Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category
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 tell yourself what you want to believe about about it, as General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, did yesterday, when he described ISIS as “an organisation that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision.”

Whatever theological aims...

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.’...

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...

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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