration of intellectual dishonesty and mealy-mouthed hypocrisy.     At a public ‘solidarity’ meeting convened by Jewish groups in Washington,   Rice criticized the United Nations human rights council...

Obama’s New Threat

  • July 06, 2014
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America has always had a contradictory and ambivalent attitude towards the outside world.   On the one hand it celebrates its heritage as a nation of immigrants and a place of refuge, to whom the Statue of Liberty holds out a torch for the world’s ‘tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’...

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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