Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category

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 of prisoner that has proven to be  a particularly tragic – and from the point of view of the Obama administration – problematic consequence of the extra-legal detention system established by its predecessors for ‘the worst of the...

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...

The case of Thomas Drake

  • March 10, 2012
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There’s an excellent piece by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker about Thomas Drake, the linguist and computer expert-turned-whistleblower from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), who was indicted by the Obama administration in April 2010 for releasing classified information to a journalist in 2006.

The case has attracted less media attention than  Bradley Manning, though...

The Pity of Niall Ferguson

  • February 07, 2012
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There is nothing worse than a warmonger, but few warmongers are as disgusting and contemptible as Niall Ferguson.  Anyone who doubts this should contemplate his latest outing as a cheerleader for war on Iran, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe programme yesterday:

There is the Great Man, oozing narcissism, gravitas and a smug sense of his self-importance, as...

Let’s all live in one big happy barracks

  • January 27, 2012
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There’s a good piece by Mark Levine on the Al Jazeera website about Barack Obama’s glorification of the U.S military in his State of the Union address, which    began with the fatuous and utterly delusional observation  ‘ We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more...

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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