Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category

Bombs and Chocolate

  • April 15, 2017
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For liberals who saw  last week’s missile strikes in Syria as a belated but welcome act of humanitarianism, Donald Trump was always going to be an awkward president to share the moral high ground with.   One minute he might be talking about beautiful babies and the children of God, but then he gives interviews with a Fox News ‘journalist’ named Maria Bartiromo,  which contains sequences like this:

BARTIROMO:   You redirected navy ships to go toward the Korean Peninsula.  What we are doing right now in terms of North Korea?

TRUMP:  You...

Trump Goes Robocop

  • April 10, 2017
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There’s a certain kind of liberal/left commentator that – to paraphrase Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now –  just loves the sight of missiles in the morning.  For some they smell like humanitarianism.  For others they smell like meaningful action.  Or ‘doing something’.  Mostly they have the allure of American power...

Reflections on the Bowling Green Massacre

  • February 25, 2017
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As some readers of this blog will know, for the last four months I’ve been heavily involved in the One Day Without Us campaign,  which came to an end last Monday.  For much of this time my normal life has been on hold and pretty much everything has revolved around the campaign. ...

2016: The Year of Living Fearfully

  • December 28, 2016
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There was a time – it seems many years ago now – when governments in the Western world told their populations that things were getting better, and that they were helping them to get better.   In those days voters by and large believed them, and made their political choices from amongst a cluster...

Oscar Martinez: A History of Violence

  • July 28, 2016
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Many years ago, in 1993 I visited the bombed out ruins of the town of Aguacayo,   the former ‘capital’ of the FMLN-held liberated zone in Guazapa Province during much of   El Salvador’s 12-year civil war.   It was just only one year after the guerrillas had disarmed in   the town   as...

Boris Johnson’s Big Day Out

  • July 23, 2016
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Politically speaking, schadenfreude tends to be a consolatory emotion, whose pleasures are generally ephemeral and often sharpened by defeat.   Even so the humiliation of Boris John last week was worth the price of admission.      I’m referring, of course, to the car crash press conference in which Johnson appeared alongside...

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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