Notes From the Margins…
Posts Tagged Boko Haram

2014: Gaza’s Year of Mayhem

  • January 01, 2015
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There are some years when Gramsci’s adage about pessimism of the mind and optimism of the will seems more appropriate than others, and 2014 was a year filled with some pretty awful events, whether it was kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria or a summer in which more migrants drowned in the Mediterranean than ever.   In...

Negotiating With Boko Haram?

  • May 15, 2014
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Is Nigeria intending to negotiate the release of the 276 kidnapped schoolgirls or it preparing to attack Boko Haram?     The answer to this question does not seem clear, even to the Nigerian government itself.     Throughout much of the crisis the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has dropped fat hints that it...

Hashtags, Militarism and the ‘Konyisation’ of Boko Haram

  • May 10, 2014
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In the last week the Boko Haram kidnappings of Nigerian schoolgirls have become the object of the same crusading zeal that was once directed at Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army.     Hashtag twitter campaigns, celebrity condemnation, political outrage, and now Michelle Obama holding up a placard calling for the release of our girls –...

Nick Cohen’s Mad Mad World

  • May 05, 2014
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Even by his standards, Nick Cohen’s column on Boko Haram in The Guardian on Saturday is a stunningly lazy and incoherent piece of gibberish. Pretending to care, really really care, about the 230 schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram, Cohen seeks to indict ‘the left’ not only for not caring as much...

Complexities

  • April 24, 2014
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I was in London today, participating in a radio discussion for the Voice of Russia about Boko Haram.     I was probably the most anomalous presence there, given that I’m not – to say the least – an expert on either Nigeria or Boko Haram, so it was a really interesting and thought-provoking experience...

Westgate: God’s Trashy Gangsters

  • September 30, 2013
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Killing in the name of religion invariably provides a special moral uplift that is not always available in its ‘secular’ variants, with a unique ability to cast an aura of nobility over even the most squalid and disgusting acts.

The last week has produced   a real bumper crop of such acts by the disparate  ...

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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