Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category
The Terror Brothers

The Terror Brothers

  • April 24, 2013
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So now we know that the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings were Muslim ‘jihadists’ after all – or at least they thought they were.  And law enforcement officials, the media and assorted experts and terrorologists are engaging in the familiar search for an explanation and a motive.

Were they ‘self-radicalized lone wolves’?    Or were they ‘radicalized’ by foreigners or by some charismatic evil preacher,  such as the ‘mysterious radical’ known as ‘Misha’, who Tamerlane Tsarnaev’s uncle in Maryland  says  “steered the religiously apathetic young man toward a strict strain of Islam”?

These distinctions matter,...

A Letter to the Boston Bomber

A Letter to the Boston Bomber

  • April 17, 2013
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Dear Boston Bomber.   It’s now two days since you and your associates exploded your bombs at the Boston marathon.  So far the death toll currently stands at three, including Martin Richard,  an eight-year-old boy  who was photographed last year holding up a placard reading ‘no more hurting people- peace’ which he carried during a...

The United States of Fear

  • March 20, 2013
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The US Senate has killed Senator Diane Feinstein’s Obama-backed  proposal to ban assault weapons as part of a series of gun control measures put forward in the wake of the Sandy Hook school massacre last December.    The bill proposed to ban  160 specific semiautomatic weapons and rifles,  assorted military-style parts, and...

Red Dawn Redux

  • March 13, 2013
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When it comes to geopolitics, Hollywood often has a striking ability to produce films that reflect and reinforce the prevailing foreign policy assumptions of the American political and military establishment,   or which at least do nothing to challenge them.

So it’s not surprising that a film presenting Americans as innocent victims of Iranian fanaticism and...

Alan Dershowitz doesn’t get his own way

  • February 07, 2013
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I just got back from a lightning visit to Paris, where I was interviewed for a forthcoming documentary history of anarchism directed by the production company Temps Noir for Arte – the French equivalent of Channel 4.     It was a really enjoyable interview, lasting about two and half hours, and will form part...

Saying sorry to Israel

  • February 01, 2013
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In the last week or so a lot of people have been saying   to Israel on both sides of the Atlantic.   On Friday David Ward, Liberal Democrat MP for Bradford East,   wrote the following words on his website after signing a Holocaust Memorial book in anticipation of last Sunday’s Holocaust Memorial Day:


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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