Notes From the Margins…
Posts Tagged Afghanistan

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...

March 1979: the Politburo debates Afghanistan

  • March 03, 2012
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Recent events in Afghanistan have galvanised me into digging up my English-language transcript of the meeting of the Soviet Politburo meeting that took place on March 17, 1979 to discuss Deterioration of Conditions in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and Possible Responses From Our Side.

This 21-page transcript was once classified and only became available a...

Joseph Heller in Afghanistan

  • February 29, 2012
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You don”t need to be an expert on counterinsurgency to conclude that burning Korans is probably not the most efficacious method of winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan population.     And the fact that US soldiers have done this after more a decade in Afghanistan  is symptomatic of  a conflict that...

The British Army’s War Porn

The British Army’s War Porn

  • September 25, 2011
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There is a rather nauseating story in today’s  Independent on Sunday about British soldiers gathering to watch ‘war snuff movies’ at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan for ‘morale boosting’ sessions. These ‘Kill TV nights’ consisted of video clips showing people being killed by Apache helicopters, and were accompanied by a commentary from Warrant Officer Andy Farmer.


The 9/11 Decade

The 9/11 Decade

  • September 10, 2011
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Tomorrow it will be exactly ten years since 19 deluded fanatics murdered nearly 3,000 people in the United States.    After the last fortnight of  documentaries, interviews, profiles, newsclips, ‘9/11 short stories’,  a special ‘9/11 Question Time’, BBC broadcasts from ‘ground zero’ and a torrent of opinion pieces in the press and on the Internet,...

What did you do in the Great War on Terror Daddy?

  • July 10, 2011
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Is the Global War on Terror (GWOT) approaching its end?   Apparently so, if statements made by  US Defence Secretary and former CIA director Leon Panetta during a  visit to Afghanistan are to be believed.   According to the Washington  Post Panetta has endorsed the Obama administration’s ‘increasingly aggressive campaign to hunt down al-Qaeda leaders...

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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