Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category

The Awesome Years

  • July 20, 2012
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It would be something of an understatement to suggest that the historians of the future are unlikely to look back on the first decade of the twenty-first century with much favor.

It was a decade in which the world’s most powerful democracy unleashed   a swathe of violence across the world in the name of the ‘war on terror’, and used the atrocities carried out by assorted jihadist groups as a pretext for regime change in areas of strategic interest; in which the chimera of ‘national security’ became a catalyst for a new era of...

Alastair Campbell does satire

  • June 16, 2012
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When flying low without a moral compass, it’s always vaguely comforting and reassuring to tell yourself that everybody else is doing it too.   So it’s not surprising at all to hear Alastair Campbell  having a go at Armando Iannucci for accepting an OBE.

I have no intention of defending that decision myself.  In...

Bin Laden Day

  • May 02, 2012
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It’s exactly one year since the president of the world’s most powerful democracy sent a team of Navy Seals to kill the world’s most wanted man in his pyjamas in a rundown house compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.   Who can forget that historic  moment which a photographer captured for posterity,...

The lost men of Guantanamo

  • April 23, 2012
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Last week’s announcement  that El Salvador has resettled  two Uighur detainees from  Guantanamo Bay is another development in the grindingly slow attempt to bring one of  the most shameful episodes in US history to a close.

The Uighurs are the first prisoner releases from Guantanamo since January 2011.   They constitute a category...

David and Barack trip the light fantastic

  • March 15, 2012
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It’s over, but only the hardest hearts could have remained unmoved at the sight of  the president of the world’s only superpower romancing our Tory PM.   Like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Camerobama only had eyes for each other as they skipped lightly across the diplomatic dancefloor in  the greatest piece of...

Cameron and Obama: the lords of mayhem

  • March 14, 2012
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State visits by British prime ministers to the United States are never a particularly edifying experience.  On this side of the Atlantic, they tend to perpetuate unhealthy delusions of imperial grandeur that stem essentially from Britain’s willingness to hover in the slipstream of American military power.

This vassal-like status is often obscured by nostalgic memories...

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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