Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category

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 the CIA as heroes should win an Oscar, or that Kathryn Bigelow should give an account of the Bin Laden hit that effectively backs up the Bush/Cheney ‘gloves are off’ justifications for torture.

Even so, the remaking of Red Dawn...

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:

‘Having...

Iraq: The Invisible Dead

  • January 24, 2013
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I had a bit of an Internet disaster yesterday, when I upgraded WordPress and my entire blog disappeared,   to be replaced by the dreaded White Screen of Death.     I felt as if I’d been airbrushed from history by technological forces outside by control – and my knowledge.     I had done...

Osama bin Laden: the Western

Osama bin Laden: the Western

  • January 16, 2013
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There is a superb critique on the Mondeweiss website of Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty by Deepa Kumar.   Previous criticisms of the film have concentrated on Bigelow and her scriptwriter Mark Boal’s promotion of torture in its account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and its uncritical reliance on CIA sources. Kumar raises another...

Staring at Screens

  • December 19, 2012
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What do the mass murderers of the 21st century have in common?  It seems they all love to play violent video games.   At his trial Anders Breivik told the court  how he had used  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2  to familiarize himself with the use of holographic sights and develop ‘target...

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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